How to Lose Weight Without Giving Up Dessert
You don’t discriminate. Whether we’re talking about cakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream, cupcakes, chocolate, doughnuts, muffins, cheesecakes, or sundaes, you get excited about it all! Sugary sweets bring you so much joy, but they also send you shopping in search of larger jeans. Don’t fret! We have your sweet tooth covered! Follow these 12 tips and learn how to indulge in dessert without gaining a pound.
| Tone It Down
If you can’t bake a batch of your favorite dessert without devouring half the recipe in one sitting, make smaller portions of the dish so you can eat one serving and be done. This single serving of chocolate chip banana bread is under 120 calories. One and done!
| Find Healthier Alternatives
While nothing beats a hot-fudge brownie sundae, devouring over 500 calories, spoonful by spoonful, can leave you with a bellyache and a side of guilt. Find healthier alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth, whatever your craving is, without sacrificing flavor. If you’re obsessed with ice cream, this vegan cherry chocolate chip ice cream is so sweet and creamy and just 126 calories per luscious bowl. And these vegan ice cream popsicles can be made with banana, soy yogurt, and chocolate chips.
| Celebrate the Natural Sweetness of Fruit
Fruit is low in calories and high in fiber, so just a little will fill you up. Since a bowl of strawberries probably doesn’t get you as excited as, say, a bowl of ice cream, pair your fruit with something slightly more decadent, like these chocolate-mousse-filled strawberries, frozen banana and peanut butter nibblers, or these yogurt-covered frozen grapes.
| Add Extra Protein and Fiber
If you increase the nutritional value of your treats, you’ll feel much better about taking a bite. While Rice Krispies treats are definitely not considered healthy, you can make then more nutritious by upping the protein. These marshmallow-free peanut butter Rice Krispies treats are fortified with protein powder, so one crispy and chewy square offers 4.6 grams of protein. You can also add beans to cookie recipes to increase the fiber, or throw in some flax meal or chia seeds for healthful omega-3s.
| Swap Out Not-So-Healthy Ingredients
While baking with butter is akin to religion, the crazy-high calories and saturated fat found in this tried-and-true ingredient make it pretty unhealthy. Just swap butter out for avocado as in these pumpkin spice muffins. Find other ways to ditch unhealthy ingredients by swapping oil for applesauce in these yummy recipes, or use Greek yogurt in place of butter, sour cream, or cream cheese.
| Add Veggies Whenever You Can
By looking at these decadent double-chocolate fudge brownies, would you guess they’re made with pureed zucchini? Yep, and around 150 calories per square. You can also add spinach to brownies, some chickpeas to baked chocolate doughnuts, or sweet potato to oatmeal cookies. Veggies increase the fiber and other vitamins of your baked goods, and you can’t even taste them!
| Cut Down on Sugar
Three cups of sugar in a two-loaf banana bread recipe? That’s outrageous! For many recipes, you could easily decrease the sugar by 30 to even 50 percent, saving hundreds of calories, and still have sweet results. Or ditch the sugar altogether and sweeten your recipes with pureed fruit u2014 these fruity muffins are made without a granule of white sugar.
| Yogurt For Dessert!
While yogurt is popular for the first meal of the day, its sweet creaminess can also satisfy your ice cream or pudding cravings. These dessert-like topping ideas make you feel like you’re enjoying a sundae for much fewer calories.
| Dip It!
If a plain piece of fresh fruit doesn’t quite satisfy, make it more indulgent by dipping your fruit into something tasty. Try this chocolate hummus that’s 100 calories per serving or this creamy peanut butter dip that’s just 60.
| Go Splitsies
Sometimes nothing can satisfy the very real need for an M&M ice cream cookie sandwich, so don’t live without it! But don’t devour the entire 260 calories on your own, either. Split one with a friend or, even better, two friends, and you can get a few bites of the flavors you crave without consuming a meal’s worth of calories.
| Indulge a Little Every Day
Yes, you heard that right! It’s obvious that stuffing your face with daily bars of chocolate and pints of ice cream won’t help you lose weight, but it doesn’t mean you have to give treats up entirely; in fact, it’s better to indulge a little once a day. Don’t go overboard, but allow yourself a small nibble of something sweet to satiate your cravings and prevent an all-out binge. Here are some 150-calorie desserts you can make yourself, like these chocolate-covered sunbutter cups.
| Make Snack Time Dessert Time
Eating one to two 150-calorie snacks a day can keep hunger at bay, so why not use these times to indulge in a little something sweet. These chocolate raspberry truffles are actually protein balls in disguise, offering 3.3 grams of protein per bite. Or crunch on these honey-roasted cinnamon chickpeas. If chocolate’s what you’re craving, these no-bake brownies are made with oats, cashews, dates, and banana.