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Healthy Desserts for Weight Loss: 15+ Tried and Tested Options
Weight Loss

Healthy Desserts for Weight Loss: 15+ Tried and Tested Options

HR_author_photo_Brenda
Written by Brenda Peralta, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on January 25, 2023
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9 min

Adding a sweet treat should not affect your weight loss goals. In this article, you’ll get 15+ ideas on what to add to your meal that won’t negatively impact your diet.

Healthy desserts for weight loss
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Cravings are a struggle, especially when you are on a weight loss journey. There are ways to decrease cravings, such as increasing the intake of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, but sometimes they just won’t go away. 

For some, sweets and weight loss don’t seem to fit – they shouldn’t even go in the same sentence.

However, in this article, our experts will prove you wrong. Here, we have over 15 delicious recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth without jeopardizing your goals. 

15+ Healthy Dessert Ideas for Weight Loss From a Dietitian

A healthy sweet treat can help you control cravings and bring peace of mind whenever you follow a meal plan. 

Restricting yourself too much can lead to eating disorders or constant snacking to eliminate the craving. However, in the end, you still eat the thing you craved in addition to everything else. 

That is why adding something sweet but healthy can help you stay on the right path. 

Below you can find 15 different dessert ideas ideal for those on a weight loss journey. 

#1 Energy bites

Energy bites are an ideal option for those with a sweet tooth. 

There are several benefits to energy bites. The first one is that you can make them in advance. You can create a batch of energy bites, place them in the freezer, and take them out whenever you want a sweet bite. 

Second, you can customize them based on your preferences. With that said, just be careful which ingredients you add since it can make them as caloric as an Oreo. 

To have satiating and moderate-calorie energy bites, try mixing oatmeal, dates, quinoa, peanut butter, and stevia. Add some water or almond milk until you get the desired consistency. You can also add cocoa and coconut flakes.

Adding dates to the mix allows you to naturally sweeten the energy bites while giving them a caramel flavor. 

#2 Dark chocolate

Next on our low-calorie dessert list, we have dark chocolate. 

Dark chocolate has more cocoa than milk chocolate, meaning it has a higher nutrient content. It is also a significant source of iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.

Keep in mind that to make milk chocolate creamy, they need to add sugars and fats. 

Dark chocolate is a better option since it might be lower in sugars and fats and provide more nutrients. However, read the nutritional label carefully as, in some cases, companies add sugars to dark chocolate to make it sweeter. 

#3 Greek yogurt with berries

One of the best desserts to help you lose weight is Greek yogurt with fresh berries. 

Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, are very high in nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants can help decrease inflammation, which promotes better recovery and boosts the immune system. 

Adding these options after your meal can increase fullness levels, thanks to their high protein content. In 7oz of yogurt, you get 19.9g of protein, which is enough to increase satiety. 

#4 Baked apples

Baked apples are delicious. However, in some cases, they are high in refined sugar and butter, which is best avoided when on a weight loss journey. 

Luckily, there are some ways you can modify this dish. 

Coat the tops of the apples with some coconut oil. One teaspoon per apple should be enough, so don’t forget to measure it to avoid adding too much. Next, add sugar-free alternatives, like stevia or monk fruit, mixed with vanilla and cinnamon. 

Lastly, sprinkle the mix on the apples and bake them as usual. 

#5 Tofu pudding with berries

Tofu pudding is another great option for those that want something sweet and still want to lose weight. 

This is the best option for people who don’t consume animal products but still want a protein boost to increase satiety. Additionally, it is gluten-free. 

Berries are high in antioxidants and fiber. As such, they help decrease inflammation and increase fullness levels.

Add some mango for a tropical flavor instead of berries if you want a vitamin C boost.

#6 Yogurt-berry ice pops

Try switching to a yogurt-berry ice pop instead of ice cream, which is very high in calories, fat, and sugar.

Mix some yogurt, specifically Greek, to have more creaminess and extra protein, with some fresh fruit. 

If you want a more tropical approach, try mixing yogurt, coconut milk, shredded coconut, vanilla, stevia, and pineapple. When you mix them, you create the ultimate pina colada ice cream that fits into the category of low-calorie desserts. 

#7 Chia pudding

Chia pudding is another excellent dessert you can make the day before. 

You can even make several batches of chia pudding. Meal prepping can save you a lot of time and money. 

Chia seeds have the advantage of being high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, they are very high in fiber, which increases fullness levels. 

There are several versions of chia pudding. For those who love chocolate, try mixing chia seeds, your dairy option, cocoa powder, sugar-free chocolate chips, and some almonds for a crunchy texture. Add stevia or monk fruit for sweetness. 

#8 Chocolate-dipped berries or fruits

Who doesn’t love chocolate-covered strawberries?

Fruits dipped in chocolate allow a sweet bite without overdoing it with the chocolate. The best thing is that you can choose the fruits you like. As a recommendation, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and apples pair nicely with dark chocolate. 

Another treat you can have: chocolate-covered banana bites. 

Cut bananas into slices, put a dash of peanut butter between two pieces, and dip one of the sides in dark chocolate.

You can place them in the fridge and have one or two whenever you want something sweet. 

#9 Grilled fruit

If you are having a BBQ, place some pineapple slices into the grill for the perfect healthy dessert. 

Pineapples are loaded with nutrients, such as vitamin C, manganese, and copper. They are high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation

Also, they contain bromelain, which is an enzyme that can help increase digestion. That makes them the best way to finish a BBQ. 

Besides pineapples, you can also grill some peaches or watermelons. 

#10 Vegan banana pancakes

Pancakes are often considered breakfast food, but they can also fit in the category of low-calorie desserts. 

Taking advantage of ripe bananas allows you to add sweetness to your desserts without relying on processed sugars. 

For those that need a gluten-free alternative, switch the flour to oatmeal or quinoa. Instead of an egg, use a so-called flax egg: combine one tablespoon of grounded flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it thicken.

You can add some sugar-free chocolate chips or fruit for extra flavor. Remember to top it off with sugar-free maple syrup to avoid adding more calories. 

#11 Protein smoothie

People often don’t think of protein shakes as desserts. However, it all depends on how you make them. 

If you mix some protein powder with frozen fruit (like bananas), you can have a replacement for ice cream called nice cream. It’s not fully ice cream since the consistency might resemble a frozen smoothie. 

You can also mix some protein into your coffee to make a frozen cappuccino. 

Adding protein to your favorite desserts makes reaching your protein requirements and increasing fullness levels easier. 

#12 Cheesecake

Cheesecake can be part of low-calorie desserts. Again, as we’ve seen throughout the article, it all depends on how you make it. 

Cream cheese is one of the weight gain culprits, as it is high in calories and fat and with little nutritional value.  

But if you replace the regular filling with Greek yogurt and sugar-free cheesecake jello, you can get a low-calorie no-bake option. 

As a recommendation, make them in Mason jars so you have individual portions and avoid having more than one serving. 

#13 Chocolate mug cake 

Seeing a rich, creamy chocolate cake while on a weight loss journey might be a struggle. Craving it is normal, but deep down, you know it doesn’t align with your long-term health goals.

A mug cake is a healthier option that will satisfy those cravings and keep you on the right track. 

Mix a ripe banana, cocoa powder, stevia, vanilla, and an egg in a mug. Place it in the microwave and cook it for 2–3 minutes. 

You can even add some sugar-free mini chocolate chips to have a gooey middle without worrying about your weight.  

#14 High-protein jello 

Lemon pie might not be the best option on a weight loss journey. 

However, if you mix sugar-free lemon jello with some vanilla protein powder, you can have the next best thing that won’t make you go off track with your caloric intake. 

The best thing about this option is that since it only contains protein powder, you only need to be careful about not consuming too much of it. Besides that, you can have almost as much as you want. 

#15 Healthy mini apple pie

Finally, the last option on our list of low-calorie desserts is a mini apple pie. There is a way to have apple pie while on a weight loss journey, and the process is simple. 

First, cut some apples into slices and place them in a microwavable container. Then, add some coconut oil, a sugar-free substitute, and some cinnamon. Lastly, put them in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

After that’s done, gather some rice paper and add the apple filling. Fold them to make mini pies and place them into the air fryer. 

As a tip, you can wrap them with a couple of rice papers for some crunchiness. 

You can top it off with some sugar-free ice cream. 

What’s a Healthy Dessert?

A healthy dessert can provide some sweetness without adding too many sugars or fats. It not only provides the body with healthy calories but nurtures it, too. 

For example, a processed cookie is low in nutrients and high in calories. However, if you make a cookie at home with oatmeal, banana, and peanut butter, it contains natural ingredients with healthy calories and necessary nutrients. 

How to Make Desserts Healthy? 

Low-calorie desserts are the best option to include whenever you are trying to lose weight and want something sweet that won’t negatively impact your progress. 

Remember that desserts are often high in calories, sugars, and fats. They are also low in nutrients. 

But how can you make a low-calorie dessert?

If you replace certain ingredients, you can easily modify any recipe. Here are some substitutions for high-calorie ingredients: 

  • Sugar-free alternatives for sugar
  • Dates or ripe bananas for sugar
  • Greek yogurt for whole milk
  • Coconut oil for butter
  • Fresh fruits for canned fruits

If you find it too difficult to modify recipes, we recommend checking nutrition apps. Nutrition apps are good for people who are looking for a healthier lifestyle and seeking to reach their weight loss goals.

Are There Any Zero-Calorie Desserts?

Yes, there are some zero-calorie desserts. However, they are typically highly processed. You can find jello and sugar-free candies that won’t give you a significant amount of calories since they use artificial sweeteners. 

As a word of caution, those low in calories are high in non-caloric sweeteners. While they might not make you gain weight, eating too much can cause stomach distress, like bloating, gas, or diarrhea. 

Conclusion

Healthy dessert recipes allow you to add something sweet to your meal plan without affecting the weight loss process. 

Remember that restricting yourself is not the way to go since it might cause more cravings and could even result in the development of an eating disorder.

HR_author_photo_Brenda
Written by
Brenda Peralta, RD, is a registered dietitian advisor for Health Reporter. She has several certifications in sports nutrition, health coaching, and women’s health hormones. She presents herself as a fertility advisor and gut specialist.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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