20 Guilt-Free Splurges

Enjoy these cooling summer treats and still fit into your bikini.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

There's nothing like sitting back under a fan or shade tree, sipping a refreshing drink or eating an ice-cold frozen treat during the "dog days" of summer. Cold drinks and frozen desserts are a rite of passage during those long, hot days when kids are on vacation, schedules are relaxed, and the living is easy.

Of course, it's not so relaxing to think about how much sugar, fat, and calories can be found in some of those cooling treats. The good news, says Bonnie Taub Dix, RD, is that you can enjoy cold treats that will also keep you "feeling light and looking good in your shorts, bathing suits, and skimpier, stay-cool clothing."

A prime example is water. What could be more refreshing than an ice-cold glass of water, flavored with a wedge of lemon, a sprig of mint, a splash of cranberry juice, or a slice of cucumber? Water hydrates better than any other beverage, and it's calorie-free!

But let's be realistic. Water won't cut it when what you really need is a treat.

"Everyone is half on vacation during the summer and part of that mentality is the urge to splurge," says Ellie Krieger, host of the Food Network's Healthy Appetite. "There is nothing wrong with the vacation mentality; the trick is to do it in a healthier way."

Her advice: Enjoy nature's bounty, such as the naturally delicious and super-nutritious fruits that are everywhere this time of year. If you take the time to really savor it, a fresh, ripe piece of fruit can feel as decadent as a piece of cake.

If you need something cold and creamy, Kreiger suggests freezing yogurt tubes or trying one of the double-churned ice creams that have a third less fat and half the calories of super-premium ice cream. If you simply must have super-premium ice cream, follow Kreiger's tactics: "Don't keep it in the house. Instead, take a walk, get the small or kid-sized scoop, and savor every bite."

Here are 20 more refreshing (and guilt-free!) treats you can have for under 100 calories:
  1. Sliced peach with 2 tablespoons light whipped cream
  2. 1/2 cup berries with 1 tablespoon light sour cream and 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  3. Frozen fruit bar
  4. 1/2 cup sorbet or sherbet
  5. Fruit kabob
  6. 5 ounces champagne
  7. 5 ounces white or red wine
  8. 1/2 cup low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
  9. 2 grilled pineapple slices
  10. 8 ounces diet root beer with 1 scoop non-fat, frozen yogurt
  11. 1/2 cup lemon or vanilla low-fat yogurt with artificial sweetener and 1/2 cup raspberries
  12. Lemon or orange mousse.
  13. Strawberry or raspberry sherbet
  14. Lite iced mocha
  15. Strawberry light lemonade
  16. Smart Ones® Giant Fudge Bar
  17. Skinny Cow® Fat-Free Fudge Bar
  18. Dreyers® Whole Fruit Bar
  19. 2 Dole® No Sugar Added Fruit Juice Bars
  20. Horizon Organic® Low-Fat Yogurt tubes

Published August 11, 2006.


SOURCES: Ellie Kreiger, MS, RD, author, Small Changes, Big Results; host, Healthy Appetite, the Food Network. Bonnie Taub Dix, MA, RD, spokeswomaon, American Dietetic Association.

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