5 Desserts That Will Help You Lose Weight

We can all agree that when you are trying to lose weight, it is best to limit foods high in sugar and saturated fats, like most desserts.  The problem is that if you deprive yourself of certain foods, like desserts, in the long run, you’re more likely to give up on your weight loss goals in favor of enjoying an ice cream sundae.  This can leave you in a real pickle, with what seems like only two pathways you can choose to follow:

  1. Give in and eat the foods that you know aren’t going to help support your weight loss goals. 
  2. Deprive yourself of eating desserts and risk giving up on your diet completely because it is too restrictive 

As a health coach and behavioral health doctor, I’ve repeatedly seen this play out with my clients and patients.  I’ve worked with clients who would work hard at making healthy eating choices throughout the day to put themselves in a position to lose weight but could not break their habit of eating desserts each evening.  Inevitably, consuming these extra calories at the end of each day would push them over their caloric budget, essentially nullifying their efforts to lose weight. 

I’ve also had patients who were so committed to achieving their weight loss goals that they would quit eating desserts cold turkey.  This approach would work well for several weeks and sometimes several months, but eventually, it would become too hard to maintain this restriction level.  In nearly every case, this feeling of deprivation would wear on them, and these patients would end up throwing in the towel and ultimately abandon their weight loss plans.      

Clearly, neither of these pathways will lead to long-term weight loss success.  So, why even try, you ask?  Well, not so fast; what a lot of people don’t realize is that there is a third pathway:

  1. Eat desserts that are both satisfying and weight-loss promoting.

In this article, you will learn about the types of foods that will make you feel satisfied and satiated after eating them.  You’ll also be provided with five tasty and weight-loss promoting weight loss dessert ideas.  These ideas include:

  1. Protein Brownie Cups 
  2. Peanut Buttery Popcorn 
  3. Sweet and Savory Trail Mix 
  4. Milk Hot Chocolate
  5. Chocolate Peanutbutter Graham Cracker Sandwich 

Before learning about these five tasty and weight-loss promoting weight loss dessert ideas, let’s make sure that you clearly understand what foods will leave you feeling satisfied and satiated after eating them.  

What makes for a weight-loss promoting dessert? 

Desserts get a bad wrap and deservedly so because they are often chalked full of saturated fat and added sugar.  Desserts that are high in saturated fat and sugar but contain few nutrients are considered “empty calorie” foods.  These types of desserts can be extremely satisfying but offer little in terms of satiation.  

Desserts that have large quantities of saturated fat and sugar are incredibly satisfying for us to eat.  This is true because when we consume saturated fats and sugars, a neurological pathway lights up the pleasure center of our brain that sends out the signal: “this is making you feel good, eat more!”  

Desserts that are very satisfying but not satiating can be weight-loss killers.  This is the case because if the dessert is satisfying, your brain will tell you to keep eating more of it, but since the dessert is not satiating, your stomach isn’t communicating that you are full and that you should stop eating.  Therefore, to create a dessert that is weight-loss promoting, it needs to make you feel full, in addition to making you feel satisfied.  

Satiation

To feel satiated after eating, your stomach needs to stretch to the point where its nerve endings trigger a signal to your brain to let it know that you are full and that it’s time to stop eating.  Food items rich in protein, fiber, and water are low in calories and help stretch your stomach to the point of feeling satiated.  Foods that offer large amounts of protein, fiber, and water are perfect choices for people trying to lose weight.  As a result, when looking for desserts that will help you feel satiated, you should try to identify foods that include plenty of protein, fiber, and water.  But don’t forget your desserts also need to be satisfying; otherwise, they wouldn’t be a dessert, would they?

To learn more about building a diet made up of satiating and weight loss promoting foods, check out: Weight Lost: 5 Steps To Achieving Your Ideal Weight And Gaining The Life You’ve Always Wanted. 

Satisfaction

Desserts need to be satisfying; if they weren’t, they’d just be regular old food.  So don’t bother trying to trick yourself into thinking that you’ll only eat celery sticks for dessert.  Celery is great, but in no way is it going to tickle the fancy of the pleasure centers in your brain.  To do this, you need to create a dessert that includes, in moderation, fat and sugar.  Yes, I’m telling you to eat moderate amounts of fat and sugar because otherwise, you will eat the celery sticks and then ten minutes later find yourself in the pantry or freezer looking for a more satisfying dessert.

Creating Desserts That Are Both Satiating And Satisfying 

The ideal weight-loss promoting dessert satisfies the pleasure centers of your brain and stretches your stomach to the point of feeling satiated.  To hit this perfect combination, you’ll need to create desserts that are high in protein, fiber, and/or water and offer a touch of fat and sugar.  The five tasty and weight-loss promoting dessert ideas that will be shared with you throughout the rest of this article will allow you to reach this balance.  

Protein Brownie Cups

What makes it a satisfying dessert?

These protein brownie cups will please anyone looking for a chocolate fix.  Made with several delicious yet beneficial ingredients like dark chocolate and chocolate whey protein, your brain’s pleasure centers will definitely feel satisfied.  

What makes it a satiating dessert?

Each brownie cup contains 7 grams of protein and 1.3 grams of fiber.  This amount of protein and in a dessert with only 252 calories is undoubtedly rare.  This combination should allow you to feel full by eating just one as a dessert.   

How do you make this dessert?

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C), place a rack in the middle of the oven
  • Coat muffin trays with cooking spray 
  • Whisk together:
    • 2.5 scoops (1 C) of chocolate whey protein powder.  I used Pure Protein 
    • ½ C ground oats
    • ½ tsp baking powder 
    • ½ tsp salt and set aside.
  • Combine:
    • ½ C butter
    • 1 C dark chocolate chip morsels in a heatproof bowl. 
    • Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water (making sure that the bowl’s bottom does not touch the water). 
    • Stir until the chocolate and butter have completely melted. 
    • Remove the bowl from the boiling water, let the mixture sit for several minutes.
  • While you wait for the chocolate mixture to cool in a large bowl, mix:
    • 1 C light brown sugar
    • 1 T vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp cocoa powder 
    • 4 eggs 
    • Whisk until thick
  • Combine the melted chocolate mixture with the egg mixture. Stir until the batter is smooth. 
  • Combine the protein powder mixture with the wet ingredients and mix until no flour is visible
  • Pour the batter into the muffin trays until they are just over half full  
    • The recipe should make 15 brownie cups 
  • Bake for 15 minutes and check to see if they are finished by placing a toothpick in the center of the brownie cup
  • Continue to bake until a toothpick comes out clean 
  • Let cool in the muffin tray 

Nutrition Information 

Calories: 252 

Protein: 7 grams 

Fiber: 1.3 grams 

Sugar: 22 grams

Saturated Fat: 7 grams 

Peanut Buttery Popcorn 

What makes it a satisfying dessert?

Plain popcorn (with a little salt) is a pretty yummy snack.  However, when you add a peanut butter sauce and the enjoyable fats that come with it to the popcorn, it officially becomes a dessert.  This finger-licking good dessert will last you a while, too, as one serving is 5 cups.  

What makes it a satiating dessert?

Popcorn is low in calories, so even when topped with peanut butter sauce, you can safely enjoy 5 cups of this dessert while eating just over 100 calories.  Eating this much of a dessert will help stretch out your stomach wall, making you feel full and ensuring that this feeling will last as your body will need some time to digest the protein and fiber.  

How do you make this dessert?

  • Pop ⅓ C of popcorn kernels 
  • Combine:
    • 1 T of sugar
    • 1 T butter
    • 1 T natural peanut butter 
  • In a small pot over medium heat, stir the ingredients together until the sugar is fully dissolved (approximately 3-4 minutes) 
  • Drizzle peanut butter combination across the popped popcorn 
  • Stir to mix as needed
  • Let cool for several minutes before eating 

Nutrition Information

Serving- 5 cups of popcorn 

Calories: 108

Protein: 2 grams 

Fiber: 1.5 grams 

Sugar: 3.5 grams

Saturated Fat: 1 gram 

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix 

What makes it a satisfying dessert?

Like peanut butter, mixed nuts offer high levels of good (mono and polyunsaturated) fats.  Additionally, roasted nuts usually come salted, and when this salt combines with dark chocolate chips, it makes for a very pleasurable dessert experience.  

What makes it a satiating dessert?

Nuts, in general, are filling foods.  Studies suggest that consuming nuts regularly can help you lose weight1,2.  Yes, nuts are calorically dense, but research shows that around 50–100% of the extra calories that come from introducing nuts into your diet are canceled out by a natural reduction in the intake of other foods3,4.  In other words, nuts are so filling that by eating them; you will naturally be inclined to eat fewer different foods.  This high level of satiation from eating nuts is made possible because they are packed with protein and fiber.  

How do you make this dessert?

  • Measure out a  ¼ cup of your favorite roasted nuts.  I prefer Planters Mixed Nuts.
  • Combine the mixed nuts with 1 T of dark chocolate chips

Nutrition Information 

Calories: 240

Protein: 7 grams 

Fiber: 4 grams 

Sugar: 8 grams

Saturated Fat: 4.5 grams 

Hot Milk Chocolate 

What makes it a satisfying dessert?

Is there anything better than a warm beverage on a brisk evening?  Yes, a warm drink with a rich chocolate flavor.  Fairlife Chocolate Milk on its own is very rich, but when you add the taste of Nestle’s milk chocolate, your taste buds, along with the pleasure centers in your brain, will be left feeling beyond content.  

What makes it a satiating dessert?

Hot milk chocolate is extremely satiating for two reasons, it is high in protein, and due to its liquid form, it takes up plenty of room in your stomach.  You aren’t going to find too many desserts that offer a whopping 13 grams of protein, especially ones that also have fewer than 220 calories.   This high protein total will ensure that the hot chocolate is slowly digested, which will leave you feeling full for hours.  Additionally, because this dessert is a liquid, it will take up a lot of space in your stomach, causing your stomach’s nerve endings to alert your brain that you feel full.  

How do you make this dessert?

  • Heat 1 C of Fairlife Chocolate Milk (or your favorite type of milk) to your desired warmth 
  • Combine 1 Nestle Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix (or your favorite hot chocolate mix) packet with the warm milk 
  • Stir until fully combined

Nutrition Information 

Calories: 220

Protein: 13 grams 

Fiber: 1 gram 

Sugar: 26 grams

Saturated Fat: 4.5 grams 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Sandwich 

What makes it a satisfying dessert?

Peanut butter, in its purest form, is composed mostly of protein and fats.  When you combine the sugar from a chocolate graham cracker with the fats from peanut butter, you can create a deliciously satisfying dessert.  

What makes it a satiating dessert?

Each chocolate peanut butter graham cracker sandwich offers 9 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of whole grains.  This nutrient makeup means that this little sandwich packs quite a satiating punch.  

How do you make this dessert?

  • Take one sheet of chocolate graham crackers and break it in half
  • Cover the inside of each graham cracker with one tablespoon of natural peanut butter (2 tablespoons total) 
  • Close the graham crackers together to form a sandwich 

Nutrition Information 

Calories: 255

Protein: 9 grams 

Fiber: 4 grams 

Sugar: 10 grams

Saturated Fat: 2.5 grams 

To receive 5 bonus weight loss promoting dessert ideas, click here to receive the Weight Lost: 10 Tasty Weight Loss Promoting Dessert Guidebook. 

Summary 

Weight loss promoting desserts need to be satisfying and satiating.  To make a satisfying dessert, you should include a touch of fat and sugar in your recipes.  To create satiating desserts, make sure to include moderate to high levels of protein, fiber, and water. This combination of ingredients will leave you feeling fully satisfied and satiated after eating your dessert.  

To gain access to all 5 additional weight loss promoting dessert ideas, check out the:  Weight Lost: 10 Tasty and Weight Loss Promoting Dessert Guidebook. If you’d like to connect with me more about weight loss, promoting desserts, or would like to share with me your favorite recipes, please reach out to me by completing the form below. 

References

  1. Montmayeur, J. P., & Le Coutre, J. (2009). Fat detection: Taste, texture, and post ingestive effects. CRC Press.
  2. Wien, M. A., Sabate, J. M., Ikle, D. N., Cole, S. E., & Kandeel, F. R. (2003). Almonds vs. complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. International journal of obesity, 27(11), 1365-1372.
  3. Fraser, G. E., Bennett, H. W., Jaceldo, K. B., & Sabaté, J. (2002). Effect on body weight of a free 76 kilojoule (320 calorie) daily supplement of almonds for six months. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 21(3), 275-283.
  4. Alper, C. Á., & Mattes, R. D. (2002). Effects of chronic peanut consumption on energy balance and hedonics. International Journal of Obesity, 26(8), 1129-1137.

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