Enjoy Your Favorite Desserts Guilt Free

How to Enjoy Your Favorite Desserts Guilt Free

Enjoy your favorite desserts guilt free with the following tips. Whether your favorite dessert is a creamy cheesecake, frosting-filled layer cakes, or old-fashioned apple pie, use the tips below to help you enjoy it in guilt-free fashion.

Favorite Desserts Layer Cake Topped with Berries
Layer Cake Topped with Berries
  • Check out portion sizes. Before you dig in, read the food package label for suggested serving size. If you cut a double-sized slice of cake for yourself, you’re doing double the damage in terms of calories and fat.
  • Try a smaller serving. Granted, many of these portions aren’t gigantic to begin with. But most can be pared down a bit to save some additional calories and fat.
  • Take your time. Indulgences like these deserve your time and attention. Don’t gulp your piece of cake or pie in a rush. Enjoy it slowly, savoring each bite. It will last longer, plus you’ll be able to fully taste and appreciate each morsel.
  • Make room for dessert. Try to fit in an extra walk or exercise class a few times a week. On down days, when there are no holiday parties on the agenda, follow your best healthy eating routines. This combination can help you fit in a few desserts over the course of the holiday season without weight gain.

Supermarket Suggestions to Help You Enjoy Your Favorite Desserts Guilt Free

  • Cake. One-eighth of Trader Joe’s Opera Cake is 160 calories whereas one-eight of Entenmann’s Chocolate Chip Iced Cake is 330 calories.
  • Cheesecake. Trader Joe’s New York Deli Style Baked cheesecake – one-seventh of the cake – is 400 calories! Consider buying Sara Lee’s Original Cream Cheesecake instead. The strawberry contains 310 calories per one-fourth of the cake. The original version contains 320 calories per one-fourth cake. Learn more about Trader Joes Foods.
  • Pie. Edward’s Banana Cream Pie contains 480 whopping calories per one-sixth of the pie. Take Edward’s Boston Cream Pie instead, and have one-tenth of the pie for only 210 calories.

Our Top 3 Picks: Weight Watcher’s Single Serving Desserts

  1. Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones Chocolate Eclair: 140 calories, 4g fat.
  2. Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones Double Fudge Cake: 170 calories, 4g fat.
  3. Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones Peanut Butter Cup Sundae: 170 calories, 5g fat.
Favorite Desserts Cup
Dessert Cups

Speaking of Desserts

You may also be interested in our Homemade Shake Recipes ebook for Diabetics – sweet, cool frozen treats and desserts geared toward a diabetic diet!

Fruit Servings Equal to 100 Calories

What Fruit Servings Equal 100 Calories?

The following list of fruits are servings of each listed fruit that equal 100 calories. Stick to these portion sizes with your fruits and soon you won’t need the list anymore – you’ll know by heart!

100 Calorie Fruit Servings

  • 1 medium large apple
  • 1 small banana
  • 1-1/3 cups blackberries
  • 120 blueberries
  • 1/2 medium cantaloupe
  • 7/8 cup cherries
  • 5 roasted chestnuts
  • 50 grapes
  • 1/4 of 5-1/2-inch honeydew melon
  • 1 small papaya
  • 2 medium peaches
  • 1 medium pear
  • 100 raspberries
  • 26 strawberries
Fruit Servings Equal to 100 Calories
Fruit Servings Equal to 100 Calories

Fruit Tips

  • Grapes should be plump and firmly attached to a green stem. Good color for type of grape, not faded. Grapes do not ripen off the vine, so be certain that they are ripe when you purchase or pick them. Buy small quantities. When refrigerated, grapes will last five to seven days.
  • To ripen fruit, place it in a brown paper bag in a dark place for a few days.
  • Pro-chefs swear this is true so here goes! If you slice a banana with a sterling silver knife they will not darken as fast.
  • To peel thick-skinned fruits, cut a small amount of peel from top and bottom, set fruit on a cutting board, cut off the peel in strips from top to bottom.
  • Get only the best fruits. If you purchased your fruit in a box, or can see the box in the store, check the box it came in to be sure there is a government stamp on it saying, “U.S. Grade No.1” or that they have a USDA stamp.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables in cold water to remove any chemicals. Never soak or store them in water. Vitamins B and C are easily lost. Dry all fruits and vegetables after washing.

Did You Know?

Fruit juices have lost fiber from the fruit. It is better to eat the whole fruit because it contains the added fiber that helps you feel full.

See also:

  • Productive Produce – Whether fresh, frozen or canned, we can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables.

Popular Candy Servings 100 Calories

Popular 100 Calorie Candy Servings

Here we have a list of some of the most popular candies on the market, and their 100 calorie serving equivalents.

  1. 1/2 Kit Kat bar – this one is awesome; you can just split the Kit Kat in half and re-wrap the rest for next time.
  2. 2/3 cup mini marshmallows – little sticky on the fingers but soft, sweet, and delicious.
  3. 29 M & M’s – count ’em out, then let ’em “melt in your mouth, not in your hands!” 🙂
  4. 10 Peanut M & M’s – chew these up well and savor the protein-packed peanuts.
  5. 1/3 Snickers bar – a little more difficult to break into 3rds (knife works best), but worth the effort.
  6. 1/3 3 Musketeers bar – same as our beloved Snickers bar.
  7. 1/2 York Peppermint Patty – Yummy! Let the chocolate and peppermint blend melt slowly while you savor the flavor!
Popular 100 calorie candy servings
Popular 100 calorie candy servings.


Making candy at home can be a fun and even a special event. You can do it with your kids, or dig in when you have some alone time. While the candies listed above are all popular favorites, candy servings from home made candies can be even better! Plus, you can control the calories and fat.

Whatever diet you practice, or if you just try to lighten up your diet from time to time to avoid extra pounds, you’re sure to find something suitable to add to your candy recipes in our Candy Recipe section. If you don’t have a recipe collection for candy, why not get started? Enjoy a sweet treat from time to time – you’ve earned it.

Burning Calories Around the Clock

No Matter What, We Are Always Burning Calories!

Every day activities – even those that do not seem like real activity – do burn calories! As you can see in the chart below, even our sleep is burning calories.

As you can also see in the chart, bed rest burns very little more than sleep or even sitting quietly.  Burning calories while reading is also the same. This surprised me. I would have thought that the brain activity involved in reading would up the calorie burning a bit. I guess we should read for a half-hour or so on a treadmill to up that ante!

And who would think? While we are eating food, we burn more calories than while we are just sitting!

Here is a chart with the average calories burned per minute and per hour for things we all do every day. Things that are essential to being alive. This chart has nothing to do with working out or dieting. Just the little things we do every single day of our lives. But little bits can add up, too! Not as fast or as much, but it is interesting to know. Perhaps you will be inspired to get up and tackle a household chore here and there. You will get a bit of calorie burning and the satisfaction of completing a chore!

Burning Calories Chart
Calories Burned in Daily Activities

Activities Covered in the Chart

  • Sleeping
  • Bed rest
  • Sitting quietly
  • Sitting, reading
  • Sitting, eating
  • Standing
  • Conversing
  • Sitting, writing
  • Standing, light
  • Driving car
  • Walking indoors
  • Showering
  • Walking outdoors
  • Jogging (5 mph)

You may also enjoy…

What Influences The Size of Meals?

What Influences The Size of Meals?

There are a large number of factors that can influence a single size of meals for humans. We’ll just do a brief run-down. The info-graphic mentions all of the influences that can affect our meal sizes.

Size of Meals Info Graphic
Meal Size Factors

The Top Three Influences

Time of day appears to influence the size of meals in that the amount eaten and the external influences increases from breakfast, to lunch, to your evening meal. Meal size and external influences seem to be greater on weekends than on week days.

Meal size also varies as a power function of the number of people present eating a meal together. This effect is termed, “social facilitation” of feeding. Social facilitation and daily routine account for much of this effect.

Seasonality can also influence the size of meals. A number of studies suggest that external influences, meal size, and eating rate are all elevated in the fall months. In one particular study hunger was associated with meal size in winter and spring, but not so clearly in the autumn.

Understand what may influence the size of your meals, may be able to help you understand what contributes to over-indulgence and consequently, may help you determine ways to curb that indulgence!

Weight to Calorie Ratio

If you are trying to lose weight, choose food based on its weight-to-calorie ratio. You want to eat food that weighs a lot but has few calories and avoid food that is light in weight but hefty in calories.

Heavy Weight, Low Calorie FoodsFruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the big winners in the heavy weight – low calorie food department, according to Tufts University. They weigh a lot because of their fiber and water content, yet do not have many calories.

For example:

  • 1 cup of cantaloupe or melon weighs 5.5 ounces but only has 56 calories.
  • A cup of cooked spinach weighs six ounces but only has 42 calories.

According to a New Zealand University study, food that is light in weight but high in calories is probably the worse kind of food to eat if you are trying to lose weight. It’s sort of like ‘double jeopardy’ – you are still hungry but you have already eaten many calories. (Note the weight to calorie ratio.)

Light Weight, High Calorie FoodsWeight to calorie ratio foods

  • 6-cups of buttered popcorn weighs 3-ounces and contains 420 calories.
  • 1-ounce of potato chips contain 152 calories.
  • 1 average cookie weighs 1/2-ounce and contains about 50 calories.
  • 1.5 ounces of a chocolate bar contains 220 calories.
  • 1 small croissant weighs only 2-ounces but contains 230 calories.

As you can see, most “junk” snack foods don’t weigh much, but have a lot of calories. The majority of these foods don’t really satisfy your hunger, causing you to munch more, taking in excess calories.

Weight of Cooked and Prepared Foods

Choose lower-fat choices of the same weight food. There can be a world of difference between the caloric consumption of two people eating the same weight and type of food. How is this possible? Easy, if you consider the way the food is cooked or prepared.

Here are some examples of a weight to calorie ratio, all of which weigh 3.5 ounces.Canned Tuna

  • Boiled potatoes have 62 calories compared to french fried potatoes with 328 calories.
  • Sardines in tomato sauce contain 127 calories while sardines in oil have 372.
  • Tuna flakes in water have 95 calories while tuna flakes in oil have 309.

You get the picture.

Avoid the “light weight-high calorie” way of dieting. Many people think that by eating something light like crackers, they will lose weight. What they don’t realize is that just because a food is light doesn’t automatically mean it contains few calories. One could easily eat nine crackers (420 calories) and still not feel full because nine crackers only weigh 3-ounces.

A Satisfying Meal Example

Fish DinnerYou could have a satisfying meal of 1/2-cup steamed rice, a cup of cooked spinach, a small piece of fish, and a cup of cantaloupe for less calories.

This complete meal would weigh a satisfying 18.5 ounces and only contains 378 calories. By making the right food choices, you can cut down on unnecessary calories without starving yourself and feeling deprived.

You should also cut down somewhat on your carbohydrates, but don’t cut them out completely! Effective weight loss depends on exercise and activity; without some carbs in your diet, you won’t have the energy you’ll need to effectively burn off calories.

It’s a balancing act, yes. We suggest you consider starting with a “baseline diet” that dictates at least half of your calories come from vegetables, fruits, natural starches, and whole grains. The rest of your diet should consist of low-fat proteins like fish, chicken, and lean beef.

You need to balance out your carbs with your protein, but do try to stay away from carbs at night – it’s not helpful to “sleep on them”. Periodically, you can to take “carb-up” days to get your energy levels up.

When we talk about protein, many people wonder just how much is enough or how much is too much. LEAN proteins speed up your metabolism and can help accelerate weight loss.

This might be a good time to talk about portion sizes. As a general rule of thumb, you should never eat a serving that is larger than your clenched fist. The good news about this is that you’ll be able to eat enough to get full without overdoing it. For more information on portion sizes, visit Portion Sizes.

Cravings might be the worst part about controlling what you’re eating. Let’s say you love chocolate chip cookies like I do. If you’re craving a chocolate chip cookie, denying that craving will only make it stronger.

Instead of not having the cookie, go ahead, just don’t overdo it. Simply have one instead of three. You can indulge in your favorite foods as long as you keep it within reason. Eat it slowly and savor every bite – don’t scarf it down as many of us are wont to do!

Meal SettingMost experts agree that the traditional three square meals a day shouldn’t be part of a healthy diet. In fact, you should eat more meals every day. How cool is that? 🙂 Just be sure to apply the weight to calorie ratio.

The idea here is that you overeat when you are overly hungry. To combat that hunger, you should eat more meals with smaller portions rather than fewer meals with larger portions. For women, it is recommended you eat five meals a day and for men, you should eat six. Try to make these meals a minimum of 2 hours apart to insure you don’t get too hungry.

The benefits of weight to calorie ratio eating will reveal themselves! Providing you eat the right kind of foods, you can achieve the following benefits:

  • Faster metabolic rate
  • Higher energy
  • Less storage of body fat due to the smaller portions
  • Reduced hunger and cravings
  • Steadier blood sugar and insulin levels
  • More calories available for muscle growth
  • Better absorption and utilization of the nutrients in your food

How Does Metabolism Affect Weight?

How Does Metabolism Affect Weight?

You likely know your metabolism is linked to your weight. But do you know metabolism affect weight?

Common belief holds that a slim person’s metabolism is high and an overweight person’s metabolism is low. But this isn’t usually the case. Metabolism affect weight by itself.

Weight is dependent on the balance of calories consumed versus calories burned. Take in more calories than your body needs, and you gain weight. Take in less and you lose weight. Metabolism, then, is the engine that burns these calories and is the scale that regulates your energy needs.

Diagram how Metabolism Affect Weight

When Will Metabolism Affect Weight?

Stated simply, metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy. During this biochemical process, calories – from carbohydrates, fats and proteins – are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.

The number of calories your body burns each day is called your total energy expenditure. The following three factors make up your total energy expenditure.

1. Basic needs. Even when your body is at rest, it requires energy for the basics. Fuel for organs, breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, plus growing and repairing cells. Calories expended to cover these basic functions are your basal metabolic rate.

Typically, a person’s basal metabolic rate is the largest portion of energy use, representing two-thirds to three-quarters of the calories used each day. Energy needs for these basic functions stay fairly consistent and aren’t easily changed.

2. Food processing. Digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the food you consume also takes calories. This accounts for about 10 percent of the calories used each day. For the most part, your body’s energy requirement to process food stays relatively steady and isn’t easily changed.

Male and Female Symbols3. Physical activity. Physical activity accounts for the remainder of calories used. Examples are playing tennis, walking, chasing after the dog and any other movement. You control the number of calories burned depending on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities.

It may seem logical to think that significant weight gain or being overweight is related to a low metabolism. Perhaps you feel a condition such as under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is at fault. In reality, it’s very uncommon for excess weight to be related to a low metabolism. And most people who are overweight don’t have an underlying condition, such as hypothyroidism. A medical evaluation can determine whether a medical condition could be influencing your weight.

Weight gain is more likely due to an energy imbalance – consuming more calories than your body burns. To lose weight, then, you need to create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories. You then need to increase the number of calories you burn through activity. This is how metabolism affect weight.

If you and everyone else were physically and functionally identical, it would be easy to determine the standard energy needs. But many factors influence calorie requirements, including body size and composition, age, and sex.

To function properly, a bigger body mass requires more energy (more calories) than does a smaller body mass. Also, muscle burns more calories than fat does. So the more muscle you have in relation to fat, the higher your basal metabolic rate.

As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight. Metabolism also slows naturally with age. Together these changes reduce your calorie needs.

Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than do women of the same age and weight. This is why men generally have a higher basal metabolic rate and burn more calories than women do.

Your ability to change your basal metabolism is limited. However, you can increase daily exercise and activity to build muscle tissue and burn more calories.

Your metabolism influences your energy needs, but it’s your food intake and physical activity that ultimately determine your weight.

Losing weight, like any task you undertake, requires that you have dedication and motivation to succeed.  This means you need to get your head in the right place.

Mindless Munching or Mindful Eating?

Mindless Munching or Mindful Eating?

It seems our society has refined the art of mindless munching. We grow ever busier and less connected to food preparation.

Mindless eating is when people are not paying attention when they are eating. They look down at an empty plate or a bag of cookies and ask, “Where did it go?


Mindless Munching
Mindless Munching


People are eating on the run without tasting food all the time. This act is called mindless munching. They have no awareness of what they are putting into their mouths. By buying prepared foods, people are putting less personal preparation into it. Even when you make a simple sandwich there is a level of awareness and appreciation for the food.

What’s the downside to mindless eating?

Experts believe that it may be contributing to our nation’s obesity problem, which increases the risk for chronic diseases. Diabetes and heart disease are at the top of the list.

Mindful Eating

A new concept called mindful eating draws upon the recognized practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction.   This helps people focus on the present moment rather than habitual and unsatisfying behaviors.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction has been shown to improve pain, anxiety, and depression. Building upon this strategy, mindful eating practices promote a satisfying relationship with food and eating. This happens on a deep emotional level and encourages a better sense of well being. There is a physical awareness of the food. The taste, smell, texture and how it feels traveling to your belly.

You can expand that awareness to observations like who grew the food, how it was packaged, where it comes from and who prepared it. Will it work? Jury is out… Visit tcme.org for more information.

Metabolism 101

Metabolism 101

Metabolism is the rate at which we burn the calories that we have consumed during each day. There are a number of factors that determine the speed of your metabolism.

Metabolism Factors


Metabolism food factor
Metabolism food factor

The first factor in the speed of your metabolism is the food you eat. Determining factors are:

  • How many meals you eat.
  • What kind of food you eat.
  • How much you eat during each sitting.

All of these factors can be changed to improve your metabolism.

Lean Body Mass

Some people are born able to carry more lean body mass (muscle) than others – without exercising. For the rest of us, proper exercise can increase our lean body mass substantially. The more fat your body has, the slower your metabolism will be. By exercising and building muscle you will both decrease your body fat, while increasing your lean body mass. So itʼs a win win situation.


As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. Studies tell us that after the age of 20, our bodies will lose 1/3 to 1/2 pound of muscle tissue per year if we do not exercise on a regular basis. Losing 1/3 to 1/2 pound of muscle every year after the age of 25 causes our percentage of body fat to rice significantly.

Increasing Metabolism

Because our bodies are made for survival it begins to hoard fat if it feels like it wonʼt get food for a long time. Basically, if you starve your body it will go into starvation mode. Our bodies are made to first use the nutrients in the food we eat for energy.

When the nutrients run out, the body resorts to energy from the muscles (you will lose lean muscle mass), then finally your body resorts to the bodies fat supply. This is why fad diets never work.

  • Eat More. Eat Often.This doesn’t mean sit down and pig out! This means eat smaller meals throughout the day – preferably 5 to 6. The combination of small balanced, frequent meals allows your body to utilize the nutrients it needs when it needs them. Smaller, more frequent meals stimulate your metabolic rate as your body’s digestive system works and you maintain a stable glucose level. This will give you more energy, prevent hunger pains and keep you from binging.

    Lifting Barbell Weights
  • Workout With Weights.
    Weight training is a great way to increase your metabolism. Lifting weights places a high demand on your body to burn more calories for faster growth and recuperation. Your muscle mass is the single most important factor in determining how many calories you burn because it’s a very metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – even at rest.
  • Aerobic Exercise. You should perform some type of aerobic exercise at least 3 times per week and you’ll not only burn calories, but also speed up your metabolism. Always keep this in mind while doing your cardiovascular exercise.

Chocolate: Can It Make You Thin?

Chocolate: Can It Make You Thin?

No need to feel guilty when you indulge in some Easter chocolate this coming Sunday!  Scientists have apparently discovered that those who eat the most chocolate are actually the thinnest people in our society.

Bar of chocolate

A study was published in the journal of the Archives of Internal Medicine and outlined a study carried out by the University of California, in San Diego, and came to the conclusion that chocolate makes you thin.

The exact results showed that of a study involving just under 1,000 Americans, those who ate this treat a few times a week were thinner, on average, than those who only ate it only on occasion. The study looked at a number of factors when putting together these results, including diet, Body Mass Index (BMI), and caloric intake.

Scientists are putting these results down to the fact chocolate doesn’t encourage the creation of fat. Even though these results only prove that there might be a link, it could lead to a complete change in the way we view weight gain and weight loss when it comes to food.

Chocolate has also been demonstrated by scientists to have some other benefits for the body. One of these benefits comes from dark chocolate, which contains many antioxidants that can help fight disease and get rid of the harmful free radicals in our body that harm our cells. See: The Nutrients in Chocolate.

The Raw Food Movement were the ones who first came up with this when a book called The China Study was released. They demonstrated that mass amounts of sugar in things like chocolate and fruit doesn’t have a negative effect on one’s weight at all.

Chocolate Bar
Chocolate Bar

This means that chocolate doesn’t contribute to weight gain – otherwise how could it be possible for people to live entirely off of sugary fruits and vegetables?

Eating a little bit of chocolate or having a drink of hot cocoa as part of a regular diet is probably good for personal health, so long as people don’t eat too much of it, and too much of the kind with lots of butter and sugar.” – Diane Becker, M.P.H., Sc.D., a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

See also:

Make an ounce of chocolate healthier

Chili with Chocolate? Oh yeah!