Allowing yourself sensible splurges can actually keep diets on track, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Denying yourself may create feelings of deprivation, which leads to overeating." Aim for 150 calories in treats each day, such as…
• An apple a day. Microwave a sliced tart apple for 1 to 2 minutes until softened, then top with low-fat vanilla fro-yo. Apples, especially their peels, contain potent antioxidants.
• Cool comfort. Two tasty ways to sneak in dairy: Skinny Cow's new mint-with-fudge low-fat ice cream cone, and Ben & Jerry's Lighten Up! version of its Phish Food flavor: low-fat chocolate ice cream with marshmallow, caramel, and fudge.
• Banana split. Slice a banana in half lengthwise (skin on), and place under a broiler, flesh side up, until bubbling. Top with a tablespoon of heart-healthy dark-chocolate chips or chopped walnuts.
• Tip tops. Vitalicious' Dark Chocolate Pomegranate VitaTops — whole-grain muffin tops fortified with vitamins and minerals — have only 100 calories. (Pomegranates pack twice the antioxidant power of green tea.) Warm one up in a toaster oven and garnish with light whipped topping. Go to vitalicious.com to order.