Let’s be real: If you want to lose weight successfully, you need to create a sustainable game plan. Meal planning is an integral part of the process, so you can create each meal with just the right amount of protein and healthy ingredients. In addition, if you’re a dessert eater, it’s unrealistic—and unsustainable—to think you’ll deprive yourself of desserts forever. To help you out, we spoke with The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, who sit on our Medical Expert Board, who share the 10 best Trader Joe’s desserts for weight loss.
Trader Joe’s may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of satisfying your dessert cravings, but it should be front and center on your sweet tooth radar. You can find delicious treats such as decadent hot cocoa and chocolate-covered strawberries that won’t set you back many calories at all. If this sounds appealing to you, keep reading to learn the best Trader Joe’s desserts for weight loss to add to your cart. And when you’re done, don’t miss The #1 Protein to Eat for Weight Loss, According to a Dietitian.
Trader Joe’s Gone Berry Crazy! Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pieces
If you love chocolate and fruit, your sweet tooth will go crazy for Trader Joe’s Gone Berry Crazy! Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pieces. “You can have six of them for 100 calories and they’re frozen, so you can’t scarf them down,” The Nutrition Twins explain. “A candy bar, which you can gobble down in far less time, can typically be three times as many calories. Plus, you get antioxidants from the strawberries, which help to tame the inflammation associated with stubborn body fat.”
Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Cocoa Mix
This decadent Organic Hot Cocoa Mix from Trader Joe’s will hit the spot on a cold winter’s day. At just 100 calories in a serving, you can’t go wrong indulging in this delight when you’re craving something sweet.
“This rich, creamy, and cozy hot chocolate squashes a sweet tooth and chocolate craving,” The Nutriton Twins say. “Since it’s hot, you have to slow down and enjoy it, so you’re forced to take your time with it. Since it’s warm, it will help to pacify you, as well as help to take the edge off, calming nerves so you’ll be less likely to overeat or binge due to stress.”
Trader Joe’s Organic Dried Mango, Unsulfured & Unsweetened
Trader Joe’s Organic Dried Mango is a perfect choice when you’re in the mood for something sweet, tasty, and chewy. “You can have eight pieces of dried mango for only 130 calories,” The Nutrition Twins explain. “There’s no added sugar, only antioxidants and pure mango, so they’re the perfect alternative to Laffy Taffy, which is loaded with sugar and will set you back several hundred calories. Our clients tell us this is one of their all-time favorite sweet treats.”
Trader Joe’s Gone Bananas! Dark Chocolate Covered Banana Slices
Another decadent, dark chocolate-covered fruit option, Trader Joe’s Gone Bananas! Dark Chocolate Covered Banana Slices are here to satisfy your sweet tooth without costing you many calories. Four pieces amount to 100 calories while offering two grams of fiber.
“These sweet, creamy bananas are covered in Belgian chocolate and frozen to create the perfect hit-the-spot decadent indulgence, yet you can have four of them for only 100 calories,” The Nutrition Twins explain. “You can suck on them to really make them last, or bite and slowly savor- since they’re frozen you’re forced to slow down. Four pieces of Belgian chocolate or a chocolate bon bon could set you back 500 to 800+ calories!”
Trader Joe’s Organic Dried & Pitted Deglet Noor Dates
When it comes to dietitian-approved, weight-loss-friendly desserts, fruit is the name of the game here. It’s a naturally sweet alternative to many sugar-packed, calorie-packed treats like ice cream, cookies, and candy. Trader Joe’s Organic Dried & Pitted Deglet Noor Dates fit the bill and are such a delicious treat to tame your sweet tooth.
“You can have five of them for just 110 calories, which is more than half the calories of a sugar-packed Snickers bar,” The Nutrition Twins say. “Dates are also a good source of fiber, so they slow digestion, so you feel fuller and aren’t craving more food soon after. That chewy fiber takes time to eat, so you can’t scarf them down. Plus, dates rank among the highest of foods in terms of their antioxidants, so they help to fight against the inflammation that is linked with weight gain.”
Trader Joe’s Chai Tea Mints
Mints may not be the first things that come to mind when you’re seeking a satisfying dessert, but hear us out. “If you’re someone who just likes to keep something flavorful in your mouth to keep your taste buds occupied, these mints are for you,” The Nutrition Twins say. “You can have three Chai Tea Mints for only five calories. That’s fewer calories than a teaspoon of ice cream!”
If lollipops or hard candies are typically your guilty pleasure of choice, these mints are an excellent alternative. “You’ll get a burst of flavor and have fresh breath to boot, but you’ll skip all the extra sugar and calories you’ll get from continually eating hard candies,” The Nutrition Twins add. “Plus, they’re made with black tea, crushed cardamom seeds, cinnamon, and cloves, so you get the anti-inflammatory benefits of the spices.”
Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Hold the Cone
If you want the “real deal” for dessert and you love ice cream, consider Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Hold the Cone. “Enjoy one cone-less ice cream, and this sweet, creamy decadence with chocolate chips will have you satisfying your ice cream craving in less than 100 calories,” The Nutrition Twins explain. “Most full-size ice cream cones are at least 300 calories, so these mini-sized portions save your waistline big-time.”
Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps
These Triple Ginger Snaps are here to slay the holiday season—and they’re dietitian-approved for your weight loss plan! “These sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy Snaps hit different notes on the taste buds thanks to the fresh, crystallized, and ground ginger that help to excite and satisfy tastebuds,” The Nutrition Twins tell us. “With a little more than a gram of sugar in each cookie, you can have five of them for 100 calories and you get the anti-inflammatory ginger bonus to fight the inflammation that makes weight loss efforts more challenging. Unlike sweets that simply provide one note-sweetness, you won’t feel the urge to overindulge with these.”
Trader Joe’a Slightly Coated Dark Chocolate Almonds
With only three grams of added sugar in a one-ounce serving of these Slightly Coated Dark Chocolate Almonds, you’ll savor the sweet crunchiness of it all for only 150 calories. “Plus, you’ll benefit from heart-healthy fat as well as fiber that both keep you fuller longer and prevent blood sugar crashes created by most desserts that cause you to crave more sugar,” The Nutrition Twins add. “Your waistline will also score from nut consumption, which has been linked to lower body weight. We recommend savoring them one by one, which means you’ll fully get to enjoy all 19 chocolate-covered nuts.”
Trader Joe’s Classic Lemon Bars
Last but not least, this list of the best Trader Joe’s desserts for weight loss wraps up with the supermarket’s Classic Lemon Bars. These treats will add some zest to your snack time.
“If you tend to eat more than you planned, these bars are for you,” The Nutrition Twins stress. “That’s because you defrost them for about an hour at room temperature before indulging, which means you can’t impulsively eat more than what you’ve thawed. We suggest thawing one at a time for a 90-calorie, deliciously creamy, lemon custard-topped shortbread cookie.”