Dieting treats
Dieting need not be the miserable state that many folks claim. Spice up your diet life by adding a healthy but tasty snack selection.

One of the reasons many overweight people dread dieting is because they fear they will have to give up their favorite foods. But the truth is that they can continue to eat the things they enjoy most with minor adjustments and still lose weight.

If you are trying to lose a few pounds and planning snacks for the next few days, here are some ideas that can help to quench that tummy rumbling that can send us into a binge. Try snacks like these instead and see if you don't soon begin to weigh less and feel better.

1. Go for chocolate. Try a tablespoon of chocolate syrup on just about anything. Use it to "glue" two vanilla wafers together, drizzle it over a half-cup of frozen yogurt, or stir it into a cup of low-fat or non-fat milk. How about popping a teaspoon of baking-style chocolate chips into your morning oatmeal? Or try a quarter of a chocolate bar melted between two halves of a graham cracker. You will feel so pampered that your hunger pangs may settle down and behave for a while.

2. Enjoy something fruity. Slice an apple and dip the pieces into a tablespoon of peanut butter as you nibble them. Place a tablespoon of your favorite jelly or jam on a plate and dash a small portion of low-fat crackers into it for added zest. Slice a quarter of a cantaloupe and drizzle low-fat vanilla yogurt over each piece. Pour a tablespoon warm chocolate syrup over a sliced banana, perhaps with a quarter cup of low-fat yogurt, and you have a guilt-free sundae.

3. Savor the crunch. A cup of popcorn, one serving of snack crackers, about twenty thin pretzel sticks (not the larger rods), or a quarter cup of roasted peanuts can offer the carbohydrates or protein that can pick you up when you're dragging along. Put the right amount in a small bowl or plate and put the package away so you're not tempted to overdo it. Rice cakes or a reduced-calorie slice of toast with low-fat jelly can help you avoid a binging moment.

4. How about something soft? A large marshmallow or several baby marshmallows floating in your low-fat hot chocolate, a half-cup of low-fat pudding, fat-free Jell-O with a quarter cup of whipped cream, and low-fat whipped yogurt make delicious, cool treats. Diet soda, herbal tea, and fresh fruit juice (about six ounces) provide a low-calorie or nutritious boost.

5. Or make it hot. A cup of chicken broth or vegetable soup, a grilled chicken wing or two, a slice of reduced calorie bread with low-fat mayonnaise and a tomato slice grilled in the broiler, or a hard-boiled egg can make you feel full and well-fed when you crave something filling to snack on. Sometimes eating something warm seems to fill us up more than something that is cold or uncooked.

Experiment with your favorite flavors to get the low-calorie version of the delicious treats you most enjoy. You don't have to be a total saint to avoid being a total diet sinner.