If you feel the need for a little extra something on a fast day, why not consider one of these easy, low calorie treats? They’ve certainly helped me through on more than one occasion!
Do remember that foods rich in sugar can make you feel more hungry, enjoy with caution! Snacking on a fast day may not be for everyone, but if you really need the psychological boost of something ‘indulgent’ the below treats should fit the bill and not break the calorie bank!
1. Low calorie hot chocolate drink
I had to put this one first. Not only is it my go-to treat for a fast day but I have seen countless other fasters sing the praises of a lovely mug of hot chocolate at the end of their fast day! While we should all be trying to keep artificial sweeteners and overly processed food to a minimum in our diets, a warm, soothing cup of of instant drinking chocolate is unlikely to do much harm but can mean the difference between a good night sleep and a terrible one for many of us! Most of these drinks come in at around 40 calories but you could be cunning like me and use a teacup for just half a sachet. Sometimes I go wild and have two small cups on a fast day. Yes, psychological tricks are a wonderful thing! Whether it’s two cups of 20 calories or a 40 calorie mug to end your day, enjoy it!
2. Sugar free jelly
This is another one I picked up from my fellow fasters’ rave reviews and a really filling treat for sure. Sugar free jelly (jello) is available in ready made pots containing less than 10 calories. Yes, you read correctly: less than 10 calories! An easy no-fuss pudding or snack, and if you really need something to fill up on a couple of these would certainly do the trick. Lots of flavours to choose from and if you’ve got a family you could even make a batch homemade of jelly to keep the costs down as well as being able to bulk it out with some lovely low calorie berries!
3. Sponge fingers
A lovely sweet treat I’ve discovered through my years of yo-yo dieting, containing on average around 20 calories each a sponge finger contains far less than a conventional biscuit, allowing psychology to come into play again – have two if you like, for under 50 calories. Not only are they inexpensive but as they’re in finger form they lend themselves to nibbling – a great way to savour the sweetness. Be careful though if sugar tends to make you more hungry these may not be a good choice for you!
4. Ice lollies
From juicy fruity lollies through to creamy ‘milkshakes’ on a stick, ice lollies are not only quick and easy they are also great value as you can make them yourself at home in whatever flavour you might like using fruity drinks or a milk based pudding mix. If you’re going for shop-bought, a simple fruit flavour ice lolly can contain as few as 25 calories and a milkshake style lolly such as Mini Milk has around 30 calories.
Some people are really surprised when they find out just how few calories are in meringues, considering how much sugar is in them – but if you’ve ever made meringues from scratch you’ll know just how much air is in them too! While perhaps a bit too much of a sugary treat on its own (a typical meringue nest contains a little over 50 calories), smaller meringues served with a dollop of low fat yogurt (do check it’s not one with added sugar!) and some berries makes a truly delicious dessert and can come in at as little as 60 calories (mini meringue approx 20 calories, 50g fat free greek yogurt approx 30 calories, 30g raspberries approx 10 calories.)
6. Crackerbreads and crispbreads
Another one I’ve sworn by for years when I’ve been dieting, crackerbreads (approx 20 calories) and crispbreads (approx 30 calories) make a great crunchy base for sweet and savoury snacks alike. Whether you fancy a biscuit and opt to have one of these with a spread of yummy hazelnut spread or chocolate Philly, or go down the savoury route with a classic combination of cream cheese & cucumber, ham and tomato or some luxurious smoked salmon you can usually make a tasty treat for around 50 calories. Actually I really enjoy them with just a thin spread of marmite for a bit of a savoury tang – which usually means I can have a couple of them! Peanut butter is another great topping and lets the flavour stay with you (on the roof of your mouth of course!) but do watch those calories!
Air popped popcorn is not only low in calories (containing around 30 calories for a cup full) but also means you can pass the time on the evening of your fast day by watching a film and getting that cinema feeling! Flavour it with cinnamon or mixed spice for a sweet treat, or for that real cinema sweet taste add a little Stevia (a natural, calorie-free alternative to sugar) instead of sugar to spare the calories.
8. Rice Crispy Cakes
A lightweight but sizeable snack for around 30-60 calories and available in a range of flavours, sweet and savoury. Puffed rice cakes have been a favourite with dieters for quite some time and make a tasty sweet treat to enjoy on your fast days. Chocolate and caramel varieties satisfy that sweet need without breaking your calorie bank! You could even have a go at making them at home, adding dried fruit, seeds or nuts for a healthy sweetness.