5 Summer Treats That Are Deliciously BAD for Us & 5 Swaps That Won't Wreck Our Diets

Emily Abbate | Jul 16, 2013 Food & Party

summer high calorie foodsI have a confession to make: Summer foods are starting to get the best of me. It was like coming into the season, like so many others, I was so focused on eating well, working out, and soaking in the rays. Now that we're midsummer, though, I'm just ... surrounded. Everywhere I turn there is some sort of delicious treat that I just have to have. Everywhere.

What kinda treats we talkin' about here? Well trust me, you know. There's grease. There's salt. And I bet you've even tangoed with a few of 'em too.

Do I have a solution? Well, maybe. Check out these 5 high-calorie summer treats that are deliciously bad for you, and 5 lower-calorie alternatives, here:

  • Corn Dogs

    1

    Oh corn dogs, how I love you. Seriously, though. Is there anything better than a corn dog in a park on a hot summer day? Doubtful. The problem? These beauties rank in at at least 310 calories a pop with a whopping 22 grams of fat per dog! Wowza.

    The alternative: Get your corn dog fix with these corn dog muffins at home. With only 130 calories and a quarter of the fat as their larger cousins, they're a great way to get that same flavor.

  • Ice Cream

    2

    Steamy days + frosty treats = no brainer. My problem? I like to pretend that it has no calories whatsoever because, hey, if it cools me off, then it's TOTALLY worth it ... right?

    Well truth of the matter: a half cup of Ben & Jerry's chocolate fudge brownie has 260 calories and 12 grams of fat. A half. Cup. When was the last time you only had a half cup of ice cream?

    The alternative: Hello, frozen ice pops. Is it the same creamy deliciousness? Not always. But they'll cool ya down all the same. Plus you can make them easily on your own at home. My personal favorite recipe? These kiwi ice pops from Country Living.

  • Margaritas

    3

    Why do they have to be so delicious? WHY? One margarita has potentially over 740 calories and, as if that's not bad enough, potentially boasts 1,600+ mg of salt (depending if you opt for the salted rim or not).

    The alternative: Go for a "safe" option that you know has less calories, like a glass of chilled chardonnay or a light beer. Craving something a little harder? Choose a flavored vodka and mix it with soda. Try Smirnoff Sorbet Light vodkas for a sweet summer treat.

  • Chips and ... Anything

    4

    I think the opportunity to eat chips and salsa crosses my path at least twice a week. Something about summertime and Mexican food just seems to go hand in hand. Regardless, in moderation, chips are fine. However, one cup of the crispy finger foods will cost you 293 calories, and that's BEFORE you top them with anything. Guacamole? Sixty calories for two tablespoons. Only. Two.

    The alternative: I seriously appreciated heading out to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants last week and them offering to serve guacamole alongside sliced veggies like carrots, peppers, and cucumbers. I didn't miss the saltiness of the chips and still got that crunch.

  • Burgers

    5

    Once the heat rises, barbecue and summer are pretty much synonymous. With that said, a burger with all the fix-ins, you can be in serious calorie overload.

    The alternative: Go veggie. Trust me. Either opt for a grilled portabello cap in place of the meat patty or pick out a great veggie burger from your grocery store. Lately, I can't get enough of the Dr. Praeger's Thai veggie burgers. Topped with lettuce, sliced carrots, and a light sesame oil drizzle -- hello reduced calorie perfection!

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