When you walk into the grocery store, it’s always tempting to grab the biggest box of truffle chocolate treats you can find. You may walk past the pastel colored conversation hearts and grab a bag because “it’s just not Valentine’s Day without those nostalgic little hearts.”
Unfortunately, those impulse Valentine snack purchases are what can lead to poor diet decision making. Even those with the best intentions to give away all the candy, will likely have at least a few servings of each of the candies themselves.
So this Valentine’s Day, stick with the basics. The caramel fudge, white-chocolate, dark chocolate nut truffle may sound delicious, but the sugar, fat and saturated fat in many of these candies will probably exceed your daily limit with just a few servings.
Despite what you might think, it is possible to have a healthy, happy Valentine’s Day. And it doesn’t always have to involve candy.
Below we have outlined the best healthy Valentine’s Day treat options, as well as a few ways to make Valentine’s Day not just about the dessert.
Best Snack Option: Chocolate Covered Strawberries
One chocolate covered strawberry is only about 50 calories. This dessert is the perfect indulgence. Get yours dipped in dark chocolate for an extra antioxidant kick! Tip: To step the romance up a notch, have a bottle of champagne chilled to enjoy with the strawberries. One 4 ounce serving of champagne is only 70 calories. Be sure to limit yourself to one glass of champagne and only 1-2 strawberries.
Best Snack Option: Dove® Dark Chocolate Hearts
Dove® dark chocolate hearts are the perfect gift for your loved ones. Each candy is individually wrapped and has a loving or inspirational quote on the inside of the wrapper. One piece of chocolate is only 42 calories, so you could have a few pieces and still consume less than 200 calories.
Tip: Any dark chocolate candies will work, just look for those that are pure dark chocolate and individually portioned as they will help with moderation.
Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with loved ones. This year, instead of just buying a box of chocolates, take the celebration outside (if you live in a warmer climate such as California!) Whether you are with your kids, boyfriend, husband or friends—a sunset picnic is an activity that is sure to please everyone. With a little planning, you can have a healthy Valentine’s Day and not feel like you are making any sacrifices.
Sample Menu 5&1 Meal Plan
Appetizer: 1 light laughing cow cheese wedge with Medifast crackers
Entrée: Grilled 5 oz. filet with steamed broccoli
Dessert: Medifast brownie
Drinks: water or a Medifast infuser such as Raspberry Acai
Maintenance/Healthy Meal Plan
Appetizer: fresh fruit such as grapes or cubed melon. Light laughing cow cheese wedges with 1 serving of crackers per person.
Entrée: 3 oz grilled chicken, thinly sliced on a 100 calorie bread (such as sandwich thins). Add 2 slices of avocado, lettuce, tomato and 1 tablespoon of desired spread such as mustard or low fat mayonnaise. Have carrots and sugar snap peas as a side.
Dessert: 2-4 pieces of dark chocolate or a few chocolate covered strawberries to share.
Drinks: Water is the best option, but if you would like to have alcohol, indulge in only one serving. Some low calorie options include champagne—70 calories for 4 ounces, or any hard alcohol with a non-caloric mixer. For example, vodka soda (with 1 ounce vodka) is only around 65 calories.
Buy Non-Food Related Gifts
Flowers are the most obvious choice; however, Valentine’s Day gifts such as a massage or facial are a few options that spoil the one you love without providing the extra calories. A romantic card or framed picture of you and your loved one is another great way to show how much you care.
Get Creative with your Favorite Healthy Treats
One of the easiest ways to get in the Valentine’s Day spirit with food is to buy a heart-shaped cookie cutter. You can cut your children’s sandwiches or mold pancakes (Medifast pancakes!) into heart shapes. Cut your favorite fruits or vegetables into heart shapes and place them on kabobs for a snack.
Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day, just be sure to make a plan! Whether you are on a strict diet or just want to spoil your loved ones, don’t wait until the last minute. Being prepared for the holiday is the best way to ensure success you’ll stay on track!