You don’t need a weight expert to tell you that ice cream (especially the creamy, packed-with-goodies type) isn’t exactly diet food. But what many women don’t realize, says Stalder, is that “while frozen yogurt and soft serve are lower in fat and calories than hard ice cream, they tend to come in enormous portions, so they end up being just as bad for you as regular options.” Plus, says Stadler, the toppings can pack as much of punch as the ice cream itself. For instance, a quarter cup of granola can run 150 calories and nine grams of fat, while the same amount of hot fudge can set you back about 200 calories and nine grams of fat, she says.
Smart solution: Go ahead, have a treat, but be smart about it, says Stadler. “You are better off with a small, single scoop of your favorite real ice cream than a large cup of frozen yogurt with cookies, sprinkles, and candies on it; it will cost you fewer calories and is more likely to satisfy your cravings,” she explains. “If you want soft serve or frozen yogurt, opt for a small, that’s about four ounces, or half a cup and skip the toppings except for fresh fruit and berries.”