4 Chocolate Desserts That Turn Off Your Fat Genes

These delicious treats will watch your weight for you.

Dessert isn't evil! While most diet gurus unfairly malign dessert as a girth-promoting serving of sin, it ought to be a well-deserved, nutritious nightcap that actually helps you achieve your weight-loss goals.

According to a Tufts University study, dieters who give in to cravings are more successful than those who don't. The reason: Once you make "watching what you eat" feel less onerous, it becomes easier to stick to your eating plan. Fortunately, these recipes watch what you eat for you. Research shows that eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate can reduce overall body fat and shrink the waist, thanks to flavonoids, heart-healthy compounds that have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, each of these recipes has fiber, protein and healthy fat — and that makes them perfect cappers for your Zero Belly day. Enjoy, compliments of the new Zero Belly Cookbook:

Chocolate Bark

Serves: 10
Cook time: 5 minutes

10 oz semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup dried tart cherries
¼ cup raw pepitas, dry roasted in a pan over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes), and cooled
¼ cup raw almonds, dry roasted in a pan over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes), cooled and coarsely chopped

• Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the chocolate chips onto the parchment paper and spread to form a rectangle, about 8 by 8 inches.
• Bake the chocolate chips in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, just until they start to melt.
• Transfer the pan to a cooling rack, and use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate into smooth, even rectangles. While the chocolate is still hot, evenly sprinkle with the dried cherries, toasted pepitas and toasted almonds. Transfer the parchment paper to a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Break the bark into small pieces and serve.

Per serving: 190 calories / 12 g fat / 22 g carb / 2 g fiber / 3 g protein


Flourless Chocolate Cake

Serves: 8
Cook time: 25 minutes

6 oz semisweet chocolate (chips or bar)
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (non alkalized)
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh berries for garnish
Olive oil spray

• Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• Lightly spray a 7-inch tart pan with removable bottom, or a 7-8 inch springform pan with olive oil spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray the paper.
• Melt the chocolate in a small sauce pan over low heat together with the maple syrup. Once melted, add the sugar and stir until dissolved, about 2 minutes.
• Take the saucepan off the heat, and whisk in the eggs one at a time.
• Sift the cocoa powder with a sieve, and whisk into the egg and chocolate mixture. Make sure there are no lumps. Add the vanilla and the salt and mix well.
• Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch.
• Transfer the cake pan to a cooling rack and rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
• Cut the cake into 8 slices, garnish with fresh berries, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving: 220 calories / 9 g fat / 37 g carb / 2 g fiber / 5 g protein


Black Forest Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Cook time: 12 minutes

2 ¼ cups finely ground almond meal/flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (non alkalized)
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped
Olive oil spray

• Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray.
• In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal/flour, cocoa powder and baking soda.
• In another bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, light brown sugar and eggs.
• Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to incorporate. Mix in the chocolate chips and dried cherries.
• Use a spoon to scoop out the tablespoons of cookie dough onto the sheet pans, leaving about two inches between each scoop.
• Bake for 12 minutes. Let cookies sit for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool.

Per serving: 211 calories / 17 g fat / 14 g carb / 3 g fiber / 3 g protein


Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles

Yield: 20 truffles
Cook time: N/A

6 oz semisweet chocolate (chips or bar, chopped)
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup natural, no-salt-added peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

• Place the chocolate and the almond milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir every 30 seconds.
• Once melted, whisk in the peanut butter until smooth.
• Cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge until firm — at least 3 hours or overnight.
• Use a spoon to scoop large marble-sized truffles from the mixture and roll into balls, for about 20 truffles total. Transfer to a tray covered in wax paper and chill in the fridge until firm, about one hour.
• Serve cold.
• Store leftovers in a BPA-free container in the fridge for up to one week.

Per truffle: 83 calories / 5-6 g fat / 9 g carb / 2 g fiber / 3 g protein

LOSE UP TO 16 POUNDS IN 14 DAYS with the 150+ simple and delicious weight-loss recipes in the brand-new Zero Belly Cookbook—order it now!


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