I am going to share a little secret.. I eat ice cream almost every night! For a long time I thought desserts were the devil. I thought that eating dessert would lead me to becoming cookie monster out of control with food, feasting on anything and everything I could get my hands on, so for a long time I would simply avoided dessert at all costs.
As a kid, eating ice cream after dinner was a regular occurrence in my house and I never had any guilt or shame about treating myself to an ice cream bar or cookie until I starting my weight loss journey. After successfully losing and keeping off 30 pounds for about a year, I became super aware and focused on everything I ate. Tracking my food and weighing everything out was a daily ritual. Soon the desserts and treats became less and less frequent in my diet to the point where I went for weeks on end without eating dessert or any kind of treat/baked goods because I was scared of gaining weight back. The more I restricted dessert the more I craved it, leading me into a negative pattern of binging and restricting that went on for almost the entire first year of my weight loss journey. I was scared and alone, ashamed of telling my friends that I thought I had an issue with sweets and treats and that I had a negative relationship with food in general.
Dessert was my love, my joy when I was younger yet when I decided I wanted to be healthier in my early 20’s I felt like I had to demonize it to achieve my fitness goals. This led to me going Cookie Monster crazy when I went on vacation or took a day off from tracking leading to even more guilt surrounding sweet treats. Letting go of my rigid rules and labeling of food was the best choices I ever made. I no longer demonize certain foods and praise others, but rather I see all food as fuel and some sources are more ideal than others for making me feel my best. I fit all of my favorite foods into my diet and try to allow myself one treat a day to keep the Cookie Monster cravings away.
So yeah I eat dessert almost every night, and yes I still reach my fitness and health goals and so can you! A few of my favorite treat brands/companies are Halo Top, Enlightened, Yasso and Trader Joes. For me I would say frozen treats like ice cream and fruit bars are my favorite go to dessert during the week. Cookies, brownies and baked goods have never stood a chance to me compared to ice cream or sorbet! In order to keep my macros balanced I usually will opt for some kind of single serve frozen dessert bar or will go for a piece of Trader Joes fair trade dark chocolate. I am mildly obsessed with the dairy free options from Halo Top as well as Enlightened Ice Cream bars and have to have them in my freezer at all times. Frozen fruit bars, such as Outshine or Trader Joes Fruit Frenzy Bars, are also a go to for me when I want something low cal but still sweet that won’t eat up too many of my macros. Recently I have also been experimenting with putting ice cream or dairy free whipped cream on top Kodiak power waffles for some added protein and carbs late at night. Get creative with your treats, variety is not just reserved for the veggies!
Cookies and ice cream are good for soul and should not be causing you to feel stressed or shameful! If you can’t remember the last time you let yourself eat a cookie without a worry in the world then maybe it is time to ditch your food rules and re find your love for sweets and treats. A life without ice cream is not a life I want to live and neither should you!