How to Eat Dessert AND Stay on Track

Dessert College Nutritionist

I get these types of questions a lot:

  • How often can I have dessert?

  • What dessert is best to have?

  • Whenever I eat sweets I feel like I blew my meal plan – how can I not feel this way?


I used to feel this way and have these same questions, so I hear you for sure.


Here are some key things to keep in mind, to have a more positive relationship with desserts :)


1. Focus on what you ENJOY eating

rather than just eating something “for the health of it”. For example, eating that dessert versus eating some vegetables… (and then eating the dessert afterwards anyway)!


2. Along with focusing on the foods you enjoy, bring in nutrition principles when you can

When possible, if you truly enjoy “healthier” desserts, try some of these to help your body function at peak capacity!

Making some healthy dessert swaps, while still treating yourself can be rewarding.

fruit desserts college nutritionist

From top to bottom, left to right

  • 1 cup raspberries dipped in one 2% yogurt (if using a flavored yogurt, just choose one with <15 gm sugar per serving). Freeze on a sheet pan lined with wax paper overnight

  • Slice 1 banana. Top with 2 Tbsp peanut butter and 1 Tbsp chocolate chips

  • Slice 1 cup strawberries. Top into 2 Tbsp whipped cream

  • Wash 1 cup grapes. Remove from stems. Freeze in a container or plastic bag overnight.

SO - if you get the same enjoyment from 2 cups of strawberries & 2 Tbsp whipped cream vs. 1 strawberry flavored poptart, let’s choose the strawberries. But if the poptart is really going to do the trick, we can choose that. See Step 3!

3. Include dessert as part of your eating plan

Instead of feeling like eating a dessert or treat takes you off of your plan, make it PART of what you plan to eat in a day or week – feeling more in control makes a world of difference.


I do find that different people need different amounts of dessert - some people need dessert just twice a week, but others need is twice a day.

What I typically recommend is to think about what’s realistic for you - how often do YOU need dessert in your life to feel happy and satisfied? Is it:

  • Once a week

  • 2-3 times per week

  • Once a day

  • Twice a day

Then, just plan for it! If you’re tracking what you’re eating, i.e. calories, you can track what you think you’re going to eat for the day ahead of time so that you’re not surprised.

Some of my favorite comfort treats are:

  • A small chocolate bar

  • A small hot chocolate

  • A single-serving sized ice cream

  • A single-serving flavored yogurt - I recommend choosing one with less than 15 gm of sugar per serving


How often do I eat dessert? ;)

At least once a day! I do have a big sweet tooth!

What are your favorites?? Leave me a comment!

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