Why Having Dessert is the Best Thing You Can Do All Day

Dessert can be a satisfying and enjoyable part of your day or it can be filled with overwhelming anxiety, guilt, and frustration that “you fell off the wagon” again. I can tell you one thing for sure, the first option is far and away the way to go.

have dessert everyday
If you had asked me a decade ago if it was ok to include a satisfying dessert into my days I would have laughed in your face and said hell no!

Why? I was so wrapped up into diet culture I couldn’t see the forrest from the trees. I was hyper focused on eating the perfect diet, having the perfect body, weighing as little as I could, and living the “healthiest” life I could live. What that really translated into was buying food-like items like protein and fiber bars that were packed with artificial sweetener that lacked any resemblance of the food they claimed to replace (think cookies, cake, donuts, and brownies). This mentality caused major stress around food. I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to live like this.

 

Food-like bars are packed with artificial sweeteners and ingredients.

Ever heard the phrase “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”? This is pretty spot on with our food. Eating whole food items, or processed items made with real food ingredients was never broken. Artificial sweeteners break a system that doesn’t need fixing. They’re thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar and the result is a dulling of our perception of what’s sweet and how much we should eat. They create a disconnect with our hunger and fullness signals and when you encounter a regular sugar item you don’t know when to stop. Pair that with new research showing the negative effects they have on our gut bacteria (trust me you want to keep those little buggers happy) and artificial sweeteners are a lose lose situation. So much so, research has shown those who eat artificial sweeteners weigh more and are at higher risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease than those that eat plain old sugar. Food-like bars also contain a laundry list of ingredients that even on their best day don’t sound or act anything like real food, which for me is a huge red flag until we know what effect these ingredients have on us. 

 

When you ignore your true craving, you continue to eat until you satisfy it.

Raise your hand if you continually grazed on just about everything in your kitchen to try and keep you from having that cookie or piece of cake. Believe me, I’ve been there and so have almost everyone of my clients. When you have a true craving for something you need to satisfy it. It’s your bodies way of saying “hey, this is what I need right now, hook me up”. I can honestly say I’ve probably eaten twice as many calories in celery & peanut butter, low calorie chips & crackers, and string cheese to keep me from eating 1 chocolate chip cookie. Just do yourself a favor and eat the cookie.

 

Full sugar dessert can be a completely healthy part of a balanced diet.

Let me set the record straight, there’s no perfect diet. That’s right, I said it. So all those gurus who balance your macros, count your calories, or add extra special magic supplements to your food are full of shit. There’s no one perfect diet for anyone. Some people feel their best eating more carbs, some more fat. You could be plant based or some feel better with 6 small meals and some like 3 larger. Anyway you break it down, if you’re listening to your body, what works for you is best for you. Any expert that preaches anything more than that is preying on your fears and insecurities and that’s just not cool in my opinion.

If you want dessert every night, go for it! If you find that you feel your best having it on occasion, that’s ok too. You do you! In the end, you'll balance out what’s best for you in the long run if you’re listening to your body. Intuitive eating is a beautiful thing, lean in.

Till next time,

Dr. Claudia