Desserts are my weakness…..
Let me rephrase that.
Desserts used to be my weakness.
DESSERT GUILT IS THE WORST GUILT
What the heck is dessert guilt?
Well, it’s that awful feeling when you regret eating that piece of cake… or a few sleeves of Oreos (if you know what I mean). You feel like you’ve “messed up” somehow by giving into your cravings or desire for something sweet – and probably after you already told yourself you weren’t going to have it.
And trust me, I’ve totally had my fair share of dessert guilt.
I remember ALWAYS loving dessert when I was little. And I still do! Specifically, my sweet tooth has an extra special love of vanilla soft serve ice cream with rainbow sprinkles… and anything covered in chocolate… okay, and any chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever met….Hey, it’s hard to meet a dessert I don’t like 😉 I mean, what’s not to love? Dessert is sweet, satisfying, fun to eat… and dessert just makes you happy.So what happened to that love for dessert? How did it go so wrong? How did I end up feeling guilty for even thinking about eating a cookie?
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BRING ON THE FUN-SUCKING DIETS
Just like anyone who struggles with wanting to lose weight, I went through a phase of following fun-sucking diets. I knew sugar was the BIGGEST factor holding me back from having that “perfect body” I desperately wanted, so I set out to learn about nutrition and change my eating habits. I knew when I started that…
- I was constantly dealing with cravings.
- I wanted to lose weight.
- I was binging on way too many sweets in one sitting.
…so I tried to find a solution that fixed those issues.
I started my weight loss journey and eventually began cutting more and more sugar out of my diet. The beginning was tough, but I started noticing some awesome changes. I lost weight, my cravings were gone, and I had so much energy! I figured if I felt this good by eating less sugar – then I should just cut it all out and I would feel absolutely amazing. I thought everything would be fine…. I mean, it felt great to crave less sugar and I noticed my weight was at a point that made me feel good about myself.
I wish I could say that it ended there, but it didn’t and…
SUGAR BECAME MY WORST ENEMY
I was on a super strict sugar detox diet that turned everything made with sugar into public enemy #1. It was the worst! I constantly lived in this world where I felt insecure around food, constantly judging it and torturing myself about what I was eating. But guess what, I like dessert! And thank goodness I’m finally at a place where I can stop feeling all that dessert guilt and start enjoying sweets again.
Looking back I remember right before I decided I would remove all the sugar from my diet, I was happy with my body. In fact, I felt the best I’ve felt ever. But something happened and I became obsessed with food….
The issue was, I was following a lot of advice from blogs that advocated for no or low sugar diets. The focus on nutrition and avoiding sugar made me FEAR eating sugar. Since I lost weight by avoiding sugar and making “healthy choices” I felt like I could never eat sugar without getting FAT.This food guilt and food fear was taking over something that started off as an innocent plan to get healthy. All I wanted was to feel confident in my own skin. But the more I became obsessed with being healthy and losing weight, the more I had a hard time with binge eating and self-esteem.
DESSERT GUILT IS TORTUROUS
As I was growing up, I was always a little addicted to sugar and tended to binge eat to deal with my emotions – but giving up sugar and being obsessed with eating healthy took that to a whole new level. The thing that was hardest was definitely battling the vicious sugar binging cycle. For a really long time (like years), I couldn’t handle myself around sweets. I’d deny myself dessert, then give into eating it anyway, eat way too much, and then feel super guilty about it.
Indulging in dessert became a full-on self-torturing cycle. I turned a love for enjoying delicious foods – into something that made me feel so guilty about food all the time. But here’s the thing: I don’t feel guilty anymore.
I GOT SUPER CLEAR ON MY RELATIONSHIP WITH SUGAR
So how the heck did I stop blaming myself for indulging and learn how to enjoy desserts when I really want to eat them? It comes down to 3 super simple ideas:
1. Dessert is delicious, so you’re going to eat it — and that’s perfectly okay!
Yes, you’re going to eat dessert. I eat dessert more often now then I’ve done in the past few years – and I love it! Sometimes dessert is just some fruit, yogurt or chocolate – and sometimes it’s real dessert! The key is – don’t be afraid to indulge. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t eat some kind of dessert…. I mean, it’s just not possible to be happy without it 😉
2. Feeling dessert guilt doesn’t solve any problems.
Remember, if you start to feel guilty about what you ate, that guilt doesn’t actually fix anything! And it sure as heck doesn’t stop you from eating dessert in the future. Dessert guilt is a feeling that sabotages your relationship with food! So get out of the stressful sugar cycle – the guilt just isn’t worth it!
3. You eat less dessert when you actually allow yourself to eat what you want.
If you make dessert “off limits” and then choose something healthier instead of eating what you really wanted, you’re never going to be satisfied! It also makes it WAY more likely (speaking from experience) that you’ll shove it in your mouth, real quick, so no one sees you eating sweets… just eat what actually want and ENJOY it!
It seems counter intuitive, but you’ll actually end up eating less because you won’t have to hurry up and eat it all before you change your mind- instead, you’ll just eat the amount that makes you feel good because you’re not in a rush and you’re not trying to hide it 🙂
CHANGE YOUR DESSERT GUILT MINDSET
Okay, okay. I know. It sounds too simple. You’re probably thinking – I’ll never be able to just eat dessert and be okay with it. Well, guess what…
I used to think that it’d be impossible too.
The trick to actually stop feeling guilty about dessert – is to change your mindset about it. If you always treat dessert as something “bad” or full of guilt, you’ll never be able to eat it without feeling bad or guilty. You have to learn to enjoy the desserts that you actually really want to eat.
Here’s my simple trick:
- Eat the really good stuff – the stuff that’s super mouth-wateringly delicious to you.
- Skip the stuff that you really could care less about eating.
For me, that means I’m saying heck YES to the fresh soft-serve ice cream from the truck on a hot summer day – and in the middle of winter when I really want it 😉 I’m also passing on the stuff that doesn’t make me excited to eat – like the cookies my friend brought over from the supermarket bakery. (They’re just not as delicious as homemade!) I cannot tell you how many times this ALONE saves me from dessert guilt. Hey – you can judge all you want — but you have to eat what’s delicious to YOU. It’s that simple!
TAKEAWAY: ENJOY THE SUGAR YOU LOVE AND END THE DESSERT GUILT
Next time you’re feeling guilty about dessert, remind yourself that you don’t have to feel it! The simplest way to eat a well-balanced amount of healthy food and dessert is to allow yourself to eat the stuff you actually enjoy the most. So, what are some of your favorite desserts? Have you eaten them in a long time? How would they make you feel? Give your favorite desserts a try and watch how happy they make you! There’s no award for how long you can deny yourself your favorite foods 😉
And if you’re worried about over-indulging… have you been eating desserts you haven’t really enjoyed? Next time, pass on those and don’t eat it just for the sake of eating it. Instead, eat what you really want! I bet you that you’ll end up eating a lot less dessert, and you won’t even feel guilty about it — just blissfully satisfied!
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