Arguably one of the most loved foods people like to indulge in is ice-cream. However, ice-cream is notorious for being higher in calories, sugar and fat, so like other indulgences, it is usually cut out when trying to lose weight.
While over doing on splurge foods won’t help you trim your waist line, most health experts agree allowing for some of your favorite foods while trying to lose weight can work as long as it is within reason.
When you occasionally incorporate some of your favorite foods while on a weight loss plan, it may help you control the portion size when you eat your splurge food of your choice.
Can you eat ice cream while on a diet? Yes, you could. Important factors are making, whether it’s an occasional treat and appropriate portion size.
It’s important to look at your food intake from a big picture perspective.
What does the rest of your diet look like?
Are you eating mostly whole foods and a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins and healthy fats?
Overall food intake is more of a factor than just one individual food.
If ice-cream is your go to favorite food, you may be able to still eat it while on a diet.
You may have to just cut back on your frequency and watch your portion size.
These tips can help you eat ice-cream while on a diet.
Portion it out
A pint of ice-cream can be about 4 servings.
Eating straight from the container can make it easy to eat more than a serving at a time.
Ice-cream can fit into a weight loss plan if you eat a serving at a time instead of a pint at a time.
A serving of ice-cream is about a half cup.
If you are eating ice-cream, serve a half cup portion out of the container and into a small bowl.
Trying to gauge a half cup serving with a spoon eating from a container leaves a lot of room to over indulge.
As you eat it, take time to really enjoy it.
Often, we eat large amounts of a food because we are eating fast and not really getting any pleasure from eating the food.
Eating slowly can help increase satisfaction from whatever you are eating.
Pump up the volume with fruit toppings
If you want to add volume and nutrient density to a snack or after meal treat, add some fruit.
If you are used to having more than ½ cup of ice-cream, add fruit to your ice-cream bowl to increase the volume.
Adding fruit to your bowl adds a source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Using a simple ice-cream base, like vanilla or chocolate, may pair best with adding fruit on top of ice-cream.
Adding in fruit can add different textures and flavor profiles that can make it more interesting and satisfying.
Is frozen yogurt a healthier option?
Frozen yogurt can be lower in fat content compared to ice-cream, but it could also be higher in sugar.
Therefore, eating frozen yogurt may not be the lower calorie choice especially if you use that as an excuse to eat a larger portion of frozen yogurt.
For example, eating a half cup of ice-cream may provide around 250 calories.
However, eating a cup of frozen yogurt may provide about 350 calories.
Therefore, if you are eating more frozen yogurt in place of a smaller ice-cream serving, you may not be helping weight loss efforts.
If you are really craving ice-cream and use a larger portion of frozen yogurt as a replacement, it may be best to eat the smaller portion of the ice-cream you really want.
If you prefer frozen yogurt over ice-cream, follow the same principles for incorporating it into a healthy weight loss plan.
Eat a small portion from a bowl not out of the container. Add more real fruit as a topping if you want to increase the volume.
Buying plain frozen yogurt instead of flavored can also cut down the sugar amount.
Does the ice-cream diet work for weight loss?
Unfortunately, you can’t eat all the ice-cream you want and still lose weight.
So, don’t be fooled by the name ice-cream diet.
This diet suggests you can eat ice-cream daily and still lose weight.
However, the ice-cream diet is a low calorie, high fiber diet that incorporates a small serving of ice-cream daily.
The reason why you could possibly lose weight on an “ice-cream diet” is because the overall calorie content is low even with the serving of ice-cream.
There is nothing significant about eating ice-cream everyday that is important for weight loss.
The rationale for allowing daily ice-cream on this diet is allowing a daily treat may help increase compliance to a lower calorie diet.
In other words, you may be more apt to stick to a diet plan as long as there is some sort of reward every day.
The down side with allowing ice-cream daily is if you are over indulging and eating other sweets throughout the day.
Dairy foods and weight loss
Some studies (1) suggest a high calcium diet may be beneficial for losing fat.
In fact, a diet high in dairy foods specifically may have even greater impact on fat loss.
According to some studies, increasing dietary calcium sources, like dairy, may have benefit for weight loss.
However, even though studies have found a link between dairy and fat loss, don’t use this as an excuse to eat all the ice-cream you want.
Keep in mind a healthy diet should also provide a wide variety of foods.
No single food or food group can provide all the nutrients you need.