For some people it might be better to eat dessert before dinner.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard nutrition recommendations for the best time to have dessert — or even whether or not it’s okay to have fruit after meals. As a dietitian, I am always left questioning these blanket recommendations because they don’t take into account factors like medical history, unique health needs, medications and physical activity. While it’s not my philosophy to give patients hard-and-fast rules like “Eat dessert no later than 5pm,” so many of the patients I worked with tell me about their dessert guidelines. Many of these guidelines are self-imposed rules associated with dessert, like it can only be enjoyed after having a “healthy meal” or they require physical activity after eating sweets to “balance things out.”
In my experience, restricting desserts or seeing them as special treats can lead to an increased urge for that food. Giving yourself unconditional permission to eat helps to normalize dessert and eventually helps you tune into which desserts you enjoy the most, how much is enough to satisfy you, and what time is the best time to enjoy that dessert. That process looks different for everyone, which is why I would never recommend time restrictions around food. With that being said, there are some general nutrition guidelines that can be helpful in figuring this all out.
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