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Ice Cream Diet: Cool If You Can Make It Work. A Big If.

Reviewed by: Dr. Steven Knauf, D.C.

By: Brandi Goodman

Ice Cream Diet: Cool If You Can Make It Work

A diet consisting of only ice cream may seem ideal to a lot of people. If you’re trying to lose weight, why not do it with a sweet dessert that you enjoy? Yet, we aren’t living in a fantasy Utopian land where something like this is truly possible. But that doesn’t mean people haven’t tried. The ice cream diet was, at one time, a real thing.

Despite the healthier versions on the market today, eating nothing but ice cream doesn’t provide the nutrients you need on a daily basis. You need to eat items from all food groups. Indulge on occasion, or celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month, but make the foundation of your diet more nutritional offerings.

Always do your due diligence on any fad diet you discover. Although new diet trends pop up regularly, it’s OK—and advised—to be skeptical. Do your research on the ice cream diet and any others that appear in your lifetime.

What is the ice cream diet, and how does it promote weight loss?

The original ice cream diet did not include all ice cream all the time. It was a calorie-restrictive diet created in 2002 by Holly McCord. She encouraged dieters to follow healthy eating habits but stick to just 1,250 calories per day. She then said to add another 250 calories of ice cream for a treat that would help ease your sweet tooth. Her goal was to help people feel less deprived so they would want to continue with their healthier eating habits and continue losing weight.

This version is quite doable, but it needs some tailoring. Your calorie intake should be based on various factors, such as your age, height, weight, and the amount of physical activity you achieve each day. Every individual requires a different caloric intake and should not follow a one-size-fits-all approach.

Risks or side effects associated with eating a lot of ice cream

Relying on fad diets for weight loss is simply not sustainable. It may work well for a time, but eventually, it will be difficult to maintain. Plus, when you start eating more calories or changing up your treats or meals, it will be easier to put the weight back on.

Excessive ice cream consumption itself can also have adverse effects. Many milk-based ice creams have full fat, added sugar, and saturated fats that can raise your cholesterol. One side effect of high cholesterol is high blood pressure. Meaning that, over time, eating too much ice cream can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Factors that contribute to weight loss and how ice cream compares

When you’re trying to lose weight, you need to start with portion control. Make sure you’re eating only the recommended serving size of each food you consume. You should also eat fruits, vegetables, and ample protein, and remember to drink plenty of water.

If you stick with the correct serving size of ice cream and opt for a low-fat version, it may work fine for your diet plan. For example, homemade ice cream using vegetables and fruits like sweet potato and banana with added protein powder may be a worthwhile addition to your meal plan.

Weight loss is also aided by sleep, lifestyle habits, stress, and how you’re feeling overall. Say you eat ice cream before bed. You may have difficulty getting to sleep, and it could interfere with your digestion, leading to bloating and stomach discomfort. Eating a scoop at an earlier time of day may be better suited for your goals.

Strategies to lose weight while enjoying ice cream

Everything is fine in moderation. If you want to achieve sustainable weight loss while still enjoying ice cream, then be sure to follow proper caloric instructions. Use an online calorie calculator to determine how much you need to consume daily based on your individual measurements. You’ll also need to stay hydrated with plenty of water and eat a variety of foods, from whole grains to vegetables and fruits to lean proteins. Find healthier ice cream solutions to ensure you’re not overindulging.

One of the best ways to help achieve weight loss is through exercise. Plus, the more you exercise, the more calories your body can take in to help refuel. A scoop of ice cream won’t be so bad after you’ve just spent an hour biking. But the bottom line always remains the same when it comes to losing weight; you have to burn more calories than you consume.

The healthiest ice cream

If you want to make ice cream part of your eating plan, at least opt for the healthiest versions. You could start by looking for a dairy-free, low-fat version or a brand that has less calories. Halo Top is a popular ice cream brand because it touts high protein, fewer calories, and less fat. And, it still provides all of the usual flavors, like mint chocolate chip, peanut butter cup, and cookies and cream. Ben & Jerry’s offers a non-dairy line and NadaMoo! offers a dairy-free vegan line. Taste a few versions and find the one that you enjoy best.

Creating your own version is the easiest way to ensure your ice cream is healthy. You won’t have to include much sugar and can find vegetable or fruit-based versions that pack in some added nutrients. One simple option is to slice bananas and strawberries and freeze them. Then, mash them all together in a food processor until it comes out creamy. This creates a delicious strawberry banana ice cream that provides antioxidants, Vitamin C, fiber, and more. Or try that sweet potato ice cream mentioned above. Blend together sweet potatoes and bananas, and add in a bit of cinnamon, agave, or organic maple syrup if you want to enhance the flavor.

Ice cream alternatives

Ice cream isn’t the only frozen treat on the market. Frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative. It tends to be lower in calories and has less fat and sugar content. You can also enjoy gelato, shaved ice, a frozen banana dipped in chocolate, or a homemade version using coconut milk. It may be more worthwhile to switch the type of treat and flavor you’re eating each time so you never feel unfilled in your diet.

Opt for healthier solutions for better well-being

Although enjoying ice cream daily would be delightful, the truth is that it’s just not a feasible solution if you hope to maintain your overall health and well-being. Although the ice cream diet may sound like the most appealing diet concept ever created, it’s just not sustainable as a foundational diet. You need to opt for healthier foods and habits to improve your health and wellness.

The Joint Chiropractic encourages you to receive regular adjustments, drink plenty of water, exercise, and enjoy nutritious meals so you can live your best life. And if you want to treat yourself to an ice cream, go for it. But don’t make it the entree.

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