Food rule challenge: Having something sweet to end the meal.

After I posted a pizza food rule challenge a couple weeks ago, I got a few requests to post more food rule challenges. I thought it was a great idea, so here we go! 

The next challenge I wanted to propose is: Having something sweet to end your meals.

This is personally one of my favorite practices that I frequently do as an intuitive eater.  It continues to work so well for my body and my mind.  When I was just starting to dip my toes in the intuitive eating world, I started having something sweet to end meals because it helped me think about food so much less. Instead of craving a food and then not allowing myself to have it, this practice encouraged me to ruthlessly eliminate restriction from my life (which is what you have to do in order to become an intuitive eater…#AllFoodsFit #GangsAllHere). I liked that having something sweet to end the meal left me feeling physically full and, just as importantly, mentally satisfied.

Having something sweet afterwards made the meal feel complete and, over time as restriction lessened, allowed my mind to not be obsessively focused on food all day long.

Whether it’s a nice scoop of ice cream, a couple cookies, or a handful of chocolate chips…I think having something sweet to end the meal can be a helpful tool when you are trying to make room for all foods in your life and want food to preoccupy your mind less. 


  1. Yes! I do this and it’s so enjoyable. And sometimes I don’t want something sweet to end the meal but usually I do. Unconditional permission is so freeing. Also, it’s OK to have something sweet more than once a day!

  2. Yes! Dinner time is not complete without some kind of sweet thing to finish it off :)

  3. Love IE challenges!!  Eating dessert does tend to make the meal feel more complete which means you can move on to the other non-food related parts of life without thoughts of food constantly running in the background (:

  4. I am in the throws of recovery from an eating disorder and something sweet after dinner is my favourite meal of the day. Chocolate and a milky milk are my favourite especially during winter. Love this challenge 😊

    • Hi Megan,

      I am totally relating to your post, as I have just finished 13 weeks of PHP/IOP eating disorder treatment. I love these challenges and also something sweet after dinner – my faves are 3 Musketeers and ice cream! Keep on your recovery journey – sending you positive vibes! :)

  5. I am a fan of this! Especially at breakfast time — I find that including something sweet with breakfast keeps me more satisfied throughout the morning.

  6. Totally resonate with this (as you know), and need to get back in the practice of this. For a while I had stopped actually craving sweet things, but the problem was when I did start to crave them again I didn’t originally want them that much. Like just after dinner was fine. But then, because I had gone without for so long, the eating disorder crept in and started saying “Well you haven’t wanted it so now you SHOULDN’T want it” and before I knew it my momentary preference for once/day became a rule once again. It’s not as hard and fast as it was before, but I still have more difficulty and guilt than I should have when trying to eat something sweet other than for a bedtime snack. Need to get up the courage to incorporate this idea once again!

  7. This made me smile so much! I always love to eat a square of dark chocolate or a Cocomel caramel after my dinner and lunch (sometimes snacks too!). Breakfast I am satisfied because it is oatmeal which i sweeten with cacao and fruit, but lunch and dinner foods can leave me unsatisfied without a sweet component. This gave me the reassurance that my body is not brown or messed up, but that I know how to satisfy my needs at every meal. Thanks for the pick me up!

  8. I love this idea! Desserts and sweets used to be such a fear food for me and something I felt I could never get control around. I have something sweet after meals almost every day now because its so satisfying. It’s helped me tremendously to not feel crazy around desserts!

  9. Stopping by from Kansas again! I grew up always having something sweet “dessert” after dinner. Even now, dinner just isn’t complete until I have that little bit of something sweet. It’s my signal that “Okay, I’m done now” and I’m perfectly satisfied. :) You are right, though, about a little something even after each meal/snack. Claire makes a good point, by doing this I really don’t go nuts if there are choices sitting around.

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  11. Wow. Thank you so much for being you and sharing your wisdom. I’ve been struggling with disordered eating for almost exactly a year now, and it’s been a daily battle, especially since I’m transitioning to college for the first time. I Discovered your blog/insta recently, and I can’t express how much joy, hope, and relief it brings me. I popped right out of my chair and ate chips for the first time in weeks after reading a blog post about intuitive eating, and I’ve never been more satisfied haha!! It also means a lot that you talk about your faith, you write with such grace and I feel at peace reading your posts. Please continue to share your story, you’re helping so many people! Also, your fam is simply the most precious thing on the PLANET and I absolutely adore watching your insta stories :)))

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