When you’re looking to shed pounds, ice cream probably isn’t at the top of your grocery list. But it should still be on there if you get the occasional hankering for frozen treats.
Avoiding a dessert you love won’t help you lose weight. In fact, it could set you back. “I am a big believer that restriction and deprivation lead to overindulging and weight re-gain, meaning eating dessert plays a role in achieving those weight-loss goals,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, R.D., owner of BZ Nutrition. In other words, you just need to be smart about how you indulge, so you can have your cake (or in this case, ice cream) and your slimdown, too.
Luckily, there are plenty of delicious options these days that also happen to be lower in calories or fat than a standard pint. One that might come to mind? Halo Top. Its low-cal (pints range from 240 to 360 calories, which is about what’s in a single serving of other brands), high-protein (at least 20 grams per pint) flavors have gained a reputation for being a healthier ice cream option that still tastes like the real thing, which Zeitlin attributes to the fact that it’s first three ingredients on the label are real foods—milk, cream, and eggs.
For all the ice cream devotees out there, if you prefer to stick to the real stuff, that’s okay too. The key (and biggest pitfall), no matter which route you choose, is portion control. Whether you prefer regular ice cream or lighter options like Halo Top, stick to one or two scoops (or one serving) to satisfy your craving without blowing your goals.As for the lighter options out there, don’t waste your time and money (and calories) trying to find the best brands—we did that for you. We asked nutritionists for their frozen treat suggestions that slash cals and fat without sacrificing flavor.
You probably saw this one coming…but there’s a reason it’s so popular. It’s delish and it has all those nutritional benefits we mentioned earlier. Zeitlin’s favorite is the Chocolate Mocha Chip, at 320 cals and 24 grams of protein per pint. (But she’s also excited to try Halo Top‘s pumpkin pie flavor—’tis the season!)