7 Rules to Enjoy Ice Cream Guilt Free

Ice cream season is here, and we know how easy it is to overdo this favorite dessert. But with a few simple guidelines you can enjoy your cup or cone without the guilt.

1. Go get it. A half gallon of ice cream in the freezer is temptation defined. A rule we recommend: No ice cream kept at home. Ice cream should always be a treat worth traveling for.

2. Indulge yourself — within limits. Once in a while, it’s OK to go ahead and have that ice cream. But buy a small cone, not a pint.

See 10 Ways to Control Your Cravings

3. Skip the sugar-free ice cream. In some cases, manufacturers use sugar alcohols as sweetening agents in sugar-free products, which can cause intestinal gas and diarrhea. Also, sugar alcohols contain calories, so though they may be sugar-free, they’re not calorie-free.

Find out healthy snack ideas for better nutrition

4. Treat high-calorie foods as jewels in the crown. Make a spoonful of ice cream the jewel and a bowl of fruit the crown.

5. Go single-serve. Buy or make ice cream, sweets, or other high-cal foods, in individual serving sizes. Instead of a half-gallon of Rocky Road, buy ice cream sandwiches. Many companies are now making single serve cups such as these little indulgences from Haagen Dazs.

6. Visualize the portion size. A half cup of low-fat vanilla ice cream equals half an orange, size-wise.

Plus: What Does a Serving Size Look Like?

7. Make your own. If you buy an ice cream maker you can control the amount of sugar and fat that goes into your product as well as avoid artificial additives. Here’s a good article on how to make lighter ice cream. After that the sky’s the limit with what flavors and tasty morsels you add to it.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest