Tip of the Week: When Is the Best Time to Eat Sweets?

Estimated reading time: 2.5 min

When is the best time to eat sweets?

Today I’m introducing a new series of posts: Tip of the Week.

Every Thursday I’ll be sharing with you one very practical tip that you can implement right away. To make it more interesting, I’ll do it in a form of a mini-quiz and give you a chance to check your own knowledge first.

Here comes the first Tip of the Week:

When is the best time for you to eat sweets, if you are watching your weight?

#1: Two hours after a main meal.

#2: Straight after a main meal.

#3: Never. You can’t eat sweets if you are trying to manage your weight.

The correct answer is number two: You should have something sweet right after a meal.

Assuming you know what your healthy filling meal should include, the protein, fat and fiber you just had will absorb some of the sugar from that treat. This way, not all sugar will be metabolized, and you will ingest less calories while having your blood sugar levels under control.

If you are watching your weight, eat your sweets right after your main meal.

If you eat a sweet two hours after your main meal (answer #1), your sugar metabolism would be resting after working hard right after your main meal.  If you disturb the system between meals after less than 2-3 hours after you ate last time, it won’t have enough rest. 

It’s ok if it happens once in a while, but if you keep doing it again and again, you might burn out your sugar metabolism and become resistant to insulin, which in the long term means pre-diabetes or even diabetes.

If you can't control yourself and simply must have something sweet “right now”, then always choose a sweet that also has some protein and fat, for the reasons mentioned above. For example, go for an ice cream rather than a brownie or a chocolate bar.

It is unreasonable to think that you will always be able stay away from sweets (answer #3).

We all know that too much sugar is not good, but the truth is that it tastes good and sometimes can help us manage a temporary bad mood or low stamina.

Usually, the more you try to stay away from it, the more you desire it. So, instead of trying to avoid sweets, recognize that you like them and have them from time to time fully enjoying them, but always after your main meal. 

Bonus tip:

If you know already that you’ll be going for something sweet after your main meal, make some room for it in your menu: Have less than your portion size of carbs to make up for the extra carbs and sugar of your treat.


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About the Author

Arantxa Mateo

Arantxa is a trained biologist, nutrition specialist and weight management coach. Born in Spain, she spent 5 years in Australia before moving to the US. Her motto is "Food is a pleasure. Nobody deserves to be on a diet."

Find out more about Arantxa and 32 Mondays >>

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Abby (Tuesday, 28 June 2016 04:19)

    Hi Mateo.. I enjoyed reading this lovely article. I personally gained weight through consumption of sweet and sugary meals. Since i noticed sucrose metabolism in my body was not sufficient i stopped and regained my normal weight. Now i know when to take sweets.

  • #2

    Arantxa Mateo (Friday, 12 August 2016 10:02)

    Hi Abby,
    Many people are not aware of the psychical, psychological and physiological power of sugar. It is very important to learn about sugar metabolism to enjoy consuming some treats not gaining weight. Sounds like you were able to listen to your body, change your habits and lose the unwanted weight. That's really great!