Ben Borgers

No Dessert Challenge

January 7, 2023

Before this past semester I decided to put myself to a challenge: no dessert from the dining halls for the entire semester.

I even made a spreadsheet to track it!

And I did it! I made it for the entire semester without getting any dessert from dining halls or dining-hall-adjacent establishments at Tufts.

Why?

Last year, I noticed the progression of eating dessert at the dining hall. At first, it would be a nice treat. But eventually I would come to expect dessert, and a meal felt incomplete without it.

That felt unhealthy. Dessert with every meal probably isn’t a healthy way to be eating.

Why cold turkey?

I find that I’m more able to stick with things when they’re all-or-nothing. This could’ve been “eat dessert only once a week,” but that’s harder for my brain to reason about.

Never having dessert at the dining halls is extremely easy to think about. There’s nothing to remember, and no gray area.

Did it have noticeable effects?

Not really?

Every once in a while there was a dessert that looked quite good, and it was kinda a bummer that I couldn’t have it. But that wasn’t super common. (And to be clear, I still ate unhealthy stuff outside of the dining halls at times.)

But I didn’t really feel a difference, neither positive or negative really. The vast majority of days I didn’t think about it at all.

Did I learn anything?

Of course, I’d like to say yes, but let’s be reasonable here.

I’ll probably go back to eating dessert next semester. In smaller amounts? Perhaps.

At least, if I feel myself sliding back into the feeling of needing dessert in order to make a meal complete, I’ll be able to think back to this experience and hopefully course-correct a bit.

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