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Should We Eat Dessert For Breakfast?

by Courtney on February 9, 2012

Oh man, let me tell ya. I could not WAIT to dig into breakfast this morning…


Chocolate cake for breakfast? Yes, puh-lease! That’s a healthy breakfast option, right?

Okay, okay, so I’m kidding about eating chocolate cake for breakfast. But I’m actually not kidding about the latest claims that eating dessert for breakfast can held aid in weight loss.

Yup, you heard that right. This morning, as I was watching my beloved Good Morning America, I happened to hear them briefly mention something about this study, so I decided to check it out.

According to the study, there were two groups of participants: the first group ate a low carb diet including a 300-calorie breakfast. The second group chowed down on a 600-calorie breakfast that included a sweet, such as chocolate, cookies, or cake. The result?

At the end of the study, participants in the second group had lost an average of 40 pounds more each than their peers in group one. Jakubowicz says that eating a higher proportion of your calories in the morning stokes metabolism and the dessert foods alleviate cravings later in the day.

I totally understand the idea of eating a higher proportion of calories in the morning to rev that metabolism up for the day. HOWEVER…and it’s a big however…my personal experience with eating sweets like that early in the morning would definitely sabotage any efforts I may be trying to make. Call me crazy, but when I start my day out with sugary sweets, I tend to want to gravitate toward them more throughout the day, and it’s usually not a good thing.

(A more detailed look at the study can be found here.)

So I’m curious…where do YOU weigh in on this new study? Should we all be adding a fresh batch of Brownie-Cookie-Toffee layer bars with our morning coffee?


Personally, I’m not buying it, so I stuck with this week’s latest breakfast craze:


Veggie scramble made with 1 egg, 2 egg whites, and sautéed, broccoli, onions, and tomatoes. All topped with a fancy ketchup drizzle.


On the side I enjoyed another orange, which had quite the situation goin’ on in there. Isn’t it funny how some oranges have perfectly formed wedges, while others (like this one) end up being a hot mess inside?


I was originally planning on getting my workout done first thing today, but breakfast won over. So once this digests, I’ll be getting’ my sweat on, followed by a quick trip to the grocery store. We’re starting to run low on some of the essentials, and we can’t be havin’ that!

Question for the Morning:

Where do you weigh in on the ‘dessert with breakfast’ study?

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 chelcie @ chelcie's food files February 9, 2012 at 8:53 am

that is crazy! I think its important to have a filling breakfast in the morning but I think it should be more nutricious than a piece of chocolate cake!
chelcie @ chelcie’s food files recently posted..WIAW-Granola Lovin


2 Maeve February 9, 2012 at 8:57 am

the most fit and healthy girl I have ever known was my co-captain for my high school tennis team. She ALWAYS ate insanely caloric and sweets-filled breakfasts, and then balanced and sensible meals all day. I always thought it was amazing she could eat so much “bad food” and be so fit. But that was just it…she didnt see it as bad food, just breakfast! (healthy attitude helps too I guess!)
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3 Courtney February 9, 2012 at 8:58 am

That’s really interesting!


4 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life February 9, 2012 at 8:57 am

As much as I would live to eat chocolate cake every morning, I agree with you! Eating sweets in the morning would set me up to feel bloated, lethargic, and craving sweets for the rest of the day! That’s why I love starting my day on a healthy note, because the rest of the day usually reflects that healthy choice!
Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life recently posted..Easier to Make than Say


5 Christy February 9, 2012 at 9:00 am

I have to say I’m totally one of those that eats chocolate for breakfast every day. I’m not saying it’s a giant chocolate cake, but it definitely helps Me stabilize for the rest of the day. I usually pair it with steel cut oats so I stay fuller longer.


6 Khushboo February 9, 2012 at 9:06 am

My friend actually sent me that link today and while she was in all seriousness all for it, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes (in my head at least)..I thought I’d wait a bit before bursting her bubble ;)! That being said, oatmeal/overnight oats/anything with peanut butter feels like dessert to me- just tastes so god!
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7 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope February 9, 2012 at 9:08 am

That is interesting. I just don’t think I could bring myself to eat dessert for breakfast. I have to save desserts for those nights that I need something sweet to end the day. :) I enjoy having breakfast food for breakfast and sometimes dinner.
Hope @ With A Side Of Hope recently posted..Most Romantic Hotels in the US…


8 Faith @ For the Health of It February 9, 2012 at 9:13 am

I saw that study yesterday – very interesting! I love savory breakfasts, but I notice if I have a little sweet snack early on (like a few chocolate chips or a bite of a cinnamon roll) I don’t crave sweets as much for the rest of the day. I can see where that would help some people lose weight!


9 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries February 9, 2012 at 9:21 am

i could see where they’re coming from, but i don’t think DESSERT would be a good option. if someone is trying to get in something sweet and higher in calories in the morning for breakfast, i would recommend a “healthified” version of pancakes or french toast rather than a big ol’ dessert with hardly any nutritional value. like you said, eating a healthy breakfast helps set a healthy tone in me for the rest of the day. eating a dessert for breakfast would totally throw me off!
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Easy Stir Fry


10 Corey @ Family Fresh Meals February 9, 2012 at 9:22 am

Not gonna lie… some mornings nothing sounds better than a big piece of cake and coffee :) I don’t know if I could follow through with that craving EVERY morning. hehe
Corey @ Family Fresh Meals recently posted..Bento Love: How Many Hearts Can You Find?


11 Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction February 9, 2012 at 9:29 am

I agree with eating the bulk of your calories early in the day, but I completely disagree with those calories being made up of cake, cookies, brownies etc… Once I start to have sugar in the morning, I crave it alll dayyy longgg! I mean it’s ok once in a while, but I would never make it a regular habit. I just don’t think it is healthy to eat like that on a regular basis!
Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction recently posted..My First Tabata Style Workout


12 Lauren February 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

I’ve heard that before too! I once heard that it would be “okay” to eat a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in the morning because your body would essentially burn it off throughout the day. Hmmm…I’m sure once or twice wouldn’t cause any harm but every single day could pose a problem I imagine.
Lauren recently posted..Are You Listening? It’s Your Body Talking


13 Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine February 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

I think it all depends on total calories for the day – regardless of when you eat them.
Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine recently posted..A Craving Satisfied & Gym Confession


14 Courtney February 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

Yes, I totally agree. I just think that I started my day off with sugary sweets like that, I would crave them all day long…which would turn into a very bad thing ;)


15 Lauren B. February 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

I’m like you… The earlier in the day that I allow myself a treat, the more I want treats for the rest of the day! Total sabatoge. If I want something sweet, it’s usually right before I go to bed.


16 Jackie February 9, 2012 at 9:42 am

Wow. If I have a a carb loaded breakfast I am setting myself up for a very bad day. After the initial sugar rush, I crash and HARD! Nausea, chills, shaking, sweating, it is not pretty. Therefore, I eat egg whites almost every morning. Maybe I’ll start adding a whole egg for more calories. Hmmmm?


17 Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud! February 9, 2012 at 9:42 am

So hilarious you bring this up because on my birthday last week (Wednesday) we had a mondo piece of chocolate cake left over from when we went out to dinner that I was ready for it to be out of the house so Id stop snacking on it! So Friday morning before I went to work I finished off the last couple of bites and I was telling my coworker about it and shes like “well its probably better you ate it this morning than late at night so you have time to burn it off!” which of course made me fell better ;)
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18 Patty February 9, 2012 at 9:47 am

I get the idea of a healthy portion of calories in the morning. I can’t see having sweets like dessert though. I think it would be interesting if they redid the study and had 3 groups all having a 500 calorie breakfast 1st group a healthy meal no fruit 2nd group something healthy and a small dessert item and a 3rd group healthy meal with fruit. I wonder if they would have the same results.


19 Tina @ Best Body Fitness February 9, 2012 at 9:48 am

That’s really interesting. I’m with you and would end up off the sugar deep end if I started my day with a sweet treat. I like saving a small something for a treat later in the day. It helps me keep balance a lot more.
Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Best Body Bootcamp FAQ


20 Traci February 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

Yikes! I think this study is very misleading and lacks common sense. Why wasn’t there another leg of the study that included a HEALTHY breakfast higher in calories (like an omelet or oatmeal)? I don’t think they can prove that it was the chocolate cake that kept them fuller; it might have been the extra calories. Plus, with all the diabetes issues in this country, I think it’s irresponsible to promote cake for breakfast!


21 Julie February 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

Even if that was considered healthy, I would not want to do it! When I eat really sugary foods, or foods packed with unhealthy fats and basically no real substance, I never stay full. In the morning I need fiber, whole grains and protein! On the mornings that I have a raging sweet tooth I just nibble on the night before’s dessert, or left over chocolate cake…a couple of bites usually does the trick. :)


22 Brigitt February 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

gosh… i think that’s pretty far-fetched. I totally agree with you–when I start out eating sweets, my body craves more sweets all day long.
Brigitt recently posted..My Restaurant Tour of Atlanta


23 Racheal @ Running with Racheal February 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

I don’t buy into the dessert for breakfast aspect of the study, but I DO buy into the eat at least 1/3 of your daily calories during breakfast study. So many times I save my calories until the end of the day…which isn’t the healthiest. I think I am going to try to spend more during the day for the next few weeks and see how that turns out.

Thanks for sharing!


24 Carolyn @HealthierGirl February 9, 2012 at 10:38 am

I wonder if the weight loss had more to do with eating more in the morning than what they were actually eating? It sounds a bit off to me…

For me, once I starting eating sweets … I definitely tend to crave them so that part of the diet wouldn’t work for me. However, I do think there is some merit to eating a larger portion of calories in the am. I am trying to get to that point but I am big night time snacker that it is hard to just flip the switch.
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25 Renee February 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

I could definitely go for some of that cake right about now, but I you are right about it affecting the rest of the day. I’ll just think about cake, but won’t be eating it for breakfast anytime soon ;)


26 Julie February 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

That is crazy! I’m with you, regarding the fact that if I start eating sweets at 8am, I will want to eat them all day long! However, I do think higher calorie breakfasts help fill me up longer, but without the sweets.
Julie recently posted..Get Your Greens In.


27 Mac February 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

I’m with you on this one. When I start my day out with sweets (like I have the past couple days…oops!) I eat and crave sweets WAY more.
Mac recently posted..Guest Post: Exercise Proven Effective for Cancer Patients


28 Ty February 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

I read about this. It’s called the ‘big breakfast diet’ and the idea is to eat most of your calories in the morning (approximately 600) and also a SMALL portion of something ‘bad’ if you want it like pizza or cake. You don’t have to and you’re certainly not supposed to eat only the junk food. You eat a normal healthy breakfast and a small portion of a treat food.

I think your post is a little misleading.


29 Lauren @ Call Me Mrs. Rapp February 9, 2012 at 10:58 am

I am totally with you – if I start my morning with something super sweet (especially cake!) I am going to be craving sugar the rest of the day. Yogurt is my favorite thing to start the day with. It’s just sweet enough, and helps stave off my heartburn. :)
Lauren @ Call Me Mrs. Rapp recently posted..Too Close to Home


30 Cat @Breakfast to Bed February 9, 2012 at 11:12 am

I’d really like to buy into this. I have a mini thin mint cake staring at me. That cake wants to be in my mouth. I can hear it.
Cat @Breakfast to Bed recently posted..I Want You to Feel My Influence.


31 Jess@atasteofconfidence February 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

I totally agree. First of all, we aren’t getting many nutrients from cake, and what we eat isn’t all about losing weight. And if I ate chocolate cake in the morning, theres no way im eating salad for breakfast!
Jess@atasteofconfidence recently we dress & feeling good enough


32 Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt February 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

I could not start my day with sweets, it would haunt me all day. I try to stick to sweets as a dessert only.
Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt recently posted..If You Don’t Use it, You’re Gonna Lose It.


33 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

Totally exceptable!! Look at this way, have your carbs and not so healthy stuff in the morning and you can work it off through the day? I can rationalize anything!!! But you should have a side of protein, so you stay full longer or you can crash and burn to quickly! Why not put brownies or bars in greek yogurt, thats a good breakfast!
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34 Carolyn February 9, 2012 at 11:39 am

Interesting – and a perfect time to discuss. I usually eat breakfast when I get to work (something ‘hearty’ like oatmeal or whole grain toast with pb and banana) but I am SO hungry about an hour or 2 later. A couple of days ago I made cookies to bring to work and had leftovers at home, so the past couple of days, I’ve been snacking on a couple cookies while getting ready, and those cookies curb my appitite for hours! I have also noticed Im eating less throughout the day. A little sweets in the morning seems to be working for me!


35 kristen @ livinlifeinlouie February 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

I agree with yoU! there is NO WAY I could eat cake, cookies and ice cream for breakfast (although I have wanted to before haha)
I would eat horrible the rest of the day. Although I am trying to get more calories in at breakfast and lunch, which really helps decreased night time snacking too


36 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health February 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Wow that is crazy! I’m all for eating more calories at breakfast, but I know if I started my day off with a sugary dessert I would not only crave more of it the rest of the day, but I would probably feel sluggish!
Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..8 Ways You May be Sabotaging Your Workout Efforts


37 Shannon February 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I don’t think you should eat dessert before breakfast. I agree with your opinion; if I ate dessert first thing in the morning, I’d want chocolate cake, cookies, cupcakes ALL day long! I wouldn’t eat healthy.
Shannon recently posted..Books vs. Movies


38 Charlie February 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm

More calories at breakfast… yes
In the form of sweets… no!!


39 Shanna, like Banana February 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Oh I’ve been known to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast around Thanksgiving, but it definitely didn’t help me lose weight ;) If I eat too many calories at breakfast, I am a ravenous beast all day and continue to over-do my calorie intake. I have to stick with about 250 cals worth of oatmeal and 50 cals of coffee. Works for me!
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40 Courtney February 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

Hahaha, well at Thanksgiving, all bets are off ;)


41 Jolynn February 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I 100% whole heartedly agree with you. Yes a higher amount of calories may force your metabolism into full swing but getting them from sweets and not craving them later? fat chance. (no pun intended) lol. Sugar is like an addiction. The more you have it the more you crave it.


42 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm

My breakfast is usually on the sweet rather than the savory side, but I don’t think I buy eating a sugary treat right in the morning!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..taking food advice


43 Nescett February 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

What I have for breakfast completely sets the tone for my day! I couldn’t do cake for breakfast and not only because I prefer a savory to a sweet morning meal. If I go out to breakfast on a Sunday and have a big meal it messes up my meals for the rest of the day! I have been known to have a cookie with my coffee on occasion though (usually in December!) :)


44 Julie February 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I saw the dessert for breakfast study too! The truth is though, I do sometimes sneak the occasional sweet during/after breakfast and just feel gross all day. I also know how much I look forward to my late night sweets and how good I am all day to deserve it! :-) So I’m with you on this one.


45 erica February 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

not gonna lie, i occasionally eat dessert for breakfast. :) you have the rest of the day to burn it off!
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46 Carrie Purchase February 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I agree that Breakfast should have the highest calories of any meal of the day (the 300 vs the 600 in the study) but I totally disagree with sweets in the morning, (or at all for that matter). I believe in the ocassional “cheat meal” and I think that once one starts “cheating” it leaves them wanting more. I always try to have those meals as the last meal of the day so I dont want more throughout the day.
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47 Emilie February 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I don’t know if I really believe it. I couldn’t live without my protein in the morning so I am just going to stick to my normal brekkie.
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48 Erin February 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

That reminds me of the Bill Cosby skit where he tries to justify feeding his kids chocolate cake for breakfast. I mean, it has eggs and milk in it, right? That’s kind of like breakfast :-)

Seriously, though, I’m not sure how I feel about it. Maybe I’ll try pie for breakfast some time and then see how I feel.
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49 Courtney February 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

OH MY GOSH, I LOVE that Bill Cosby skit!!
“Chocolate CAKE…forrrrr BREAKFAST?” :)


50 Molly February 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

OMG- I am the same as you! If I dabble in a sweet in the morning I am no doubt going to be doing it all day. I tend to be one of those “all or nothing” gals. Totally not a good thing but I know myself and think I am better off holding on sweets early in the morning. Also, I tend to crave that stuff in the morning so I make me breakfast more sweet like PB toast with Honey and a banana or oatmeal with PB and protein powder- tastes like cookie dough! :D
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51 Courtney February 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

I definitely like sweeter breakfasts too – but not quite “chocolate cake” sweet ;)


52 Katie @ Plates and Paste February 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm

I don’t buy it either…for me breakfast sets my food mood for the day. I need it to be healthy so I can be healthy throughout the day.
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53 Miz February 10, 2012 at 5:09 am

I weigh in YES :)
Now I dont do it and I didnt tell my clients to try it BUT if they were longing for a decadent treat and there were going to eat it anyway—-ID SAY DO IT WHEN THERES TIME TO BURN IT OFF! :)
Miz recently posted..It’s about *real food.* Finally…


54 Katherine February 10, 2012 at 9:02 am

This study is backing up the concept of “Front Loading” your meals. Eat the most for breakfast, and you will naturally eat fewer calories throughout the day because you are satisfied. The weekends are the only times I have big breakfasts, and I do stay for satisfied.


55 Courtney February 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

I agree that sometimes this works for me, but other times, if I end up eating a lot at breakfast, it just makes me want to eat more all day long. I’d say it’s probably 50-50 with the way that happens. Either way, I do love eating a bigger bulk of my calories in the morning. :)


56 Karleen February 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

I totally disagree! I have heard and have personally experienced eating sugary foods at breakfast makes u crave more sugar throughout the day AND makes u hungrier! It’s quickly increases your blood sugar, and once that crashes, u end up wanting more


57 Rachel February 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

I’ve been eating dessert for breakfast most of my life and I have never had a problem with my weight. At first I attributed it to playing sports and working out throughout high school and college, but even now that I’m not exercising on a regular basis I still have no problems. I have a crazy sweet tooth and I never quite understood how I could have such a horrible diet but never gain any weight! I feel like if I can get my sugar cravings out of the way early in the morning, then I have the rest of the day to burn those calories off!


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