When you’re trying to eat right, the last thing on your meal plan is dessert, right? What if I told you that was all wrong? That dessert for breakfast is the new way to keep yourself full all day long and prevent excess snacking. I know it’s hard to believe, so I decided to give this dessert-first trend a try myself.
The science: How it all works
Changing the way you eat is a huge move. However, there is some evidence to suggest that eating dessert for breakfast could help stave off hunger for a good part of the day. According to a study from the Endocrine Society, eating a 600-calorie high-carb breakfast including a small dessert such as a sweet cookie or chocolate could help to improve weight loss.
The eight-month trial measured the results of two groups of participants: those who ate a low-carb breakfast and those who ate a high-carb meal instead. Both groups included a sweet dessert-like element in their meals. Those in the higher calorie and higher carb group were able to lose weight and keep it off, unlike the other participants.
The test: Eating dessert for breakfast
My usual morning routine consists of rolling out of bed, pulling on whatever clothes I can find, and drinking a quick coffee before I shoot out the door. Eating is usually the last thing on my mind, especially eating dessert.
In order to ready myself for breakfast—the meal I normally skip—I had to do a little meal planning the night before. I opted for something simple that was both carb-filled and sweet: pancakes, chocolate chips, and a whole load of syrup. I made the pancake mix the night before and kept it in the fridge (psst…do you know which mix was deemed best by our Test Kitchen?). I also set aside a chocolate cookie for good measure. It’s for science!
At 7 a.m., when my alarm shook me out of a heavy slumber, I wandered sleepy-eyed to the kitchen not at all enthused by the thought of gobbling down a stack of pancakes. I made the food, all the same, and gave it a go. The first few bites were a little sweet for my taste at that hour, but I soon got past that and finished it all. Then I downed a coffee and headed out.
The results: Curbing my hunger pangs
My everyday workday goes a little something like this: I head to the office, pour some more coffee, and sit down with a biscuit (which is normally my first food of the day). Throughout the day, I eat around every hour, on the hour. Snacks include mini cheese biscuits, chips, fruit, oat bars, chocolate, and whatever else I can get my hands on.
This time around, I headed into the office, poured some coffee and got to work. It wasn’t until 12:35 p.m. that the hunger set it. I had a small lunch of a baked potato and beans and then got back to work. Surprisingly, the day went fast and I hardly thought about snacking (except in one weak moment when a co-worker offered me some chips; I had three). Aside from that, I didn’t feel the need to eat until I got home and made my dinner.
Of course, it could have been the placebo effect: Throughout the day, I was very aware of the fact that I’d had a huge, sugary breakfast. However, having dessert for breakfast certainly had a major impact on my eating habits. I no longer felt the need to constantly fill up and eat anything I could get my hands on. Instead, I stuck to actual meals and got on with my day. For me, at least, this experiment was a huge success.
Will it be something I’ll do regularly? Well, if I can manage to pull myself out bed early each morning, yes.