Stop Eating Dessert for Breakfast
Particularly in the United States, it seems that there are two types of people-
- People who don't eat breakfast
- People who eat desert for breakfast
Midway through the day both types are feeling fatigued and usually turn to some processed carbohydrate infested "food" to help them sweat out the rest of their work day. The people that think they are on a diet often forgo the food and reach for an energy drink, which is just the liquid form of what they were about to eat.
There are some people that eat real food for breakfast and don't set themselves for a 12pm blood sugar collapse- but they are minority.
In a recent survey (aka just thinking off the top of my head) only 8 of 13 friends eat breakfast and only 4 of them eat FOOD and not desert for breakfast.
Interestingly- of the 13 friends, none on the East Coast eats breakfast at all.
I guess breakfast is a West Coast thing.
Waffles and pancakes, frosted cereals, donuts, frozen pastries, orange "juice" and coffee with creamer and sugar- that is what most of us eat for the most important meal of the day.
That organic mold (the black stuff) that gathers at the bottom of your shower is arguably more nutritious.
From the USDA Food Pyramid (the Holy Bible/Qur'an of American nutrition) you can even rationalize these "food" choices as being a "balanced" and elements to a "complete" breakfast. Corporations such as Kellogg's and General Mils encourage you to do so.
In reality you are just consuming "matter" that is nutritional equivalent to a bunch of old North Korean newspapers covered in low-quality sugar.
On paper, you are better off drinking your own urine or the urine of someone who eats FOOD for breakfast.
This subject is one of the few that particularly irritates me because throughout from kindergarten to high school, my parents didn't know better and I was started my day with dessert for breakfast. Every damn day. A bowl (or plate if I had time) of SUGAR.
I can only image how it effected my academic and athletic performance and my physical and cognitive development. Surely couldn't have helped.
In this discussion we are going to focus on the most-popular, lowest-quality breakfast "food" of all-
(part of complete breakfast)
Cereal is Big Business
(kind of like cocaine-business, but not quite the same)
When most people think about breakfast, they think about sitting down to a big bowl of cereal, made with low fat milk, a side of orange juice and a slice of toast or two.
Sounds healthy right? Wrong!
This generic style breakfast is often touted as “healthy” but this is far from the truth.
Why is it that when we think of breakfast, cereal is the first thing that comes to mind?
Why... because Breakfast cereals are BIG business. Big business's with greater marketing guru's. In fact last year alone, $7.7 billion was spent on breakfast cereals in the US. Similarly to soft drinks and fast food, Breakfast cereals are one of the most heavily marketed food products in America. Last year, over 1.3 million commercials featuring breakfast cereals were aired on television in the US. Interestingly, 93% of Americans believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But sadly, most Americans are getting it wrong and are merely sitting down to nothing more than a big bowl of sugar!
High-Sugar Bowl of Satanic Death?
My main concern with breakfast cereals is purely to do with the amount of sugar added to them during manufacturing. Everyone knows that sugar makes things taste better.
Not to sounds like a broken record but - Sugar Makes You Fat, Not Fat.
When we eat sugar our brain naturally sends very temporary pleasure messages which make us feel good. Things that taste good, lead to tasty profits. Kellogg's, General Mills and Nestle are among the biggest culprits for adding truck loads of sugar to their cereals. To no surprise, these cereal manufactures produce some of the most popular breakfast cereals on the market.
Not so ironically: these corporations all make candy as well. But somehow these treats have got our approval as "part of a complete" breakfast.
Dessert Disguised as Breakfast "Foods"
Sitting down to a bowl of cereal each morning is like sitting down to desert.
No seriously, I’m not kidding either.
On average, a bowl of cereal has approximately 4-6 teaspoons of added sugars which is the equivalent of 2-3 scoops of chocolate ice cream.
The amount of sugar consumed at breakfast is alarming to say the least. Breakfast cereals are nothing but sugar laden rubbish that should form a part of anyone’s diet – whether you are looking to lose weight or even gain weight. Don’t even bother!!!
Let’s take a look at the nutritional quality of some of the popular breakfast cereals on the market. I find the easiest way to get the message across about added sugar content in these products is through the use of infograms. I've taken the liberty of preparing a handful of info grams on some of the more popular breakfast cereals currently on the market.
Kellogg's – Special K
Kellogg’s – Froot Loops (notice the play on the word “fruit”)
Kellogg’s - Frosted Flakes
General Mills – Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Kellogg’s – Frosted Mini-Wheats
Hint: I like cartoon characters, they had a warm and friendly element to the blog and balance out the "douche bag" factor that I naturally bring. When choosing your breakfast foods, don't listen to a cartoon character. They don't give a shit about you.
Processed Cereals are Possibly Made of Old North Korean Newspapers
Second to sugar, most breakfast cereals lack any nutritional value, yet somehow are perceived to be healthy? WTF?
Terms such as "made with whole grains," "good source of fiber" or "part of a complete breakfast" are often slapped on the front of the boxes in an effort to persuade the consumer that the product is really healthy.
The slogans mean nothing.
(this is similar to the prostitution that occurs in the dietary supplement industry)
But when ANY product has 6 or 7 teaspoons of sugar in every serving, it doesn't matter whether it is made with whole grains, fiber or spinach- the product is still junk.
Adding all this sugar negates any health benefits that the whole grains or fiber may have offered.
It's like cooking a piece of chicken, but deep frying it.
Or getting a Diet Dr. Pepper with your 3 Chick-fil A Combo meals. (I'm guilty)
Or taking your tongue and dragging it on the floor of a movie theater.
(not an adult movie theater)
Stuffing your face or starting your day with a big bowl of sugar is also going to have an effect on your hormones, your body mass and even your eating behaviors for the rest of the day.
Your blood sugar levels and insulin levels will significantly spike, followed shortly by a blood sugar low.
This is going to make you feel tired and hungry again, most likely leading to you craving something sweet... Maybe another bowl of cereal?
If this is you... prepare to gain weight and eventually lose friends.
Not Eating Dessert (or Anything) for Breakfast
On the flip side- to starting your day with a big bowl of sugar, there are a large percentage of people who do themselves even more damage, by not eating any breakfast at all.
When you wake up in the morning you are effectively in a fasted state. This is because your body has gone 8-12 hours without food.
Upon rising, your body is primed hormonally to ultimately function when breakfast is consumed.
It’s called breakfast, because you are breaking the fast!
Skipping breakfast and continuing the fast places additional stress on your body which is reflected by your hormone responses.
As you fast, your cortisol levels gradually rise. Cortisol slows the body's use of fat store for energy and promotes weight gain.
Prolonged fasting does not equate to weight loss. In fact, as the University of Florida explains, in individuals who do partial fasts (such as those who skip breakfast), it actually promotes weight gain.
Ironically 78% of people who have lost at least 30lb and have registered how they achieved the weight loss with the national weight control registry, reported they eat breakfast daily. In my opinion, skipping breakfast is probably the most common mistake people make when it comes to weight loss.
Other poor breakfast choices include donuts, waffles, pancakes or any form of sweet pastry. If you are getting your breakfast from Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks, then this is a wake up call. Foods and beverages marked "Low Fat" are almost always "Low Fat, Super High Sugar," learn to read the nutrition facts.
These foods are loaded with sugar, fat and short-lived energy! Sure they are convenient and maybe even cheap, but these are the sort of foods that will make you a big fat mess!
What Makes a Good Breakfast?
If you are looking to lose weight, then it is important that you get a high protein breakfast every day.
Steel Cut Oats or Organic Scottish Oatmeal and be added to these meals if you are trying to gain lean mass or participating in strength or endurance sports.
(some of the links below are affiliate links, if you make a purchase- AT NO EXPENSE to you, I earn a 5-7% commission. I use all these products and I feel you will LOVE them)
Best-Tasting Loser Protein Breakfast Shake Ever
- Beverly Ultimate Muscle Protein (Cookies & Cream)
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Unflavored Psyllium Seed Powder (Fiber)
- * Stevia Extract (optional)
- * Barlean's Chocolate Silk Greens (amaze-balls, optional)
For a Chocolate Cookies & Cream Shake
Loser Eggs, Cheese and Other Things Omelet/Scramble
- Whole Eggs (or 100% Bio-Available & Ready-to-Eat Egg Whites from Egg Whites Intl.)
- 2% or Fat-Free Cheese
- Whichever Organic Vegetables You Want
- Cook in Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- Hungarian Paprika, Parsley Flakes, Salt and Pepper (optional)
- Various plates, click link above
Charles Poliquin Meat and Nut Breakfast
Loser Smoked Salmon Breakfast Thing
- Smoked Salmon
- Fat-free Cream Cheese
- Organic Tomatoes
- Hard Boiled Eggs (sliced)
- Onion/Capers/Parsley (optional)
For those looking to gain weight and build lean muscle, I’d recommend you have a high protein / moderate carbohydrate breakfast. Oatmeal is the perfect source of complex carbohydrates for breakfast. It’s high in fiber and slowly digested, meaning you won’t be craving sweets mid morning. Your protein can come from a range of foods including eggs, whey protein, ham, poultry, Greek yogurt or non/low- fat cottage cheese. Aim for at least 30-40g of protein at breakfast.
This is only a glimpse of this subject, for a in-depth look at how cereal has been killing people for years check out "Cereal Killer" by Alan Watson, it is the most comprehensive work ever published on this subject.