Why You Should Eat Dessert for Breakfast—Really!

Dessert for breakfast? Yep! Some scientists think this can help you eat better the rest of the day, so we tried it out.Can this simple lifestyle hack curb snacking? I decided to find out.

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!

Get some of the most satisfying chocolate cookie recipes here.

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Charlotte Grainger
Charlotte Grainger is a creative feature writer, with a flair for food, health and lifestyle pieces. Her work has been seen in a number of national publications including Beyond Words Magazine, Reader's Digest and Psychologies. When she’s not typing away, you can find her trying out new recipes or binging Netflix shows— sometimes simultaneously.