Do you remember the days of rolling out of bed, heading to school, and noshing on the Halloween candy you threw in your purse before running out the door? (For some of us, maybe this was just a month ago.) There was something awfully liberating about it, wasn’t there?
Well, did you know that there’s actually some benefit to eating your sweets in the morning?
I’m a huge proponent of allowing little treats and indulgences as part of an otherwise clean and healthy diet. In my experience, 100% clean 100% of the time leads to 100% letdown. It’s sustainable in short bursts with a little bit of willpower, but trying to do it long-term means making lots of sacrifices that many of us just don’t want to make. Drinks with girlfriends, dinner dates, movie popcorn. . .all out the window.
That is, until you reach the breaking point, and you end up eating and drinking IN ONE SITTING all of the wine, restaurant food, and movie theatre butter that you haven’t allowed yourself for the past however long. Being a person who has binged my way to the bottom of a carton of ice cream in the past, I can tell you that’s not a good situation for anyone.
The trick to avoiding the inevitable binge is to learn how to satisfy your cravings rather than trying to avoid them. Lately my habit has been to keep a supply of Hershey’s kisses or fun sized candy bars in the house and toss a couple into my lunchbox to eat at work. That little bit of sweet has kept me from wandering to the vending machine or down the block to Starbucks when I start feeling peckish, and it keeps me from mindlessly eating handfuls of cookies when I get home after a stressful day.
But I admit that I always tried to make it through at least the morning without indulging.
So imagine my surprise when I came across this little tidbit about how the best place to add desserts to your diet might actually be your morning meal?
According to this study presented back in 2012, participants who ate a protein-rich breakfast followed by their choice of a dessert item ultimately lost more weight and were more successful at keeping it off than those who were on a strictly no-sweets diet. The researchers discussed all of the factors that contributed to this conclusion, including the timing and nutritional makeup of the morning meals.
That said, it’s still a great takeaway that those who allowed themselves a small indulgence as part of an otherwise healthy meal reported experiencing fewer cravings throughout the day and were better at sticking to their caloric limits than those who didn’t get to have dessert.
Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone start eating cakes and donuts for breakfast every day, and neither did the study. Participants in the research were eating healthy breakfasts packed with protein, with a small sweet for dessert.
So, what do you think? Are you up for adding a Christmas cookie to your breakfast to avoid a binge later?