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Is a High-Calorie Breakfast Bad for You?

by Maggie McCormick, studioD

Breakfast is an important meal, but that doesn't mean that you should eat just anything. A stack of restaurant pancakes along with bacon and eggs or a trip through a fast-food drive-through can easily add up to more than 500 calories. Eating a high-calorie breakfast works for exceptionally active people, but can cause others to feel bloated and lethargic and to gain weight. Decide what's right for you and your family.


High-calorie breakfasts can come in many forms, and the best way to determine whether they're bad for you is to look at the nutritional content of the foods that you're eating. A deluxe latte along with a giant muffin is high in calories and contains high amounts of sugar. Clearly, this is not a healthy option. A couple of slices of whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter, along with an omelet and a glass of milk, contains many essential nutrients. Mix light ranch dressing with the eggs for added flavor before cooking the omelet. When choosing your breakfast foods, opt for the healthy choices, even if they are high in calories.

Daily Caloric Intake

Calorie recommendations vary by age, but the general recommendation for maintaining weight is 2,000 calories per day for adults. Toddlers should eat around 1,000 to 1,400 calories, and older children need 200 to 500 calories more as they enter the different stages of their growth, until the teenage years, when an active youth needs as much as 2,500 calories per day. Divide the calorie goal into the number of meals or snacks that you want to eat each day and you'll have a target number for each meal. If you're eating a high-calorie breakfast and want to maintain weight, you'll have to compensate for this by eating fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.

Personal Goals

Everyone has different goals when it comes to their eating styles. If you're trying to lose weight, then a high-calorie breakfast may not be the best idea, because you must limit calories for the rest of the day, which can cause hunger. If you are trying to gain weight, then a high-calorie breakfast can get your day off to a great start. It's all about how your body responds to different eating patterns.


The last thing to consider is how often you eat high-calorie breakfasts. If this is how you eat on a normal day, then it could affect your weight or health over the long term. The occasional high-calorie meal shouldn't cause much disruption if you eat moderate- or low-calorie foods the rest of the time.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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