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Is Deskfasting Healthier For You?

Is Deskfasting Healthier For You?

“Deskfasting” refers to the habit of having breakfast sitting in front of your work computer in the morning. (Personally, I tend to have breakfast while driving to work, so is that known as carfasting?)

The term makes no sense literally, since it would mean not eating at one’s desk, but nevertheless it has been around for over 10 years.

One cereal manufacturer explains the dramatic drop in the consumption of breakfast cereals in both the U.S. and the U.K. this way:

“The culture of eating breakfast at the desk is on the increase. Recession always leads to longer office hours, so with workers spending more time at their desk, products need to be fast.”

Or perhaps people have realized just how unhealthy and sugar-laden our breakfast cereals are. Add these to the list of 8 Tips For Going Sugar-Free!

The facts are well documented. A study of the 10 worst kids’ cereals found that Kellogg’s Honey Smacks are 55.6 percent sugar by weight, Post Golden Crisp is 51.9 percent, and Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow  are 48.3 percent sugar by weight. Cereals aimed at adults are not much better: Frosties are 37% sugar, Rice Krispies 10% and Corn Flakes 8%. Special K, which is marketed at people who want to lose weight, is 17% sugar.

Approximately 20% of us indulge in deskfast, according to registered dietitian Karen Collins, nutrition adviser for the American Institute for Cancer Research. So are people deskfasting to avoid those sugar-laden cereals? And if so, is the deskfast any more healthy? The answer is, it depends.

People are apparently buying yogurt drinks, cereal bars, pastries and “breakfast biscuits”, and ingesting these in front of computer screens.

The Daily Mail rated a few fruit and nut bars, as well as cereal bars, and found that the content of these items can vary widely. Yogurt and fruit drinks can also vary enormously, depending on how much actual fruit and fruit juice is present, or whether they are mostly water, sugar and additives. As usual, it’s so important to check the labels.

The trick is to choose whole foods, not junk foods.

According to Karen Collins writing in Organic Authority:

“A strategy for a high-energy, health-promoting breakfast is to include a good source of protein plus a whole grain and a fruit or vegetable,” Collins says. “For protein, consider dairy or soy versions of skim milk, low-fat yogurt or reduced-fat cheese, an egg, peanut butter, walnuts or almonds. For a less traditional breakfast, grab leftover chicken or chili.

“Juice is one quick way to get vitamins and antioxidants,” she adds, “but if you’re trying to lose weight or have trouble with mid-morning hunger pangs, studies suggest that solid fruit [or vegetables] may keep you satisfied longer and for fewer calories.”

Abandoning junk food known as breakfast cereal seems like a great start, whatever the reason.

Do you deskfast?

Related Stories

Advertising the Worst Cereals To Kids

Cereal Crimes – VIDEO

8 Tips For Going Sugar-Free

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Photo Credit: phrenologist

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92 comments

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10:35AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Why aren't the ones we share with more generous?

11:25AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Eating in front of a computer ruins the pleasure of eating.

2:30AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Personally, I prefer to take a break from work when I'm eating, as even 5 minutes away from the desk is refreshing, and I think it makes me more efficient than dividing my attention between eating and using the computer - not to mention the risks others have noted about general grubbiness of mixing food and keyboards. But, of course, everyone makes their own choices based on what works well for them.

1:22PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

The best way to eat food is with no other distractions so you focus on eating and actually enjoy your meal instead of wolfing it down without enjoying it.

7:19AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

thank you for posting.

2:52AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

I can't eat first thing in the morning. I eat my plain yogurt later in the morning. I am not overweight. No junk food at any time of day for me.

2:03PM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

People who dont eat breakfast generally weih more than people who do.

8:50AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

I nibble through the day but always seem to be hungry...darn medication.

1:33AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Thank you for posting!

5:39PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

I thought eating in front of your computer (or tv) meant you're more likely to overeat & not enjoy your food.

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