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Why Brunch Is Making You Fat

The Eggs Benedict at IHOP has 1,020 calories per serving.

Brunch, a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten during the late morning to early afternoon, originated in 19th century England, where the upper-class British “gathered for decadent early lunches, complete with a multitude of meats, egg dishes, and plenty of adult beverages. [source: The History Channel]

The Brunch culture has spread and evolved around the world. These days you’ll find that it isn’t just limited to Sunday family get-togethers or for hung-over people who had just crawled out of bed and are craving for scrambled eggs with a glass of mimosa. Before you order that Belgian waffle topped with whipped cream, read up on these brunching habits that contribute to your weight gain.

1. You combine breakfast and lunch to save money. In reality, brunch meals are priced higher than regular meals because they’re packaged with lots of sauces and frills, so you’re actually spending more on those extra carbs. But brunch lessens my calorie intake because it’s breakfast and lunch in one go, right? Not really, CGs. When you skip breakfast and come to brunch really hungry, your metabolism becomes sluggish and you tend to overeat. [source: Huffington Post]

Brunch right: If your brunch is scheduled at 11 a.m. or later, it’s wise to eat something for breakfast, even if it’s just toast to get your metabolism going. Avoid the buffet mentality where you want to get your money’s worth by getting the largest dish or eating as much as you can in one sitting.

2. The caloric content is massive. “Chefs bury the dregs of the week’s dinners under rich sauces, arranging them in curious combinations,” writer Shawn Micallef wrote in The Trouble With Brunch. Most brunch menus consist of carb-laden dishes, whether sweet or savory, or a combination of both. The rise of hipster coffee shops and artisan bakeries also paved the way for intricately plated brunch dishes that look tiny, but actually pack a lot of calories. The Eggs Benedict at IHOP, for example, has 1,020 calories per serving, while a stack of six pancakes with butter and maple syrup is over 1,200 calories. [source: Calorie Count]

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Brunch right: Unless it’s your cheat day, choose healthy for brunch. Shape Magazine suggests you order whole grain cereals, wheat bread, lean meat, or egg whites instead of a stack of pancakes or waffle with loads of sugary syrup.

3. The sugary treats make you hungrier. Those cinnamon rolls and sweet pastries may be tempting, but they spike your blood sugar, followed by a low-energy crash and hunger, which in turn causes you to snack more.

Brunch right: Don’t overindulge on the sugary pastries. Go easy on your coffee add-ons, such as whipped cream, chocolate drizzling, and syrup. Try enjoying your brewed coffee “naked” (we mean no sugar and cream).

4. You linger. Weekend brunches, whether at your tita’s house with your whole clan or at the neighborhood coffee shop with your besties, tend to make us glued to the table for hours. You find yourself mindlessly munching whatever’s left of the feast or ordering another pastry to help you finish your third serving of coffee.

Brunch right: Be mindful of what you eat. If you’re into calorie counting, try these apps.

5. You drink your calories. Thanks to TV commercials, we believe that chugging a glass of orange juice first thing in the morning is a great idea, but in reality, most grocery juices are packed in sugar and additives. As for caffeinaholics, your order of Frappuccino with extra whipped cream and syrup already contains 1/3 to 1/2 of your recommended daily caloric intake.

Brunch right: Read our list of fattiest coffee shop drinks to help you choose your java wisely. Instead of drinking store-bought and boxed juices, you’re better off just having water while eating the actual fruit. A medium apple has 80 calories as compared to apple juice, which has 120 calories per glass.

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