100 lb. Club - Bagels & Body Sugar

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01-25-2008, 08:28 AM
I was wondering if anyone else has heard that having a bagel for breakfast is enough to throw your body's sugar levels off for the whole day???

Tomorrow is my first of many saturdays to work, and someone brings in bagels every week. So I'm trying to think of pros & cons associated with eating vs. not eating one.

I know that when I eat too much "white crap" I definitely feel more sluggish. But, on the other hand, not having a bagel will make me feel like I'm "dieting", and I'm trying so hard not to be on a diet, but to eat better.

Any comments? input?

01-25-2008, 08:45 AM
Can you bring in your own whole grain bagel? Or maybe have a breakfast that's even yummier (and still healthier) than a bagel--eggs with turkey bacon and fruit, a yogurt parfait (healthy yogurt, fruit, and granola), a smoothie (smoothies always make me feel like I'm being "bad" because they're so reminiscent of a milkshake)...you can either eat before you fo to work so you're not hungry when the bagels arrive, or you can bring some healthier foods that will make the bagel eaters jealous :devil: Personally, I think feeling sluggish throughout the day is much worse than just resisting a bagel. I used to have crappy breakfasts, and this caused me to feel sluggish, too. I finally made the connection, and when I started having better breakfasts, my energy was a hundred times better for the first half (if not more) of my day. It's definitely worth the trade-off in my book!

Edit to add: even if I were not trying to lose weight, I would still avoid the crappy breakfast. It has nothing to do with feeling like being on a diet--it has to with not feeling like I'm in a fog all day at work, and fat people and skinny people alike deserve to feel energized and alert!

01-25-2008, 09:08 AM
Hi Beth. Yes, I have heard this about bagels. However, if you have some form of protein with your starchy carbs the spike in insulin levels is not as extreme. Can you have a little peanut butter on it? Maybe some canadian bacon? I see no reason to deny yourself this treat as long as its a planned treat that you have accounted for.

01-25-2008, 09:46 AM
I used to feel like I had to join the crowd and eat whatever else other people were eating just so I could feel like them and not "different": hence, I'm on a diet and I can't join you.

If you hang around here long enough and you really make that mental shift to doing what is best for you then these kinds of conversations will be almost a thing of the past.

Different foods affect different people differently. How's that for "one size does NOT fit all"? If you can separate your feelings from what your body says you will 10 steps ahead of the mind game that comes with what foods to choose.

1)How will I feel after eating this? Can I eat half for "damage control"?
2) How important is it for me to feel like I fit in with the "crowd"?
3)Will this choice make my day go worse, stay the same or better?
4)Does this fit in with my weight lose goals for today, next week and this month?

those are some thoughts to nibble on while you ponder the bagel. Other good ideas here as well;)

01-25-2008, 10:26 AM
Bagels are high in carbs and high in the glycemic index so they aren't a good idea to eat if you are watching your blood sugar. Plus a bagel has more than 1 serving if they are a larger size bagel.

01-25-2008, 10:33 AM
I agree with Jill about bringing in your own bagel. That way, you won't feel deprived, but you'll also be making a healthier choice.

A couple of years ago, I switched to "The Alternative Bagel", a low-carb, sugar-free, 110 calorie bagel. Part of why I like it is because it's a little smaller than the average bagel, so hey, built in portion control. But it tastes and looks like a regular bagel, and I can eat it without guilt. I don't know if they have those where you live (I get them at the supermarket), but I know that you can get low- or lower-carb bagels in various places these days.


01-25-2008, 10:33 AM

I decided that I wanted bagels as an occasional treat so as part of my Trader Joe's shopping trip and looked through the healthier bagels. They had over 300 calories per bagel. I can only imagine how many calories a bagel shop bagel has.

I would agree with bringing in your own breakfast or even your own bagels. I do have to say that I focus on eating better and for me, eating a bagel really isn't part of eating better so I gave up the idea. There are a lot of yummier things I can have for breakfast that are better for me.

01-25-2008, 11:03 AM
It won't throw off your blood sugar for a whole day. If you eat a plain bagel with something like jam or sweetened cream cheese, it will cause a higher spike in blood sugar for a while.
Eating plain cream cheese will slow the spike - fat and protein lowers the GI value of foods. Plus, if you get a whole grain bagel, the fiber will also help slow the rise of blood sugar.

01-25-2008, 12:38 PM
If you don't want to feel totally deprived how about just eating half?

01-25-2008, 01:04 PM
I like the idea of eating half the bagel and making sure you have some lean protein with it rather than just cream cheese.

01-25-2008, 01:29 PM
I like the idea of eating half the bagel and making sure you have some lean protein with it rather than just cream cheese.
I bet there's someone else you work with who is feeling the same way, so you could split a bagel! I also agree about the protein, though--having half a bagel instead of a whole one if you're still eating just the bagel isn't going to help with your sluggishness.

01-25-2008, 01:51 PM
I think the sluggishness question is really individual. For me - yes. I find that if I don't avoid highly refined carbs during the day I have a hard time not falling asleep at my desk. Other people don't seem to be bothered in the same way. I would say that you need to experiment for yourself and see what works for you. As others have mentioned there is also a calorie thing going on here that you need to take into consideration. I still have issues when I go home because my dad always has bagels and lox, which I love.

01-25-2008, 07:58 PM
Thank you all for the good tips & advice. Sometimes it all feels so ridiculous! I've dedicated an entire "blog" to whether or not to eat a bagel!!!! And I know this is all in my head!!

I think I'm going to go with the 1/2 bagel, and scoop out the insides, and have some peanut butter on it. And then I'll see how I feel, physically. The real key will be to not feel guilty!!!

Thanks, again :)

01-26-2008, 12:22 AM
I tell everyone i know that bagels are probably the worst kind of choice for breakfast food. They have sooooo many carbs and really they do not have any other value to them. Everyone(non diabetics included) is more insulin resistant in the morning. I am diabetic, so I watch my sugars. At night, I was in the habit of having the alternative bagel which has maybe 1/4th the carbs of most bagels (sometimes 60 or more grams of carb). I would bring in one of those or get out of the habit of eating bagels. I don't even eat the alternative ones anymore. I liked them for a while and was a nice way of easing out of that bagel addiction. The thing is that as I lost weight, I have to cut more calories and usually bagels mean cream cheese. I am used to not having them anymore, but it's nice to know that if I do crave them, alternative bagels are a much better option.

Still, you have to do what you can live with.

01-26-2008, 06:09 AM
I never thought Bagels where so bad for you, I have a pile in the freezer!

its my time
01-26-2008, 06:47 AM
I agree w/bringing your own bagel or eating half but on the other hand don't look at it as dieting look at it as this is your health you are trying to make your self a healther person, bring in some thing you really enjoy and can still take part of the eating w/others, but feeling better about your self after wards,

Goddess Jessica
01-28-2008, 02:58 AM
I love Western Alternative Bagels (https://westernbagel.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=34504) - they're 110 calories and 7 grams of fiber. I actually keep a batch in the freezer at work for such occasions. I don't want to be left out of the crowd and I know I will craving a bagel if I smell them in the toaster!

I really can't eat "real" bagels. They don't fill me up at all and I'm pretty sensitive to the sugar in them. I ate WAY too much white bread this weekend and I am FEELING it.

01-28-2008, 03:28 AM
I totally understand about the whole blog entry about eating a bagel - I have agonized over smaller things. To me, a big old bagel place bagel isn't a good choice - the portion size is enormous and it's a ton of "not so great for you" refined white flour. Normally, I have my own healthy breakfast at home, so I would skip a bagel at work. If I really wanted a bagel, I would eat half and use the low fat cream cheese (if they have it) or strawberry jelly (if they didn't have low fat cream cheese). Half a big ole bagel is probably 200 calories! Which is a "serving" of grains for me, usually (serving of brown rice, 2 pieces of whole grain bread, 2 whole grain waffles, a small sweet potato, etc).

I don't think there's anything "wrong" about a bagel, but I reshaped my life with the intent of eating things that are really really good for me vs. foods with limited nutritional value. A plain old huge bagel-store bagel is not the best thing I can do for my body, and is a "last resort" kind of meal for me (like, I'm traveling for work, at a conference, no good place to make my own oatmeal, the other choices are danishes etc).

01-28-2008, 01:39 PM
A plain old huge bagel-store bagel is not the best thing I can do for my body, and is a "last resort" kind of meal for me (like, I'm traveling for work, at a conference, no good place to make my own oatmeal, the other choices are danishes etc).

Travelling with my dad, who loves his oatmeal and tries to eat it every single day, I learned that most hotels and restaurants have some and will make it for you, even if it's not on the menu.

I also learned that there's really no point in taking my parents to a fancy breakfast place, because no matter what's on the menu, my dad will order his oatmeal! Well, he knows what he likes....


01-28-2008, 02:52 PM
Without weighing in on the should-i-or-shouldn't-i bagel discussion, I just wanted to add that people care a lot less than you think they do. I remember agonizing over how to deal with a church get-together that advertised root beer floats. I planned what I would say, how I might avoid it, etc. I even considered not going. When the time came, I just didn't get one. Someone offered to bring me one, and I simply said, "No thanks." When she asked why, I just said, "I don't really want one." Bagels are all right, but they're not cookie dough ice cream. I like the idea of bringing in something really delicious that will make you feel great and make everyone else jealous. Heck - maybe you can offer to bring in the snacks for the morning and bring in something that all can enjoy.

And Moosegirl - whether or not bagels are "good" or "bad" for you depends on your food plan. They are high in refined carbs and low in nutritional value, but I remember using them as a part of a low-fat diet in the 90's and having great success with the diet. I count calories now, and am trying to stay away from refined foods in general, and haven't had a bagel since I started. But I eat potatoes sometimes, and will defend them in any debate anyone might want to have about it. On the other hand, I don't eat other foods that some people here really value. But being on here and listening to others' perspectives about food choices is a great way to broaden my perspective and become educated about what might or might not work.