What Really Makes You Fat: Bacon or a Bagel?

By Ted

I recently found this infographic entitled A Tale of Two Meals.

While the logic here seems easy to understand, there are just a few flaws with their science.

Can you spot the errors in this infographic? Let’s discuss them below.

two meals: Bacon or Bagel?


  1. William

    I wouldn’t eat bacon because cured meats are chemically unhealthy, but point well taken… carbs will pack on the pounds quicker than any high protein animal source.

    I am an elite athlete and watch my weight like a hawk. Carb cycling (- eliminating carbs until desired weight is achieved) is necessary. Once you reach the desired weight, it’s not hard to maintain it, as long as you don’t binge more than once a week on carbs and maintain a workout or calorie burning regime.

    I don’t recommend this as healthy but … I generally eat one main meal a day and I put it off til late in the day, especially if I’m doing high intensity training. What makes you hungry is low blood sugar and you can stem the hunger by drinking a bit of sweet tea or coffee with a nibble of chocolate and a few nuts. This will usually hold me through the day til after my workout. Sometimes I will eat an egg sandwich in the morning 6 hrs before I train. Generally, I live off of salad, tuna, nuts, and occasional small amounts of rye bread, eggs and chocolate. I think you’re better off eating a scoop of ice cream than you are a bowl of cereal, bagel, big potato, etc…

    Happy to be fit at 55…

  2. alana

    I am glad that the majority have realised the common sense here!

    Unused calories from any source will get stored in the fat cells and weight gain will occur.

    Excess carbs should be more of a concern than excess GOOD fats though, as the body can only use these as an fuel, where fat can be used for cell building and other metabolic processes. Once the blood, liver and muscle stores are full up and there remains a surplus of carb (sugar) fuel, it will get stored in the fat cells.

    No one bagel in isolation will make someone fat, but if a sedentary person does not burn off the breakfast bagel, plus pasta for lunch, fries for dinner and ice cream for dessert, fat is what they are likely to become!

  3. O.

    I tried to lower the carbs for a while. Even though some of the food I ate was tasty, that was the most cravings I had ever had and the most uncomfortable I had ever been.

    When I finally gave up on that , a Lean Cuisine with carbs tasted as good as a Big Mac to me! That told me that low carb just wasn’t for me.

  4. Cheryl

    Neither bacon or a bagel make you fat…unless you over indulge, neglect all the other key nutrient and dismiss regular exercise.

  5. Dan

    Neither one will make a person fat if either one is all that ate for the entire day, since neither has enough calories by themselves to put a person into a calorie surplus. My experience is that there has to be a consistent calorie surplus over several days to cause weight gain. So therefore, the issue should whether either the bacon and eggs or bagel causes weight gain if they put the person into a calorie surplus for the day. I don’t eat bacon or eggs anymore, but while I was losing weight, I ate boiled eggs and turkey bacon and was still able to lose weight, since I maintained a calorie deficit. Now in maintenance, I will eat a bagel occasionally and never gain an ounce from them, even if I put some butter on it. Also, I find that a lot of exercise makes me much more resistant to weight gain, even if I indulge in either a starchy or fat laden snack or even a doughnut at times. When I don’t exercise very much, I could easily gain weight from either kind of snack.

    • Ted

      Well said Dan!

  6. Deena

    I believe in balance..exercise..healthy eating which does not make me a vegetarian or a diet fanatic thats enjoyin foods and paying attention of not overeating..being spiritually fit..takin care of my mental and emotional well being..and take on socially what i can without gettin extreme on my to do list

  7. Ted

    Great comments. I agree that the overall error is villainizing a particular nutrient. Eating a bagel does not equal automatic fat storage. It would depend on other factors. And insulin doesn’t “pull in fat from the bloodstream”. I do watch how many carbs I eat, especially refined carbs like bagels, but I think it would be hard to find any hard data that supports this comparison. Someone on the same reduced calorie diet who eats a bagel a few times a week would have similar weight loss results to someone who only eats bacon and eggs.

    • TonyK

      Agree completely. It’s important to watch your carb intake… and for many people, controlling carbs is important for weight loss. However, the dynamic behind that fat loss is FAR from what is being described in the illustration above.

  8. Elina

    I think nothing will make you fat if you will use them in proper amounts and in a proper way. Food does not make us fat, quantity makes.

  9. Kristen

    The first thing that strikes me as a an issue is that neither one MAKES you fat. Both can be eaten in moderation and leave someone perfectly skinny. The food isn’t the biggest problem…it’s the way we interact with it!!

  10. JMS

    JIm F has a point. If you eat a carb with protein you will decrease the release of glucose into your bloodstream. If you eat a bagel without the added protein, that is a bigger problem.

  11. TonyK

    Too many errors to list. The infographic misses a very basic point… and that is that regardless of your Insulin levels, your body is still burning energy.

  12. Spectra

    This is exactly why I snack on pork rinds instead of chips.

  13. Jim F

    Instead of trying to figure out which is best, just go eat a bacon and egg bagel and get the best of both worlds.

    • Jimmy

      Best thing i have heard all day,then go to the gym to work out problem solved best of both worlds