If you’ve got a sweet tooth, here’s some good news: Eating dessert for breakfast could help you reach your weight loss goals. A recent study has caused quite a stir after finding that dessert in a balanced breakfast helped people more lose weight. What’s more, chocolate cake for breakfast also helped people keep the pounds from coming back.
Benefits of a hearty breakfast
There’s no argument that a hearty breakfast is the best way to start your day. A morning meal jump-starts your metabolism as well as your brain. Breakfast is also the meal that most effectively keeps ghrelin, the hunger hormone, in check. Based on these facts, researchers at Tel Aviv University designed a study to find out whether when and how much a person eats is more important to losing weight than simply counting calories.
Dessert for breakfast
The study, published in the journal “Steroids,” involved 193 clinically obese, non-diabetic adults. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each group consumed the same amount of calories (1,600 for men and 1,400 for women) each day for 32 weeks. However, one group was fed a low-carb diet with a small 300 calorie breakfast. The other group enjoyed a 600 calorie breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates that included dessert.
At the midway point of the study, each group lost an average of 33 pounds per person. But those who ate the big breakfast with dessert had lower ghrelin levels fewer food cravings than those who ate the small breakfast without dessert. And surprisingly, during the following 16 weeks, the low-carb diet group gained back an average of 22 pounds. The group enjoying the bigger breakfast with dessert lost another 15 pounds and overall lost an average of 40 more pounds than their dessert-deprived counterparts.
The results of the study suggest that to keep weight off once you lose it, ingesting a higher proportion of daily calories at breakfast makes a difference. A hearty breakfast not only prepares your metabolism to function efficiently throughout the day, it also prevents the cravings that lead many dieters astray. Weight loss plans based on deprivation may work in the short term, but they will ultimately fail.
A word of caution
While the study showed how a big breakfast can benefit a weight loss plan, it’s doesn’t suggest that eating something like chocolate cake in the morning is good for you. The results were obtained by including dessert in a balanced, healthy breakfast. Plenty of studies have shown that eating the refined flour and sugar used to make desserts on a regular basis is associated with increased risk for an early death from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
But the study did demonstrate the importance of incorporating foods you enjoy into your diet for long-term weight loss success. The key is to indulge in the morning, when your metabolism is at its most active and you can burn off the extra calories throughout the day.