Can you have a cookie or a piece of your favorite cake at breakfast and lose weight? I know, this sounds too good to be true, but a group of researchers in Israel say yes. In a study published in the journal Steroids, Israeli researchers assigned nearly 200 obese people between the ages of 20 and 65 to two groups with identical diets, except for breakfast, where one group got a low-carb breakfast and the second group got a high-carb, protein-laden breakfast with a choice of one dessert.
Interestingly, after 16 weeks of dieting, both groups lost similar amounts of weight–33 pounds in the non-dessert group and 30 pounds in the dessert group. But, here’s the best part of the study: Those in the dessert-eating group were able to keep more of their weight off. After 32 weeks, the non-sweet eaters gained more than 25 of those pounds back, while the sweet-eaters only regained 15 pounds!
So, is this story too tempting to be true? The study author, Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, says yes. She says, “Most people simply regain weight, no matter what diet they are on. But if you eat what you like, you decrease cravings. The cake – a small piece – is important.”
The researchers explained this phenomenon by saying that most of the dessert eaters didn’t have as many cravings throughout the day–something that causes too many dieters to fail in the long-run. The study found that people in the dessert group reduced their craving hormone levels by 45%, while those who didn’t start their day off with sweets only reduced levels by 29.5%. Meaning, people in the dessert group were fuller and less hungry throughout the day.
Conclusion: A high-protein and carbohydrate breakfast may prevent obesity relapse.
I think the keyword here is “small piece.” If you indulge, then you are going to regret your indulgence. Also, perhaps the person feels happier in the morning after sinking into the sweet treat and the next study will probably say the study participants were happier and not likely to be depressed during the day
You can read other viewpoints of the study here.