Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Cake Diet to Lose Weight?

Eat Desserts with Breakfast to Lose More Weight

Finally, a Diet Plan I can get Into!

Since I am such a fan of Desserts, I was absolutely intrigued by a recent article about some Tel Aviv University research that found "dessert, as part of a balanced 600-calorie breakfast that also includes proteins and carbohydrates, can help dieters to lose more weight — and keep it off in the long run." Now, that is something you don't see diets pushing every day!

The goal of the research was to determine whether meal time and composition impacted weight loss (both short term and long term) or if calorie count was the main factor. The findings were fascinating. Over a 32-week long dietary study, 193 clinically obese non-diabetic adult participants were placed in a group that either added dessert items to their breakfast (e.g., cookies, cakes, chocolate, etc) or not; both groups consumed the same total calories per day. The group that consumed dessert with breakfast lost an average of 40 pounds more than the group of participants that avoided those items. Even more amazing is how the group consuming desserts with their breakfast managed to keep those pounds off longer.

Wow! It almost sounds counter-intuitive, but, the researches offer the following explanations:

"They key is to indulge in the morning, when the body's metabolism is at its most active and we are better able to work off the extra calories throughout the day, say Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz, Dr. Julio Wainstein and Dr. Mona Boaz of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Diabetes Unit at Wolfson Medical Center, and Prof. Oren Froy of Hebrew University Jerusalem. Attempting to avoid sweets entirely can create a psychological addiction to these same foods in the long-term, explains Prof. Jakubowicz. Adding dessert items to breakfast can control cravings throughout the rest of the day."

I'm Sold! Bring on the Desserts with Breakfast.

I am probably not the only one that will find the prospects of Gluten-Free Desserts with my breakfast to be an enticing one. In fact, I will admit that I have always tended to consume most of my "desserts" early in the day, and I actually consider my homemade gluten-free pancakes to be almost-dessert ("cake" is in the name for a reason).  And, though I cannot guarantee results for anyone else, my own weight is well within the "normal" range (note: I do exercise regularly also, which certainly helps and should go along with any diet).  Now, there is a bit more to this research report that is worth mentioning...

Calories were rather limited for the participants, even as they had dessert with their breakfast.  Men were limited to 1600 calories per day and women had a 1400 calorie allotment.  That is definitely less that what I consume on a typical day, but I am also not trying to lose substantial amounts of weight.  The makeup of the breakfasts were either a 300-calorie low-carb diet version for the "no dessert" group and a 600-calorie high-protein and carbs diet (always including desserts like chocolate, etc).  But, total daily calories remained the same (i.e., the dessert-breakfast group had to consume 300 calories less during lunch/dinner).

Interestingly, the weight-loss results were essentially a "tie" at the mid-point of the study period, with both groups losing 33# on average.  But, in the coming weeks, the low-carb (no dessert) group regained 22# on average while the group eating desserts with breakfast lost another 15# on average.  The long-term results greatly favored the cake and chocolate eaters!

The researchers offered more insight into why things turned out this way:
"One of the biggest challenges that people face is keeping weight off in the long-term, says Prof. Jakubowicz. Ingesting a higher proportion of our daily calories at breakfast makes sense. It's not only good for body function, but it also alleviates cravings
Highly restrictive diets that forbid desserts and carbohydrates are initially effective, but often cause dieters to stray from their food plans as a result of withdrawal-like symptoms. They wind up regaining much of the weight they lost during the diet proper. Though they consumed the same daily amount of calories, "the participants in the low carbohydrate diet group had less satisfaction, and felt that they were not full," she says, noting that their cravings for sugars and carbohydrates were more intense and eventually caused them to cheat on the diet plan. "But the group that consumed a bigger breakfast, including dessert, experienced few if any cravings for these foods later in the day." Ultimately, this shows that a diet must be realistic to be adopted as part of a new lifestyle. Curbing cravings is better than deprivation for weight loss success, Prof. Jakubowicz concludes.
I agree.  Do you?  I base my agreement on the fact I can feel those cravings more on days where I don't include some "treats" (delicious carbs) with my breakfast.

Diet Plan: Eat Desserts for Breakfast

These results are certainly worth of hands-on research!  I don't know if I can afford to lose any weight per se, but I do know that when I get my tasty carbs early in the day that I experience the effect mentioned in the study: I crave carbs less later in the day. As such, I am looking at this latest information as confirmation that my current habits have at least some scientific backing now, and I will continue to enjoy my Gluten-Free Desserts with my breakfast.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are availabl