It sounds too good to be true, but a group of scientists reckon they’ve figured out how to prevent weight-gain and food cravings – and it involves adding a cookie or a slice of cake to your breakfast.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medical Center in Israel believe that dieters would have less trouble fighting off pesky hunger pangs throughout the day if they ate a carbohydrate-rich, protein-packed breakfast – with a helping of dessert.
During the study, researchers enlisted the help of 200 (non-diabetic) obese adults who were split into two groups.
One group was asked to follow a low-carbohydrate diet including a 304-calorie breakfast containing a total of 10g of carbs.
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The second group were given a 600-calorie breakfast with 60g carbs and a small ‘sweet’, such as chocolates, cookies, a slice of cake or a doughnut.
Both breakfasts from the two groups included protein-rich foods like egg whites, tuna, cheese and low-fat milk. However, second group (who followed the ‘dessert breakfast’) consumed an extra 15g of protein than the first group.
Although both groups had lost 33 pounds at the study's halfway point (around 15.1kg per person) - those following the low-carb diet, regained 22 pounds during the final four months of the study compared to the ‘dessert for breakfast’ group who regained an average of 15 pounds.
Furthermore, participants who ate dessert for breakfast also noted a reduction in hunger pangs (caused by a dip in ghrelin levels – or the ‘hunger hormone’) and sugary food cravings. The low-carb dieters, however, did not report a change in either of these factors.
Those who ate dessert for breakfast also found it easier to stick to calorie requirements throughout the day.
"The goal of a weight loss diet should be not only weight reduction but also reduction of hunger and cravings, thus helping prevent weight regain," said study author, Daniela Jakubowicz in a statement.
These findings will be presented at The Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting.
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