Losing weight is a nightmare. You are permanently hungry, going to a restaurant is a torture, the scale is your worst enemy. If you are really persistent, you will manage to lose some weight, only to get it all back as soon as you start living normally again. That lose-gain yo-yo is the most dreaded part of most weight loss programs. And that is what discourages so many people who are determined to keep a healthy weight. The help comes from the most unexpected source: deserts. If you thought that deserts are the forbidden territory for anyone trying to lose weight, think again. Scientists found that deserts with breakfast may actually help you lose weight and keep it off.
A group of scientists from the University of Tel Aviv led by Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz conducted a clinical trial with a group of 144 obese people divided into two groups. All of them were on the same diet, eating the same number of calories, except that one group had a protein-enriched high-carbohydrate breakfast, together with their choice of desert: chocolate, cookies, cake or ice cream.
Very quickly into the trial, scientists noticed that participants who were eating their desert with breakfast had lower levels of ghrelin, a ” ˜hunger” ™ hormone, and did not feel hungry although they were on a low calorie diet.
The results of the trial showed that a high protein and high carbohydrate breakfast, with desert, may help people to keep their weight off after the diet. The trick was to reduce cravings and a sense of hunger. Diets normally increase the production of hormone ghrelin, causing people to feel hungry. A bit of sweets prevented that, people felt full and satisfied, resulting in the long-term weight loss. Scientists concluded that meal composition and timing can counteract this compensatory ghrelin suppression and consequently prevent weight regain after dieting.
It does not mean that we can now go and gorge ourselves with chocolate cake for every breakfast. The findings of this study actually remind us of our grandmothers” ™ old rule to start the day with a good, hearty breakfast. A small slice of cake, a muffin or a piece of apple pie in the morning will put the smile on our face and the nasty ghrelin at bay. But, unless we increase the time we spend exercising, we still have to keep our overall calories down.