Tel Aviv University Breakfast Study Small Breakfast Regained 22 Pounds
February 25, 2012 by staff
Tel Aviv University Breakfast Study Small Breakfast Regained 22 Pounds, Good news for anyone who likes chocolate with their coffee: A surprising new study from Tel Aviv University found that dieters who include a small dessert item as part of a balanced breakfast will lose more weight, and keep it off in the long run better, as compared to dieters who take a more traditional approach.
In the study published in the journal Steroids, researchers followed two groups of overweight or obese people for 32-weeks, with all participants instructed to stick to 1,600-calorie diet for men and 1,400-calorie diet for women. The first group ate a low-carb 300-calorie breakfast daily, while the second group had a 600-calorie morning meal, high in protein and carbohydrates and always including a dessert item such as chocolate. Halfway through the study, both groups lost an average of 33 pounds per person. But it wasn’t until the second 16-week period that things got really interesting.
At the end of the second 16-weeks, the low-carb group actually regained 22 pounds per person, but the group who was eating a larger breakfast with sweets lost an additional 15 pounds each. All in all, the chocolate-eaters lost an average of 40 pounds more per person than the other peer group.
The thought is that cutting out sweets entirely – as the low-carb group was supposed to do – creates a psychological addiction to those foods. Allowing for a small piece of cake, a cookie, or some chocolate at the beginning of the day when the dieters’ metabolism is highest allowed dieters to feel like they weren’t deprived, even when they stuck to a reduced-calorie diet.
So is it the larger calorie intake in the morning, or the sweets that mattered most? In the past, research results on the benefits of larger breakfasts have been mixed. A recent study published in Nutrition Journal found that people eat the same amount at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they have for breakfast, suggesting that large breakfasts can actually add up to weight gain. These findings reinforce the idea that it’s not what you eat, but how much, that matters most for weight loss. Similarly, a study published last month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that the strongest predictor for weight loss is how faithfully dieters stick to low-calorie plans, not the composition of their diets.
So what it comes down to is this: If a slice of cake in the morning will help you feel less deprived and allow you to stick to your diet more faithfully for the rest of the day, go for it. Just stick to one slice, and skip after-dinner dessert.
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