Dessert after Breakfast: A New Weight-Loss Strategy?
Adding a sweet treat to the morning meal may help some people lose weight and keep if off
Research presented at the 2012 meeting of the Endocrine Society introduces an entirely new concept in the weight loss wars: Dessert at breakfast time! At first glance, this may seem a little crazy, but the preliminary findings are interesting.
Breakfast is a piece of cake
Researchers selected 193 obese, sedentary, nondiabetic adult men and women to follow a diet that included a low-carbohydrate breakfast or a high-carbohydrate, high-protein breakfast. Study participants were an average of 47 years old, and both diets provided 1,400 calories per day for women and 1,600 calories per day for men--levels low enough to promote rapid weight loss. One unique feature of the high-carbohydrate, high-protein breakfast was "dessert": participants on this diet ate a sweet treat, such as a small piece of cake, with breakfast every day.
A body mass index of 25 to 30 is considered overweight, while over 30 signals obesity. The participants had an average body mass index of 32, placing them squarely in the obese category. At the start of the study, and 16 and 32 weeks later, the researchers measured body weight, craving and satisfaction scores, and blood levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone that rises to signal the brain that it is time to eat.
The researchers found the following:
Finding your perfect morning mealThe authors point out that this was a short-term study, and that many people have trouble keeping weight off over a period of years rather than weeks. And research presented at conferences isn't considered solid until it's been peer-reviewed and published in a medical journal. Still, this study suggests that adding a sweet treat to the morning meal may help some people lose weight and keep if off.
Our tips can help you balance your morning meal to meet your weight-loss goals:
(Abstract MON-85; Endocrine Society Meeting: June 25, 2012)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.