What?? Lose weight with cake? Surely you must be joking, you say!
I love when weight loss research yields unexpected results. So here’s one that uncovered something very interesting… and potentially delicious!
Researchers at Tel Aviv University randomized 144 obese people, ages 20 to 65, to two low-carbohydrate diets providing 1,400 daily calories for women and 1,600 for men. The diets were identical except that one included a high-carbohydrate, protein-enriched breakfast with a choice of cookies, chocolate, cake or ice cream for dessert.
During an initial 16-week period, the average weight loss in each group was identical — about 32 pounds. But over a 16-week follow-up, people on the dessert-with-breakfast diet lost an additional 13 pounds on average, while the others gained back all but 3.5 of the pounds they had lost. The full study appears in the March 10 2012 issue of the journal Steroids.
Those on the dessert regimen maintained lower levels of ghrelin — a hormone that stimulates hunger — and reported significantly higher levels of fullness.
It’s not suprising that this study made the headlines this week. We all want to have our cake, eat it, and lose weight too! But keep the following in mind: this study was calorie controlled. Women ate 1400 calories per day…. the typical American woman eats nearly 1,900 calories everyday. So don’t conclude that dessert alone = weight loss. Also, the desserts were just a small part of the breakfasts.
Still, the findings of this study are encouraging and they reaffirm what we often say at Appetite for Health: diets do not have to mean deprivation. If you eat what you crave (at least in small amounts), you may decrease cravings and consume fewer calories as a result. So enjoy a small slice of cake… guilt free!