Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cookies for Breakfast: Dieting with Dessert!

Dessert for breakfast? Sure – say some researchers in Israel.

It might sound too good to be true, but scientists at Tel Aviv University discovered that overweight individuals who ate a cookie with breakfast as part of an otherwise low-calorie diet were more likely to lose weight and keep it off compared with dieters who weren’t on the “dessert plan”. While both groups lost about 32 lbs over the course of a 16-week study, subjects who consumed small amounts of sweets in the morning lost an additional 13 lbs over the next four months whereas the non-dessert eaters gained back an average of 28 lbs.

This research is exciting for anyone with a sweet tooth because it highlights the value of splurging on treats. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t need another excuse to eat junk food and would be better off skipping the extra sugar in favor of a balanced, healthy meal, but dieters who abstain from sweets completely are likely to feel deprived and seek out sugars and fats later in the day to satisfy cravings. This study suggests that if you let dieters feel indulgent with a slice of cake or a cookie for breakfast, they are more likely to stick to healthy eating for the remainder of the day.

It’s important to remember that the dessert serving size in the study is small (it’s all about moderation!) and the effectiveness of the diet stems from the lack of deprivation the dieters feel. Many dieters crave sweets and forbid themselves to eat treats only to overcompensate later on. This is not an effective way to maintain weight over time.

What do you think about this study? Would dessert with breakfast work for you, or would it set you up for sugar cravings throughout the day?


Ashley Woodhouse said...

I 100% agree. If I have dessert, I eat it in the morning hours to get the craving out of the way!

Keith @ Integra-Flex. said...

That's a really good idea Ashley. I definitely agree that if you have a craving, nipping it in the butt is the way to go.