Not only can you eat dessert for breakfast, doing so may actually help you keep extra weight off, a new study suggests.
According to new research to be published in the journal Steroids, people who eat a breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates that includes a dessert have better luck sticking to a diet and keeping extra pounds off longer those who stick to a more nutritious breakfast low in carbs, calories and refined sugars.
The study subjects included nearly 200 obese men and women. Half were randomly assigned to consume 600-calorie breakfasts that included a sweet such as a cookie, cake or doughnut. The other half ate a small breakfast of 300 calories. Both groups consumed the same total daily calories, 1,600 calories for men and 1,400 for women. The big breakfast group ate a small, 300 to 400 dinner.
This research suggests that timing of certain food groups plays a key role in weight management, helping stave off cravings for sweets later in the day. The subjects who ate a large breakfast with dessert had lower levels of the “hunger” hormone ghrelin, and fewer food cravings than those who ate the smaller breakfast lacking dessert.
Not surprisingly, nutritionists have mixed feelings about the study, with some saying that eating something sweet at breakfast is all right, as long as it’s part of an overall healthy diet. A substantial breakfast sets the stage for better habits, making you less likely to gorge the rest of the day.
When we diet, we’re hungrier, leading to increased levels of hunger hormones and a decline in our metabolism. A large breakfast that includes protein, carbs and sweets may counteract these changes, allowing you to maintain weight loss for an extended period of time.
While we all know that deprivation never works, it’s still a good idea to keep your refined flour and sugar intake to a minimum, keeping your risk of heart disease, cancer and early death at bay.
Many women, myself included can attest to the fact that eating sugar can increase cravings for sweets. I love my desserts, and having a doughnut for breakfast isn’t going to leave me feeling satisfied through lunch. If anything, it’ll leave me feeling blah and ready to crash by mid-afternoon, and I certainly won’t be skipping dessert after dinner (or lunch, for that matter) any less often than I otherwise might. If this rings all too familiar, stick to a more balanced breakfast like oatmeal, skim milk and fruit, choosing something that doesn’t take up more than one-third of your daily caloric intake.