By Aarti Sanan, REDBOOK
The New York Times recently published an article claiming that eating dessert for breakfast may actually help dieters. Can this be true? I can eat cake, cookies, or ice cream for breakfast and still lose weight?
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The 16 week long study was based on a 1400-calorie diet, and the people who got to eat the breakfast goodies lost 13 more pounds compared to the rest of the suckers, who actually gained back most of the weight they lost. What's the rationale behind these results? "Most people simply regain weight, no matter what diet they are on," the study's lead author said, before adding, "But if you eat what you like, you decrease cravings. The cake-a small piece-is important."
We figured this study was true good to be true, so we turned to nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg for clarification. "Although this diet does sound intriguing, I would not encourage it for my clients. Clearly it depends on the person-like most diets-but I find that eating something sweet in the morning sets the palate to crave more sugar throughout the day." That's true, eating one doughnut does lead me to want more.
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Stephanie then added, "In a healthy diet there is room for dessert, but not on a daily basis. In this particular study, one of the key elements is that the dieters had the desert WITH a breakfast that included protein and complex carbs, not as their breakfast. Eating a balanced breakfast with a combination of protein and complex carbs keeps you satisfied and helps you maintain a healthy weight. It also removes the stigma associated with indulging which ultimately does reduce guilt and the potential for binges, which will always be more caloric than a single dessert. The subjects here felt more balanced and less deprived, which kept them going longer on a restricted calorie diet. Bottom line: a successful long-term weight-management lifestyle encourages a balanced breakfast of a lean protein and a complex carb in addition to letting you indulge from time to time!"
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So there you have it. It's egg white omelets and spinach-not Rocky Road-that's going to get you in shape.
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