It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That first meal provides energy and kick-starts your metabolism, which is important for weight loss and maintenance. Because calories consumed early in the day can more easily be burned off through activity, breakfast is probably the best time to consume extra calories. That’s the thinking behind an unusual diet study from Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medical Center.
Researchers had 193 obese but otherwise healthy subjects stick to a diet for 32 weeks. Men in both groups consumed 1,600 calories per day while the women were limited to 1,400 calories. Half of these volunteers adhered to a low-carb diet with a 300-calorie breakfast while the rest were allowed to consume a 600 calorie breakfast with a balance of carbohydrates and proteins that always included cookies, cake or chocolate for dessert. Each dessert eater lost on average 40 more pounds that a low-carb dieter.
True Strength Moment: After 16 weeks, both diets resulted in the same amount of weight loss. An average of 33 pounds per person. But during the final 16 weeks, the low-carb dieters gained back around 22 pounds while the dessert eaters lost an additional 15 pounds per person. Scientists theorized that your body is better able to regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin in the morning, so even though ghrelin levels rise before every meal they are more effectively suppressed at breakfast. If it helps with weight loss, it’s worth a try.