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Breakfast with dessert = sustainable weight loss

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Sorry for just reposting an article from Today’s Dietitian. It was just too good to pass up. Read on……

‘Dessert with Breakfast Diet’ Helps Avoid Weight Regain by Reducing Cravings

Dieters have less hunger and cravings throughout the day and are better able to keep off lost weight if they eat a carbohydrate-rich, protein-packed breakfast that includes dessert. These findings come from a new study presented at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting.

“The goal of a weight loss diet should be not only weight reduction but also reduction of hunger and cravings, thus helping prevent weight regain,” said Daniela Jakubowicz, MD, the study’s principal investigator.

Jakubowicz, a senior physician at Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, and her coauthors studied nearly 200 nondiabetic obese adults who were randomly assigned to eat one of two low-calorie diets. Both diets had the same number of daily calories—about 1,600 for men and 1,400 for women—but differed mainly in the composition of breakfast.

One group received a low-carbohydrate diet, featuring a 304-kcal breakfast with only 10 g of carbohydrates. The other group ate a 600-kcal breakfast with 60 g of carbs, which included a small sweet, such as chocolate, a doughnut, a cookie, or cake. Both diets contained protein (such as tuna, egg whites, cheese, and low-fat milk) at breakfast, but the “dessert with breakfast diet” had 45 g of protein, 15 g more than in the low-carb diet.

Halfway through the eight-month study, participants in both groups lost an average of 33 lbs (15.1 kg) per person, which Jakubowicz said shows that “both diets work the same.” However, in the last four months of the study, the low-carb group regained an average of 22 lbs (11.6 kg) per person, while participants who ate the dessert with breakfast diet lost another 15 lbs (6.9 kg) each, the authors reported.

In addition, the study subjects who ate the dessert with breakfast diet reported feeling less hunger and fewer cravings compared with the other group. Subjects’ food diaries showed that the dessert with breakfast group had better compliance in sticking to their calorie requirements. Women who ate the dessert with breakfast diet were allowed 500 kcal for lunch and about 300 kcal for dinner. Men in that group could eat a 600-kcal lunch and up to 464 kcal at dinner.

As further evidence supporting the dessert with breakfast diet, the levels of ghrelin, the so-called “hunger hormone,” dropped much more after breakfast than in the low-carb group: 45.2% vs. 29.5%, respectively, according to the abstract.

Jakubowicz attributed the better results from the dessert with breakfast diet to meal timing and composition. She said the diet’s high protein content reduced hunger; the combination of protein and carbs increased satiety; and the dessert decreased cravings for sweet, starchy and fatty foods. Such cravings often occur when a diet restricts sweets and can result in eating many fattening foods that are not allowed on the diet, she said.

Source: Endocrine Society

Fair trade, organic diet – better?

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I blogged about the health halo effect a while back using information from Brian Wansink’s studies at Subway and McDonald’s*. Bottom line: He asked diners at both fast food joints to guess how many calories were in their fare – the Subway group thought they ate fewer calories because they held the opinion that Subway is healthier (Jared’s doing). They didn’t factor in all the extras and add-in’s like mayo and cheese. And they ate WAY MORE than they thought.

Another recent study in NYC found that the addition of ‘trans-fat free crackers,’ that added 100 calories to the overall intake, led diners to guess that meal was lower by nearly 200 calories. It wasn’t.

Interesting to see in the Boston Globe today that people naturally assume fair trade chocolate (‘fair trade’ allowing us the comfort that the company treats its cocoa farmers well) is lower in calories and meant to be eaten often. Now, chocolate has it’s nutritional and health benefits but the words ‘fair trade’ have nothing to do with them.

Other foods of interest, that is, consumers eating more and more and more of these because of the halo effect are avocado, olive oil, nuts, wine, fruit juice and chocolate. All that have amazing and glorious health effects in moderation.

Notable Note:  Beware of the health halo effect. “Organic,” “fair trade,” “no trans-fat,” “light,” “fat-free,” “heart-healthy” are all terms that connote health and sometimes are true but not always. When the rubber meets the road, an organic jelly bean is, after all, just sugar. And if you bought fair trade coffee at your favorite coffee shop, it doesn’t mean if a little is good, a lot is way better. We can choose more wisely if we don’t place such a high value on marketing terms and perceived health.

*Brian Wansink PhD is Professor of Consumer Behavior at Cornell University, where he directs the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

GERD is the word

Monday, January 4th, 2010

That awful burning sensation in your chest could be acid reflux, called GERD in the medical world. Gastroesophageal reflux disease to be exact. What happens is the spincter in your stomach called the cardiac spincter, right at the end of the esophagus, relaxes and allows some of the stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus, damaging the lining there. Goodness, why would your spincter relax? It’s not at a spa! (more…)