Eat cake for breakfast (and still lose weight!)
Sounds too good to be true?
Not if you’ve read the new book, The Marie Antoinette Diet. The diet book claims that you can have your cake and eat it too…literally! It’s based on the premise that the svelte but befuddled consort to France’s King Louis XVI had nothing but cake and hot chocolate for breakfast and still managed to stay slender and lithe. The premise of the book: If you indulge first thing in the morning you’re likely to keep your cravings at bay for the rest of the day.
Have your cake and eat it too.
In fact this book is simply a spin off from a 2012 study at Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medican Center that compared two study groups on different diet regimes, a low carb-high protein breakfast and a high protein-high carb (read sweets) one. After four months, volunteers in both groups lost about 33 pounds each. Over the next four months, however, dieters eating low-carbohydrate breakfasts regained 22 pounds on average. But, those who ate dessert with breakfast continued to lose weight, averaging another 15-pound weight loss, according to the report. The study concluded that starting your day with a high protein foods such as low fat milk, paneer, tuna or eggs AND a dessert like a piece of cake actually helped you lose and keep off weight.
The study’s authors concluded that while calorie restrictions help shed kilos in the early days, most obese dieters don’t manage to keep the weight off because hunger cravings drive them to cheat. The researchers speculated that dieters who ate sweets with breakfast had lower levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, so they didn’t crave the foods they had already eaten earlier; concluding that a high protein-high carb breakfast helped overcome cravings and prevented relapses and bingeing.
‘The worst way to start your day’.
However, many nutritionists don’t agree. Nykaa expert Naini Setalvad says eating low nutrition, high calorie foods for breakfast is the worst way to start the day. “Your breakfast has to be nutritionally sound. And eating doughnuts, cookies and cake is hardly the right way to start the day,” she adds. Such foods she says are packed with hydrogenated and trans fats that can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. “In fact, sugary breakfast cereals are as bad as eating cake for breakfast. Look around you, more people are eating dessert for breakfast, and they’re getting fatter not thinner!”
So what should you be doing?
The jury is still out but clearly moderation and portion control are crucial for sustained weight loss, If you love your dessert, have it but just a couple of times a week. Ideally, stay away from cookies and ready-to-eat desserts, and have home-made sweets instead. If you like cake, eat a small slice once in a while but only as part of a well-balanced diet. “Deprivation never works. It’s better to have a spoon or two of your favorite dessert rather than feel deprived all day because that’s the number one trigger for evening bingeing,” says Setalvad. So go on, have your Marie Antoinette moment and enjoy a piece of that scrumptious chocolate cake you’ve been lusting for, but not as a breakfast substitute. Instead fill up on a fiber and protein packed meal first thing in the morning to stay energized, alert—and ultimately slim—today and every day.