How to lose weight without having to give up our favourite foods is something we’ve all tried to figure out. But if you’ve been rationing calories and skipping a meal or two to be able to fit that slice of chocolate cake into your diet, you don’t have to do that any more; because we’ve got some good news for you: Eating chocolate cake can actually help you lose weight. According to researchers from Israel’s Tel Aviv University (TAU), lead by Professor Daniela Jakubowicz, having dessert can actually aid weight loss – instead of making you pile on the pounds, as was previously thought. Of course, there are some dos and donts that come with this. Read on to know how, according to science, you can have your cake and eat it too without the fear of it negatively affecting your weight loss journey.
How to lose weight by eating chocolate cake
Since you knew this sweet deal was coming with terms and conditions, let’s get those out of the way first: Yes you can eat chocolate cake for breakfast, but it cannot be your entire breakfast. You can have a slice as part of your morning meal, given that you’re eating a full, healthy breakfast that has proteins and carbs as well. Moreover, you must eat it at breakfast only. According to researchers, the morning is the best time to eat sweet because not only is your metabolism most activity in the morning but also because your body has a day’s worth of activity to help burn off the calories we would consume during our breakfast.
Researchers at TAU conducted a study spanning eight months in which they observed 193 participants who were obese (but not diabetic). These participants were divided into two groups. One group consumed 300 calories for breakfast, thanks to low-carb diet. Whereas the other group consumed 600 calories for breakfast consisting of a balanced meal and a piece of chocolate cake. Despite of the 300-calorie deficit that the first group had in their breakfast, both groups consumed the same number of calories in the day, with men consuming 1600 calories and women consuming 1400 calories.
In the first four months it was seen that each of the 193 participants lost an average of 15kg. However, in the next four months, the ones who followed the 300 calorie low-carb diet regained about 10kg of the 15 kg they had lose where the ones who followed the 600 calorie diet (which included the cake) went on to lose another 6.8 kg. Overall, it appeared that the group that ate chocolate cake for breakfast lost 18kg more than the one on a low carb diet.
According to Dr Jakubowicz, this has to do with the feeling of satisfaction. Speaking to the Telegraph, she explained that those who had been on the 300 calorie diet felt less satisfied and craved sugar and carbs. This resulted in them straying from their diet plan.
How to maintain your weight loss
How to lose weight without sacrificing your sweet tooth doesn’t just depend on what or how much you eat. It’s also about when you eat. You must have heard it a million times from different sources that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; and it’s absolutely true. Not only does breakfast provide you with the energy you need to start your day but it also regulates a hormone in your body called ghrelin.
Called the ‘Hunger Hormone’, ghrelin is responsible for increasing hunger. When released in the stomach, it signals to your brain that your body needs to be fed. The more ghrelin levels rise, the hungrier you get. So it is important to keep them stable in order to ensure that you don’t end up overeating. The best time to suppress excess ghrelin release is at breakfast, as per Dr Jakubowicz.
For those trying to figure out how to lose weight, this is a crucial bit of information because just cutting calories from your daily routine isn’t going to help. When you begin to consume less calories than your body is used to, it only causes you to have more cravings. For example, cutting sugar out from your diet completely may start off well but it is not a realistic goal to have. While you may be able to avoid sweets completely in the beginning, your body will crave them to a point where you are forced to give in. This won’t just result in you being demotivated to carry on your fitness journey but you’ll also end up being addicted to sugar in the long run.
Therefore, according to Dr Jakubowicz, while staying away from the foods you crave may work in the short term, the success of long term weight loss lies in finding a way to indulge in a healthy manner.
Thus the researchers, whose findings were published in the peer-reviewed international journal Steroids, found that it is more likely that those who included chocolate cake as part of a full breakfast would succeed in keeping the weight off as opposed to those were on a low-carb diet.