A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across an article about a new research study showcasing a greater amount of weight loss from a group eating chocolate cake for breakfast every day. Say what?! Eat chocolate cake every day and be able to lose weight?
Ummmm…hold on a sec. Don’t go signing off, grabbing a hunk of dessert for breakfast, and merrily go on your way only to come yelling at me in a few months when your pants don’t fit quite as comfortably anymore. We have to look at the whole study.
First off, the study started with two random groups of men and women. For 16 weeks, these two groups ate in a controlled environment – each eating 1400-1600 calories per day. The difference came in what each group ate. Obviously, one had a breakfast that included 300 calories worth of chocolate cake each morning while the other group had a low-carbohydrate and protein filled breakfast. Over the first 16 controlled weeks, the groups lost a statistically equal amount of weight of about 33 pounds per person.
The changes started happening when, for the next 16 weeks of the study, the two groups didn’t follow a set diet and had the freedom to eat how they desired. The group that ate chocolate cake for breakfast continued making progress in regards to weight loss and other health parameters. The low-carbohydrate breakfast group ended up gaining back about 2/3 of the weight previously lost. Does this mean that chocolate cake is the magic to continued weight loss??
Does chocolate oatmeal work as the magic solution, then???
The weight loss didn’t come from the cake – it came from the reduced calorie diet. The continued progress came more from the fact that this group felt it could continue on with a calorie reduced eating plan in a realistic and manageable way. In other words, the group eating the cake didn’t feel deprived while on the controlled calorie diet and kept up the better habits over time – leading to the greater weight loss and progress.
What does that all mean for you as you seek to lose or maintain weight?
It means that in order to make progress, we need to follow a healthy and balanced diet with the appropriate amount of caloric intake for our bodies in a manner in which we can BE CONSISTENT. It’s the whole “not a diet, but a lifestyle change” mentality. It’s not about going overboard with restrictions, but finding what works for YOU. I really do believe in eating for weight loss by eating in a way you could see yourself eating for life…but a bit less on the intake with more reasonable portion sizes and trying to limit (without nixing completely) foods or drinks that don’t provide the best for your body.
What about you? What do you think of the “chocolate cake study”? Are you currently losing weight or maintaining a loss? What worked for you?