February 22, 2012

The new diet idea: breakfast with dessert.

"During an initial 16-week period, the average weight loss in each group was identical — about 32 pounds. But over a 16-week follow-up, people on the dessert-with-breakfast diet lost an additional 13 pounds on average, while the others gained back all but 3.5 of the pounds they had lost."

Ah! It's about ghrelin. How strange to run into that immediately after getting my attention directed, once again, to the subject of first sleep, second sleep, which I originally captivated me in 2006. I had just read this other blog post of mine from the last day of 2006, "The two most useful health stories of the year." The second one was first sleep, second sleep, and the first one was ghrelin:
This one, explaining why your brain will be sharper if you stay a bit hungry. Maybe you've been trying to lose weight, but feeling that it's always important to stave off any feeling of hunger, for fear you might become weak or dim-witted. No! The opposite is true. We evolved to perform especially well when we feel the need for food. Sate yourself, and you'll be duller. Using this information, invent a better weight-loss diet.
Now, that's the diet idea of staying hungry, not topping off breakfast with cookies or ice cream. But I like the freaky coincidence of 2 old topics popping up today in succession, like twin comets on a 6 year orbit.

Another funny thing is that, back when I first learned about first sleep, second sleep, I wrote a post at 2:27 a.m., talking about how I was between sleeps and worrying about raking my leaves before the snows came and ruined my lawn and imagining how if the lawn were ruined it would give me reason to hire people next year to "make it thickly plush, satisfyingly level, and shockingly green." And then there's Meade, in the first comment, at 3:32 a.m., also between sleeps, advising me about how to re-green the lawn. How nice that these days, when I'm caught between sleeps, Meade is here in the flesh.

The article I'd read back in 2006 said:
This time after the first sleep was praised as uniquely suited for sexual intimacy; rested couples have "more enjoyment" and "do it better," as one 16th-century French doctor wrote.
The time after second sleep is also good for many things, including breakfast alone or with your true love, with or without dessert.


rehajm said...

The wife read the breakfast story yesterday and began her 'experiment' this morning with coconut cake. I'm skeptical but we'll see- I suspect she will have little trouble sticking with this diet.

Maybe Bill Cosby was right after all...

Rob said...

"How nice that these days, when I'm caught between sleeps, Meade is here in the flesh."

Oh, no. Now the leftys will start thinking about mud again.

traditionalguy said...

"Meade, grass, health, hunger, sex and sleep" make that an earthy tag line indeed.

A warmed Cream Cheese Danish now sounds like the perfect breakfast food.

Chip S. said...

Fruit pie makes an excellent quick breakfast.

Dan in Philly said...

" Maybe you've been trying to lose weight, but feeling that it's always important to stave off any feeling of hunger, for fear you might become weak or dim-witted. No! The opposite is true. We evolved to perform especially well when we feel the need for food. Sate yourself, and you'll be duller."

Once again, the Stoics are vindicated.

MadisonMan said...

Oh dear. I scoffed at the forecast of 4" of snow the next day back then, and 2.4" fell.

Not sure if that makes me right or not.

edutcher said...

Given The Blonde's mighty sweet tooth, I'll have to tell her about this, but Ann has a point.

There's more than one kind of dessert.

And you can't have too much.

Partridge said...

Another in a long list of diet experiments in which the result is that eating breakfast with dessert/cereal at night/strange berries from Brazil will help you keep the weight off.

It's clear to me what's going on. The first group, which maintains a change throughout the later period of the diet always does better than the second group not because of the actual change, but because having to keep on a specific course of action (any specific course of action) also keeps one mindful of what one eats the rest of the time.

It's quite a simple explanation, but much more likely than that ALL of these different foods actually help you keep weight off.

wild chicken said...

Of course they lost weight, with 1400 cal for women, 1600 for men. That's undereating and yes the first group probably kept better track.

It approaches a starvation diet, which never work long term.

tamsf said...

Yes. I've seen several other web sites with the comments filling up with people planning to add a sweet to their breakfast menu. None are mentioning the 1600 calorie limit that even the dieters with the desserts are eating. Ouch.

traditionalguy said...

I remember dieting around Christmas, but seemed stuck at a plateau. So I said to heck with it and ate a large bag of dark chocolate M&Ms, went to sleep and awoke 3 pounds lighter.

So I now recommend large bags of dark chocolate M&Ms to all my fat friends.

rhhardin said...

Tip for hot cereal: add 1/3 tsp of instant coffee to it for flavor.

Alex said...

I think having a regimen is tougher then having none, regardless of whether cake for breakfast is allowed or not.

Alex said...

My typical breakfast menu:

* scrambled eggs with chopped veggies, with side of cottage cheese or fruit

* Greek yogurt with berries and granola

* steel cut oats with berries

That's it.

Chip Ahoy said...

Please stop describing my sleeping and eating habits it's making me feel privacy-violated all up in here.

According to my Thera pissed in order to combat this sense of privacy-violation, I must out privacy-violate myself. So here, have a dessert for breakfast, ice cream with chocolate ganache and caramel. It's a pretty page that already gets quite a lot of views each day on its own.

David said...

Yeah Chip I read that recipe of yours one night between sleeps and was so aroused I ate a candy bar.

ricpic said...

So you stuff yourself with sweets in the morning and starve the rest of the day. How long do you think anyone can keep that up?

The failure rate with diets long term is 100%. Better to accept the fact that you didn't inherit the skinny gene and learn to live with it.

Alex said...

I wonder why nobody is talking about insulin response to this? The last thing you want in the morning is a huge sugar spike in your blood unless you are just pining for type II diabetes.

Julie C said...

Bacon and eggs for breakfast. That's my recommendation. Nothing but protein and fat. It will fill you up without making you hungry again in an hour, as most cereals and breads do.

Gary Taubes has it right.

Alex said...

Julie - no shit. Eating mostly protein and fat does fill me up for about 4 hours. With cereal I'd be hungry again in 2.

Carol_Herman said...

Does coffee count as dessert? I put Cool Whip on top of mine.

And, the doctor told me, first, I needed to eat a bowl of cooked oatmeal. I'm actually enjoying this.

And, following it up with my coffee. Which has Cool Whip on top. Has the feel of real cream. But isn't notorious for making you fat.

themightypuck said...

What we learn from this is that low carb diets are effective and people will stick to them if you let them carb up. The best time to carb up is after exercise or breaking a fast.

ed said...

1. *shrug* there is probably less sugar in cake than in breakfast cereal.

2. Frankly if you want to lose weight and keep it off the simplest thing to do is to use smaller plates and bowls. Really that's it.

A year ago or so I was around 250lbs. Now I'm around 155lbs. I don't exercise pretty much at all anymore due to arthritis in the knees so I can't burn off calories. And I like to eat pretty much anything.

I started using dessert plates as my dinner plate. I can have multiple helpings but each plate worth has to take 20 minutes.

Now my problem is eating enough because I eat slowly and so I'm feeling full much sooner. Amusingly enough this has become enough of a problem that my doctor has put me on protein bars.