As a kid, your parents probably always told you to eat your dessert last, so you wouldn’t spoil your appetite.

It turns out, they were right… and that’s exactly what you should do if you want to “stick” to a healthy eating plan long-term.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel decided to put the theory to the test… and see if eating dessert can help regulate appetite throughout the day and help maintain weight loss long-term.

They chose to study dessert at breakfast time because according to professor Jakubowicz, the study’s lead author, “Breakfast is the meal that most successfully regulates ghrelin, the hormone that increases hunger… [and] while the level of ghrelin rises before every meal, it is suppressed most effectively at breakfast time.”

For the study, they divided men and women randomly into two groups:

Group 1 ate a 300-calorie breakfast that was low-carb with no dessert item.

Group 2 ate a 600-calorie breakfast, that included an equal amount of protein and carbs, including a dessert item like chocolate, cookies or cake, for example.

To keep things controlled, both groups ate an identical number of calories for the day (men were allotted 1,600 calories and women 1,400, regardless of the group they were in.)

So what were the results?

The study lasted over 6 months (32 weeks)… and during the first half of the study, people in BOTH groups lost an average of 15kgs. But here’s where things get very interesting… In the second half of the study, we start seeing the benefit of including dessert for breakfast while you’re dieting.

Those in the group eating the smaller, low-carb breakfast regained an average of 10kgs…

Those in the dessert group went on to lose an additional 6.5kgs.

When it was all said and done, those in the dessert group lost 18kgs MORE than those in the low-carb breakfast group. [1]

The moral of the story here is that being extreme in your dieting      approach is less likely to work than giving yourself a little flexibility to indulge in a small way every day —as a result, keeping strong cravings from taking over.

So if you’re the kind of person that loves sweets, why not try adding a small dessert item for breakfast?

Make sure your breakfast still contains plenty of protein and some carbs… and even more important is to make sure it doesn’t exceed 600 calories or cause you to exceed your total calorie intake for the day.

But give it a shot for a week or two and see if it  helps control your appetite and reduce your cravings for “bad” stuff throughout the day. Who knows?  Maybe the key to your sustained weight loss will be the “dessert-for-breakfast” diet!



[1] Daniela Jakubowicz, Oren Froy, Julio Wainstein, Mona Boaz. Meal timing and composition influence ghrelin levels, appetite scores and weight loss maintenance in overweight and obese adults. Steroids, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.steroids.2011.12.006