Who says you should swear off all your favorite sweet treats when you're on a mission to lose weight? According to a study published in the journal Steroids, eating dessert with breakfast may actually help people on low-cal diets lose more weight.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University enlisted 200 nondiabetic obese adults to follow low-calorie diets for the study. They assigned each participant to one of two low-calorie diet groups. For the duration of the study, the first group got to eat 600 calories of a high-carb breakfast with chocolate, cake, a doughnut, or a cookie for dessert. Meanwhile, the second group ate a 300-calorie low-carb breakfast.

After 16 weeks, the results showed that participants in both groups shed an average of 33 pounds. During the 16-week follow-up period, however, those who had dessert after breakfast were able to lose 15 more pounds on average. Meanwhile, the participants in the other group regained 22 pounds on average.

The researchers noted that tarticipants in the dessert group reduced their cravings and followed their calorie limits more religiously. Their ghrelin (also known as the "hunger hormone") levels also dropped 45 percent after breakfast compared to 30 percent for the low-carb group.

So the next time you embark on a weight loss plan and try a low-calorie diet, you might want to consider going for a high-carb, protein-rich meal for breakfast--with a side of dessert. It's a plan that allows you to indulge yourself while still losing pounds.

(Photo courtesy of miss_yasmina via Flickr Creative Commons)

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