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'Big Breakfast' Diet Helps Shed Pounds

Study Shows 600-Calorie Breakfasts Reduce Food Cravings Later in the Day
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Breakfast and Weight Loss continued...

The real differences showed up at the eight-month mark, when the low-carb dieters had regained an average of 18 pounds and the big-breakfast eaters continued to lose, dropping another 16.5 pounds on average.

In all, members of the big-breakfast group lost more than 21% of their body weight; low-carb group members lost 4.5%.

A bonus, says Jakubowicz, is that the big-breakfast dieters reported less hunger and fewer cravings for carbohydrates than the other group.

Big Breakfast Diet

Some of the study findings make perfect sense and are well known to nutrition experts, says Joan Salge Blake, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a professor of nutrition at Boston University, who reviewed the study for WebMD.

"We know women who don't eat breakfast are more likely to do impulsive, unplanned snacking," she says. "It's no big surprise that having breakfast and having protein is a good thing when it comes to weight loss."

"We know protein will have the biggest effect on the feeling of fullness," she says. "It's always important to have protein at each meal."

But she has some misgivings about both diets, contending that the daily calorie allotment and the carbohydrate intake was too low in both groups. "One hundred thirty grams of carbohydrate are the minimum for our brain to keep working," she says, citing guidelines from the National Academy of Sciences.

To achieve weight loss, she advises eating breakfast every day, including protein at each meal, and also focusing on eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

While the participants in the study were all obese, Jakubowicz says she thinks the plan will work for those with less weight to lose, too.

"I think this is the right way of eating, even if you are thin. I think it works for everybody and especially for obesity."

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