How is that possible? It turns out that eating carbohydrates reduces our hunger pangs and food cravings by decreasing ghrelin hormone levels, responsible for us feeling hunger.
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"Diets usually lead to weight loss, but most people can't seem to keep it up and after a while start to gain weight," explained team leader Professor Daniela Jakubowicz.
"Losing weight increases hunger, cravings for carbs and increases ghrelin hormone levels. But a breakfast rich with carbs and protein helps reduce the hormone levels, which in turn helps prevent reoccurring weight gain."
The Israeli team examined 193 overweight men and women who are not physically active nor diabetic, ages 40-50. Each day the participants in the study ate the same number of calories: 1,400 for the women and 1,600 for men.
The participants were split into two groups; one group ate a 300-calorie breakfast while the other group ate a 600-calorie breakfast including proteins and carbohydrates – even a chocolate or ice-cream dessert.
Both groups lost weight up until the 16th week, however the first group kept complaining of hunger pangs while the second group felt full, despite the diet.
On the 16th week, both groups were sent home to try and keep up with their diets on their own. At this point, the second group continued to loose weight while the first group, deprived of carbs, showed some weight gain.
Over the course of a 32 week-long study participants who added dessert to their breakfast lost more weight than a group that avoided such foods and kept off the pounds for a longer period of time.
Jakubowicz explained that '"the participants in the low carbohydrate diet group had less satisfaction, and felt that they were not full, but the group that consumed a bigger breakfast, including dessert, experienced few if any cravings for these foods later in the day."