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Big, Well-Balanced Breakfast Aids Weight Loss
Date:6/19/2008

the like. If you eat these foods, your serotonin levels rise, and your body begins to associate good feelings with them, creating an addictive cycle, she said.

To combat both the addiction cycle and the hunger that inevitably seems to come with calorie reduction, Jakubowicz and her colleagues designed the "big breakfast" diet. In this eating plan, your breakfast accounts for roughly half of your daily calories, and breakfast includes milk, 3 ounces of lean meat, two slices of cheese, two whole grain servings, one fat serving and one ounce of milk chocolate or candy.

The high protein, carbohydrate mix gives the body the initial energy boost it needs in the morning. Throughout the rest of the day, the meals are made up of protein and complex carbohydrates, like vegetables. Because protein is digested slowly, Jakubowicz said, you won't feel hungry.

And, she said, by having a small piece of chocolate or candy when serotonin levels are high, it won't taste as good, and the brain won't feel the same serotonin boost, which will eventually help cut down on cravings.

In the study of 94 obese, sedentary women with metabolic syndrome, half were told to eat the big breakfast diet containing about 1,240 calories, while the other half ate a 1,085 calorie high-protein, low carbohydrate diet for eight months.

At the end of the eight months, those on the more restrictive low-carb diet lost an average of almost 9 pounds. But those on the big breakfast diet lost nearly 40 pounds. That translated to an average body mass loss of 4.5 percent for those on the low-carb diet and a 21.3 percent average loss for those on the big breakfast plan.

Additionally, those on the big breakfast plan reported feeling less hungry and had fewer carbohydrate cravings.

Nutritionist Geri Brewster, a wellness consultant at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco, N.Y., said she already recommends a large, wel
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