Eating This Dessert in the Morning Could Help Burn Fat, New Study Says
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO EAT SWEETS FOR BREAKFAST, HERE IT IS.
Eating dessert first thing in the morning may sound like an easy way to gain weight, but a recent study found that it could actually have the opposite effect. If you're looking for a reason to start your day with a sweet treat, look no further. A new study found that if you eat this beloved indulgence within the first hour of waking up, it could help burn fat and contribute to other positive health benefits. Read on to find out which dessert you should be enjoying with your morning coffee.
RELATED: Eating This Sweet Treat Every Day Slashes Heart Disease Risk, Study Shows.
Eating chocolate in the morning can help burn fat.
A June 23 study published in The FASEB Journal examined the effects of postmenopausal women eating milk chocolate within one hour of waking up. Researchers found that when the women ate 100 grams of chocolate in this timeframe, it helped reduce blood glucose levels, burn fat, and decrease waist circumference. Additionally, eating chocolate in the morning also resulted in lower daily cortisol levels. According to the study, "lower cortisol levels have been related to a lower stress-related appetite which may partly explain the better caloric compensation."
RELATED: Eating This One Vegetable Slashes Your Stroke Risk By 55 Percent, Study Says.
Eating chocolate before bed also has health benefits.
The study also found that consuming milk chocolate one hour before bed had a slew of health benefits as well. A late-night snack of chocolate was shown to positively alter next-morning resting and exercise metabolism. According to the study, chocolate intake at night "could be advisable for next morning performance during high-intensity exercises or prolonged exercises." Consuming chocolate also helped decrease hunger and a desire for other sweets—and that was true for morning and night consumption, but especially at night.
When we eat might be as important as what we eat.
The study found that eating milk chocolate close to waking up or going to sleep didn't lead to weight gain, even though the participants increased their caloric intake. Researchers found that the timing of eating may be just as important as what we eat. "Our findings highlight that not only 'what' but also 'when' we eat can impact physiological mechanisms involved in the regulation of body weight," neuroscientist and co-author of the study Frank A. J. L. Scheer, PhD, said in a statement.
"Meal timing can influence circadian rhythms and eating a high energy and high sugar food, such as chocolate, either at night or in the morning may have a different effect on the circadian system, the peripheral clocks of different organs and tissues, and consequently on body weight and metabolism," the study explained. According to researchers, eating at the "wrong" time could throw off how the circadian system and various metabolic processes work together, which could ultimately negatively affect energy, metabolism, and your risk of obesity.
RELATED: For more health news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Chocolate has been linked to lower weight before.
A 2012 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that men and women who had chocolate the most frequently had a lower body mass index (BMI) on average than people who consumed chocolate the least. The lead author of the study Beatrice Golomb, PhD, told The Boston Globe that she considers chocolate to be a plant food because aside from milk and sugar, it's made up mostly of chocolate and cocoa butter, which comes from the cocoa bean.
RELATED: If You Have This Hershey's Product at Home, Don't Eat It, FDA Says.