An Easier Way to Lose Weight

April 8, 2010 at 10:16 am , by

eggs and baconI pulled my favorite skinny jeans out of the back of the closet a couple of weeks ago. They’re cropped and one leg has sequins, beads and embroidery running up the side of the leg. I pulled them on and couldn’t get them zipped up. Know that feeling?

I knew I wanted to lose a few pounds, so one week ago I blogged here about a fascinating new study that suggests when you eat certain foods may be as important as what you eat. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that mice who ate more fat than carbs at breakfast metabolized fat and other foods better throughout the day and avoided weight gain. Meanwhile, mice who started out their day with carbs tended to eat more overall, got chubby and developed symptoms that can lead to heart disease. (I’m oversimplifying but that’s the gist.)

I talked with lead study author Molly Bray, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology 
at the Heflin Center for Genomic Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and she says, “If we knew all we need to know about dietary recommendations, we wouldn’t have the increasing obesity we have observed for the past 20 years. Researchers have looked at macronutrients, micronutrients and the role of physical activity in energy balance, but none have considered how the timing of what we eat may affect our health. Perhaps this is one of the key missing elements.”

So I decided to try an experiment inspired by this study: For one week I would eat a fairly high-fat breakfast and no carbs before noon. That was my only restriction, and I wouldn’t change any other habits, such as exercise. I would see what I felt like eating and just, well, follow my gut. So what happened?

Well, I lost four pounds in one week pretty effortlessly, for one thing. And I stopped craving sugary or starchy foods, for another. And I lost two inches in my waist. Read all the details after the jump.

Bacon and eggs photo copyright GOL— Read more