It’s the diet hack that we genuinely never saw coming, but new research has suggested that actually indulging in an unbelievably ‘naughty’ dessert could be the key to weight loss.
Swapping fruit for a chocolately treat when you crave a sweet fix could result in the consumption of less calories overall if the new research published by the American Psychological Association is anything to go by.
In a new study, researchers discovered that people who chose a more decadent dessert were also more likely to choose a healthier main meal, which resulted in them eating a lower calorie meal overall.
In fact, those who opted for a ‘naughtier’ dessert actually consumed 30% less calories overall than those who picked fruit for pudding.
The study involved researchers putting both a healthy dessert like fresh fruit and a less healthy dessert like cheesecake at the beginning of a cafeteria line for people to choose from.
They discovered that when people chose an unhealthy dessert at the start, they then picked a much lower calorie meal for the other options.
“We believe diners who chose the indulgent dessert first then picked healthier main and side dishes to make up for their high-calorie dessert,” said Martin Reimann, study author and assistant professor of marketing at the University of Arizona.
“Diners who picked the healthier dessert may have thought they already had done a good deed for their bodies so they deserved higher-calorie food further down the cafeteria line.”
While this study comes down to the psychology of dieting and is more about how much we put into our bodies rather than what that food does to our body when we digest it, the research does make a good point about the importance of not denying ourselves the odd treat now and then.
We all know the benefit of factoring in cheat days to a diet, now we just know that we can indulge in the odd slice of guilt-free gateau too!