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Low carb diet, big breakfast and almonds touted as best weight loss weapons

Supersize your breakfast to supercharge your weight loss.
Supersize your breakfast to supercharge your weight loss.
Photo by Neilson Barnard

If you're battling the bulge this summer and feeling frustrated, several new studies might help provide you with better weight loss weapons. And one doesn't even require you to change what you eat. Instead, it focuses on timing your meals to take advantage of your body's internal clock, reported the Chicago Tribune on July 30.

One study evaluated two groups of dieters who ate the same calories and followed the same weight loss approach for 20 weeks. One group ate their main meal after 3 p.m., while the other group consumed the most calories prior to 3 p.m. The early eaters lost the most weight and also shed pounds more quickly.

Another study followed 93 obese women with metabolic syndrome. One ate a big breakfast, medium-sized lunch and small dinner. The other group reversed that approach. The group who ate the majority of their calories at breakfast lost an average of 17.8 pounds, compared to 7.3 pounds among those who ate a large dinner.

To get the most benefits from these studies, consider the quality of your food as well as the quantity, says nutrition guru Dr. William Lagakos. In a recent blog, he compared different studies that ranged from eating two meals a day to skipping breakfast.

"Skipping breakfast is more convenient for many people," notes Dr. Lagakos. "But the consistency of these findings across a wide range of diets and study designs" can be summed up with the advice of nutritionist Adelle Davis: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."

But that doesn't really help if you feel so hungry between meals that you want to steal your kitten's kibble. Try almonds, which a new study showed can cut cravings, reported the Medical Daily on July 30.

Researchers developed a way to determine how full you are. Called the Satiety Quotient, the method measures your hunger level.

Participants in the study ate a breakfast that contained generous amounts of almonds for four days. They found that consuming those nuts helped reduce their hunger level significantly. Researchers credited the protein and healthy fats in almonds for that benefit.

Seeking suggestions on precisely what to eat in addition to almonds? Harnessing the power of protein and cutting carbohydrates can help with diabetes, reduce your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels and boost your weight loss, reported Medscape Medical News on July 30.

A new study designed to determine the best nutritional approach for diabetes revealed that low carb diets have multiple benefits. Scientists compared a low-carb, low saturated-fat diet to a high-carb, low-fat diet. Study participants ate the same number of calories regardless of which diet they followed.

"The findings from this study suggest that a novel eating pattern that markedly limits carbohydrates and increases protein and unsaturated fat may have more favorable therapeutic potential for optimizing the management of type 2 diabetes and reducing cardiovascular disease risk as part of a holistic lifestyle-modification program," said principal investigator Grant D. Brinkworth, PhD. The study was unique in limiting saturated fat on both diets.