Last December my friend started eating a piece of chocolate cake every day with breakfast. I thought she was crazy, but then she lost 36 pounds! Should I try it?

Yes! You can have cake and lose weight, too, according to new research at Tel Aviv University in Israel. In the study, one group of dieters started the day with a 600-calorie breakfast that included cake or a cookie, while a second group ate a 300-calorie low-carb breakfast. Both groups consumed a total of 1,400 calories each day, but after 32 weeks, the dessert eaters lost an average of 48 pounds-40 pounds more than those who skipped dessert!

How it works: Study subjects said that enjoying dessert kept them from feeling deprived and staved off cravings the rest of the day. (Meanwhile, the low-carb dieters’ cravings intensified throughout the day.) And since metabolism is most active in the morning, indulging at breakfast helps ensure the extra calories are burned for fuel. Just be sure to pair your treat with a protein like eggs. That way you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth without triggering blood sugar swings that can lead to cravings and fat storage.

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