The idea of following a diet that advocates eating cake for breakfast sounds too good to be true. But if a recently published book - The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake And Still Lose Weight by Karen Wheeler - is anything to go by, the French queen indulged her sweet tooth in the mornings and had a lighter lunch and dinner, which helped her maintain her 23-inch waist figure. The book says, "The French queen ate cake for breakfast and was fond of hot chocolate, but seems to have known instinctively what scientific studies have recently shown: for example, it is not what you eat, but when you eat it." While it was cake for breakfast, she ate fish, vegetables and pulses at lunch and a small soup for dinner, thereby ensuring that she managed to burn off the calories. The author herself lost nine kilos after ten weeks on the regime. But does it really work?
HAVE A HEAVY BREAKFAST
Niti Desai, consultant nutritionist, says everyone knows that one must have a breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper. "However, due to hectic schedules most people tend to skip their breakfast and often dinner becomes the largest meal of the day. This diet is not very practical but the message that one should take is to have a heavy breakfast with a good combination of proteins and carbohydrates. Cake as a food has a lot of fat and makes you feel fuller for a longer time, but it won't particularly reduce your sweet cravings. If one must eat dessert it's better during the earlier part of the day," says she.
NOT AN ADVISABLE DIET
The Marie Antoinette Diet may may help you lose weight, but it doesn't take into account health parameters, says Naini Setalvad, obesity, lifestyle and disease consultant. "Sugar is a cancer, cell multiplier and known to make one hyper. It gives us quick, instant but short bursts of energy, leaving us drained later on and reaching for more sugar. Like a drug, sugar is very addictive. It causes tooth decay and is one of the causes of diabetes. So, this is not intelligent eating," she adds.
SWEETS HELP EXPAND WAISTLINES
Dr Amrapali Patil, weight management expert and founder of Trim n Tone, says leaving the 'cake' part of the diet aside, this type of lunch and dinner menu is not so bad. "The precipice of the diet is that if we leave room to satiate some food cravings that can cause a mid noon slump that one often feels while dieting could be avoided. However, this won't happen if one eats smaller portions at regular intervals of a healthy balanced diet. Also, it is common sense that daily consumption of cakes and other sweets in indiscrete quantities can only expand waistlines. Instead, choose healthy sweets (those which are less greasy), and made with ingredients such as fruits and vegetables," suggests Dr Patil.