Eating a high-protein morning meal will refuel your body after a night of rest and satisfy your appetite so you're less likely to graze later.
The Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting in Atlanta showed that eating high-protein sausage and egg-based breakfasts curbed hunger throughout the morning, compared with skipping breakfast or eating low-protein breakfasts of pancakes and syrup, in 18- to 55-year-old women. High-protein breakfasts also may help women curb eating later in the day, according to the researchers.
All of the breakfast meals contained roughly 300 calories and similar quantities of fat and fiber. The protein-rich breakfasts contained 30 to 39 grams of protein. Participants completed questionnaires to rate aspects of appetite -- such as hunger, fullness, and desire to eat -- before breakfast and at 30 minute intervals between breakfast and lunch. A standard lunch meal of tortellini and sauce was served and subjects were asked to eat until comfortably full.
Study participants had improved appetite ratings - lower hunger, more fullness, less desire to eat - throughout the morning after eating each protein-rich breakfast, and ate fewer calories at lunch, compared with the low-protein breakfast and skipping breakfast. Breakfast skipping is a common behavior which can lead to overeating later in the day. This study helped to demonstrate that consuming a protein-rich breakfast can curb appetite and possibly help overeating later in the day in women.
Similar study findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed the consumption of a high-protein breakfast also resulted in a reduction in brain activity responsible for the control of food cravings. Eating a high-protein breakfast impacted snacking on high-fat or high-sugar foods in the evening, compared with skipping breakfast or eating cereal.
Americans generally consume enough protein. However, we tend to eat a small amount of protein at breakfast, moderate amounts at lunch, and the largest amount at dinner. Skipping breakfast or grabbing a quick bowl of cereal may be habitual owing to our busy lifestyles.
A good strategy could be to have high protein foods already prepared. Hard boiled eggs can be stored for one week in the refrigerator. Raw almonds and goat’s milk cheddar provide good fats and protein in the a.m. Add protein powder to water or coffee, or make a coffee protein shake, for a metabolism boost first thing in the morning. Even some cold chicken leftover from last night’s dinner will curb your appetite until lunchtime.
It seems the cliché is true: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Living life well-fed,
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Published On: December 11, 2013