Protein-rich breakfast curbs late-night snacking
Your breakfast can set the tone for the nutritional quality of the rest of your day. New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a high-protein breakfast could greatly improve appetite control throughout the day and significantly curb late-night snacking.
For the study, 20 overweight or obese girls ages 18 to 20 were split into three groups. One group was asked to skip breakfast, one group ate a high-protein breakfast, and the last group ate a normal-protein breakfast. Each breakfast had 350 calories and was identical in dietary fat, fiber, sugar and calorie density--the only nutritional variable was that the high-protein breakfast had 35 grams of protein. The girls also completed questionnaires, provided blood samples throughout the day, and just before dinner, had their brains scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track brain signals that control food motivation and reward-driven eating behavior.
The evening fMRI scans revealed that the girls who ate a high-protein breakfast had less brain activity in the areas associated with cravings and appetite later in the day. The same group of girls also reported on the questionnaire that they felt more satiated after their high-protein breakfast and felt less compelled to snack in the evening.
The findings suggest that protein-rich breakfasts can have a significant impact on the amount of calories consumed throughout the day, especially late into the night.