We developed a week’s worth of protein-packed breakfasts for weight loss for our book, The Real Skinny: Appetite for Health’s 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions. While we all know how important breakfast is, one in 10 Americans still skips their a.m. meal. In addition, those who eat it, often eat foods that do little to keep you satisfied and the wrong foods at breakfast may stimulate your appetite even more!
If you’re always caving to your desire for calorie-rich treats, new research shows that protein-rich breakfasts help control appetite so that people eat fewer calories overall. Problem is, most women only get 12 grams of protein at breakfast or about half of what we recommend for turning down hunger.
Think about it…Those 3:00 pm munchies or nighttime noshing?….Bye-Bye! Adios! Sayonara!
A new short-term study, published in this month’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that among young women, a breakfast that provided 40% of calories from protein was more effective at increasing fullness and reducing hunger and appetite compared to a standard cereal breakfast with 15% of calories from protein. (Both breakfasts were matched for total calories) The researchers also found that high protein breakfasts also resulted in fewer high-calorie snack foods eaten in the evening.
It’s hard to imagine that what you eat at 7 a.m. can influence what you choose to snack on at 7 p.m., but this isn’t the first study to show that high protein breakfasts may help turn down your desire for, um, desirable foods all day long and even well into the evening.
Best Bet High-Protein Breakfasts to Curb Cravings
Here’s a week’s worth of some of our favorite protein-packed breakfasts
Oatmeal has a unique fiber, beta-glucan, that has been recently shown to increase feelings of fullness.
1 cup oatmeal with ½ cup nonfat or lowfat plain Greek yogurt, like Fage, topped with cinnamon and 1 cup fresh or frozen (no added sugar) berries
Protein Pancakes recipe, made with bananas, eggs and nut butter and served with
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt and ½ cup sliced fresh fruit
1 Package Belvita Breakfast Biscuits with 8 oz nonfat or lowfat plain Greek yogurt
Open-faced Egg Sandwich
2 soft-boiled eggs served over 1 toasted whole-wheat Light English muffin with arugula, sliced tomato and 2 tsp reduced fat spread or light butter
1 piece fresh fruit
Cottage Cheese with Cereal and Fruit
¾ cup Lowfat Cottage Cheese with ¼ cup Grape-Nuts Fit (has 6 grams protein in 2/3 cup) and 1 cup fresh berries
Reference: Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):677-88. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.053116. Epub 2013 Feb 27.
NHANES, What we eat in America, 2009-2010.