Start your day with a protein rich breakfast to feel fuller for the rest of the day.

Q. Why more protein?

A. The overall result is better appetite control during the day.

There is a growing body of scientific research reporting that this actually works! Below is just a small sample of these studies. There are more and they all support the idea that eating more protein at breakfast makes you feel fuller all day. And no, more protein does not mean having to eat fish, meat or poultry for breakfast so all you vegetarians can rejoice in the fact that you too can benefit from this body hack.

Effect of elevated protein content of Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner on the immediate and overall (day long) feeling of fullness are reported by Leidy (2006). People who were in energy deficit (eating less calories than they burned) found themselves considerably fuller on a higher protein breakfast meals. The increased feeling of fullness was observed for the following 3 hours as well as for the day long (15 hour) period. This is a small sample study but one of many that report similar results.

A review by Noaks (2008) into the role of protein in weight management discusses the impact of higher protein content in calorie restricted diets. The biggest difference is the effect of protein on the feeling of satiety. More protein at breakfast = eating less later and feeling less hungry. This review favours higher protein intake for the benefit of weight loss especially when combined with exercise.

Vander Wal (2005) and Ratliff (2010) have compared eating an egg based breakfast and bagel based breakfast, and both report that egg based breakfast has a better effect on overall satiety and calories subsequently consumed. It does not have to be eggs, other studies compare similarly higher protein low carbohydrates breakfast vs lower protein higher carbohydrate breakfasts and find the same results.

Lastly a meta-analysis of a number of studies by Flint (2007) concludes that feeling full after a meal has everything to do with your body keeping the levels of insulin and another hormone, ghrelin stable. This is what happens after a protein rich breakfast that helps to keep the level of these hormones low.

Eggs, salmon, toast and avocado Epoch Fitness Breakfast
Salmon, avocado and some eggs on a piece of gluten free toast.

The type of foods to go for.

Though not the only option, the best protein comes from animal sources: meat, poultry, eggs, milk. Balance is key. Avoid having excess dairy or eggs as these seem to not agree with some people’s digestive system. Having a boiled egg or two with with a little porridge is guarantied to keep you full for the rest of the morning and according to the above reviews will also have the effect of making you feel less full for the rest of the day. Not feeling eggstatic about this option? How about a bowl of yoghurt topped with nuts and berries. The yoghurt and nuts will supply more than enough protein, the “good fat” content will fill you up even more, while the berries….well they are just delicious and healthy. Experiment with your options!

More of: eggs, turkey, chicken, salmon, nuts, protein shake, cottage cheese, yoghurts, other cheeses in moderation.

Less of: cold milk poured over oddly shaped sugary cereals, breakfast biscuits, breads etc.

Final note.

Remember that the objective of a healthy food intake is NOT to eat less calories but to eat the right source of those calories. 99% of otherwise healthy adults can lower their body fat% simply by shifting the calorie intake away form highly processed sugars, especially first thing in the morning.

Eat a protein rich breakfast to minimise the frequency and intensity of hunger pangs and make fat loss effortless.

Try this tomorrow to see how much easier it is to stay full and energetic through the day.

With healthy wishes,

Dmitri Tkatchev

P.s. You can read more on this topic in the 5 Rules to a Fat Burning Breakfast. Look out for the non animal protein options mentioned there.

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