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High Protein Breakfast Helps Curb Cravings

Eat breakfast. That’s what everyone tells you. However, what you eat for breakfast is also important.

A recent study shows that eating a significant high-protein breakfast can help quell cravings later in the day.

A high-protein breakfast reduces cravings

The study targeted young people, who are quite prone to skipping breakfast. Approximately 60 percent of teens skip breakfast on a regular basis.

Not eating breakfast not only increasing the chances people will snack during the day, but it also impairs cognition. Students who eat breakfast are more alert and generally perform better in class.

In the study, some subjects ate no breakfast, others ate a typical breakfast such as cereal and milk, and the rest ate a high-protein breakfast of belgian waffles and yogurt.

Those who ate either breakfast had (obviously) reduced appetite at lunch time. However, those who ate the high protein breakfast had a signficantly reduced appetite. This suggests that eating a high-protein breakfast could help prevent unhealthy snacking and even be a way to help people lose weight.

How to sneak protein into your breakfast

You don’t have to dramatically change your breakfast habits to get a bit more protein. Use peanut butter on your toast, or put some almonds in your cereal. Make a smoothie with nuts: chocolate banana nut smoothie, or if you don’t want chocolate for breakfast, try this one.

If you’re vegan, try some of our vegan breakfast ideas.

Do you have any high-protein breakfast ideas? My breakfast is fairly lacking in protein, so I need to try harder, but my dad swears by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Source: Science Daily

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons by adactio

13 comments
  1. Leanne

    We switched to high protein breakfasts at the new year and haven’t looked back. I cook for a husband, 3 and 8 year old boys and, of course, myself. I make scrambled eggs EVERY morning and usually one added protein.
    1 – One morning I made hamburger patties
    2 – sometimes I chuck a couple TBSPs of pico de gallo, a handful of diced cheddar and a 1/3 cup of sliced chorizo into the scrambled eggs
    3 – I bake bacon at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes
    4 – leftover sausages
    5 – thinly sliced black and white puddings

    Lots of possibilities and all of them take about 20 minutes to get from turning on the stove to plating it.

    Our eldest is an intellectual genius (OK, not quite) but a social dork and he’s been very spirited and impulsive. When we switched to the protein based breakfast and added big protein to his lunches (and took out virtually all grains), he was suddenly able to concentrate, a more respectful student and a less physically impetuous playmate.

    You couldn’t pay me to eat grains at breakfast anymore.

    1. Leanne

      I totally forgot to mention: it’s the fat content that usually goes along with the protein that kills the cravings and also helps with behaviour issues with kids at school. We aren’t afraid of yolks and butter and lard… and we never get tired, cranky, unfocused and start craving simple carbs and snack foods as a result of starting our day this way, but also eating this way at every meal.

      1. Becky Striepe

        Yes! I’ve had a similar experience, and not just with breakfast. I’m hypoglycemic, and if I make sure to have plenty of fat, protein, and fiber in my meals I’m able to avoid those icky sweaty shakes that always make me want a bag of chips. Since I’m vegan, I like tofu scrambles, smoothies with plenty of chia seeds or flax meal, or whole grain cereal with almond milk and nuts or seeds. Yum!

    2. Jeannie Moulton

      Thanks for your comment! It’s good to see that a high-protein breakfast is working for your family.

      I really need to add some to mine. It’s always sugary cereal, or on a ‘good’ day, a piece of fruit. It seems that’s all I can really stomach early in the morning, but I definitely start craving something around 11 am…

      Do you ever find it (or did you find it when you started eating a higher-protein breakfast) difficult to eat more in the morning?

      1. Leanne

        I think there is nothing wrong at all with intermittent fasting if you don’t feel hungry in the morning. It’s great for focus and weight loss.

        That being said, I don’t have a problem eating my high fat, high protein meal. I used to have trouble stomaching oatmeal in the mornings. That’s what we spent a year eating before dropping grains. And for the first week or so, my body was getting used to things.

        It seems like a lot of food, but really, if you have saturated fat in your meal, you actually eat less volume than if you eat pancakes or waffles and fruit or toast. I tell you, when I used to eat toast, I could eat four or more slices and never feel full and have a massive crash an hour later that would lead me to eat more refined carbs, etc.

        For quicker meals, you can always boil eggs ahead of time and bake your bacon in the evening. That way you can grab a slice and a boiled egg and eat in seconds.

        BTW, we are moving toward an Archevore – Paleoish eating way but what got us moving with changing our breakfast was the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. For fat loss, he recommends starting the day with 30g of protein via a mixture of eggs, meat and beans. It’s toatlly delish, totally filling and makes weight loss a cinch.

    3. Anita

      These breakfast are frightening!
      They are so very high in saturated animal fats and extremely high in cholestrel…you need to review your breakfasts and learn about the harm that will be happening to your blood vessels!!!
      There are good proteins in grain, so put them back on the menu! Especially oats. Try not to scramble your eggs as when the white and yolk are mixed together it increases the cholestrol.
      You could supplement some of the high fat food with tomatoes, mushrooms and beans, that will increase your veg intake and add another protein with the beans
      Good luck
      and happy eating
      Anita

  2. Jenna

    Qunioa is great for breakfast– with some cinnamon, walnuts and fresh fruit…its better than oatmeal :), i love pea protein powder…

    1. Anita

      Hi Jenna
      Think I’ll come and stay and join you for breakfast …sounds brill

      I really love a good breakfast …I have won The Vegetarian Society Award winning breakfast. I have a small B&B in the Lake District. UK. But I must say I don’t eat that sort of breakfast everyday, (there’s 4 courses!) it’s for holiday makers!

      Happy eating
      Anitax

  3. Kayleigh

    Always been a big fan of breakfast, always been a big fan of a hearty breakfast.
    Good to see this article posted here! Always wondered how I got away with rich and sweet breakfasts like peanut butter oatmeal, and (gasp) ice cream :P

  4. Lauren @ MRS

    I’m so guilty of not eating a proper breakfast on most days, that I do feel a certain kind of hunger throughout the day that affects my control of eating. If only I can get myself to wake up earlier, I can probably remedy this.

    1. Jeannie Moulton

      I’ve cut my sugary cereal breakfast in half and started bringing nuts and fruit to work to eat after I arrive. I think this has been helping me, because like you, I can’t be bothered to wake up earlier to eat a larger breakfast :)

  5. Greg

    You didn’t quote the most important sentence of the study summary.

    “Due to the small sample size, caution is warranted when interpreting these preliminary findings.”

    You do realize this study was only done on 10 teenage girls right? I realize its easy to jump on studies that conform to your own ideas about food, but you should make an effort to not be misleading when writing about preliminary studies.

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