Protein is a key nutrient for weight loss. In fact, adding protein to your diet is one of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight.
Studies show that protein can help curb your appetite and prevent you from overeating. Therefore, starting your day with a high-protein breakfast can be an effective weight loss tip.
Should we have breakfast?
In the past, skipping breakfast has been linked to weight gain. We now have strong evidence that recommendations to eat or skip breakfast have no effect on weight gain or weight loss. However, eating breakfast can be a good idea for other reasons. For example, it can improve the mental performance of school children, adolescents and certain groups of patients. It may also depend on the quality of the breakfast. Even if the stereotypical breakfast has no effect on weight, a high-protein breakfast that promotes weight loss may have different effects.
How Protein Helps You Lose Weight
Protein is arguably the most important nutrient for weight loss. This is because the body uses more calories to metabolize proteins than fats or carbohydrates. Plus, protein helps you feel full longer. A study in women showed that increasing protein intake by 15-30% of total calories helped them eat 441 fewer calories per day. They also lost 5 kg in just 12 weeks. Another study showed that increasing protein intake to 25% of total calories reduced nighttime snacking by half and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%. In yet another study, two groups of women were dieted for 10 weeks. The groups consumed the same amount of calories, but different amounts of protein. All the women in the study lost weight. However, the high-protein group lost about half a pound more and a higher percentage of body fat. Protein can also help you maintain your weight loss over the long term. A study showed that by increasing protein by 15-18% of calories, dieters regained 50% less weight
High-protein breakfasts help you eat less later
Many studies examine how protein in breakfast affects eating behavior. In fact, MRI scans have shown that eating a high-protein breakfast reduces signals in the brain that control food motivation and reward-motivated behavior. Protein also helps you feel full. This is because they activate the body’s signals that curb appetite, reducing cravings and overeating. This is mainly due to a drop in the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and an increase in the satiety hormones, peptide YY, GLP-1 and cholecystokinin. Several studies have now shown that eating a high-protein breakfast changes these hormones throughout the day.
How protein for breakfast helps you lose weight and belly fat
High-protein breakfasts can reduce appetite and cravings. They can also help you lose belly fat. Dietary protein is inversely related to belly fat, which means the more high-quality protein you eat, the less belly fat you have. A study in obese Chinese teenagers showed that replacing a grain-based breakfast with an egg-based meal resulted in significantly greater weight loss over three months. The group that ate a higher protein breakfast lost 3.9% of their body weight (about 2.4 kg), while the group that ate a lower protein breakfast lost only 0 .2% (0.1kg). In another study, people on a weight loss program were given either an egg-based breakfast or a baked breakfast with the same amount of calories. After 8 weeks, those who ate the egg breakfast had a 61% reduction in BMI, 65% weight loss and a 34% reduction in waist circumference.
Protein can slightly boost your metabolism
Speeding up your metabolism can help you lose weight because it makes you burn more calories. Your body uses far more calories to metabolize protein (20-30%) than carbohydrates (5-10%) or fats (0-3%). This means that you burn more calories eating protein than eating carbs or fat. In fact, a high protein intake has been shown to burn an additional 80-100 calories each day. A high-protein diet may also help prevent muscle loss during calorie restriction, and partially prevent the reduction in metabolism that often accompanies weight loss, often referred to as “starvation mode.”
What high protein foods should you eat for breakfast?
In short, EGGS. Eggs are incredibly nutritious and high in protein. Replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs has been shown to help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours and lose more weight and body fat.
However, fish, seafood, meat, poultry and dairy products are also excellent sources of protein to include in breakfast.
For a complete list of protein-rich foods, read this article.
Here are some examples of high-protein breakfasts that can help you lose weight:
– Scrambled eggs: with vegetables, fried in coconut oil or olive oil.
– An omelet: with cottage cheese and spinach.
– Fried tofu: with kale and cheese without milk.
– Greek yogurt: with wheat germ, seeds and berries.
– A shake: a measure of whey protein, a banana, frozen berries and almond milk.
If you choose to eat breakfast, choose one that is high in protein. The protein content of breakfast meals in the studies above ranged from 18 to 41 percent of calories, with at least 20 grams of total protein.
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