This morning routine tweak will help you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
A typical American breakfast is all about the carbs. While whole grains and fruit can make the standard pancake a little better, nutrition experts want you to pull the brakes on your morning carbo-load and add some protein. (This is even more important for people with diabetes. Here’s information on counting carbs with diabetes.)
A 2013 study by researchers at the University of Missouri found that higher-protein meals improved appetite control and fullness levels in overweight men on a low-calorie diet. Similarly, a 2015 study in Hormone Research in Paediatrics found that eating a high-protein breakfast actually promoted weight loss in overweight adolescents over a three-month period.
What’s the deal? It’s pretty simple. If you fill up with something hearty at breakfast that takes your body longer to digest and steadies the hormones that regulate your blood sugar and appetite, you’ll likely eat a smaller lunch.
Here are easy ways to add more protein to breakfast options you’re already eating.
Top toast with 2 Tbsp of hummus and a sliced hard-boiled egg
Add sliced ham to breakfast sandwiches and wraps
Switch from regular to greek yogurt for double the protein
Make oatmeal with one cup of low-fat or soy milk instead of water
Add 2 Tbsp of hemp or chia seeds to smoothies
Make porridge with quinoa instead of oats
Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of hemp seeds on your yogurt parfaits
Blend in 2 Tbsp of almond butter (or any nut butter) to your smoothies
Add ¼ cup of walnuts or almonds to your cereal or oatmeal
Spread 2 Tbsp of nut butter on your toast or waffles instead of butter or syrup
Looking for an easy, energy-boosting breakfast? Here’s a high-protein smoothie bowl with pumpkin and almond butter.
Duyff RL. Complete food and nutrition guide. New York, NY: Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; 2017.
Leidy HJ, Tang M, Armstrong CL, Martin CB, Campbell WW. The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr;19(4):818-24.
Quick breakfast ideas. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association, 2015. (Accessed on September 29, 2017 at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/food-tips/quick-meal-ideas/quick-breakfast-ideas.html.)
Wang S, Yang L, Lu J, Mu Y. High-protein breakfast promotes weight loss by suppressing subsequent food intake and regulating appetite hormones in obese Chinese adolescents. Horm Res Paediatr. 2015;83(1):19-25.