Is Your Diet Providing enough Protein?
There is more wrong with that doughnut for breakfast than you may already know. Breakfast has long been touted as the most important meal of the day; and there are reasons as to why this is said. Breakfast is your first chance to start your day off right. Too much food in the morning and you are setting yourself up for a sluggish and calorie-loaded day. Not enough food and you may find yourself hungry and making unwise snacking choices throughout the day. What’s more, while many think that skipping a meal is going to give their weight loss efforts a slight boost, it’s actually been found that skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain.
So, starting off the day with a healthy meal is an important step in living a healthy lifestyle, but what exactly is a healthy breakfast? Many experts are now pointing to the benefits of a high-protein breakfast to support weight loss efforts, and there is a great deal of evidence and support for this line of thinking.
Benefits of eating protein in the morning:
- It supports healthy muscle development
- It requires more calories for digestion than do carbs
- It helps keep you fuller for longer
The Bottom Line about Protein
Recently, the question regarding protein for breakfast was taken into the laboratory setting. In once recent study focusing exclusively on women, it was found that those who increased their protein intake from 15% of their total caloric intake to 30% of their daily calorie allotment were found to eat fewer calories per day—an average of about 450 calories a day, in fact.
Another study found that increasing protein to account for a quarter of total calories reduced unhealthy eating habits, like obsessive thoughts about food and late-night snacking, by 60%.
When it comes to breakfast, protein was found to be just as essential. Participants who switched to a high-protein breakfast were found to have reduced hunger throughout the day, and easily shed an average of 135 calories from their daily diet without overtly trying.
In each of these studies, the participants who made the change to their diet and began eating higher levels of protein daily were found to lose weight much easier than those who ate a diet considered well-balanced, but with a lot more carbohydrates.
Why does protein make such a difference? Researchers have looked at MRI scans and found that eating a protein-rich diet actually reduces the signals to the brain that control food-related impulses. Since protein helps you feel full, it also reduces your urge to snack and naturally curbs appetite. Making a fundamental shift in your diet like this could help you develop a healthier relationship with food and could make it easier to maintain your weight loss long-term, as well.
Don’t make any changes to your diet without talking to your weight loss doctor, first, but if you are looking for ways to improve your diet and maintain your medical weight loss results, eating more protein might be the step-up you were looking for.