Protein is a key nutrient for weight loss. In fact, adding protein to your diet is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lose weight.
Studies show that protein can help curb appetite and prevent overeating. Therefore, starting the day with a protein-rich breakfast can be effective weight loss advice.
Should we have breakfast?
In the past, skipping breakfast was 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, having breakfast can be a good idea for other reasons. For example, it can improve the mental performance of school-age children, adolescents, and certain patient groups. It can also depend on the quality of the breakfast. Although the stereotypical breakfast has no effect on weight, a high-protein breakfast that promotes weight loss can have different effects.
How Protein Helps You Lose Weight
Protein is probably the most important nutrient for weight loss. This is because the body uses more calories to metabolize protein than fat or carbohydrates. Plus, protein helps you feel full for longer. A study in women showed that increasing protein intake by 15-30% of total calories helped them consume 441 fewer calories per day. They also lost 5 kg in just 12 weeks. Another study showed that increasing protein intake to 25 percent of total calories reduced nighttime snacks by half and obsessive thoughts about food by 60 percent. In another study, two groups of women were put on a diet for 10 weeks. The groups consumed the same amount of calories, but different amounts of protein. All of 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 long-term weight loss. One 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 at breakfast affects eating behavior. In fact, MRI scans have shown that eating a protein-rich breakfast reduces the 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 decrease 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 at Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight and Abdominal 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 that the more high-quality protein you eat, the less fat you have. A study of obese Chinese teenagers showed that replacing a cereal breakfast with an egg meal resulted in significantly more weight loss in three months. The group that ate a higher protein breakfast lost 3.9% of their body weight (approximately 2.4 kg), while the group that ate a low protein breakfast lost only 0.2% (0 , 1 kg). In another study, people on a weight loss program were given an egg 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, a 65% weight loss, and a 34% reduction in waist circumference.
Protein can slightly increase 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 fat (0-3%). This means that more calories are burned by eating protein than carbohydrates or fat. In fact, a high protein intake has been shown to burn 80-100 extra calories each day. A high-protein diet can also help prevent muscle loss during calorie restriction and partly prevent the metabolism reduction 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 cereal 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 are also great sources of protein to include at 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 omelette: with ricotta and spinach.
– Fried tofu: with cabbage and dairy-free cheese.
– Greek yogurt: with wheat germ, seeds and berries.
– A smoothie: a measure of whey protein, a banana, frozen berries and almond milk.
If you choose to have breakfast, choose one that is high in protein. The protein content of breakfast meals in the above studies ranged from 18 to 41 percent of calories, with at least 20 grams of total protein.
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