We already know that a healthy breakfast is essential to any fitness routine. Apart from being a great start to the day, a balanced breakfast has several benefits: it enhances concentration, focus and energy, boosts your metabolism, and stops you from feeling peckish and making unhealthy food choices at odd hours. However, if your fitness goals include losing excess pounds, then just downing a hasty bowl of cereal or fruit on the go won’t do.
A study conducted by the University of Missouri has shown that a high-protein breakfast can promote weight loss in overweight and obese women. The scientists discovered that eating breakfast that contained at least 35g of protein or more made their test subjects opt for smaller dinners and reduced their midnight snacking tendencies. Those who ate low-protein breakfasts or skipped it completely, however, were more likely to peck on high-calorie snacks through the day. In addition, high-protein breakfast eaters had more stable glucose levels than the other groups. The researchers believe that apart from the fact that protein meals are naturally filling, they also cause significant hormonal changes in the body that lead us to feel satiated for longer.
Getting your protein on
If your normal go-to breakfast is some cereal or toast, switching over to 35g of protein might seem like a major and troublesome change. But with a few tweaks and some planning you can increase protein intake in your daily breakfast without having to plan elaborate menus.
Nutritionists suggest adding sources of high-quality protein, such as milk, eggs, lean meats, and Greek yogurt to your meal, while also making healthier, low-cal substitutes in case of refined grains and cereals. Both eggs and milk products are popular breakfast ingredients, and with a little imagination you can create a variety of high-protein breakfasts that keep you fuelled through the day. For starters, try out our Runner’s Recipes of Spicy Avocado and Eggs on Toast or the Breakfast of Champions
For those of us who don’t eat meat or eggs, there’s plenty of protein to be found in nuts, legumes, beans, seeds, as well as in certain fruits and veggies such as spinach, broccoli, soya, cottage cheese and tofu. Almonds are a rich source with 6 g of protein per ounce, and cashews come a close second. Other protein snacks include yogurt, quinoa seeds, oat bars, white cheeses and chickpeas. No time to chop and stir? With milk and yogurt both being excellent sources of protein, a hearty breakfast smoothie is a great way to get your protein on. You can include nuts, seeds, veggies, fruits, and even some protein powder into your shake to boost your metabolism keep you active through the day.