4 Reasons You Should Eat Protein At Breakfast

Protein-packed breakfasts can trim your waistline and power your day.

Liz Applegate |

If you’re looking to lose fat, skipping your morning meal is a bad idea. In fact, 78 per cent of people who lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast every day, according to the National Weight Control Registry. To fuel your run – and stay full – you need a breakfast with protein. When you wake up, your body needs the power-building nutrient because your muscles have been breaking down protein, according to research from McMaster University, Canada. ‘You want 30 grams at breakfast,’ says researcher Stuart Phillips.

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Get your fill

A breakfast that contains at least 30g of protein slows the release of the hormone ghrelin, which triggers feelings of hunger. Consuming protein at breakfast also increases the release of satiety hormones, helping you feel fuller for longer.

Drop kilos and keep them off

Routinely eating breakfast is associated with maintaining a healthy weight over time. Phillips’ research found that 30g of protein at breakfast may help you lose weight because it curbs your appetite.

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Manage blood sugar levels

Experts theorise that regularly breaking a fast with refined carbs and no protein (think doughnut or scone) could lead to spikes in blood sugar, which can stress the pancreas and may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Stuck for time? It’s better to have a doughnut for breakfast than nothing at all: the calories will jump-start your metabolism and keep you from feeling sluggish. Just don’t make it a habit.

Boost your performance

Eating breakfast before a workout (especially one lasting 60 minutes or more) energises your muscles and prevents your body from tapping into protein stores meant for recovery. Research shows that protein at breakfast helps build new muscle and bone cells, as well as boosting your immunity.

Each of these meals packs 30g of protein.

Meat-lover plate

Lightly fry 2 round slices of ready-made polenta and top with 2 poached eggs and 2 slices of bacon. Serve with a glass of kefir mixed with a handful of mashed berries.

Tofu scramble

In 1 tbsp olive oil, fry a sliced courgette, a handful of mushrooms and half a diced onion. Add cubed tofu, allowing excess water to burn off. Add two handfuls of baby spinach and let it wilt. Top with cheese and let it melt. Serve with a slice of wholegrain bread and a glass of soya milk.

Short stack

Cook 2 15 centimetre protein pancakes by adding half a scoop of protein powder to your pancake mix. Top with Greek yoghurt, chopped walnuts and strawberries. Serve with 2 turkey sausages.

Super bowl

Top 225g cottage cheese with 15g almonds, 75g granola and some blueberries.

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