Protein & Satiety

posted by on August 17th, 2015

Clinical reports from both the research as well as patient focused front continue to support the importance of protein in the morning over consumption of carbohydrates previously recommended.

“Eating a high-protein breakfast sustains fullness even to the evening hours,” says Heither Leidy, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, School of Medicine at the University of Missouri. “So there is something about eating protein for breakfast.”

To displace the carbohydrate mythos more practitioners are asking about how much do we recommend for weight loss?  In addition, patients want to know when is the best to time to combine protein with other recommendations, like exercise.

Any protein in the morning for breakfast has shown to improve satiety and reduction of food cravings that may otherwise lead to over-eating or choosing the wrong food sources.  One theory behind the benefits of protein in the individual looking to lose weight is consumption of simpler foods is less by 400 calories/day in protein eaters.  There is however a distinction between how much is recommended for the most benefit in promotion of weight-loss.

Between 18-23 grams relative to gender and activity level is recommended at each meal. There does appear to be a threshold at 30 grams for satiety and reduction of food cravings. Those that are physically active should add an additional 18-25 grams post workout, while those that are athletic will add even more.  The additional protein in exercise and athletic individuals is because of its anabolic benefits beyond weight loss seen with smaller total day amounts in the “dieter”.

Going one step further, research supports, due to this threshold it may be beneficial to take additional protein usually eaten at dinner and re-distribute those grams in the breakfast hours to get the day started right.

Whether the morning is about jumping out of bed looking forward to a day full of energy or about a sound nutritional start, your answer is protein!