High Protein Breakfasts for Weight Loss

breakfastHere’s our best protein breakfasts for weight loss, from our book, The Real Skinny: Appetite for Health’s 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions.

While we all know how important breakfast is, one in 10 Americans still skips their a.m. meal. In addition, those who eat it, often make choices that are high in added sugars or other simple carbs that do little to fuel your day and keep you satisfied.

If you’re always caving to your desire for calorie-rich treats, new research shows that protein-rich breakfasts help control appetite so that people eat fewer calories overall. Problem is, most women only get 12 grams of protein at breakfast or about half of what we recommend for turning down hunger.

Think about it…Those 3:00 pm munchies or nighttime noshing?….Bye-Bye! Adios! Sayonara!

A new short-term study, published in this month’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that among young women, a breakfast that provided 40% of calories from protein was more effective at increasing fullness and reducing hunger and appetite compared to a standard cereal breakfast with 15% of calories from protein. (Both breakfasts were matched for total calories) The researchers also found that high protein breakfasts also resulted in fewer high-calorie snack foods eaten in the evening.

It’s hard to imagine that what you eat at 7 a.m. can influence what you choose to snack on at 7 p.m., but this isn’t the first study to show that high protein breakfasts may help turn down your desire for, um, desirable foods all day long and even well into the evening.

Best Bet High-Protein Breakfasts to Curb Cravings

Here’s a week’s worth of some of our favorite protein-packed breakfasts

Cosi-Breakfast-Wraps_540x405Breakfast Burrito: 2 eggs and 1 white (or 4 egg whites) scrambled with spinach, mushroom and chopped tomatoes or salsa in 1 small whole grain tortilla.

oatmeal raisins cinnamonOatmeal with Greek Yogurt

Oatmeal has a unique fiber, beta-glucan, that has been recently shown to increase feelings of fullness.
1 cup oatmeal with ½ cup nonfat or lowfat plain Greek yogurt, like Fage, topped with cinnamon and 1 cup fresh or frozen (no added sugar) berries

protein_pancakesProtein Pancakes recipe, made with bananas, eggs and nut butter and served with
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt and ½ cup sliced fresh fruit

Greekyogurt2hp1 Package Belvita Breakfast Biscuits with 8 oz nonfat or lowfat plain Greek yogurt

Open-faced Egg Sandwich
2 soft-boiled eggs served over 1 toasted whole-wheat Light English muffin with arugula, sliced tomato and 2 tsp reduced fat spread or light butter
1 piece fresh fruit

Cottage Cheese with Cereal and Fruit

¾ cup Lowfat Cottage Cheese with ¼ cup Grape-Nuts Fit (has 6 grams protein in 2/3 cup) and 1 cup fresh berries

baked eggs in canadian baconBaked Eggs in Canadian Bacon Cups


Reference: Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):677-88. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.053116. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

NHANES, What we eat in America, 2009-2010.


Julie Upton, MS, RD


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  3. I find breakfast is the hardest meal to fit in enough protein. Even though I feel much better when I avoid overly starchy or heavy carbohydrate breakfasts, I still struggle with creating protein-rich breakfasts: I quickly get tired of the same options. I only enjoy eating so many eggs! Thanks for providing new ideas!

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