Do you eat breakfast? Consumer research shows that 92% of us think breakfast is important, yet only 46% of us actually eat breakfast 7 days a week. Most of us are aware that eating breakfast is linked to a longer life. Now a new study shows that adding protein to breakfast can improve appetite control even more than if the protein is added later in the day. In other words, when you eat your protein during the day can make a difference when it comes to appetite control.
Researchers at Purdue University looked at a group of overweight or obese men on a reduced calorie diet. One group was given a normal amount of protein (11-14% of calories) and the other was given an increased amount of protein (18-25% of calories). The group with the larger protein intake received the additional amount from eggs and Canadian bacon, and several different scenarios were compared. The extra protein was spread out throughout the day, and then the researchers compared fullness among subjects to scenarios with the extra protein added at specific meals.
Results showed that study subjects stayed full longer and had better appetite control throughout the day when they ate the extra protein at breakfast than when more was consumed at lunch or dinner. There are several past studies that have found that protein suppresses appetite more than carbohydrates or fats. This study implies that the timing of protein intake can add an additional benefit for weight loss beyond the benefits of adding protein in general.
I find for myself personally that hunger has a tendency to “snowball” the longer I am hungry. I have heard similar things from others. Getting hunger under control early in the day makes it easier to stay on top of it and avoids the bottomless pit feeling that sometimes happens when we try to play “catch up” with hunger.