Before I get to the meat (just laugh with me, ok?) of this post, a few thoughts:
- I purposefully didn’t use the word “dieters” in my title although that’s the word used in the article that spurred this post. I’m following my own advice to watch the words we use. Instead of promoting dieting by using the word to describe what we do when we cut back in an attempt to achieve/maintain a healthy weight, I prefer to say we’re readjusting by eating more lightly.
- No, we’re not starting a trend of theme weeks on A Weight Lifted, although last week was Fashion Week (sort of) and this week is shaping up to be Breakfast Week. It’s just that as I was reading Emily’s post on Monday, I opened a newsletter from the Egg Nutrition Center and saw an article about a study I thought worth addressing.
- Given today’s post is our entry for the Women’s Health Blogfest (more below), I also thought this subject a good one for women. Even though the study was done on men. Hey, I don’t think we’re so different that the results can’t apply to us women, too.
The study was fairly simple.
It basically put 10 overweight-according-to-BMI men through five feeding trials: 1) normal protein intake 2) higher protein breakfast 3) higher protein lunch 4) higher protein dinner and 5) higher protein intake spread across meals. In each trial, they ate an energy-balanced (not cutting back) intake for 3 days, then followed it up with an energy-reduced intake for 3 days.
Comparing measures of fullness, the researchers found no differences worth talking about when the men weren’t eating more lightly.
But when they did eat lighter, it seems the higher protein breakfast won over lunch and dinner. “…the [higher protein breakfast] resulted in greater fullness ratings throughout the 15-hour assessment period compared to the [higher protein lunch and dinner].” Higher-protein-throughout-the-day had a similar effect.
What the egg folks are so excited about.
Maybe excited is too strong a word. But they are happy to share these results because they strengthen the idea that eating more protein at breakfast when we’re trying to readjust our intake downward to a healthier level may help us feel more satisfied and less hungry throughout the day.
I know this is something many of us have already discovered on our own, and it’s nice to have a study confirm it. But as we talk to women who come to Green Mountain, and I read other blogs, I realize that many folks don’t understand the potential of protein to help satisfy, whether we’re working to lose weight, manage type 2 diabetes, other health problems or just trying to eat healthier. Indeed, we encourage protein at meals and snacks throughout the day when eating lighter to take full advantage of the satiating value of this powerful nutrient.
Do you find increased protein at breakfast helps you feel less hungry? What do you eat for breakfast protein? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments.
Now, more about the Women’s Health Blogfest. It’s an effort spearheaded by registered dietitians Renata Mangrum and Monika Woolsey. Thanks, you two! (Btw, Monika will be the featured expert at our upcoming Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) weeks that we’ll be announcing very shortly.)
Read more posts from Women’s Health bloggers. For some reason, the individual links won’t post here so I’m sending you to Renata’s blog where she has all the links to some great posts!