Every morning we make decisions that affect the rest of the day. We have the opportunity to set a tone, a rhythm, and a standard for all that we plan to accomplish before closing our eyes for the night.
When dawn breaks, will you hit the snooze button to steal an extra five (or twenty) minutes of sleep? Or will you rise early to shower and beat traffic?
Will you inhale a slice of toast on the way out the door, or will you sit down to a full breakfast planned to fuel and sustain you until lunchtime? Or will you skip breakfast entirely?
Breakfast Belongs in Your Morning. Protein Belongs in Your Breakfast.
How often do you “opt out” of breakfast, whether in the interest of time or to cut back on calories? It’s a surprising misconception that skipping breakfast will do you any favors health-wise. Instead, research has shown that not eating enough protein at breakfast, or dodging breakfast entirely, is strongly related to weight gain, resulting in a person’s consuming an average of 400 more calories throughout the day than those who got between 24 and 35 grams of protein in the morning.
The habit of skipping breakfast has also been associated with:
deficiencies in calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, and vitamins A, E, B6, & C.
weight gain. (Breakfast-fasters are 4.5 times more likely to become overweight.)
heightened blood sugar and cholesterol, increasing risk of diabetes and heart disease.
So What Will Protein Do for My Day?
As a macronutrient, protein is a vital ingredient in the recipe of our bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, and plays an important role in the production of enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals our bodies need to function properly.
As such, starting the day off with a protein-rich breakfast will empower your body to perform at peak capacity in a number of ways and for a number of reasons.
Start the day with gusto. A morning boost of protein will perk you right up as you head out the door, since protein gives you amino acids that help to produce the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.
Cast an invisibility spell on all vending machines. Protein helps you feel fuller for longer, reducing your urge to graze on whatever snacks are available. In those studied, eating protein-rich breakfasts resulted in a decrease of hunger-stimulating hormones in the body and an increase of a hormone that triggers satiety. To keep yourself satisfied until lunchtime, you should also pair your breakfast proteins with complex carbohydrates (fruit, veggies, and whole grain breads). Your body will metabolize the carbs first before starting on the protein, giving your more time until the hunger pains hit.
Give your body a boost. Don’t deny yourself the health benefits of a nutritious breakfast. By skipping breakfast, you’ll miss out on essential nutrients and upset your blood sugar and cholesterol levels by putting your body in a “fasting” state. You may also end up eating more calories throughout the day anyway.
Good, Better, and Best Types of Protein
Remember that you’re targeting 24 to 35 grams of protein for consumption in the morning, but the type of protein you consume will affect your overall health goals differently.
Eggs, pork loin, bacon, sausage, beef. These options, while rich in proteins, are also high in fats.
Milk, cheese, and yogurt. In addition to being high in fats, they can also be high in sugar content.