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Protein Intake is Most Important at Breakfast during Weight Loss

Equally distributing protein intake over three meals during the day is as important as getting enough protein overall! Breakfast can be the most neglected meal when it comes to protein and weight loss. And sorry, but while it’s yummy…and convenient, coffee and a bagel for breakfast while on the run just doesn’t provide the protein needed to maintain proper muscle health and satiety between meals.

What we know from studies is that increased dietary protein at breakfast tends to lead to a sustained feeling of fullness during a low-calorie diet compared to other meal times. Consuming a high protein breakfast helps in improving adherence to physician’s recommended protein intake and keeps the dieter on track with their weight loss plan.

The old mantra, sung by our mothers about breakfast being the most important meal of the day takes on even more meaning now that there is scientific support that skipping breakfast is associated with unhealthy outcomes like weight gain and obesity. A breakfast high in quality protein, keeps a dieter feeling full and content between meals.

In a 2009 study with randomized controlled feeding trials, participants’ fullness, hunger, and desire to eat were assessed at multiple times of the day for several days. To make a long story short, the conclusion from the trials was that the differential responses following increased protein intake at breakfast compared to other meal times suggested that the satiating property of dietary protein is influenced by the timing of protein consumption. ²

Maintaining a high-quality intake of protein throughout life is important for everyone but even more so for those over the age of 65 who would really benefit by eating a healthy breakfast with at least 30g of protein.

Planning for a higher protein breakfast doesn’t have to be difficult. Dietitians and weight counselors can help with meal planning and manufacturers of high-quality protein products like HealthWise have developed & produce hundreds of quality protein supplements that can plug into most commercial diet plans. Examples of some high protein breakfast items include omelets, cereals, pancakes, oatmeal, protein bars, smoothies, protein shakes and more. Just because one is on a calorie restrictive diet does not mean they need to lose out on tasty, nutritious, breakfasts and other satisfying meal options.

View our other blog article on high-quality protein


  2. British Journal of Nutrition (2009), 101, 798-803 doi:10.1017/S0007114508051532 , Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal

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