I Love The Smell of Protein in The Morning...
Surfing the internet for the latest useful studies on nutrition is more fun than an OSHA seminar, but it’s especially rewarding when I find information that allows me to eat as a weight loss strategy. The University of Missouri recently concluded a study indicating that eating a high protein breakfast can help curb cravings for sugary snacks throughout the day and this data they hoped would be supported with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)measuring brain activity particularly in the areas of the brain responsible for stimulating cravings for chicken nuggets and chocolate covered prezels.
The study involved about 20 women, all overweight and under the age of 21. In order to get a base line of brain activity, Heather Leidy, the study overlord and her team first had the subjects fill out a questionnaire (no idea what kinds of things they asked them about) and then took MRI’s of each of their brains before dinner time. Next, they divided them into three groups, one group skipped breakfast, another ate a cereal breakfast while the last group ate a high protein(35 grams) breakfast. Otherwize the menus were matched nutritionally for dietary fiber, sugar, and fat and each totaled 350 calories.
During the study all the participants were interviewed in the afternoons and the protein group reported feeling satiated and largely craving free where the breakfast skippers and low protein cereal group just kept asking where they were hiding the Milk Duds. Each subject was again subjected to an MRI. The MRI’s for the high protein group showed that they did, in fact, have lower brain activity in the craving area of their brains while the same area of the cereal group’s brains had mutated into Mapquest screenshots of the closest Taco Bell.
This isn’t the first study to extoll the virtues of a high protein diet, but it’s the first that I’m aware of that actually employed magnetic imaging to back up the feelings or impressions of the subjects. Love it - Science.
The question on all your minds is what should we eat for breakfast? Well, the study subjects ate breakfasts of 350 calories or less with 35 grams of protein. Okay, this is next to impossible, packing that amount of protein into breakfast is like trying to stuff Niki Minaj’s backside into a pair of our own Dr. Laura’s skinny jeans. The study kinda pulled a fast one. In order to get to the 35g and stay below the 350cal threshold they served pork loin, and lean beef steaks for breakfast.
Below I’ve included some menus that contain actual breakfast foods and contain 35g or protein but wasn't able to stay below the 350 calories. (Some of these are a little high in fat, but at breakfast time fat isn’t too big a deal as you’ll probably burn most of it as energy throughout the day.)
The Farmer’s Daughter (257 calories, 29g protein, 13g fat, 0g sugar)
2 eggs (156 calories, 13g protein,10.6g fat, 0g sugar)
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese(101 calories, 16g protein, 2g fat,
The Hippie Chick (3,330 Calories, 36g protein, 90g fat, 387g sugar)
9 22oz acai bowls(each: 370 calories,4g protein, 10g fat, 43g sugar)
The Lean-a Latina (564 calories, 33g protein, 20g fat, 0g sugar)
2 eggs (156 calories, 13g protein, 10.6g fat, 0g sugar)
1 cup refried beans(220 calories,12g protein, 5g fat, 0g sugar)
2 flour tortillas (188 calories,8 protein, 4.6g fat, 0g sugar)
The McHottie (600 calories: 36g protein, 24g fat, 6g sugar)
2 Egg McMuffins (each: 300 calories,18g protein, 12g fat, 3g sugar)
The Star-Buckwild(735 calories, 34g protein, 70g fat, 131g sugar)
1 Power Protein Plate (290 calories,14g protein, 19g fat, 31g sugar)
1 Café Latte w/ Soy Milk with enough Mocha Syrup for 11 lattes
(445 calories, 20g protein, 50.5g fat,100g sugar)
The Queb-ecky, aye (408 calories, 40g protein, 24g fat, 1.4g sugar)
4 pieces of Canadian Style Bacon (142 calories, 20g protein, 5g fat,0g sugar)
1 goose egg (266 calories, 20g protein,19g fat, 1.4g sugar)
My, My, My Delilah (398 calories, 39g protein, 19g fat, 27.5g sugar)
½c Greek Yogurt (65 calories,12g protein, 0g fat, 4.5g sugar)
2 Scrambled eggs w/ 1/4c feta(256 calories, 23g protein, 18g fat, 9g sugar)
1 slice whole wheat toast(77 calories, 4g protein, 1g fat,14g sugar)
The Bernadine, All American (686 calories, 35g protein, 43g fat, 6.5g sugar)
2 hard boiled eggs (156 calories,13g protein, 10g fat, 0g sugar)
2 slices whole wheat toast with a butt-load of peanut butter
(530 calories, 22g protein, 33g fat,6.5g sugar)
The Orangutan (840 calories, 36g protein, 3g fat, 144g sugar)
3 16oz Protein Berry Pizzaz Jamba Juice Smoothies
(each: 280 calories, 12g protein,1g fat, 48g sugar)
As you can see from the menus above it’s not so easy squeezing 35 grams of protein into breakfast. This is especially tough if you insist on eating fruit and fruit juices for breakfast. I guess the point is to try to fit some protein into every meal and you'll probably experience less cravings for the naughty stuff.
Well, that's my two cents and it's worth every penny.