Why having protein in the morning can help you keep in shape

You might be aware that protein is one of the most crucial foods when trying to keep in shape, but having it at breakfast could be the most important time to eat it. We’ve investigated three reasons why this is the case.

Keeps you fuller for longer…

Protein is the food group which takes the most time to digest. This is because of its formation: protein molecules are essentially a chain of links fused together. Compared to carbs or fats, this formation is hard to break down once consumed. While you body takes its time to digest protein, you won’t feel hungry and you’ll keep fuller for longer. One study revealed through MRI scans that eating protein reduces neural signals for food consumption (1). By eating protein at breakfast, these signals will be kept at bay throughout the day. Studies show protein reduces the hunger hormone called ghrelin and increases the fullness hormones peptide YY, GLP-1 and cholecystokinin (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7).

Boosts your metabolism…

As protein is so hard to digest, it burns more calories while doing so. In fact, it takes 20% of the calories gained from protein to digest it! (8) This means that by having a protein-rich diet, you’ll burn more calories than a fat or carb-filled diet. The harder and longer your body works to digest food, the more it speeds up your metabolism – not just for the time it is digesting, but for some time after, too. It’s also worth knowing that with a high-protein diet with the correct amount of physical activity, muscle gain will increase. Muscles use up loads of energy to maintain, so the more you have, the more fat you’ll burn! (9)

Maintains muscles throughout the day…

Often when we think of weight loss we think of restricting your diet and living off as many lettuce leaves as possible. Modern research, however, shows that this can be detrimental to maintaining or achieving a sculpted body, especially as having a strong, athletic figure is becoming more desirable. Without enough protein, you’ll starve your muscles which can deplete – especially if you are lowering your calorie intake to lose fat which can also lead to muscle loss, too. But why is having protein at breakfast in particular most beneficial to keeping in shape? The answer is relatively simple. When you’re awake during the day, your brain is highly active as well as your body in comparison to when your asleep. This means that your muscles are being used at an increased rate. When you fuel your body with protein in the morning, you’ll be repairing used muscles rapidly and they’ll be maintained throughout the day.

So what is the best form of protein for the morning?

Eggs, fish and lean meat are all good sources of protein but they do require forward planning and time in the morning. We’ve developed a series of health food protein smoothies to set you up with a protein-rich morning without having to think at all! Shop them on our site here!

Hey Hey! I’m Katie ~ the Content Editor here at Zaggora. I work with our incredible team to research health and fitness trends and working with our amazing experts and contributors. I have a passion for creative writing, going to the gym and doing home-based workouts. I also love hunting down the latest coffee houses!