For building muscle mass and recovery, eating protein is important as it helps to get the body to an anabolic (muscle building) state from a catabolic (muscle breakdown) state. A high-protein diet, however, is not just for bodybuilders and athletes; we can all benefit from consuming more protein.
Although low-fat or low-carb diets are popular for people to adopt, there is one important component of any diet that should remain consistent: protein. Since our bodies do not store excess protein, as it is essential for the basic function of every cell in our bodies, it is important to eat it regularly. A mixture of all 3 macronutrients should be part of a healthy balanced diet; protein, carbohydrates and fat, but protein is possibly the most essential. Consuming a high protein diet will help develop and sustain muscle, trim your waistline, improve your metabolism and keep your body fuelled by quality fuel to help you take on the day, power through your training and maintain mental performance, regardless of whether your aim is weight loss or muscle gain.
Not only can missing breakfast leave you dangling, it can also lead to poorer results, decreased cognitive function, unwanted gain of weight and loss of muscle. Often, breakfast eaters tend to have lower levels of cholesterol than those who miss breakfast, which suggests a lower risk of heart disease Eating breakfast also helps control blood sugar levels, with studies suggesting that there is a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes for those who consume breakfast.
Breakfast is also referred to as the 'most important meal of the day' as it breaks a time of fasting (during sleep). You are called a breakfast eater if you consume your first meal of the day within 2-3 hours of waking up. Eating a breakfast that provides you with at least 15 percent of your total daily calorie needs is recommended, which will be different for everyone.
Here are only a few of the advantages of eating a high-protein breakfast:
Research has shown that individuals who consume breakfast maintain a healthy body weight and have less body fat than individuals who miss a morning meal. Studies have also shown that setting up a daily breakfast routine will influence you to make healthy choices during the day and regulate the intake of calories.
Protein tends to improve metabolism because it has a higher thermal effect than fat or carbohydrates, which ensures that it is digested by the body consuming more calories. Studies have also shown that protein is filler than carbohydrates and fat. A high-protein diet thus leads to less calories and greater calorie intake compared to a low-protein/high-carb/high-fat diet.
In one research, either a high-protein egg breakfast or a high-carbohydrate bagel breakfast, both containing the same amount of calories, were offered to people on a weight loss programme. Those eating the egg breakfast lost 65% more weight after 8 weeks and reduced their waist measurements by 34% more than those eating the bagel breakfast. Uh? Vegan? Whip up a tofu scramble instead, with a handful of vegetables and pumpkin seeds thrown into you, with an extra nutritious boost, you can reap the same protein benefits!
It has been shown that consuming a high protein breakfast promotes weight loss and enhances muscle health by increasing muscle mass, energy expenditure (calorie output),' fullness' hormones of satiety, and reduces the need to snack at night. Up to 4 hours after breakfast, a high protein breakfast has also been shown to control blood sugar and boost the body's response to high carbohydrate foods.
Protein helps keep you fuller for longer, which ensures that, as a result, you are more likely to eat less calories. In one particular study, as a result of raising their protein intake from 15 percent to 30 percent, overweight women accidentally ate 441 fewer calories per day. It has also been shown that high protein breakfasts encourage weight loss by holding cravings at bay and suppressing the hunger hormones.
Increasing your breakfast protein intake will also help you in the long term to sustain weight loss. In particular, one study found that raising protein intake from 15% to 18% of total calories caused dieters to regain 50% less weight.
Another study found that in overweight men, high-protein diets reduced repetitive thoughts about food and late-night snacks. For those dealing with cravings, overeating, binge eating and food addictions, rising protein intake may also be the ideal cure. So high-protein diets can not only help you lose weight, but can also, to start with, keep you from gaining weight.
Maintain Muscle Tissue
Your body is in breakdown mode when you wake up in the morning, especially when it comes to muscle proteins. It's essential that amino acids, known as the building blocks of protein, refresh your muscles. To replenish the nutrients your muscles need, try to aim for around 20-25 g of high-quality protein along with about 50-100 g of carbs.
Eating sufficient protein amounts helps you preserve your hard-earned muscle mass during weight loss and when you exercise strength, stimulates muscle development. Several studies have shown that it can help to improve muscle size and strength by having a high protein diet. If you exercise regularly, lift weights or deliberately attempt to build muscle, you need to make sure that you eat enough protein to replenish your muscles properly, so that they can efficiently heal and expand.
Maintaining a high intake of protein can also help avoid muscle loss during weight loss, which can be prevalent among those who adopt restrictive 'crash' diets of low-cal/low-protein.
Reduced risk of disease and lower blood pressure
Often, breakfast eaters tend to have lower levels of cholesterol than those who miss breakfast, which suggests a lower risk of heart disease. Eating breakfast also helps control blood sugar levels, with studies suggesting that there is a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes for those who consume breakfast. Many who miss breakfast are becoming more and more insulin resistant. To help your body use glucose to provide energy for basic functions, insulin is needed. Resistance to insulin is related to an increased risk of diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disorder that is associated with high blood pressure and heart failure and that can lead to severe complications.
Improved overall diet
People who eat breakfast tend to have an overall diet better than those who miss a meal in the morning. Breakfast eaters often tend to have a higher intake of fibre, iron and calcium, including a wide variety of vital nutrients. A high-protein shake, made with a protein powder like whey that provides about 20-25g of protein per scoop, is an extremely simple and highly nutritious meal.
Simply add a handful of berries to your choice of fruit, top with milk/plant-based milk or water and blend for a tasty and filling meal, packed with protein, healthy essential fats, slow release carbohydrates and overflowing with vitamins and minerals for a perfectly balanced breakfast!
is it ever alright to skip breakfast? What about fasting for weight loss?
Skipping breakfast is becoming increasingly popular as a weight loss technique and diet as part of a time-restricted eating regime, such as intermittent fasting. Studies have shown, however, that breakfast skippers have an increased risk of chronic disease and gaining weight. One research compared breakfast skippers with breakfast eaters and found that breakfast eaters not only had a decline in appetite, but also increased healthier food choices and improved the quality of sleep.
Take Home Message
Although a high-protein breakfast offers a whole host of health benefits, choosing choices that are not high in excess saturated fat is crucial. Many common high-protein breakfast products may be high in saturated fats, such as sausages and full fat milk. If eaten daily, the saturated fat content will outweigh the health benefits of their protein content, while good for an occasional treatment or weekend 'cheat meal'.
Instead, it is advised to look for sources of lean protein such as low-fat dairy, lean meat, eggs, beans, foods or shakes fortified with protein powder and heart-healthy oily fish such as salmon or kippers. Without the adverse consequences such as elevated cholesterol levels or weight gain that may come from a diet high in saturated fats, these choices include the advantages of a high-protein meal.
If you want to lose weight, gain strength and muscle mass, boost your metabolic (and overall) health, then it's important to make sure that you eat enough protein.