Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…right?




Well maybe the old wives tale may not be true. It seems that eating breakfast has little to no impact on how much weight you lose overall. But eating breakfast may have an impact in other areas such as mental performance. No one likes that blurry headed feeling, especially when you need to concentrate at work or school.

Whether you choose to eat breakfast or not doesn’t interest me, I’m more concerned about what you eat as your first meal. The usual high sugary bowl of cereal or jam on toast all contain a very high portion of carbohydrates and very little protein. Whilst there is nothing wrong with carbs, there is everything wrong with low protein (especially for breakfast).

The main reason you should be eating protein is because science says so! (And you can’t argue with that). Even when calories are controlled, those that ate a high protein breakfast had a 65% greater weight loss, 61% greater loss in BMI and a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference. If you are cheering for team protein, then you have to be crazy!

There are endless studies showing the benefits of protein on weight loss. If you want to geek out together at some point then let me know (that’s not a euphemism). Click here, here and here for a proper geek out on all the science.


Thermic Effect of Food

Just by eating more protein throughout the day, you will burn more calories (magic hey!) Not quite, there is a scientific reason behind this. All foods have a ‘Thermic Effect’, which means it takes a certain amount of energy to metabolise (or use). Protein has a much higher thermic effect than the other macro-nutrients (carbs and fat), which means you burn more calories just by eating protein.

A high protein intake could equate to around an extra 80-100 kcals burned, which isn’t enough to throw a party about but every little helps.

Science stuff:


Appetite reducing 

There are several hormones that control hunger in the body and protein has a positive effect on these. Without getting too geeky, protein makes you feel fuller for longer and stops you heading for the vending machine later in the day. You will automatically be reducing overall calories consumed without even thinking about it (that sounds like the perfect diet).

Science stuff:


Helps reduce muscle loss in a calorie restriction

To lose body fat we need to be in a calorie deficit, which means eating less than we burn (or burning more than we eat). By doing this you are putting your muscle mass at risk of being used as fuel as well. There is one way of reducing the amount of muscle mass lost….yup you guessed it….PROTEIN!

Studies show that by increasing protein from 15% to 30% of your daily food intake you could reduce muscle loss significantly. Check out the study, the results are crazy!

So if you decide to eat it or not, that’s entirely up to you. But whenever your first meal is, make sure it contains protein. By starting the day as you mean to go on will put you in the correct mind-set for sticking to your diet.