Last week I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Heather Leidy, a professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri speak on protein and its effects on appetite and body weight.
You’ve heard me preach the benefits of protein in many of my articles but this lecture showed it goes beyond even what I realized.
Here are the benefits of eating protein:
- It helps with both physiological and reward-driven eating. This translates to protein helping you feel full when you’re hungry or just have a “craving” to eat
- A higher protein breakfast not only lowers your interest in eating for the entire day but also results in less late night eating
- The satiety we receive from eating protein is more important than how often you eat
- In diets where individuals were allowed to eat whatever they wanted those that ate the most protein lost the most weight, and 80% of the weight was fat loss
- In a study that tested 38 foods, foods with the highest levels of protein resulted in the most satiety
- Those who ate a higher protein snack in the afternoon (at least 14 grams or about 2 slices of cheese) had 20-30% less hunger at dinner resulting in less intake
Take home message? If you want to control both your appetite and weight, protein is essential throughout the day, particularly at breakfast.