Article by Science Fourchette
Did you know that protein plays a major role in appetite management? Well, now you know! That's why you still feel hungry quite quickly after a meal without enough protein,. Generally, we tend to neglect adding protein to our breakfast — it's more popular at lunch and, especially, at dinner. But a breakfast richer in protein can make us feel full enough to be satiated until dinner, without the need to snack in the morning.
1. Hunger & satiety
Hunger is a physiological sensation that our bodies have when we need an energy and nutritional boost. Satiety is a state of fullness that our bodies feel after eating and satisfying our appetite. These are two important terms to remember and recognize when you feel them:
Hunger occurs when…
Satiety happens when…
2. The importance of breakfast
Breakfast, by definition, means "breaking the fast." This meal helps us restore our blood sugar levels after hours of sleep without eating. It also helps improve our cognitive performance, especially when it comes to our memory and attention span. A breakfast with enough protein even boosts our production of dopamine, a hormone that affects neurotransmitters that stimulate our alertness and energy.
This means that the key to getting your day off to a good start is to eat a protein-filled breakfast.
Of course, you don't have to eat as soon as you jump out of bed. You should eat your breakfast when you start to feel hungry in the morning. If you never feel hungry in the morning, it may be because you had a snack too late the night before. It's therefore better to have your last meal or snack two hours before you go to bed.
How to get the protein you need at breakfast:
- Replace regular milk with Natrel Plus milk, which is high in protein. Every 250 ml serving contains 18 grams of protein — regular milk contains only 8 grams.
- Prepare your oatmeal with milk. Add seeds (flax, chia, hemp, pumpkin or sunflower seeds) and nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans or Grenoble).
- Add cheese (such as cottage cheese, cheddar or ricotta) and nut butter (peanut, almond or soy butter) to your toast.
- Add milk to your coffee or drink a glass of milk (instead of a glass of orange juice).
- Add eggs (for example, scrambled, boiled or omelette) to your lunch.
3. Protein appetite regulation
Protein is more satiating and decreases hunger more than carbohydrates and fats.
Certain hormones also play a role in controlling hunger and satiety. And a diet rich in protein influences the secretion of these hormones!
From a metabolic and biochemical point of view, a diet rich in protein has these effects:
- Decreases the secretion of ghrelin, the "hunger hormone" that stimulates our appetite as the stomach fills up.
- Increases the secretion of cholecystokinin, GLP-1 and YY peptide, hormones that reduce our sense of hunger when stimulated.
4. The distribution of protein throughout the day
According to many surveys, most people consume about 10 grams of protein during their lunch, even though it is recommended to eat between 25 to 35 grams per meal. As a result, spreading our daily intake of protein over all three meals can help us better control our appetite and improve our health.
All in all, increasing our protein intake at breakfast is a smart, healthy choice, which will not only make us more alert, but it will also help stay full until dinnertime!
For more information:
Recipe ideas for lunch
- Protein Choco-coffee drink (for busy mornings)
- A protein-filled milkshake (strawberry or vanilla flavoured) and bite-size wedges of muffins for dipping
- Powder pudding with protein chia, homemade jam and granola