Hopefully, you are already starting your day with breakfast instead of running out the door on an empty stomach. Among the slew of reasons why breakfast is so important, data shows that breakfast skippers consume significantly more calories, carbohydrates, total and saturated fat, and added sugars during lunch, dinner and snacks than those who are breakfast eaters.
But it may not be enough to simply eat “whatever” for breakfast if you are trying to support your health and stay satisfied until lunchtime. While smoothies and whole-grain English muffins may be nutrient-packed choices, they could very well leave your tummy grumbling shortly after mealtime.
Why? If you aren’t eating enough protein at breakfast, you may not feel as satisfied. Eating protein can positively affect certain hormone levels and increase feelings of fullness, possibly leading to less calorie consumption overall and ultimately supporting weight-loss goals.
Sneaking in some protein is simple to do with a little know-how. To help avoid morning hangriness and to add some satisfying protein to the start of your day, here are four breakfast ideas that keep you satisfied longer.
Add an Egg
Whether they are scrambled, hard-boiled or even microwaved, eggs are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition — containing key nutrients like choline, vitamin A and iodine. Plus, one large egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein, a nutrient that can help leave you satisfied over the long run and even reduce food cravings.
In one study, those who replaced a grain-breakfast meal with an egg-based one experienced more weight loss over three months. And in another study, those who ate an egg at breakfast instead of a bagel experienced greater satiety and reduced food intake throughout the day.
Adding eggs to your breakfast is simple. For busy people, keep hard-boiled and pre-peeled eggs in your fridge for the ultimate grab-and-go option. And of course, you can always opt for a decadent omelet or frittata if the mood strikes.
Walnuts are not always top of mind when it comes to choosing breakfast ideas that keep you satisfied longer, but these little nuts go surprisingly well with many breakfast options. And eating them may help make your meal more satisfying in an incredibly simple way. Increasing daily consumption of nuts, including walnuts, is associated with less long-term weight gain and a lower risk of obesity in adults.
In one study, results showed that eating walnuts quite literally decreases feelings of hunger and appetite. So adding a handful of walnuts to top your oatmeal or yogurt, topping your whole-grain waffle with a dollop of walnut butter, or simply including some with a serving of fresh fruit may be the addition your body needs to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Just Add Milk
Smoothies, oatmeal and whole-grain pancakes can be nutrient-packed choices for your first meal of the day. But while they may be loaded with vitamins and minerals, they can be pretty low in protein if you aren’t using the right ingredients.
Using milk instead of water when you are making your oatmeal or pancake batter, for example, can boost the protein content in your breakfast. And when choosing liquid for your smoothie, using milk instead of water or juice can give you that satisfying macro that your body needs to make it through the morning.
Including proteins from milk in a diet have been linked to a reduction in both long- and short- term appetite, thus helping people power through their morning.
And if you are not a dairy lover, just make sure that the dairy alternative that you are opting for has a decent amount of protein included (at least 6 grams per serving) because many traditional options are either protein-free or only contain 1 gram of protein per serving.
Sprinkle Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are chock-full of important nutrients like iron, calcium and, yes, protein. One ounce (approximately 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contains a whopping 4 grams of plant-based protein, making it one of those simple breakfast ideas that keeps you satisfied longer. And thankfully, they are super simple to include in many classic breakfast favorites.
So whether you are adding a scoop of seeds to your pancake mix, sprinkling some on top of your breakfast parfait or avocado toast, or even whipping up a delish chia-seed pudding, adding these seeds to your morning meal can help you avoid those embarrassing tummy grumbles.