By Myles Worthington, Life by DailyBurn
Here’s some food for thought: A study in the British Journal of Nutrition (and several confirming follow-ups) found that those who ate a protein-rich meal at breakfast reported to be satisfied longer than those who ate the same amount of protein at other meals. “It is super important to start your day with protein. People who eat breakfast packed with protein have fewer cravings throughout the day and feel fuller, longer,” says Erica Giovinazzo, head coach and nutritionist at Brick CrossFit in West Hollywood. “Eating something like cereal or toast without any protein usually leads to a crash by mid-morning.”
Human translation: Skimp on the a.m. protein and you’ll get hangry real quick. “Because while a carb-laden breakfast might keep you full for an hour, a protein-rich breakfast might keep you full for three hours,” Giovinazzo explains. “Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, thus staving off hunger longer,” she adds.
Eggs aren’t the only nutritionist-approved solution, though. Here, seven ways to pump up the protein at breakfast without cracking open a carton (or heating up the stovetop, too).
1. Go GreekAdd 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt to our homemade granola recipe. While granola is good source of carbs and good fats, the Greek yogurt helps up you’re a.m. protein intake by an additional 17 grams—which is the same amount you’d get from eating three eggs. (Really!)
2. Powder UpReplace 1/3 of your favorite pancake mix with protein powder to easily add at least 20 grams of protein to your morning flapjacks. Clearly, we’re partial to our own Fuel-6, a completely plant-based protein powder that offers 24 grams with just one packet.
3. Top With SeedsSprinkle some chia seeds on top of your overnight oats when you take them out of the fridge in the morning. Not only does each ounce of chia seeds add about five grams of protein, but the delicious heart-healthy seeds add calcium, fiber and some texture, too.
4. Swap Quinoa for OatmealMakeover your morning breakfast bowls. While oatmeal has a decent six grams of protein per cup, quinoa beats it two times over with 12 grams of protein per cup. Quinoa also has more than double the magnesium as oatmeal, a mineral that plays an integral role in keeping muscles relaxed. Not ready to go all in? Start with this “quinoatmeal” recipe that goes halfsies on each.
5. Try Some (Turkey) BaconNuke three or four strips of lean turkey bacon next time you prepare avocado toast. You could be introducing over 25 grams of protein to your morning with this simple, flavorful addition. But then again, what isn’t bad with avocado toast?
6. Bean BaggedSwap eggs for black beans next time you’re craving a savory breakfast burrito. Just add a half-cup of dry black beans (about one cup cooked) instead of the two or three eggs you’d scramble up and you’ll have a savory a.m. meal — no eggs included.
7. Butter ’Em UpAdd a dollop of almond butter to pretty much anything when you’re in a rush. We love topping a sliced banana with some organic almond butter (or, better yet, homemade almond butter). Two tablespoons has about seven grams of protein—not the worst when you’re on the go.