I recommend that all of my clients aim to get 30 grams of protein for breakfast as soon as they wake up in the morning. This can be difficult because most, “breakfast foods” that people naturally go to are higher in carbohydrates, and not as high in protein…cereal, toast, bagels, fruit, even oatmeal…all fall into this category.
Foods that are higher in carbohydrates tend to spike your blood sugar. Raised blood sugar levels are then followed by a release of insulin, which functions to bring the blood sugar levels back down. Insulin is also known as a storage hormone. It drives sugar into our cells which will either be used or stored. The sugar in cells, is what is used for energy in our exercise and our daily movement in general. However, if enough calories aren’t burned throughout the day (if that sugar isn’t used up), it is what ends up contributing to the storage of fat….and weight gain.
Because this surge of insulin follows after a raise in your blood sugar occurs, it’s likely that after eating a meal that is high in carbohydrates you may find yourself craving sugar again shortly after to raise your blood sugar levels back up again.
Protein on the other hand, has a very different effect on the body. Protein doesn’t change your blood sugar and insulin levels, causing raises and crashes through the day. Protein requires more energy from your body to be digested. It is beneficial to your cells because it is what your cells are made up of. Protein is more satiating, and will keep you full, longer. It is beneficial for muscle repair, and helps to build lean muscle. Is is also beneficial for brain function due to the neurotransmitters it contains, meaning a high protein breakfast will improve your brain function throughout the day.
So what are some great ways to get your protein in ASAP in the morning? ……all forms of eggs, veggie omelets, jerky, lean meats, leftover chicken, lunch meat, protein bars (I like Questbars because they are the cleanest option w/the least amount of sugar) &, protein shakes. A lot of the time, the hardest part is switching up your old habits to some new ones!