Don’t miss out. Stay Informed. Get EcoWatch’s Top News of the Day.

Protein is a key nutrient for weight loss. In fact, adding more protein to your diet is the easiest and most effective way to lose weight.

Studies show that protein can help curb your appetite and keep you from overeating. Therefore, starting your day with a high-protein breakfast may be an effective weight loss tip.

Eggs are incredibly nutritious and high in protein.
Eggs are incredibly nutritious and high in protein.

Should You Eat Breakfast?

In the past, skipping breakfast has been associated with weight gain.

We now have good evidence showing that recommendations to eat or skip breakfast have no effect on weight gain or loss. You can read more about that in this article (1).

However, eating breakfast may be a good idea for other reasons. For example, it may improve mental performance in school children, teenagers and certain patient groups (2, 3).

This may also depend on the quality of the breakfast. Even if the stereotypical breakfast (like high-sugar breakfast cereal) has no effect on weight, a breakfast that is high in weight loss friendly protein may have different effects.

Bottom Line: Recommendations to eat or skip breakfast have no effect on weight. However, the same may not apply to a high-protein breakfast.

How Protein Helps You Lose Weight

Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss.

This is because the body uses more calories to metabolize protein, compared to fat or carbs. Protein also keeps you feeling fuller for longer (4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

One study in women showed that increasing protein intake from 15 to 30 percent of total calories helped them eat 441 fewer calories per day. They also lost 11 pounds (5 kg) in just 12 weeks (9).

Another study found that increasing protein to 25 percent of total calories reduced late-night snacking by half and obsessive thoughts about food by 60 percent (10).

In yet another study, two groups of women were put on weight loss diets for 10 weeks. The groups ate the same amount of calories, but different amounts of protein.

All the women in the study lost weight. However, the high-protein group lost about half a kg (1.1 lbs) more and a larger percentage of body fat (11).

Protein may also help you maintain weight loss in the long term. A study found that increasing protein from 15 to 18 percent of calories made dieters regain 50 percent less weight (12, 13, 14).

Bottom Line: Adding protein to your diet is a very effective way to lose weight. It may also help dieters sustain long-term weight loss.

Pages: 1 • 2