Many women try to eat “light” in the morning thinking they are doing a good thing when in reality, they are setting themselves up for eating failure later in the day. There is an old saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”, basically meaning eat breakfast like you’re rich and dinner like you’re poor. So, be a king, aka queen, and power up with protein every morning. Here are 5 reasons protein is a must:
- Sets the pace – Adding protein to your breakfast is essential for setting the pace to your whole eating day. If you skip on protein and choose an all-carbohydrate breakfast, you are setting yourself up to crave sugar later in the day. Adding protein to breakfast, and all meals, helps regulate your blood sugar thus giving you steady energy throughout the day.
- Prevents mental pitfalls– Without protein at a meal, your blood sugar is likely to spike and drop leaving you dizzy, shaky, semi-nauseous and likely experiencing a headache. This is no good for focus or mental acuity. Adding protein to breakfast will help you think more clearly throughout your morning and workday.
- Keeps your eating clock in check– Though carbohydrate is our body’s preferred source of energy, if you eat it by itself, you will be hungry again soon after. Protein, on the other hand, slows down digestion keeping your hunger at bay and allowing you to stay on a good eating schedule of meals and snacks every 3-4 hours. The addition of protein to a meal of carbohydrate will help you feel full faster, keep you full longer and help you not be as hungry at the next meal or snack, which promotes healthy portion control.
- Prevents fatigue – As mentioned, if your blood sugar is spiking and dropping, your energy levels are likely all over the place! This can leave you feeling tired, irritable and cranky. The addition of eggs to your oatmeal, low-fat cheese to your crackers and peanut butter to your apple can help maintain your energy levels and keep you from feeling tired throughout the day.
- Keeps you strong – Powering up with protein in the morning and throughout the day will help your muscles stay strong and lean. It is essential that you are distributing protein over the course of the day, starting first thing, so that your body can adequately build and repair muscle. Be sure to refuel with around 20 grams of protein post-workout as well!