Good news, all you breakfast lovers: A recent study by Columbia University found that people eating this meal are at a lower risk for obesity than those skipping it. But just because you’re having breakfast every day doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. It may seem healthy to spoon out a bowl of cereal or a carton of yogurt in the a.m., but you could still be missing out on a lot of necessary protein this way.
That’s why we asked Jim White, RD, ACSM, and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, for a little help putting that habit to bed. And if you can’t stomach the thought of eating a breakfast heavy in protein, try drinking it with any of these 23 Best Protein Shake Recipes For Weight Loss. And for more breakfast inspiration, pick up a copy of Zero Belly Breakfasts today! When test panelists ate breakfast for just two weeks, they were able to lose up to 16 pounds!
How Much You Need
A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a high-protein breakfast is more satiating than eating high-carb one, which means you’ll stay fuller for longer. This will help curb your mid-morning cravings and make you much more likely to pass up those tempting donuts in the breakroom.
So what’s the magic number? White recommends 15 – 25 grams of protein for breakfast. To put that into perspective, that’s like starting your morning with about 3 or 4 large eggs or a single scoop of protein powder.
How To Get It
If that number seems daunting to you, don’t stress it. There are all kinds of easy ways to incorporate protein into your breakfast. Swap the cream cheese on your bagel for a cottage cheese spread or regular yogurt for the Greek kind. You can even stick to your usual choices as long as you add protein-rich toppings. Think: cheese on your breakfast sandwich, peanut butter in oatmeal, or chia seeds sprinkled on avocado toast. Check out this list of 26 Foods With More Protein Than An Egg for even more ideas.