If your go-to morning meal is a measly bowl of corn flakes—not judging, we’re all busy—take a look at this new research from the University of Missouri. According to the study, a breakfast containing 35g of protein helps prevent weight gain, reduces your daily intake of food, staves off hunger, and stabilizes your glucose levels.
The researchers had two groups of overweight young adults—who habitually skip breakfast up to seven times a week—eat meals that were moderately high in protein and very high in protein; a third group continued to skip breakfast. The normal-protein breakfast consisted of milk and cereal (13g of protein), and the high-protein breakfast included eggs, dairy, and lean pork (35g of protein).
Over a 12-week period, participants were instructed to report their feelings of hunger, and log their daily intake of foods and drinks. Their body weight and body composition were measured at the beginning and end of the study’s duration, and they each wore a device that measured their minute-to-minute glucose levels throughout the day.
“The group of teens who ate high-protein breakfasts reduced their daily food intake by 400 calories and lost body fat mass, while the groups who ate normal-protein breakfast or continued to skip breakfast gained additional body fat,” says lead study author, Heather Leidy, Ph.D.
Want to give it a shot? To eat up to 35g of protein for breakfast, Leidy suggests combining high-quality proteins like milk, eggs, lean meats, and Greek yogurt. Check out our 5 muscle-building breakfasts for more inspiration.