As a trainer, I’m always preaching a high protein breakfast as one of the simplest ways to keep your energy levels up throughout the whole day, and shed those kilo’s at the same time.
This blog post will discuss what protein is, why it’s important, and even includes my favourite high-protein breakfast omelette recipe!
Why is protein good for weight loss?
Adequate protein can help regulate appetite, reduce cravings and increase energy. All this stops us reaching for those high-calorie snacks when we feel peckish or tired which, in turn, helps with weight loss and overall just feeling… less crappy!
What is Protein?
Protein is one of three macronutrient (macros), which give us our energy in the form of calories. We also have micro-nutrients, which are the vitamins and minerals we find within the macro’s.
Protein is like the ‘building block” for our bodies, and is most commonly associated with muscle growth, and a lean, muscular physique. But it also helps with satiety, and growing healthy hair, skin and nails.
Then we have fats, like the ones found in avocado and nuts to help us transport and absorb certain types of vitamins and minerals (called fat-soluble vitamins), and carbs to help with energy production and provide fibre for a healthy, happy tummy. All of these combined provide us with micronutrients which help with things like hormone regulation (amongst many other fancy processes).
An egg is a combination of protein and fat. Within those macro’s, we have large amounts of many micronutrients like B-vitamins, zinc and selenium. You can read more on the humble egg here.
Chocolate is also a combination of protein and fat. But aside from a minuscule amount of some micronutrients like calcium and magnesium, it’s mostly empty calories and saturated fats.
Each macronutrient (and micronutrient) helps our body perform specific functions.
You’d need to eat around 150g of chocolate (800 cals) to get the same amount of protein as an egg (78 calories).
Which do you think is the better choice for weight loss?
(Hint: it’s not the chocolate).
A protein is made up of a chain of amino acids. There are about 20 amino acids in total; with 9 of those being one’s we can’t synthesise ourselves (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine), so we need to get these in the foods we eat. More protein jargon can be found here.
Foods that contain all 9 amino acids, are called “complete proteins”
Meat, dairy, eggs, seafood, tofu, edamame and tempeh are all examples of complete proteins.
Other foods (like nuts & seeds, rice and certain vegetables) may contain one or several of these amino acids but not all 9. Therefore, they are not complete sources of protein, which is why vegetarians and vegans need to be very deliberate in their food choices throughout each day, to ensure they are getting all 9 essential amino acids.
Complete proteins are definitely the quickest, and easiest, way to get high amounts of protein.
Today’s star protein: the humble egg. Read some fun facts about eggs here!
Should I have protein for breakfast?
Breakfast literally means “to break the fast”. Meaning it’s the first meal eaten after a long period without food (i.e. sleep!).
While I don’t personally believe it’s necessary to eat as soon as you wake up, unless you’re actually hungry (but honestly, there is so much to unpack on this topic, I’ll save it for another post)… I do believe there is actually some merit to the concept of breaky needing to be selected with care.
Like working out and drinking enough water, our food helps us function optimally, and age gracefully.
I think it makes more sense to use this meal to create a solid set up for the rest of the days eating, instead of starting the day with an unbalanced, highly processed dish, or something void of nutrients (like toast). Eat something that will carry you forward on the journey to weight-loss and good health. Don’t forget your physical health too; my online program is perfect for a lean body workout.
Unfortunately, the sad truth is that many people associate breakfast with high-sugar cereals, or toast & toppings. I get it, it’s quick, convenient, and cheap! But I’m here to tell you, you should put in a little effort in the morning, for the sake of your own wellbeing. Healthline provide some really useful information about eating protein at breakfast to assist with weight loss (in a healthy way).
This omelette is packed with yummy, nutritious goodness. Even my kids eat it!
Eating a breakfast high in protein can help with satiety, fat loss and reducing cravings for sweet foods throughout the day.Jess Neill,
Tip: you can use any veggies you like; it’s a great chance to use the leftovers at the end of the week.
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4cup chopped button mushrooms
- 1/4 cup diced capsicum
- 1/4 cup chopped baby spinach
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
- 1tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- handful rocket (arugula) to serve
- Whisk eggs, egg whites, salt & pepper together in a bowl until yolks are well combined
- Heat 2/3 of the olive oil in a small, non-stick frying pan on a low-medium heat (leave only a little)
- Pour in the egg mix and ensure it’s spread evenly around the pan
- Once you can see the edges beginning to firm slightly, sprinkle on the mushrooms, spinach, capsicum and finally the cheese
- Allow to cook for another 6-7 minutes, or until the centre of the mixture begins to look solid (cook thoroughly if you’re pregnant).
- Carefully use a spatula to lift away one side of the now-solid mixture from the pan, and fold it in half, onto itself. The underside should be a golden-brown colour
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes
- Serve warm with a side of fresh rocket drizzled with remaining olive oil and a little salt & pepper
Calorie and macro breakdown:
Balancing your macros?
Lower the fat, switch cheddar cheese for nutritional yeast to still get that cheesy flavour
Increase the carbs, serve with a slice of wholemeal or dark rye toast
Add more protein, include another egg white in the recipe