Want to control cravings later in the day? Eat breakfast. Especially the protein.
A study published in Nutrition Journal has found that skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day. Researchers had twenty participants eat laboratory controlled diets that measured how well eating breakfast helped them withstand hunger for snacks later in the afternoon. Researchers found that eating breakfast reduces cravings for snacks high in sweetness, and eating protein for breakfast takes care of cravings for high-fat snacks too.
Researchers say this is due to dopamine. Dopamine levels diminish over the course of a day, and low dopamine levels tend to provoke hunger. According to Heather Leidy, author of the study, “Dopamine levels are blunted in individuals who are overweight or obese, which means that it takes much more stimulation—or food—to elicit feelings of reward; we saw similar responses within breakfast-skippers. We tried to identify dietary behaviours that provide these feelings of reward while reducing cravings for high-fat foods. Eating breakfast, particularly a breakfast high in protein, seems to do that.”
Photo courtesy of flickr.