Do you ever found yourself rushing around in the morning to the extent that you don’t have time to eat breakfast? Does this sound like a typical morning for you? Or maybe you skip breakfast in an attempt to lower your total calorie intake for the day. You might want to reconsider when you hear about the findings from a recent study published in Nutrition Journal.
Researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia discovered that eating breakfast, especially a high-protein breakfast, increased levels of dopamine, a brain chemical linked to reduced food cravings, later in the day.
“Our research showed that people experience a dramatic decline in cravings for sweet foods when they eat breakfast,” noted Heather Leidy, PhD, one of the study’s authors. “On the other hand, if breakfast is skipped, these cravings continue to rise throughout the day.”
Dopamine is involved in regulating impulses and reward responses in the body. Eating releases dopamine, which triggers feelings of reward and helps to regulate food intake.
“Dopamine levels are blunted in individuals who are overweight or obese, which means it takes much more stimulation—or food—to elicit feelings of reward; we saw similar responses within breakfast-skippers,” noted Leidy.
Eating a high-protein breakfast provided the most feelings of reward and also reduced cravings later in the day in the study participants. If skipping breakfast is one of your weight-loss tactics, consider rethinking your approach. A high-protein (and I’ll add, high-fiber) breakfast is the best way to start your day. I love to eat an egg scramble for breakfast. I sauté some veggies like kale, onions, and sweet peppers, and scramble them with some eggs. It’s a delicious and easy high-protein, high-fiber breakfast.