If you’re watching your weight or have a hard time keeping your hunger in check in the morning, you likely have heard how important protein is. But while it’s easy for most of us to get enough of the nutrient at dinner and lunch, breakfast can be a struggle. Bagels, cereal, and smoothies don’t always pack a big protein punch. Not to mention, if you skip your morning meal, you’re not getting any protein at all.

That’s a big mistake. “In numerous studies, a high-protein breakfast habit has been linked to weight management or weight loss,” says dietitian Cynthia Sass. “Protein is filling, and triggers the release of satiety hormones that blunt appetite.”That means you may eat less all day long, including in the evening. “That’s key because most people are inactive in the evening, and therefore less likely to burn off surplus kilojoules consumed at that time,” Sass explains. Protein also boosts alertness so you are productive and helps stabilise blood sugar and insulin levels so you have steady energy to face the day, she adds.The ideal amount of protein at breakfast is about 30 grams, according to a review published in Advances in Nutrition in September.

However, dietitians say starting with at least 20 grams is a good goal for weight loss and hunger management. Ready to start your day off right? Try one of these nutritionist-approved high protein breakfasts next time you’re tempted to reach for the cereal box.

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