PROTEIN-RICH BREAKFAST CURBS APPETITE DURING THE DAY  (from National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) Newsletter November 2013)

Many current nutrition texts cite the over-consumption of protein by Americans and instigate the concern that the normal metabolic outcome of dietary excess results in the formation of additional lipid storage. Interestingly, Americans certainly consume enough protein, but they tend to follow a very specific habit of distribution that may not yield the positive benefits of the nutrient. Most people tend to eat a small amount of protein at breakfast, moderate amounts at lunch, with the largest quantity of protein saved for dinner.

According to new research presented at The Obesity Society’s annual scientific meeting it may make more sense to time the protein differently to manage body weight.

The study was performed at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where researchers provided 18 to 55-year-old women with three different dietary approaches to breakfast. Subjects consumed either a protein-rich breakfast bowl containing 30-39 grams of protein with constituents such as sausage and egg, a low-protein, high-carbohydrate breakfast (pancakes and syrup) or no breakfast at all. The results demonstrated that the protein-rich foods curbed hunger throughout the morning compared to the other treatments.

All of the breakfast meals were isolcaloric, containing approximately 300 calories and similar quantities of fat and fiber. To determine the subject’s perceived physiological and psychological need for food they completed questionnaires to rate aspects of appetite such as hunger, fullness and the desire to eat before breakfast and then at 30-minute intervals up until lunch.

The researchers provided a lunch meal of pasta and sauce to participants and measured the quantities of food consumed until they were comfortably full. Findings suggested the study participants had improved appetite ratings (lower hunger, more fullness, less desire to eat) throughout the morning after eating each protein-rich breakfast, compared with the groups that consumed a low-protein breakfast as well as the group the skipped breakfast and only drank water.

Of further relevance, when food consumption was measured at lunch the protein-rich breakfast caused the consumers to eat fewer calories at lunch, According to Kevin C. Maki, principal investigator of the study, “Eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and may help women to avoid overeating later in the day.”


According to the Department of Biological Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, genetics do play a role in physical activity engagement among adults. According to researchers, large scale twin-family studies show a significant influence of genetic factors on regular exercise behavior. While it is well known that individual differences in leisure time exercise behavior are influenced by the attitudes toward exercise, the aim of the twin-sibling study was to unite these findings by demonstrating that exercise attitudes can actually be inherited.

Researchers collected survey data from 5,095 twins and siblings between the ages of 18-50 years. The findings suggest that a genetic contribution was found for both exercise behavior as well as for the six exercise attitude components. Association with attitude toward physical activity engagement included the 1) perceived benefits of participation (21% males, 27% females); 2) perceived lack of skills, support and/or resources (45%, 48%); 3) time constraints (25%, 30%); 4) lack of energy (34%, 44%); 5) lack of enjoyment (47%, 44%); and 6) embarrassment (42%, 49%). Each of these components was predictive of leisure time exercise behavior.

Statistical evidence suggests the existence of a causal effect driving the association. From this, scientists concluded that exercise attitudes and exercise behavior are heritable, and that attitudes and behavior are partly correlated through genetic effects. (Behavior Genetics, 2013)


For females, the fifth decade of life is associated with physiological changes that increase health risk. Changes associated with menopause are considered aggravating factors for developing metabolic syndrome. Due to the hormonal adjustments and associated body composition shifts, it would seem that exercise may be a viable tool to combat health risks that increase during this part of the life cycle.

Investigators wanted to analyze the effects of resistance training on metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women and randomly assigned them to either a resistance training protocol or a control group. Those participating in the resistance training protocol performed ten exercises, three times per week using a linear 3×8-10RM with weekly increases in load. Investigators tracked markers of metabolic syndrome including high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, waist circumference, blood pressure, strength, and body composition.

Following 16 weeks of resistance exercise the treatment group demonstrated a significant decrease of metabolic syndrome markers as a whole. They also experienced improvements in fasting blood glucose, significant improvements in lean body mass, a reduction of body fat percentage and noticeable increases in muscle strength measured by leg press and bench press tests.

Researchers concluded that resistance training performed three times a week may be an effective tool in managing metabolic syndrome with concomitant improvements for fasting blood glucose, body composition, and muscle strength in postmenopausal women. (Clinical Intervention in Aging, 2013)