To do the study, the researchers enlisted 25 men between the ages of 31-37. The men were just slightly overweight. They gave some of them a meal in which 14% of all the calories were from protein. This was the normal protein meal. Some men had a meal in which 25% of the calories were from protein. This was the medium-high protein meal. And the rest had a very high protein meal. Half of all their calories were from protein. All of the meals contained the same amount of fat and the same amount of calories. The only other part of the meal that varied was the carbohydrate content. The lower the protein levels were, the higher the carbohydrate was, and vice versa. And here's where it starts to get interesting.
After the men ate the meals, the authors of the study measured the amounts of two powerful hormones that control appetite. One is called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1). The action of GLP-1 is to suppress the appetite. It tells us when we don't want to eat any more. And here's the thing. The GLP-1 levels were 10% higher after the medium-high protein meal and 20% higher after the high protein meal.
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One of the first things I tell all of my patients who struggle with appetite control is to start the day with a very high protein meal. That would be like a three-egg omelet with some cheese, meat, and veggies. It could also be a 20-ounce yogurt smoothie with protein powder and some berries. Almost inevitably they always tell me that their desire to eat will be decreased for the rest of the day. Now we know why. If you want to lose weight, eat more protein, especially first thing in the morning.