3 high-protein breakfasts a busy dietitian makes to keep her full until lunch and avoid snacking

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3 high-protein breakfasts a busy dietitian makes to keep her full until lunch and avoid snacking
Eating protein at breakfast can help you feel full throughout the day.Aisling Pigott/Getty Images
  • Eating breakfast can help you feel full for longer and avoid overeating later in the day.
  • Protein is particularly satiating and also helps build and maintain muscle.
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Registered dietitian Aisling Pigott eats a high-protein breakfast each morning because it keeps her feeling fuller for longer and resets her appetite in a healthy way, she told Business Insider.

Eating protein at breakfast can prevent overeating later on in the day to compensate for missed energy, she said. Protein is also important for helping cells to repair and muscle to grow, which in turn contributes to a healthy metabolism.

The average Western diet contains enough protein, Pigott said, but we tend to have only one high-protein meal toward the end of the day, meaning our intake is not spread evenly.

"We know that 'drip drip' effect of protein helps to repair and replenish those cells in a more even way than all at once," she said.

This means including protein on your breakfast plate is important. But as a mom of two small kids who works long hours, she has to plan her breakfast ahead.

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Pigott shared three easy, balanced breakfast recipes that she always has on hand.

Scrambled eggs on toast

A go-to for Pigott is scrambled eggs on whole-grain toast.

She scrambles two eggs with a few teaspoons of milk, which gives her about 13 grams of protein, she said.

She pairs it with whole-grain bread to add some fiber and a few extra grams of protein, while a side of either spinach or mushrooms make it a balanced meal.

"We want every meal to be balanced with some fruit or vegetables," she said.

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Overnight oats with seeds and berries

If she needs to rush out of the house or wake up early to commute somewhere far away, Pigott preps breakfast the night before, often making overnight oats.

She uses:

  • 4 grams of oats

  • 20 grams of chia or sesame seeds

  • a handful of berries

  • 120 grams of Greek yogurt

  • 100 grams of milk

She mixes the ingredients together, sometimes adding some honey or vanilla essence for extra flavor, and leaves it in the fridge overnight.

The dish has around 16 to 18 grams of protein, she said. If you want more, she recommended using quinoa instead of oats. However, this is more time-consuming as it involves rinsing and draining.

She includes the seeds for fiber and to boost the protein content.

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Vegetable hash

If she has leftovers, Pigott makes a super-quick vegetable hash for breakfast. "It's a really messy but easy, delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner," she said.

To make it, use any leftover vegetables you have in the fridge, as well as any meat such as grilled chicken, and chuck them in a pan with some olive oil. Add two to three eggs and scramble everything together on high heat until the eggs are cooked through. You can also serve it with a sprinkling of cheese on top.

The protein content will vary depending on what you include, but the eggs will provide between 12 and 18 grams, she said. The more vegetables you put in, the more vitamins, minerals, and fiber you'll get.

Pigott tends to use zucchini, onion, potato, which helps thicken the hash up, and bell peppers.

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