Weight Management & Satiety

Obesity is a multi-factorial and complex health issue. Current guidance for weight management encourages physical activity along with consuming an overall healthy eating pattern which includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat and fat-free dairy products. A growing body of research suggests that dietary protein, specifically, can help promote satiety, facilitating weight loss when consumed as part of reduced energy diets.

Several clinical trials have specifically assessed the effects of high-quality protein from eggs on satiety and weight loss. For example:

  • In a study in overweight adults, calorie-restricted diets that included either eggs or a bagel for breakfast were compared; the people who consumed eggs for breakfast lowered their body mass index by 61%, lost 65% more weight, and reported feeling more energetic than those who ate a bagel for breakfast.
  • Men who consumed an egg breakfast versus a bagel breakfast showed that appetite hormones were suppressed following eggs at breakfast, as was energy intake over the course of the day.
  • A study of overweight premenopausal women that evaluated satiety responses to eating a turkey sausage and egg breakfast sandwich versus a low-protein pancake breakfast showed better appetite control and few calories consumed at lunch following the egg-based breakfast.
  • In a 3-month trial among subjects with type 2 diabetes, those who consumed 2 eggs per day for 6 days a week reported less hunger and greater satiety than those who consumed less than 2 eggs per week.

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Inside the Shell: 13 Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Many health professionals recognize the mighty nutrient package of the whole egg and are encouraging their patients and clients to include eggs as part of a diet that focuses on nutrient-rich, whole foods. The high-quality protein in eggs is also becoming more well-known for its satiating effects, which could assist with weight loss and weight management in addition to preventing muscle loss.

In motivating clients to make wise food choices, there are other benefits to consuming eggs as part of a balanced diet that health professionals can highlight. For instance, eggs are an excellent source of choline and selenium as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration1, 2. Eggs are also a good source of riboflavin, Vitamin D, and phosphorus1, 2. For a food to be considered an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient, it must contain more than 20% of the daily value2. To be considered a “good source” of a particular nutrient, a food must provide between 10% and 19% of the daily value2.

Check out these past posts for more detail on specific egg nutrients that support health:

Stay tuned for an updated post on selenium next week!

Other important nutrients that can be found within an egg include vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B6, zinc and calcium. For more information on these nutrients, check out the Egg Nutrition Center research library, and let us know what nutrients you’d like to read about in upcoming posts.

In the meantime, below is a tasty recipe that pairs eggs with nutrient-rich vegetables to boost nutrient content even more – enjoy!

Broccoli Quiche in Colorful Peppers

Makes 4 servings



  • 4 medium red, yellow, or green bell peppers (4 oz. each)
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets, defrosted
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp. garlic power
  • ¼ tsp dried Italian seasoning


  1. Heat oven to 325°F. CUT about 1/2 inch off tops of peppers; remove seeds. PLACE peppers upright in custard cups; place cups in baking pan.
  2. SPOON 1/4 cup broccoli into each pepper. BEAT eggs, milk, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in medium bowl until blended. POUR evenly over broccoli.
  3. BAKE in center of 325°F oven until knife inserted near center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. LET STAND 5 minutes.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories: 132, total fat: 6g, saturated fat: 2g, polyunsaturated fat: 1g, monounsaturated fat: 2g, cholesterol: 188mg, sodium: 95mg, carbohydrates: 10g, dietary fiber: 3g, protein: 9g, vitamin A: 4053.8IU, vitamin D: 56IU, folate: 80mcg, calcium: 78.2mg, iron: 1.4mg, choline: 137.5mg.


  1. Egg Nutrition Center. All in one egg! Patient/Client Education Materials. Accessed April 8, 2013.
  2. Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide. Appendix B: Additional Requirements for Nutrient Content Claims.http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064916.htmUpdated October 9, 2012. Accessed April 8, 2013

New Research: Protein Makes the Most of Breakfast

egg wrap

A new study published online by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points to the benefits of choosing a higher-protein breakfast. Researchers at the University of Missouri found that study participants who consumed a protein-rich egg and beef breakfast, versus a typical ready-to-eat cereal breakfast, reported increased feelings of fullness. Compared with participants who skipped breakfast altogether, those who ate the high-protein meal also experienced significant improvements in hunger and satiety hormone levels and reduced food cravings prior to dinner (as shown from reduced neural activation).

Additionally, those who ate the egg and beef breakfast also consumed fewer high-fat snacks later in the evening. These findings suggest that getting more protein in the first meal of the day may be a useful strategy for those looking to manage weight. More details of the study can be found here, along with insights from lead researcher Heather Leidy, PhD and breakfast tips from registered dietitian Neva Cochran, MS, RD, LD.

New Study Suggests that Higher Protein Diet May Provide Advantages in Weight Loss

scaleA recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by a group from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands discusses an interesting concept called the Protein Leverage Hypothesis, which suggests that the body more closely regulates protein intake than total energy intake. If this is so, it may explain why high protein diets seem to be more effective in promoting weight loss than diets that call for an across-the-board decrease in all of the energy nutrients (carbohydrate; fat; and protein).

To-date, this concept has been extensively tested in various animal models, but not a lot of human data exist to support or refute the hypothesis. In short, the researchers in this study provided diets consisting of 5%, 15% or 30% calories from protein to 40 human subjects over a 12 day period. The added protein in the higher protein groups was swapped at the expense of dietary carbohydrate, so that all of the diets contained an equal amount of calories.

The researchers found that the subjects consumed less when the percentage of protein in the diet was greatest, suggesting that protein intake is regulated at a more constant level than that of carbohydrate or fat. This may have something to do with the satiating effects of protein, though other factors may be at play as well. In any case, these results are at least suggestive of the idea that a higher protein diet may aid in weight loss and obesity prevention. Although the subjects in the present study did not lose a significant amount of weight with one diet versus another, the relatively short time period of the study may have had something to do with that.

There is no doubt that longer term research of this nature is required to support or refute the Protein Leverage Hypothesis. Nevertheless, the results of this study provide food-for-thought that a higher protein diet has advantages over a higher carbohydrate/fat diet with respect to weight maintenance and weight loss.

Goal! 2013- 1 Month Down, 11 to Go

Goal! Yes-hockey is back, but don’t forget the other kind of goals too! January is almost gone and we have eleven more months of 2013 to continue our goals for the year.  Take this time to reflect on the past month with your clients (and yourself). Here are a couple thoughts on helping someone who is struggling with their goals or needing a little help staying motivated.


#1 Listen
This is one of the most important things a health professional can do to improve the client experience.

“I worked so hard and only lost 2 pounds.”

Reaffirm- “I understand you are frustrated but you did lose weight. What other things did you notice- how did you feel, etc.” Focus on positive and let the client find the answer

Follow-up- “What would you change next month to help you meet your goal?”

Active listening and affirmation are important for client communication. Molly Kellogg RD, LCSW provides some great tips in this area.

# 2 Know the Tools 
People who track their habits are often the most successful.   A recent article discussed a survey of health management, which showed that many people do report “tracking progress,” but they are using their heads (memory) instead of using an app, program or even pen and paper.  Many healthcare systems and insurance companies have health trackers, as well as nutrition and physical activity programs.  Encourage your clients to keep accurate records or diaries for the best success and be a role model by tracking your own information.  Do you remember what YOU ate for breakfast yesterday? Relying on memory can be very tricky. All of us who have ever had to do a 24 hour recall know this is true.

#3 Encourage Support Systems
Encourage a support system for success. There are many online forums and groups that can provide support for most health-related issues.  Sometimes a client’s family or friends aren’t on-board or in-the-loop, so encourage other sources of support.  Social media has opened even more doors for active support. Ask your clients what they are using and become familiar with some of these communities and groups.

A final tip: A small success is still progress to better health!

What tips have worked with your clients or your own personal health successes?



How do Eggs “Weigh In” for Weight Management?

With the ongoing obesity epidemic in the United States, health professionals are involved more than ever in assisting clients with weight loss and weight maintenance. Nutrition professionals, in particular, are continually searching for effective individualized nutrition advice that will assist clients in reaching a healthy weight. As you work with clients toward their New Year’s resolutions to become healthier in 2013, you’re likely trying to balance a myriad of important factors, including taste, convenience and nutrition. In the weight loss battle, it’s also important for individuals to choose foods that promote satiety and provide sufficient nutrients without contributing excess calories.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Back to Basics for Healthy Weight Loss, “The best way to get what you need is to enjoy a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods that are packed with energy, protein, vitamins and minerals from all the MyPlate food groups.” Eggs, which are rich in high-quality protein and fat-soluble vitamins, are a great example of such a nutrient-dense food that can easily be included at any meal.  Research has demonstrated a meal plan including eggs can be beneficial for weight management by promoting postprandial satiety that continues throughout the day.

Vander Wal et al. reported that eggs consumed at the start of the day helped overweight and obese individuals to achieve postprandial satiety and reduce their daily calorie intake and snacking between meals(1). In a more recent study evaluating the role of egg consumption for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet, researchers found that overweight dieters who were egg-eaters lost 65% more weight and reported feeling more energetic compared to individuals who consumed a bagel breakfast with equal calorie and protein content.  In this study egg-eaters reported consuming 330 fewer calories per day than bagel eaters, which translates to about 1.5 pounds of weight loss in just over 2 weeks(2).

So, how do health professionals translate this research into small, attainable goals for clients? Swapping more carbohydrate-dense breakfast options for protein-rich foods, like eggs, paired with other nutritious foods featured in MyPlate may help achieve weight loss goals. Additionally, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends having a strong support system for weight loss success in 2013, and sharing healthy meals is a great way to get the whole family involved. You can encourage your clients to grab a skillet and prepare a colorful, delicious family meal like the recipe below, which is high in satiating protein great for anyone working toward New Year’s goals.

Creamy Pasta & Egg Skillet

Makes 4 servings

Creamy Egg Pasta Skillet







  • 1 pkg. (7 oz.) small shell pasta, cooked, drained
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram leaves
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot vegetable blend (9 oz.), defrosted
  • 4 EGGS


  1. COAT large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. COMBINE pasta, cottage cheese and marjoram in skillet; toss to coat evenly. ADD vegetables; toss to mix.
  2. COOK over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is heated through and begins to sizzle, 5 to 10 minutes. PRESS 4 indentations (about 2-inch diameter) into mixture with back of spoon.
  3. BREAK AND SLIP an egg into each indentation. COOK, covered, over medium heat until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, 5 to 7 minutes.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

Calories: 372, Total Fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 197mg, Sodium: 469mg, Carbohydrates: 45g, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Protein: 28g, Vitamin A: 1490.7IU, Vitamin D: 41IU, Folate: 152.8mcg, Calcium: 159.2mg, Iron: 3.1mg, Choline: 151.5mg


  1. Vander Wal JS, et al. Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. JACN 2005; 24(6): 510-515.
  2. Vander Wal JS, et al. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int J of Obesity 2008L 32(10): 1545-1551.