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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Your Secret Weapon Against Holiday Overindulgence? High-Quality Protein

imageToday’s blog post is written by Emmaline Rasmussen, Dietetic Intern. Emmaline studies Dietetics and Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and will be eligible to sit for the registered dietitian exam in December of 2012. She is an avid food and nutrition enthusiast as well as a certified yoga teacher.

We’ve all been there—it’s just after 10 AM, breakfast feels like it was ages ago and the effects of our morning coffee are beginning to dwindle. Lunch may not be for another hour or two, but the rumbling in our stomachs threatens to divert focus from the task at hand, slowly bringing food to the front of our minds. In nearly perfect symphony, it is at this moment that a coworker casually passes by with a rich slice of pumpkin bread or a generously frosted holiday cookie. The idea of indulging in a treat—or two—becomes increasingly attractive. The typical sugary options commonplace in the break room during the holiday season may entice us by promising a temporary solution to our immediate hunger and energy “crisis,” but any energy-boosting or hunger-satisfying effects of these indulgences are transient and often followed by the impending sugar “crash,” leaving us back where we started some 200 plus calories ago.

While there is nothing wrong with a sporadic holiday indulgence, moderation is key to staving off holiday weight gain or guilt. Therefore, when enjoying an occasional reasonably-sized portion of a festive treat with coworkers, colleagues, friends or family this holiday season, the terms occasionaland reasonably-sized portion cannot be emphasized enough. A key strategy for practicing moderation is to have a healthy, satisfying option on hand to help curb hunger or balance out a snack or meal.

While many holiday treats are high in carbohydrates and fat, snacks that include high quality protein may offer more staying power to get you to the next meal. Hard boiled eggs are a simple solution, as they can easily be made in large batches and kept on hand for a quick, satisfying snack or a healthy addition to meals. By eating an egg first, we can more easily avoid the tempting sugar-laden and calorically dense holiday indulgences, or at least cut back on our portions of them!


See these simple instructions for making the perfect hard boiled eggs, along with some great tips for incorporating eggs into quick and delicious recipes!


“What’s for Dinner?” Wednesday: Start Thanksgiving with Eggs for Satiety

Julie Rothenberg

Today’s post in another one from Julie Rothenberg, Loyola Dietetic Intern.  We’re using our “What’s for Dinner” post to get you thinking about breakfast tomorrow.

When most of us think of Thanksgiving, three things typically come to mind; friends, family, and—of course—food! As we celebrate this holiday and enjoy the company of those close to us, it can be easy to get carried away during our Thanksgiving “feast” and inevitably finding ourselves even more “stuffed” than the turkey on our dinner table.

Before indulging in that big Thanksgiving meal, many people eat little to nothing on Thanksgiving Day. Whether they are too busy watching the parade, spending time with family or even trying to save calories for the big meal to come, this  may not be the best choice as it can lead to an unintentional Thanksgiving binge.

One great strategy to avoid this is to have a satiating Thanksgiving breakfast. Eating a satiating breakfast can make you less hungry later on in the day. Leidy (2010) found that eating a protein rich breakfast will lead to more fullness and less energy intake throughout the day.  What  better way to have a satiating breakfast than by eating an egg? Ratliff et al. (2010) have also found that when compared to having a bagel, consuming an egg for breakfast will make someone feel more satiated and less hungry before the next meal. In fact, the study showed that consuming an egg for breakfast instead of a bagel was associated with a lower energy intake over the next 24 hours.

Tired of all the Thanksgiving food preparation?  Below is a quick and easy Thanksgiving egg breakfast recipe that can be ready in less than five minutes. This Microwave Egg and Veggie Breakfast Bowl is the nutritious, satiating and satisfying dish you need to start your day!  If you are looking for a recipe to feed a larger group, visit the recipe section of the Incredible Egg website.

microwave egg and veggie breakfast bowl

Microwave Egg and Veggie Breakfast Bowl


1 Egg

1 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. thinly sliced baby spinach

2 Tbsp. chopped mushrooms

Shredded mozzarella cheese

Sliced grape or cherry tomatoes


  1. Coat 8 oz ramekin or custard cup with cooking spray. ADD egg, water, spinach and mushrooms. Beat until blended
  2. MICROWAVE on HIGH for 30 seconds, stir. MICROWAVE until egg is almost set, 30 – 45 seconds longer.
  3. Top with cheese and tomatoes.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving

Excellent Source: Choline

Good Source: Protein, Vitamin A and Vitamin D

Calories: 102
Total Fat: 6g
Saturated fat: 2g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
Monounsaturated fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 190mg
Sodium: 122mg
Carbohydrates: 2g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Protein: 9g
Vitamin A: 792.4IU
Vitamin D: 42.7IU
Folate: 30.8mcg
Calcium: 86.6mg
Iron: 1.1mg
Choline: 130.3mg


Ratliff, J., Leite, J.O., Ogburn, R., Puglisi, M., VanHeest, J., Fernandez, M. 2010. Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Nutrition Research. Vol 30. Pages 96 – 103.

Leidy HJ, Racki EM. The addition of a protein-rich breakfast and its effects on acute appetite control and food intake in ‘breakfast-skipping’ adolescents. International Journal of Obesity (2010) 1-93.


Chaotic Eating Contributes to Excessive Calories and Obesity

Today’s post comes from Dr. Donald Layman. Dr. Layman is the Director of Research at the Egg Nutrition Center and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois and a leading researcher studying dietary needs for protein and amino acids.

Variety may be the “spice of life” but it is also a factor leading to excess calorie intake and obesity. There is increasing evidence that the hectic American lifestyle that often leads to chaotic meal patterns combined with the almost unlimited availability of high calorie snacks and desserts plays a central role in expanding waistlines of adults.

Consuming a variety of foods is often recommended as an approach to good nutrition, but there is increasing evidence that consistency of meals and limiting variety of food choices – certainly snacks – may be important for controlling energy intake.

A recent study by Dr. Rena Wing at University of Tennessee (AJCN 95:1305, 2012) examined limiting the variety of high energy-low nutrient (HE-LN) foods consumed by adults during an 18-month weight loss study. These foods provide a lot of calories but with minimal nutrient density. Subjects were allowed to select two items from a list of snacks, desserts, candy, ice cream, breads, cereals and pastas. These two items could be consumed as part of any meal or snack throughout the study, but no other items from the list were allowed at any time. The researchers found that limiting the choices in the HE-LN categories to only two selections significantly reduced calorie intake.

Anyone trying to achieve weight loss must restrict total calorie intake; and calorie restriction creates the potential for increased hunger and desire to eat. Managing the desire to eat requires consistent meal patterns, including the types of foods, the amount of food, and the meal timing. It is unlikely that there is a single meal pattern that is ideal for everyone, however there is increasing evidence that skipping breakfast leads to increased snacking and consumption of excess calories late in the day. Consuming a consistent breakfast that contains about 30 grams of high quality protein and reduced amounts of high glycemic carbohydrates is an important factor for appetite regulation. Likewise, reducing the size of dinner is important related to portion control and total calorie intake.

Eating a variety of foods is important but a better message for adults may be to strive for consistent meals that are nutritionally balanced. There is nothing wrong with eating the same basic foods and having the same meals every day. Avoid chaotic eating and limit the variety of high energy-low nutrient foods to achieve weight management.

A Closer Look at the Effects of High Protein Intake on Weight Loss

image-300x225Emmaline studies Dietetics and Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and will be eligible to sit for the registered dietitian exam in December of 2012. She is an avid food and nutrition enthusiast as well as a certified yoga teacher.

In a nation where the number of overweight and obese individuals is rampant enough to be referred to as an “epidemic,” coupled with an aesthetic culture that emphasizes weight, it is of no surprise that many adults have contemplated or attempted weight loss at some point in their lives. While energy-restricted diets can elicit substantial weight loss and provide associated favorable benefits on cardiometabolic risk factors(1), the potential effects of the macronutrient profile in an energy-restricted diet prescription on these outcomes should not be discounted.

A cornerstone of energy-restricted diets for the treatment of obesity is the attention to low fat intake, yet there has been an apparent lack of definitive evidence or analysis that specifically evaluates the potential effects of a modified carbohydrate:protein ratio in controlled and structured studies matched for energy-restriction level.  Recently, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published ameta-analysis of 24 randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of high and standard protein diet prescriptions on weight loss, body composition, resting energy expenditure (REE), and cardiometabolic risk markers in isocalorically restricted low fat diets.   Based on exclusion criteria, there were a total of 520 high protein (HP) and 542 standard protein (SP) participants (N= 1063).

Findings of the meta-analysis revealed that the high protein diets elicited a small but significant 0.79 kg greater weight loss than standard protein diets. Additionally, there were favorable effects on body composition as demonstrated by greater loss of fat mass with mitigated reductions in fat free mass and REE. Reductions in triglyceride levels were significant in the group consuming a high protein diet as well. Though only 5 of the studies included in the analysis evaluated satiety as an outcome, it is noteworthy that greater satiety was reported in 3 of the 5 studies among the high protein group.

A 0.79 kg difference in weight loss may seem modest; however, it is significant that in the high protein group a relatively larger portion of the weight lost was fat mass, with a greater preservation of fat free mass. Fat free mass—specifically skeletal muscle—is the primary metabolically active tissue in the body, which draws a potential connection between the mitigated decrease in REE and the relative preservation of fat free mass seen in the high protein group.

Because loss of fat free mass typically contributes to approximately 20% of total diet-induced weight loss (2), macronutrient distribution—with special attention to protein intake—could be paramount in both mediating and augmenting certain outcomes of weight loss and subsequent maintenance.

Knowing there are many factors that may impact results, the study does show modest benefits in areas of interest, especially as we look forward to more long term studies.


  1. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2012/10/23/ajcn.112.044321.full.pdf+html
  2. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/2/260.full?sid=0917f6d2-5484-4ff0-9c7e-edcd7ed99065



Breakfast Eaters Reap the Benefits

For various reasons, breakfast is one of the most commonly skipped meals of the day. We all lead busy lives and often in the morning, we are more worried about getting our coffee than something to eat! However, research has repeatedly demonstrated the importance of making time for even a quick morning meal.

The Huffington Post recently featured a slide show on the many benefits of breakfast. The article shared research on breakfast eaters, showing that they tend to be leaner, have lower serum cholesterol levels and better overall health. Additionally, studies report that breakfast eaters consume more nutrients, experience improved memory and report feeling more energized than those who skip.

Moreover, as mentioned in the article, there are some foods that may have additional benefits. Choosing high-quality protein foods, like eggs, in place of breakfast options high in carbohydrates has been shown to provide greater satiety and contribute to reduced caloric intake throughout the day.

Research by VanderWal et al. found that an egg breakfast had a greater effect on subsequent food consumption, when compared to a bagel breakfast. Those who ate the egg breakfast consumed significantly less at lunch and over the course of the entire day.

In a later study, the authors investigated these effects in the context of weight loss and found that  individuals who consumed an egg breakfast as part of a low-calorie diet lost significantly more weight than those who ate bagels for breakfast. Of note, there was no impact on the participants’ blood lipids.

For these reasons, most health professionals recognize this importance of consuming breakfast for health. Since hectic mornings make convenience of the utmost importance, below is a simple, quick breakfast idea you can share with your patients or clients.

Mexican Microwave Coffee Cup Scramble

Mexican coffee cup scramble






Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Servings: 1 serving


½ c. frozen shredded hash browns

1 Egg

1 Tbsp. water

Black bean and corn salsa

Shredded Mexican cheese blend


COAT 12-oz. microwave-safe coffee mug with cooking spray.  ADD hash browns.  MICROWAVE on HIGH 1 minute.  Add egg and water; beat until blended.  MICROWAVE on HIGH 30 seconds; stir.  MICROWAVEuntil egg is almost set, 15 to 30 seconds longer. SEASON with salt and pepper, if desired.  TOP with salsa and cheese.

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories: 228, Total Fat: 10g, Saturated fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 199mg, Sodium: 320mg, Carbohydrates: 23g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 12g, Vitamin A: 520IU, Vitamin D: 41IU, Folate: 27.7mcg, Calcium: 138.9mg, Iron: 2.3mg, Choline: 125.6mg