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.

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.

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.