Experiment 1: 30 grams of protein, within 30 Minutes of waking up
Despite eating in moderation over Christmas and attempting to run in the cold, harsh English winter, I still managed to put on 5/10 lbs. In an attempt to get back into shape, I thought I would attempt a health related life experiment as my first.
Studies have shown that eating a breakfast rich in protein can help to suppress your appetite, helping you to feel fuller for longer. This is something that Tim Ferris also advocates, recommending 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.
How to get 30 Grams of Protein for Breakfast
It’s actually more difficult than I thought it would be to consume so much protein, so early in the morning. It works out that you’d need to eat 11 slices of brown toast or 5 eggs. As much as I like eggs for breakfast, the thought of 5 makes me feel sick! In an attempt to streamline the experiment, I went and bought a variety of the many protein bars that there were available at the store.
My hypothesis is that I will gain muscle and lose weight, substituting a small protein bar for my breakfast. However, I doubt one protein bar is going to keep me full until lunch time. Knowing myself, I think that I will become bored of having a protein bar every morning for breakfast and will inevitably fall off the horse at some point.
Testing Protein Bars.
It’s hard to pack so much protein into such a small protein bar while making it taste good. I found some protein bars were too dense while others were too sweet. After trying a number of different types my favorite was Cliff’s Crunchy Peanut Cliff bar. Despite only having 20 grams of protein, the fact that it was natural and tasted good made up for this shortfall of protein. I found having a coffee with my protein bar, made eating and digesting easier.
So what did I learn from my first life experiment:
- I lost 7 lbs over the 30 days
- I feel stronger
- Increased productivity: Having the same breakfast every day, with no preparation or clean up, allowed me to save 10/15 minutes each day. This avoided unnecessary decision making and saved me over 200 minutes a month.
- Improved concentration: Not only did I feel more focused when working, which helped me to be more productive, I also didn’t waste time, money and calories on snacks. Usually my stomach would remind me of lunch and I would be counting the minutes until a respectable time where I could make some lunch. During my experiment however, I would often forget about lunch, not having it until around 1.30/2pm.
- I found it initially difficult to consume so much protein, I was almost having to force myself to finish each bar. If you are thinking of trying this experiment, start with 10 or 20 grams of protein and work up.
- It can become boring to have protein bar for breakfast, however, I did find it made me appreciate my weekend breakfasts so much more.
I enjoyed my first life experiment despite the challenges of having to consume so much protein in such a dense form. Like most things, with time, it got easier. In an attempt to be a little kinder to myself so that I will stick to this new habit, I have decided to:
1. Consume 20 grams of protein for breakfast
2. Only do it on weekdays, allowing myself 2 cheat days on the weekend.
After some trial and error to find a protein bar that I liked. I have purchased 2 large boxes of Cliff’s crunchy peanut butter bars from Amazon. Not only have I lost weight and feel strong, but I am also more productive, which helps me to work more efficiently with better focus and concentration.
Often when I travel, I find that my habit tend to fall. An added bonus with protein bars is that they are easy to transport when travelling so I can easily continue this experiment as I travel the world. I look forward to seeing the results over the longer term.