The 30-Day Mighty Muffin Weight Loss Challenge

One thing we consistently hear from FlapJacked customers is how our high-protein products help them feel “fuller for longer,” especially in the morning.

It’s not too surprising given the nature of protein. What’s been more surprising is the number of people on weight loss journeys who eat FlapJacked as part of their daily diet and have seen significant results in doing so. (Thank you Instagram before/after photos!)

We’ve always been curious, just how much weight could people lose by simply eating FlapJacked in the morning?

The topic of "morning protein and weight loss" is one of the hottest areas of nutrition research these days.

The buzz started about 7 years ago, when Tim Ferriss introduced the “30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up” concept in his book The 4 Hour Body. Since then, there’s been mounting evidence ever since that eating a high dose of protein first thing in the morning can help support weight loss. A 2015 study by the International Journal of Obesity showed morning protein helped people consume 400 fewer calories throughout the day and also burn fat.

The timing aspect of eating protein within the first 30 minutes of the day was particularly fascinating to us. Could such a simple timing change produce real weight loss results?

So, we decided to put these ideas to the test and run our own experiment.

What if we gave 30 people looking to lose weight...

A 30-day supply of FlapJacked Mighty Muffins…

To eat each and every morning within 30 minutes of waking up?!

Why the Mighty Muffins? Since they only take about 35 seconds to make in the microwave, it seemed like the perfect fit for this challenge.

Eat Muffins, Lose Weight?

First, we had to find some candidates who wanted to lose weight and were willing to eat a piping hot, delicious muffin each morning. Hard to find, right?! So, we put out some feelers across the team and found our 30 guinea pigs. They ranged from neighbors to old college roommates to distant relatives and even “friends of friends”.

In total, it was a great mix of candidates (18 women, 12 men) across the US who were all willing to jump out of bed and eat our protein-packed muffins in hopes of losing some weight.

Step 1: Pre-Challenge Participant Data

We needed to establish a baseline of data for this experiment, so we had each participant fill out an online survey letting us know their starting weight first thing in the morning, their typical breakfast and how long after waking they ate it. It was important to understand their existing breakfast habits to see if that factored into how much weight they did or didn’t lose on the challenge (more on that later!).

Step 2: Daily Check-Ins

We also needed a way to verify that each person in the program was actually eating their muffin every day. So, each morning we had every challenge participant text in a picture of their empty FlapJacked Mighty Muffin cup, along with what time they woke up and ate. We’d confirm back with an emoji and message of encouragement. It was a LOT of texting each morning!

Mighty Muffin Challenge

Step 3: Post-Challenge Survey

Finally, after each person completed their 30 day Mighty Muffin challenge, we had them answer a few questions about their final weight, any changes in appetite and activity level, and of course what was their favorite Mighty Muffin flavor. (Hey, we were curious!)

Did the Mighty Muffin Challenge work?

For most people, yes! Here’s the list of the 30 participants along with their respective weight loss or gain:

Name

Starting Weight

Final Weight

Loss/Gain

Kristen M.

185

176

-9

Mike J.

200

191

-9

Tom M.

249

240

-9

Angela L.

249

241

-8

Nicole H.

205

197

-8

Melissa O.

220

212

-8

Becca D.

232

224

-8

Charise O.

155

148

-7

Erick E.

218

211

-7

Melanie C.

195

189

-6

Ashley S.

177

171

-6

Brooke H.

225

220

-5

Jackie H.

146

141

-5

Darwin B.

238

233

-5

Donna P.

194

190

-4

Derek A.

200

196

-4

Jared M.

203

199

-4

Jack G.

205

202

-3

Kendall C.

236

233

-3

Katherine B.

147

145

-2

Kurt V.

193

191

-2

Brian H.

214

212

-2

Ross B.

187

185

-2

Daniella W.

189

188

-1

Emma M.

200

200

0

Kayte H.

175

175

0

Brian D.

200

200

0

Kalley S.

165

167

+2

Grace M.

203

210

+7

Jaci C.*

235

178

-57

As you can see from the list above, 24 people (80%) reported losing weight on the Mighty Muffin Challenge with an average loss of 5.3 lbs in 30 days.

* We decided not to use Jaci’s numbers since losing 57 lbs in a month is probably not quite accurate LOL! While she did lose “a lot of weight”, she acknowledged that her starting number is off quite a bit (maybe a typo in the survey form?) and can’t remember exactly what it was. So, unfortunately her numbers don’t count for this experiment.

Another 3 people reported zero weight loss or gain, 2 people reported gaining weight…and then there’s Jaci ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

So, what were some of the highlights or takeaways from the data?

  1. The heavier participants lost more weight. Of the 5 girls weighing the most entering the challenge, 4 of them lost 8 lbs and the other lost 5 lbs. On the male side, the heaviest guy (Tom M. at 249lbs) also reported the highest loss at 9 lbs.

  2. The 30 minute eating window does matter. Of the 30 participants, only 3 reported eating breakfast within 30 min of waking up before taking the challenge. For the rest, this was a new change to their daily diet. Speeding up their breakfast seems to have had an impact on their weight loss.

  3. The morning protein impacted participants’ appetites. Of the 24 who lost weight, 20 of them (83%) noticed that they experienced less hunger throughout the rest of their day.

  4. The women lost slightly more weight than the men. Of the 13 women who lost weight, the average loss was almost 6 lbs. Of the 11 men who lost weight, the average loss was 4.5 lbs.

  5. No extra effort at the gym was needed to show progress. One question we asked after the challenge was whether or not they increased their activity/exercise levels during the 30 days. Only 1 out of the 24 (Mike J.) reported doing so. (Although we think there’d be even more gainz if they did!)

In Their Own Words

You might be wondering, how did the participants feel about eating muffins first thing each morning? We had them write up a few short sentences describing their experience on the Mighty Muffin Challenge. Here are a few of them below:

Ashley S. (-6 lbs)
“I'm not a morning person. At all. I always skip breakfast and by the time lunch comes around I am starving and will eat anything. These Mighty Muffin cups are so easy and effortless, something my grumpy self could handle in the morning. I noticed the protein kept me pretty full all morning. I was able to make healthier choices throughout the day (even while being sick).”

Jackie H. (-5 lbs)
“I was super amazed at how full I felt for how long after having the muffin in the morning. Normally, I would have a shake first thing in the morning and then feel hungry around 10 or 10:30am so I would eat a mini-breakfast. With the muffin, I was able to make it all of the way to lunch time without having that second breakfast- so it definitely saved me some calories! I think I could have been even more successful had I really focused on adding exercise in.”

Angela L. (-8 lbs)
“I stayed fuller longer, snacked on less junk, and felt more energized in the day due to making better choices.”

Charise O. (-7 lbs)
“My first 2 days were a challenge to make sure I ate within 30 minutes. Then it became a habit. I loved not having to think about choosing a healthy meal option for breakfast. Simply put it in the microwave and eat it anywhere.”

Katherine B. (-2 lbs)
“I enjoyed this challenge. I did not lose significant weight but my body composition changed (dropped a pants size), I had more energy, and my digestion improved. I'm a creature of habit so I didn't get bored/tired of eating the same every morning.”

Kendall C. (-3 lbs)
“While it didn't change my appetite, it certainly helped with craving sweets throughout the day. I didn't really notice the difference, but 3 lbs is 3 lbs.”

Melissa O. (-8 lbs)
“I have a hard time eating breakfast and mighty muffins made it REALLY easy to eat in the morning. I liked the flavor of most of them and it was so quick and easy I had no excuse NOT to eat them! I'm seriously a huge mighty muffin fan now, having never tried them before I had no idea but they have quickly become my everyday breakfast go to!”

Ross B. (-2 lbs)
“It is tough to eat that much food that quickly for me. I haven't had breakfast be a consistent meal since college. It definitely became a chore, and some days it slipped my mind, as you noticed. :)”

Kurt V. (-2 lbs)
“I especially liked the beginning when it made me think about taking the time to eat breakfast in the morning: Not just about what I was putting in my body, but literally a plan to just sit and eat, instead of just run, run, run. It made me more conscious… I didn't feel like the muffins made me less hungry or more aware of my hunger throughout the rest of the day, which I thought was interesting - the rest of my diet stayed the same as it was in non-challenge months.”

Donna P. (-4 lbs)
“I loved the challenge! The muffin helped me feel full and satisfied longer and was super tasty too. Although the pounds lost are not significant, my clothes fit better and I feel more energized throughout the day.”

Nicole H. (-8 lbs)
“I usually ate this between 7 and 8, and wouldn’t be hungry again until at least noon, a good 4 hours later.”

Becca D. (-8 lbs)
“I loved that it was a quick, easy and tasty way to get in my protein first thing in the morning that is not eggs or meat.”

Melanie C. (-6 lbs)
“Having protein first thing in the morning helped me stay fuller longer. I'm also breastfeeding and the high protein helped with my milk production??”

Take the Mighty Muffin Challenge!

Looking to shed a few pounds heading into summer? Try the morning protein challenge for yourself! Here's a few tips to get you started:

Double Chocolate Mighty Muffin

1. Find an accountability partner to report to each morning. Having to show your empty cup or plate within 30 minutes of waking up is a great way to stay on track.

2. Stock your pantry with a fast, high-protein option for breakfast. While our Mighty Muffins work great and were used for this experiment, a high-protein shake (like our Protein Smoothie Mix) would work well too!

3. Let us know how it goes, we love hearing your stories! Tag us out on Instagram using #flapjacked or shoot us an email at info@flapjacked.com. We might even send you a little something for taking the challenge :)

Written by: Ben Bacon

 



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2 Responses

Becky Barnett
Becky Barnett

May 22, 2017

This is an interesting study. My friend and I actually started watching out food and macros this morning. Ironically both of us at FlapJacked muffins. I would LOVE to try the 30 day study….how interesting. It also helps that your foods are so yummy!!

Milt Drewer
Milt Drewer

May 19, 2017

Very interesting experiment. I’m intrigued

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