Good morning! What did you have for breakfast today? If you said, “Nothing, because I’m trying to lose weight,” you’ve got it all wrong. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are more successful at losing weight – and maintaining their weight loss – than those who skip it. That doesn’t mean you should have a muffin every day before work. Experts say the healthiest breakfast is one that limits carbs and sugar, and offers sufficient protein, fiber and healthy fats. This combo will make sure you stay satiated and energized until lunch.
Not only can breakfast give you energy, it can help you lose weight. Eating to drop lbs.? Totes. When you have a nutrition-packed meal, it can make all sorts of amazing changes to your body, from keeping you full and away from snacks, to causing a metabolic burn increase. These breakfast foods are your best bet for weight loss.
Plan For Protein
Fact: An egg has 6g of high-quality protein, only 70 calories and no carbs, which makes eggs a fab breakfast option for those looking to stay full and energized throughout the morning. Multiple studies show increased satiety and greater weight and fat loss for people who eat eggs in the morning versus those who choose high-carb options like bagels. Eggs also deliver essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce, so we must get them via food. From eggs we get good fats, choline, selenium, biotin, iodine, phosphorus and vitamin A. Most of these are in the yolk so forget about making just the whites. Eggs are inexpensive, readily available and very versatile. Scramble up two eggs and mix in black beans, top a sunny side-up egg with avocado or just have a hard-boiled egg with a dash of sea salt. Can you tell we love eggs?
Keep The Carbs
We want you to include carbs at breakfast! Yes, carbs, the food category people don’t even want to mention. But we’re going to say it, and then eat it. Some carbs are terrible and lead to weight gain while others can actually help you shed fat. Good carbs, also known as slow carbs, are rich in fiber so they release energy into the blood stream slowly and help you avoid spikes in insulin and blood sugar. The fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer, so it may help you avoid hungry snack attacks.
One of the best carb breakfasts for weight loss? Oatmeal! It’s the king and queen of breakfast carbs! Make sure you choose steel-cut oats over rolled or instant. They’re not pre-cooked and are processed in a manner that helps them maintain more fiber and protein than other versions. Plus, the hearty, chewy feel of steel-cut oats helps you to slow down breakfast and feel full. Don’t mess up a perfectly healthy bowl of oats with a lot of sugary junk that will turn into fat. Avoid sweetening with syrup and opt for natural flavors found in berries, grated apples or ripe mashed bananas.
Bring On The Berries
Speaking of berries, they have natural sugars that can satisfy a sweet tooth but with minimal calories. There’s no replacement for chocolate but berries are bursting with natural sweetness and you can eat way more of them without worrying about the scale. For example, one cup of sliced strawberries is only 50 calories. We love them on top of oatmeal, in yogurt parfaits or just in a big bowl by themselves. All berries are low in carbs and high in fiber, which means they regulate blood sugar and insulin levels (high insulin can contribute to increased belly fat and cravings). When fresh berries aren’t an option frozen is just as good. Defrost a cup in the microwave then use the tasty liquid that pools at the bottom of the bowl to sweeten yogurt.
Smooth It Out
And now a word on yogurt: We love making smoothies! They’re a great way to get protein and fiber in one pretty glass. The base of a good smoothie is fruit (remember berries?) and plain Greek yogurt. It’s a major protein (some brands have upwards of 20g per cup!) and is low in calories, sugar and carbs. Stay away from flavored yogurts that are packed with sugar. Top a cup of plain yogurt with berries, nuts and a little bit of a low sugar granola for a delicious breakfast parfait. We like using single serve yogurts to help with portion control. Even too much of a good thing can pack on pounds.
Eat With Purpose
Portion control sounds super restrictive but it’s more about having a balanced diet for weight loss than limiting food. Single-portion yogurt keeps you moving in the right direction but what about foods that aren’t so neat and tidy? If you need a little extra help when it comes to making healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices, consider signing up for a program like Noom. It’s not a one-size-fits-all weight loss program. Instead it’s a personalized behavior change program that teaches you how to eat with purpose. Noom focuses on changing patterns of thinking, habits and behavior so you see results for the rest of your life, not just for a month or two. The breakfast tips we rounded up are a great beginning that you can now sustain with a Noom personal coach to guide you (and be a cheerleader) for true weight loss.
The editors at SheFinds wrote this article in partnership with Noom.