What You Should Eat For Breakfast When Trying to Lose Weight
A lot of dieters have the idea that not eating is a quick option for losing weight. Not so. If you do not eat, your body gets low on energy, and the next time food crosses your path, you may find yourself gulping it down your throat and filling up your stomach. That obviously piles up calories.
Weight loss is majorly about the balance between the calories you gain from meals and the amount of energy you spend to burn them. If you feed your body with lots of calories in a single meal, you may not spend them all. But your stomach will still get empty and require you to eat. This is true, especially with the evening meal. We spend little energy on sleep and don’t need to feed our body with excessive calories. Remember the saying, ‘eat dinner like a pauper’? (1) There’s the logic in it.
But what about breakfast?
The start of a new day requires an energized body. You have a whole day ahead of you and need the energy to face it. Again, this justifies why most dieticians consider breakfast your most important meal, the one you ‘should eat like a king’ (2). But is a king’s meal what you should eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight?
Research seems to confuse the dieter on this point. Some maintain that eating breakfast works against the weight watcher who is desperate about losing several or even a few pounds. Others will stick to the original version: “yes, eat breakfast!” In fact, reliable studies have reported that more than ¾ of dieters who lose and maintain a reduced weight enjoy their morning meal daily (3). We will, therefore, stick to eating breakfast for weight loss. But there is a caution to helping yourself to some delicacies at the morning hours. The point is, if you are trying to lose some pounds, you should eat breakfast, and any other meal, the right way.
The Right Way to ‘Break the Fast’
Studies have confirmed that the most reliable way of losing weight and maintaining it is by consuming small but healthy portions and distributing them throughout your day (4). If your system adapts to surviving with smaller servings, you will not need to gobble down larger amounts of food to satiate a craving or curb extreme hunger. Several practices make for the right way to eat your breakfast.
Eat breakfast the earliest possible after waking up
If you follow the recommended routine, your body fasts for 8 hours during sleep. Once you wake up, any activity you engage in makes use of stored up energy, which could leave you energy-less and feeling hungry. Breaking the fast the earliest possible after waking up stabilizes your energy levels and stops you from craving for food. Craves can tempt to extra calories.
Choose foods that fill you up and stay longer in your stomach
If your stomach is full, you will not look for calorie-filled snacks before your midday meal. A full tummy will let you do your work without reminding you that you need to eat. Protein-rich and wholegrain foods are satiating and full of fiber and will not only fill you up but will also increase your metabolism rate while retaining your muscle mass.
Eat a calorie-balanced breakfast
If you are dieting, refined sugars, heavy starch, and fatty foods are your number one enemy. Skipping breakfast and finding yourself low on energy will make you give in to that tempting ham and egg sandwich at the closest food joint or vending machine. To avoid the temptation, eat a slimming breakfast and stabilize your energy levels (5).
A slimming breakfast entails eating healthy in the morning while checking your portions and avoiding the extra calories. Certain foods should top your list when considering what you should eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight.
Best Foods for a Weight-losing Breakfast
Weight-losing foods can be consumed alone or in combination with other foods to make a healthy and slimming diet. Combining foods is healthier and constitutes the approach in this article. Below are 10 breakfast menus that should be on your list when trying to lose weight.
Oatmeal with fruit garnishing
Oatmeal is satiating, and its high fiber levels make it a healthy choice for your morning meal. Fiber-rich foods keep you full for a long time, reducing your appetite and crave for more food. Oatmeal does not disrupt your blood sugar levels, which makes it fat-burning food.
Garnishing oatmeal with fruit completes it with plenty of nutrients which are low on calories. The choice of fruits should be in favor of healthy blood sugar levels. Berries are a great choice of low glycemic fruits and are rich in fiber and minerals.
Yogurt with banana slices and a sprinkle of nuts
As a dairy product, yogurt is rich with proteins, which makes it nourishing and filling at the same time. A 250 grams cup of yogurt is good enough nourishment to keep your energy levels sustaining all morning. Slicing a banana into the yogurt provides for your fiber needs, which also makes you feel sated.
A sprinkle of nuts provides your dose of healthy fats. Almonds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and macadamia are among the nuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are good for heart health. Nuts are generally filling and will keep you from unhealthy snacking between meals.
Whole-grain toast with a spread of peanut butter
Whole grain bread is another type of starch which is rich in fiber. A slice of toasted whole grain bread with two spoons of peanut butter has enough fiber to keep your stomach full for all the hours of the morning. Besides, peanut butter has a good supply of protein and healthy fats, which makes it calories healthy.
Poached egg and steamed broccoli
Eggs are a lean protein with abundant amino acids, which makes them good for your blood sugar levels. 140 calories from two eggs (6) are enough to keep you nourished and sated the entire morning. Eating your eggs poached eliminates the use of fats used to fry them. Instead, accompanying them with steamed broccoli completes your egg protein with healthy nutrients and fiber. The combination is not only tasty but also a good selection of weight management foods.
Fruit salad with a slice of oatmeal bread
Fruits are low in calories but rich in fiber and minerals. Studies suggest that a selection of fruits for a colorful salad will give you these food properties but may deprive you of the right levels of blood sugar (7). Accompanying a bowl of strawberries, mango, banana, grapes, and kiwi salad with a slice of oatmeal bread will balance your morning meal. The starch in oatmeal will check your blood sugar levels. Oatmeal starch is metabolized slowly and will also keep you feeling full the entire morning. The low-calorie fruit salad keeps your weight in check.
Milk and fruit smoothie
Milk is one of the highly nourishing foods because of its high protein and calcium content. It also has high levels of sugar (lactose) and fat. The fat in milk is saturated fat, which could work against weight loss if it is taken beyond the recommended calorie levels at breakfast (around 300-400) (8). To gain the nourishing protein and calcium in milk while avoiding the fat and lactose, your breakfast smoothies should be made with fat-free milk. You may also want to purchase lactose-free milk to stay away from the sugar.
A blend of banana and berries or a tropical fruit like mango or papaya to make your smoothie will complement the milk protein with healthy fibers and minerals. If you do not want your rich smoothie all at once, you could slowly sip it through half the morning to allow your body to consume the calories gradually.
Steamed fish with a small serving of vegetable salad
A study in Australia on the satiating capacity of common foods (9), ranked steamed fish second among the most filling foods. At the top of the list was boiled potatoes. Going by the study, a slice of steamed fish, a maximum of 100 grams, consumed with a small serving of vegetable salad will keep your stomach full the entire morning while providing lean protein, minerals, and healthy fiber.
Raw tomatoes, a handful of lettuce pieces, half a carrot, and half a cucumber will make a good blend of vegetables to go with your steamed fish. The salad and fish could be dressed with a teaspoon of healthy oil such as extra virgin olive oil which has known to have health benefits for the heart.
Carrot juice and avocado
If you consume an average size avocado in the morning, you will have eaten over three-quarters of the fat you require in a day (10). Should that worry you? Not at all. Avocado fat is healthy and has known benefits for the heart. It also helps to reduce inflammation in the body. Besides, avocado is rich in magnesium and antioxidants. The high-fat content makes it extremely filling, but the fruit is good for digestion.
Eating half an avocado in the morning with a glass of carrot juice will keep you away from snacking because both are highly filling. Carrot juice has fat burning properties and fits well with your dieting plan. Besides, it also has considerable sugar quantities to sustain your energy needs for the morning.
Oatmeal porridge with a slice of cheese
Porridge has been named as one of the most effective ways of losing pounds and staying away from them (11). This is because of the high levels of fiber in oatmeal and other grains that can be used to make it. Porridge is also filling and will keep you away from unhealthy snacking before the midday meal.
Completing your porridge serving with a slice of cheese will give you the protein that is absent in the porridge. Besides, cheese is low in calorie compared to other alternative spreads and garnishing foods such as mayonnaise and butter.
Like porridge, cheese is filling, and the combination of the two will help you consume lesser amounts, a choice that works in favor of your weight loss plan.
“What about my morning coffee?”
As long as you drink it black and sugar-free, coffee can be part of all the above menus to increases the chances of weight loss. The first reason coffee is good for weight loss is that it gives zero calories. Secondly, black coffee hastens your metabolism rate, which makes it a resting metabolic agent (12). In other words, you can burn calories while inactive simply by drinking black coffee. Burning calories add up to weight loss.
It is a proven fact that eating breakfast works in favor of your weight loss plan. So, if you are trying to lose weight, you need not punish yourself by skipping the morning meal. Instead, compile a list of what you should eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight by combining healthy foods in the right amounts. By doing so, you will be eating right at breakfast and augmenting your chances of losing weight while staying healthy.
If drinking coffee makes part of your morning routine, take advantage of its zero calories by drinking it black and sugar-free. In that way, you can reap the benefits of its metabolism-enhancing properties.