We've all heard that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, and that eating the right foods at breakfast can boost your concentration and energy levels. However, getting the right nutrients in the morning can also really help you on your weight loss journey by boosting your metabolism and stopping those cravings for unhealthy mid-morning snacks. Here, we give you all you need to know about how to start your day the right way.
The Importance Of Breakfast
Maintaining a good metabolism is an important part of long term weight loss. If you eat nothing until lunchtime, this can mean your body is without food for up to 18 hours. Instead of running smoothly and burning off calories, your body is trying to conserve everything it can. A healthy breakfast will speed up your metabolism and make your body work more efficiently. Those who skip breakfast also have difficulty fitting important nutrients into their diet as many breakfast foods contain significant amounts of vitamins C and D, calcium, iron and fiber. For those wanting to lose weight, it seems counter-intuitive that eating more can help you with this, but it’s true as eating breakfast stops you from overeating later in the day. Being over-hungry can lead to a lack of self-control and distorted satiety signals mean it’s more difficult to know when you’re full. In addition, skipping breakfast can increase your body’s insulin response, which in turn increases fat storage and weight gain. Therefore, skipping breakfast actually increases your risk of obesity.
As much as we would all love to have a leisurely breakfast with our families at the kitchen table, this often isn’t possible with the busy lives we lead today. However, many breakfast foods can be prepared quickly, such as cereal, fruit and yogurt, or whole wheat toast with peanut or almond butter. Even a handful of nuts, a smoothie, or portable fruit like bananas and apples can give us a much-needed boost before we set off for work or school. Another great diet tip is to cook things ready for the week on a Sunday night, such as some boiled eggs as on-the-go snacks, or a vegetable frittata to eat over a few days.
Something Is Better Than Nothing
Some people really can’t face food in the morning but everyone should at least try to have a little something – such as some fruit juice or skim milk – and bring along a healthy mid-morning snack for when hunger hits. If you think you’re doing fine without breakfast, just try changing for a week – you’re likely to notice a difference in your energy levels, mood and concentration, not to mention your eating habits throughout the day.
Ideal Breakfast Foods
The foods you eat at breakfast are very important for weight loss; the right foods can keep you feeling full and energized for the whole morning while the wrong foods can add unnecessary fat, and leave you unsatisfied if they are full of empty calories. You should avoid fried foods like bacon and eggs, sugary cereals, and foods like muffins and croissants which are full of unhealthy trans fats, and opt for a selection of these foods instead:
Fruit is a great breakfast choice as it can help you lose weight by making you feel fuller on fewer calories. Unprocessed fruits contain a lot of water and fiber, which take up a lot of room in your stomach, leaving less room for other foods. Great breakfast options are grapefruit, cantaloupe and watermelon for their water quantities, while raspberries, blueberries bananas, apples, kiwis and pears are all great sources of fiber. Enjoy your fruit on its own, in a smoothie, or with some low fat yogurt.
Yogurt is an easy yet very healthy option for breakfast. Low fat plain yogurt has a lot of calcium, which has been shown to aid weight loss, and low fat Greek yogurt is high in protein which fills you up on fewer calories.
Oats, especially the steel-cut rolled variety, are full of fiber, protein and resistant starch which help you feel full, burn fat and boost your metabolism. Top them with fruit, nuts and yogurt for a great breakfast full of flavor and texture.
Whole wheat bread is great for its fiber content, making you feel fuller for longer. But don’t add empty calories with jelly or butter, instead, add some almond butter, which has less saturated fat than peanut butter, and is high in protein and healthy monounsaturated fats.
Eggs are perfect in the morning as they are high in protein and have been shown to aid weight loss when eaten for breakfast. They are also very versatile, making a great topping for toast when scrambled or poached, or they can be a handy portable breakfast snack when boiled.
Cereal is a breakfast staple, but often people don’t know which ones to choose for the best. The ideal choices are cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Many whole-grain or bran cereals fulfill these requirements, and topping your cereal off with some skim milk and fruit gives you an ideal breakfast combination of filling whole grains, calcium, and energy-boosting protein.
Eating a low-fat, high-protein, high-fiber breakfast is the best way to start your day and the best option when it comes to losing weight. We would love to know the types of foods you enjoy eating for breakfast, or if you have any recipe ideas you would like to share! And don’t forget, another great way to start your day and help you on your weight loss journey is to take a weight loss supplement, designed to suppress your appetite and boost your energy.