We hear it all the time, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But when it comes to choosing the right foods for breakfast, how can we know which ones are best for our health goals?
Even though breakfast is an important meal, certain breakfast habits may derail your weight loss goals without you realizing it. To learn more about healthier breakfast habits we can choose when trying to lose weight, we talked with a few expert dietitians to get their advice.
Continue reading to learn more, and for more healthy breakfast tips check out 5 Best High-Fiber Breakfasts When You’re Tired of Oatmeal.
Treating yourself to your favorite pastry or baked good every now and then is totally harmless, but getting in the habit of having one on a daily basis can possibly contribute to weight gain.
“Reaching for that pastry can be very tempting. They taste amazing and there’s usually a variety of choices that don’t seem to get old—until your clothes feel too tight. That’s because they’re loaded with sugar and sugar causes weight gain, especially around the stomach. You could also be putting yourself at risk of things like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, skin aging, and acne. Instead, try grabbing a healthy snack such as a protein pop tart or any type of fruit,” says Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and author at Go Wellness.
You don’t have to drink your coffee black for it to be healthy, but it’s important to consider what you’re adding to your morning cup of Joe on a daily basis.
“Unhealthy creamers that we put in our coffee have added sugars and artificial flavors that can be detrimental to our belly area. On top of that, adding your own sugar with the creamer to your coffee will have double the effects. Too much sugar, especially at breakfast, can cause us to want more sugar throughout the day. It also slows down our metabolism, which won’t help us burn calories, provide the energy we need to exercise, or burn belly fat. Instead, try having your coffee black, or with alternative sweeteners. You can even add protein to your coffee, which would be an awesome habit replacement,” says D’Angelo.
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest meals you can have for breakfast, especially if you’re intentional with the type of toppings you add.
“Oats are high in carbs, which provide our bodies with energy. They also have protein, fiber, and fat as well – all essential nutrients we need if we’re trying to cut weight around the belly area. Both protein and fiber are excellent to help you feel full, resulting in less snacking between breakfast and lunch. Adding more protein to your oatmeal, like whey protein, can provide excellent weight loss benefits, as protein helps build muscle. Building muscle helps speed up your metabolism and ultimately burn calories, which burns fat,” says D’Angelo.
Many people think that they have to get rid of grains in order to lose weight, but replacing refined grains with whole ones is more beneficial than getting rid of them altogether.
“Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients, whereas refined grains have been stripped of their vitamins, minerals, and fiber content, making them less filling. Whole grains also have more volume than refined grains so they stretch out your stomach better and make you feel fuller for longer periods of time. A few great options include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat breads/pastas,” says Janet Coleman, RD a registered dietitian with The Consumer Mag.
And lastly, fitting a serving or two of veggies into your breakfast can help you throughout the rest of your day.
“Vegetables are low in calories but high in fiber content, so they will help fill you up without adding too many extra calories to your diet. They also contain nutrients that can benefit your health overall (like vitamin C or potassium), which makes them worth including at every meal! Try adding vegetables to omelets or scrambled eggs instead of cheese or meat for an added boost of nutrition,” says Coleman.