There are two types of people in the world: those who go to bed thinking about what they’re going to eat for breakfast, and those who don’t. And for those breakfast-lovers out there, they know that what they choose to eat can either make or break their morning.
If you’re a breakfast lover who is also trying to lose weight or stick to a similar type of health goal, finding healthy breakfast food that you can still get excited about can sometimes be a challenge.
The key to choosing breakfast foods to lose weight, especially around your abdominal area, is making sure you get enough protein. For example, a great way to start your day is with some eggs and avocado on whole-grain toast, or Greek yogurt with berries and nut butter.
But what about certain foods that you should avoid if you’re trying to lose belly fat? According to Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements, one breakfast food that you may want to limit or avoid when trying to lose abdominal fat are breakfast pastries.
Continue reading to learn more about how refined carbs like breakfast pastries can derail your weight loss goals, and for more healthy eating tips, check out Best Eating Habits to Shrink Belly Fat.
Why you should avoid breakfast pastries if you want to lose belly fat.
“Breakfast pastries like processed and pre-packaged toaster pastries, donuts, and even some meal replacement bars can be stalling your weight loss efforts, especially because weight gain around the belly is easily exacerbated by a diet containing refined carbohydrates and sugar,” says Best.
While eating a decadent, fluffy pastry in the morning can be satisfying in the moment, Best warns that there really isn’t much nutritional value to them at all, which may be detrimental to your health goals over time.
“These pastries are calorie-dense and loaded with ingredients that will lead to inflammation, glucose spikes, and subsequent crashes, as well as only temporary relief from hunger,” says Best, “and this may lead to overeating on other foods soon after consuming breakfast pastries with little to no valuable nutrients.”
Best also points out that eating foods that are low in nutritional value, especially in the morning hours, can “leave you feeling hungry and fatigued throughout the rest of the day.”
The link between refined carbs and belly fat
While refined carbohydrates like breakfast pastries can have an immediate impact on your glucose levels and energy, they can also contribute to more belly fat over time if consumed on a regular basis.
For example, one study recently published in The Journal of Nutrition found a connection between regular consumption of refined carbohydrates and more weight around the abdominal area. This same study also found that replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains could help improve abdominal weight gain, as well as lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
RELATED: 6 Best Breakfast Recipes for Belly Fat, Say Dietitians
You certainly don’t have to avoid breakfast pastries forever, especially if eating them brings you joy in the morning. However, Best suggests making some adjustments in how you consume them.
“Breakfast pastries should be limited to occasional consumption and replaced with nutrient-dense foods that will fuel your body and set you up for success,” she says.
On the mornings when you do treat yourself to a muffin or a donut, try pairing it with a healthy breakfast food with plenty of lean protein like eggs or low-sugar Greek yogurt.