Pancakes. French toast. Muffins. Eggs and bacon. The list of delicious breakfast foods goes on and on. Notice that a great deal of popular breakfast foods tend to be extremely unhealthy for you, though. So what should you do? Is banning breakfast foods from your diet the best course of action?
First things first: If you skip breakfast, you are not doing yourself any favors in the weight loss department. It’s counterintuitive, we know. You would think that if you eat less you will lose more, but skipping meals can actually make weight control more difficult. According to Web MD, people who skip breakfast actually tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal, or they snack on more high-calorie snacks instead. Breakfast also fuels your body and brain for the day, so without breakfast foods, you’re running on empty!
Since we’ve established that you should not ignore the existence of breakfast foods as a whole, it’s necessary to determine which breakfast foods will actually contribute to your wellness and help you lose weight, if that is your goal. Eating Well suggests five breakfast foods that will contribute to a slimmer and healthier you. It’s a tough concept to get used to, but breakfast foods can be your friend!
Healthy Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss
5 healthy breakfast foods to help you lose weight
Eating a morning meal is a healthy habit if you’re watching your weight. Research shows that regular breakfast eaters tend to be leaner and dieters are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—when they eat breakfast. What’s more, people who typically eat breakfast also get more fiber (more on why this is important later), calcium, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, zinc and iron—and less fat and dietary cholesterol. Perhaps it’s because they often eat cereal, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals, and fruit, which is naturally nutrient-rich.
But that doesn’t mean you have to eat cereal to stay—or get—trim. Instead, mix-up your morning meal and try one—or a few—of these 5 breakfast foods that help you lose weight.
A cup of raspberries delivers a whopping 8 grams of fiber (that’s more than double what’s in a cup of strawberries and about the same amount in a cup of some types of beans). What’s so great about all that fiber? Recent research in the Journal of Nutritionsuggests eating more fiber as a way to prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss. Over the course of the two-year study, the researchers found that boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories resulted in about 4 ½ pounds of weight lost.
Oatmeal can help you lose weight in two ways. First, it’s a breakfast food packed with fiber and it keeps you feeling fuller longer. Second, a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition reported that eating a breakfast made with “slow-release” carbohydrates—such as oatmeal or bran cereal—3 hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat. How? Eating “slow-release” carbohydrates doesn’t spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates (think: white toast). In turn, insulin levels don’t spike as high. Because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower blood sugar levels may help you burn fat.
A recent report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and out of Harvard revealed which foods are correlated with weight change, including the top 5 foods that promote weight loss. Yogurt was one of them! (See more of the Best Foods for Weight Loss, and 5 Foods That Make You Gain, here.) Another reason to eat yogurt: the protein in it may give you an extra edge if you’re looking to get leaner. When researchers fed two groups of mice a high-fat diet for 11 weeks, the mice that got water spiked with whey protein (a type of protein found naturally in yogurt and other dairy) packed on 42 percent less weight and nearly a third less body fat than the mice who just drank plain water, despite the fact that they ate roughly the same number of calories. The whey eaters also gained 7 percent more lean body mass(e.g., muscle mass). Save calories—and unnecessary sugar—by choosing plain yogurt. If you need a little extra sweetness, try fresh fruit (maybe raspberries?).
4. Peanut Butter
Nuts were also among the top 5 foods that Harvard researchers said promote weight loss. I love to slather a tablespoon or two of peanut butter onto whole-wheat toast (ahem, a “slow-release” carbohydrate), but you could also add nuts to your oatmeal (another “slow-release” carb).
Eggs deliver protein, which is great for dieters. Compared to carbohydrates and fat, protein keeps you satisfied longer. Plus, in one study, dieters who ate eggs for breakfast felt fuller longer and lost more than twice as much weight as those who got the same amount of calories from a bagel for breakfast.
A few breakfast foods on this list (eggs, yogurt, oatmeal) are typical breakfast fare that you may not have realized can be so beneficial for you. Raspberries should supplement your breakfast, of course, and not be considered a meal all on their own. How many of you would have thought of peanut butter or other nuts as breakfast foods, though? It’s time to shake up your morning routine a little and see what happens! Get nuts, so to speak.
None of this means that you can’t enjoy other, less healthy breakfast foods from time to time. Moderation is the key, of course. At Ceres Bistro in Worcester, Massachusetts, we offer an extensive breakfast menu which includes all of the breakfast foods on the Eat Well list, as well as other more indulgent dishes you may save for your “once in a while” meals. The Beechwood Hotel also offers a Sunday Brunch Buffet that allows you to build a meal from both lunch and breakfast foods; you can have scrambled eggs right after your field greens salad, if you like! Wherever you choose to have breakfast, however, remember that skipping breakfast is not an option. Learn to accept breakfast foods again, and you will be the better for it.
Join our discussion in the comments section below and let us know about your breakfast habits and share your favorite breakfast foods with us!