Early birds and night owls may not agree on workout times or social activities, but the rise of “brinner” proves one thing they have in common: A love of breakfast foods!
There are pancakes and waffles, Danishes and muffins, colourful cereals and bacon and egg wraps – and better yet, it’s all supposed to help you lose weight. The key phrase being “supposed to”…
While some believe that sitting down to a nutritionally-lacking breakfast is better than skipping the morning meal altogether, it’s best to stick to healthy breakfast foods when you’re serious about losing weight and getting a flat stomach. But it can be challenging identifying your best bets, I know.
While some breakfast foods are obvious indulgences (hello, cinnamon buns!), other seemingly healthy choices can also sabotage your success. Swap your morning go-tos for these delicious slimming picks to jumpstart your progress while you’re still in your PJs! (Now that’s what I call a productive morning!)
What you should and shouldn’t eat for breakfast if you want a flat tummy
When you’re craving toasty carbs
What to eat: Sprouted grain toast with peanut butter
What not to eat: Whole wheat bagel with butter
Why: Even if they’re whole wheat, bagels can pack as many calories as three or four slices of bread. Scary, right? Skip the buttered bagel – a combination that will cost you about 340 calories and 50 g of carbs – and spread a tablespoon of natural peanut butter on two slices of sprouted grain bread instead. The savoury swap provides 8 g of flab-fighting protein, 4 g of satiating fat and will save you nearly 80 calories a day! If you stick with the nut butter and bread for a mere month and a half, you’ll drop a kilo of fat from your frame. If nuts aren’t your thing, mashed avocado also makes a filling toast topper that fights fat.
When you’re craving something fruity
What to eat: An orange
What not to eat: A glass of orange juice
Why: Swap your daily cup of orange juice for an actual orange. A piece of fruit not only costs a lot less than a carton of juice but also provides more belly-filling, health-promoting fibre for a fraction of the calories and sugar. In fact, making this swap every day for a month will save you 1,260 calories and 257 g of the waist-widening sweet stuff – that’s what you’d find in 78 Oreo cookies!
When you’re craving something creamy
What to eat: Plain Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit
What not to eat: Fruit-flavoured Greek yoghurt
Why: Though all Greek yoghurts pack more protein than traditional varieties, not all containers are created equal – especially when it comes to sugar counts. Swap your fruit-flavoured yoghurt (which could easily be filled with 30 g of the sweet stuff) for a plain, low-sugar variety. To add a hint of flavour, top it off with your favourite berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are all packed with polyphenols; naturally-occurring chemicals that aid weight loss and stop fat cells from forming. No strawberry-flavoured yogurt can claim that!
When eggs feel mandatory
What to eat: Whole eggs
What not to eat: Egg whites
Why: Hard-boiled, fried, poached, scrambled or folded into an omelette: there’s no wrong way to eat an egg – unless you remove the yolk. Earlier this year, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee dropped their longstanding recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol – a nutrient that’s abundant in the yellow centre of eggs – due to countless studies confirming that this nutrient has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. In fact, the yolk contains choline, a fat-fighting nutrient that can whittle your waistline, making whole egg dishes a definite “eat this”!
When only cereal will do
What to eat: Low-sugar, high-fibre cereal
What not to eat: High-sugar, low-fibre cereal
Why: Fruit Loops and Coco Pops are better left in your childhood memories than your cereal bowl. Morning classics such as these tend to be high in sugar, which can mess with your blood sugar and leave your stomach growling soon after you’ve finished eaten. They’re also lower in vitamins, minerals, fibre and muscle-building protein than their grown-up counterparts. I’m a fan of of high-fibre and protein-rich options like All-Bran Flakes. Yum!