Mix up your morning meal and try one—or a few—of these healthy breakfast foods that 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 do typically get more of some important nutrients, like fiber and vitamins.
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.
Almond butter is high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats,” says Martha McKittrick, RD, CDN, CDE. “Studies have also shown that people who eat nuts are less likely to become overweight than those who avoid them, likely because it helps you feel fuller, longer.” To reap the benefits at breakfast, McKittrick suggests spreading some nut butter on wholegrain toast or adding a tablespoon to oatmeal or smoothies.
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! 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 dairies) 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?).
Oatmeal can help you lose weight in two ways. First, it’s packed with fiber and it keeps you feeling fuller longer. Second, a recent study in the 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.
Nuts were also among the top 5 foods that Harvard researchers said to 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).
High in fiber but low in calories, bananas are a great alternative to sugary breakfast cereals to satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning.
One medium banana has just over 100 calories yet packs 3 grams of dietary fiber — knocking out up to 12% of your daily fiber needs in one shot.
Fiber helps slow the emptying of your stomach to curb cravings and keep you feeling fuller longer.
Multiple studies have found that upping your intake of fiber from fruits and vegetables is associated with increased weight loss.
Additionally, unripe bananas are a good source of resistant starch, a type of starch that your stomach and small intestine don’t digest.
Research suggests that resistant starch may help reduce food intake and decrease belly fat.
Bananas can be enjoyed alone or sliced as a topping for yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal. You can also add unripe, green bananas to your morning smoothie for a hearty dose of resistant starch.
Not only are smoothies a quick and easy way to obtain a concentrated dose of nutrients, they also double as a convenient breakfast item that can accelerate weight loss.
Since you can customize your ingredients, you can tailor your drink to fit your personal preferences.
Filling your smoothies with veggies and low-calorie fruits can boost fiber intake to help you feel fuller longer.
Throw in some high-protein ingredients like nuts, seeds or protein powder to promote feelings of fullness and fight off cravings.
However, keep in mind that smoothies can quickly turn into calorie bombs if you overdo the high-calorie ingredients.
For an easy weight loss smoothie, blend one cup (240 ml) of milk with a handful of leafy greens, two tablespoons (28 grams) of chia seeds and one cup (144 grams) of strawberries.
Enjoy your smoothie throughout the morning to resist snacking and combat cravings.
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 Nutrition suggests 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 loss.
Starting your day on the right foot and with the right food can make a world of difference when it comes to weight loss.
Eating healthy breakfast foods can make it easier to curb cravings and stick to your weight loss goals.
Keep in mind that following a weight loss diet doesn’t just end with a healthy breakfast. Be sure to fill your diet with nutritious whole foods throughout the day to optimize your health and help lose weight quickly.
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