The ultimate formula for a weight loss boosting breakfast
You know that eating breakfast in the morning can keep you from bingeing later in the day and possibly help you lose weight. The only problem: Most of us are straight-up zombies first thing in the morning and end up eating like one, mindlessly scarfing down whatever is in our path.
The Ultimate Pounds-Dropping Breakfast Formula
But turning your breakfast into weight-loss fuel doesn’t actually take much brainpower. All you need is fiber from whole-grain carbohydrates or fruit, protein, and healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat, says Jaime Mass, R.D., of Jaime Mass Nutritionals. Make sure your morning meal has the perfect combo of pounds-dropping nutrients by aiming for roughly five to 10 grams of fiber from a carbohydrate source, about 14 to 20 grams of super-filling protein, and around seven to 13 grams of craving-crushing healthy fat.
“The most important thing about breakfast is the mix of nutrients,” says nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants and author of Read It Before You Eat It. “This healthy combination is the perfect way to get energized for the day and help you focus,” she says.
Why It Actually Works
Here’s how these nutrients also work together to help you lose weight: The fiber in your meal absorbs water to keep you fuller longer, which means you won’t overeat at lunchtime because you’re starving, says Mass. And since fiber also supports healthy digestion, you’re not going to feel bloated. Plus, when your digestive tract is running smoothly, your body absorbs more nutrients so you have energy to hit the gym, she says.
The other key players in this weight loss-friendly breakfast—protein and healthy fat—slow down the digestion of fiber, sugar, and carbohydrates to level out your blood sugar and prevent crashes. And when your blood sugar is stable, you’re more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day (i.e., make it to your workouts and avoid impulsively eating snacks when you’re not hungry).
What Else You Should Keep in Mind
In addition to noshing on the perfect mix of nutrients, keeping an eye on the portion of your breakfast will also help you reach your weight-loss goals (okay, we’ll take our Captain Obvious hat off now). But the exact amount you should be eating really depends on your height and weight, says Mass. For the average active woman looking to drop pounds, Mass recommends keeping your breakfast somewhere around 300 to 350 calories.
Now that you’ve got all that info, we’re about to break it down so you never have to think about it again. Here, we bring you five perfect a.m. meals that meet these fat-burning requirements. Say goodbye to pre-lunch hanger, baby!
The breakfast: 1 medium apple, sliced, topped with 2 Tbsp of almond butter mixed with 1 Tbsp of protein powder
Why it works: The extra protein from the powder gives your nut butter a protein boost without adding a ton of calories, says Mass.
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 370 cal, 20 g fat (2 g sat), 30 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 4 mg sodium, 6 g of fiber, 22.2 g protein
The breakfast: A piece of whole-grain toast topped with about 3 Tbsp mashed avocado and 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
Why it works: Eggs are a great source of a.m. protein, but if you don’t have time to make scrambled eggs or an omelet, keep a stash of hard-boiled eggs to make this quick recipe, says Taub-Dix.
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 208 cal, 12 g fat (3 g sat), 15 g carbs, 1.5 g sugar, 62 mg sodium, 6 g of fiber, 12 g protein
The breakfast: A smoothie made with 1/2 cup berries, 6 oz nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1 Tbsp almond butter
Why it works: Nuts slow the absorption of the carbs, says Taub-Dix, which means they won’t give you a blood-sugar surge.
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 381 cal, 19 g fat (2 g sat), 33 g carbs, 9.5 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 11 g of fiber, 26 g protein
The breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal mixed with 1/2 scoop protein powder (whey, soy, or hemp) and 1 1/2 Tbsp of your favorite nuts (almonds are great) and 1/2 cup fresh berries (any kind).
Why it works: Not only is this breakfast super-easy and full of fat-burning nutrients, it also contains tons of antioxidants and fiber, says Mass.
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 227 cal, 8 g fat (0 g sat), 23 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g of fiber, 15 g protein
The breakfast: 3/4 cup Greek yogurt topped with 1/2 cup breakfast cereal (pick a kind that contains more than 5 grams of fiber per serving), 1/4 cup berries, apples, or pears, and 7 walnut halves
Why it works: “I love this breakfast option because it is convenient and easy to grab,” says Mass. Three words: no cooking involved.
MAKES ONE SERVING. Per serving: 287 cal, 10g fat (1 g sat), 29g carbs, 9 g sugar, 44 mg sodium, 7g of fiber, 27g protein
It isn’t much of a secret that eating a nice, balanced breakfast is a great way to start the day. Breakfast can fill you up, preventing you from binging later on but it can also give you an energy boost and kick start your metabolism! The problem with this, of course, is that most people are straight up zombies in the morning or find themselves so pressed for time that they just grab whatever is readily available and inhale with little to no thought.
But, the thing is, eating breakfast doesn’t have to take much thought. All you need is fiber from whole-grain carbohydrates or fruit, protein, and healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat, says Jaime Mass, R.D., of Jaime Mass Nutritionals. To make sure you are getting all the right nutrients, try to get 5 to 10 grams of fiber from a carbohydrate source, about 14 to 20 grams of protein and 7 to 13 grams of fat.
The most important thing about breakfast is the mix of nutrients,” says nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants and author of Read It Before You Eat It. “This healthy combination is the perfect way to get energized for the day and help you focus.”
So, how do all these nutrients work to help you lose weight? The fiber works to absorb water which means you’ll feel fuller and won’t overeat at lunch time. Fiber also promotes healthy digestion so you’ll be able to avoid feeling bloated. And, when your digestion is working as it should, you’ll be absorbing more nutrients which means you’ll have energy for your workout, says Mass. The protein and fat work together to help slow digestion of fiber, sugar, and carbohydrates which will level out your blood sugar and prevent energy crashes.
One more thing to remember is portion size. We know it sounds obvious but it is key. Exactly how much you should be eating depends on your height and weight but an average woman looking to lose weight should try to keep her breakfast between 300 to 350 calories.
We know actually thinking about this stuff isn’t something most people are interested or capable of doing first thing. So, have a look at this infographic from Women’s Health that perfectly breaks it all down for you. This does the work for you so you never have to think about it again!
you feel more confident about starting your day right?
What to Eat For Breakfast to Lose Weight
This Is Exactly What You Need to Eat For Breakfast to Lose Weight
Did you know you can use the first meal of the day as a tool to lose weight? Want to know how? We’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists — Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition — to share the perfect equation for how to make a scrumptious and satisfying breakfast that will help you lose weight. Follow their advice below to start seeing results.
Aim for a range between 300 and 400 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick with the 300 to 350 range, and if you’re trying to maintain weight, especially if you’re working out, shoot closer to 350 to 400 calories.
About 45 to 55 percent of your breakfast calories should be devoted to carbs, which is about 40 to 55 grams of carbs. Skip sugary and overly processed foods or those made with enriched white flour, and choose whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
About 15 to 20 percent of your breakfast calorie amount should be protein, which works out to about 13 to 20 grams. Getting enough protein at breakfast is important for keeping you satisfied throughout the morning. And studies have shown that getting at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast may help you lose weight as well. Eggs, dairy products, soy milk, protein powder in smoothies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are great sources of protein.
Shoot for about 10 to 15 grams, which is about 30 to 35 percent of your total breakfast calories. Instead of saturated fats like bacon and cheese, go for monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like olive oil, nuts and seeds and the butters made from them, and avocado.
Aim for about 25 percent of your recommended daily total of 25 grams per day. That works out to about six grams, but it’s OK to go above that, as long as it doesn’t bother your digestive system. Berries, pears, apples, greens and other veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can help you reach that goal.
If you follow the equation for carbs above, then you won’t have to worry about going overboard on sugars, especially if you’re eating a combination of foods like fruits, whole grains, and dairy products. But for a ballpark number to keep in mind, stick to 36 grams or fewer. And when it comes to added sugar, try not to exceed six grams — that’s about 1.5 teaspoons’ worth of any sweetener (white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave).
Ideally you should eat breakfast within 30 to 60 minutes of waking up. If you’re not keen on eating anything big first thing, split this meal up into two parts, having something light close to waking up and the other half about an hour and a half later. This also works well if you’re a morning exerciser and prefer not to have a full stomach while you work out. If you’re exercising, you can aim to have the more carbohydrate-based portion of your breakfast (fruit, toast, etc.) prior to working out and the more protein-centric portion afterward.
A Few Examples of Perfect Breakfasts
• Steel Cut Oats With Fruit and Nuts: Steel cut oats not only have more fiber than an equal amount of rolled oats, but they also have more protein since you’re eating more of the original grain. Cook one-half cup steel cut oats in a mixture of one-half cup water and one-half cup unsweetened soy milk. Top with one-half cup blueberries, one tablespoon chopped walnuts, and one teaspoon drizzle of maple syrup.
Total fat: 9.7 grams
Saturated fat: 1 gram
Carbs: 51.1 grams
Fiber: 7.2 grams
Sugars: 16.6 grams
Protein: 11.8 grams
• Mexi-Egg Wrap: Scramble one egg and one egg white with two tablespoons black beans, one-quarter cup chopped tomato, and two tablespoons onion, until eggs are set. Stir in one cup spinach. Fill a nine-inch whole-wheat tortilla with the egg mixture and top with one-quarter of an avocado, cubed, and one tablespoon salsa. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste.
Total fat: 15.7 grams
Saturated fat: 3.5 grams
Carbs: 36.8 grams
Fiber 9.7 grams
Sugars: 3.2 grams
Protein: 17.4 grams
• Smoothie and a Hard-Boiled Egg: Pair a carrot cake smoothie made with two medium carrots, half a frozen banana, two cups spinach, one cup unsweetened soy milk (you can use almond), half a scoop plant-based protein powder, one-eighth cup golden raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This is easy to split — have half of the smoothie before your workout, then have the rest plus the egg after the workout.
Total fat: 12.6 grams
Saturated fat: 5.1 grams
Carbs: 49.5 grams
Fiber: 9.4 grams
Sugars: 25.5 grams
Protein: 25.4 grams
Breakfast Mistakes to Avoid
• Skipping out: When you sleep, your body slows down while you’re not eating. So when you wake up, if you don’t break the fast (yup, that’s where the name comes from), your body will burn calories slowly. To jump-start your metabolism and get your body burning calories, you need to eat. Not fueling up also deprives your brain of glucose, which is why you feel foggy-headed and cranky. Think of breakfast as an opportunity to get your fill of valuable nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
• Skimping: You know skipping breakfast entirely is a no-no, but not eating enough will also backfire. It’ll leave you feeling hungry soon after eating, which will cause you to need more food and can translate to more calories consumed over the course of the entire day. Stick to the formula above, and you’ll not only feel satisfied longer, but you’ll also have more energy for the workouts that can make you drop pounds even faster.
• Imbalanced meal: Leaving out a key component of the breakfast formula such as avoiding all carbs or going too heavy, such as having an all-protein meal, means you’re not going to get enough satisfaction or nutrition from this first meal. Following the formula above will allow you to eat a balanced meal while also helping you see weight-loss results.
Looking to lose weight during other times of the day? Here’s what to eat for lunch, what to eat at snack time, and what to eat at dinner to lose weight.