A healthy breakfast is essential to hit your weight loss goals, but with so many options – not to mention a lack of time in the morning – it can be tricky to know what you should eat for your first meal. However, it’s important to choose your breakfast foods wisely in order to set yourself up for the day ahead.
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Anyone following a diet to lose weight will no doubt be on the lookout for healthy breakfast ideas that not only help them to stick to their goals, but fill them up and give them energy too.
After all, if you’re upping your workout game, an empty stomach isn’t going to help your stamina – so don’t be tempted to skip breakfast no matter what diet plan you’re following.
“A regular eating pattern has been shown to improve glycaemic control, reduce hunger and cravings for less nourishing snacks,” says leading London nutritionist Lily Soutter.
“Whilst there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to breakfast, research does suggest that breakfast eaters tend to have more balanced diets, and are less likely to be overweight. Not only can breakfast help with satiety but it can also improve mental performance, concentration and even mood.”
But not all foods are created equal; when compiling your weight loss breakfast menu it’s important to focus on nutritious foods that will balance blood sugar and keep you feeling full, to help you avoid the temptation of snacking.
Lily recommends increasing your intake of fibre- and protein-rich foods for a satisfying breakfast.
“There are numerous studies to support the premise that an increase in fibre consumption can promote satiety, decrease hunger and ultimately improve feelings of fullness,” the nutritionist explains.
Surprisingly, it’s thought that this could be all down to how much you chew.
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“Fibre rich foods often require more chewing, which can increase the secretion of CKK in the gut (a hormone that decreases appetite) and decrease the secretion of ghrelin (a hormone that increases appetite),” continues Lily. “Chewing plays a critical role with satiety – not only does it take more work, but the slower we eat the more time our brain has to register that we’re full.”
Foods rich in fibre will also stay in the stomach for longer, giving you that feeling of fullness for longer – which means no reaching for the biscuit barrel. “Not only can fibre help to keep us full, but enjoying fibre rich foods as part of a healthy balanced diet may help protect us against weight gain,” adds Soutter.
To start with the food expert recommends eating wholegrains such as oats and other cereal grains, wholegrain toast or wholegrain pancakes – but there’s plenty you can add for extra flavour and to keep you going until lunch.
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“Opt for foods such as fibre-rich beans, or a side of vegetables such as grilled mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach. Include fresh whole fruit and a sprinkle of fibre-rich seeds,” Lily advises.
Adding protein to your morning meal could also help you to shed the pounds.
“Including a protein source at breakfast may help us to stay fuller for longer and can prevent overeating later in the day,” notes Lily.
Try adding low-fat milk, yoghurt, soy milk, eggs, beans or a small handful of nuts or seeds to your plate for a morning protein fix.
“In one recent study, overweight women who consumed sufficient protein at breakfast felt more satisfied and ate fewer calories at lunch than women who ate a lower-protein breakfast,” Lily argues.
“We don’t all need high protein intakes, but protein consumption is best spread throughout the day. Little and often is key.”
Cooking scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach for your breakfast will not only help you to stay trim and give you energy for your next workout, but it’ll also make sure you’re getting enough fibre – something the nation is lacking in according to registered nutritionist Lily.
“On average, in the UK we’re only consuming 18g fibre per day when we are advised to aim for at least 30g. Put simply, if we’re not consuming our ‘5 a day’ and are falling short on whole grains, beans, pulses, nut and seeds, we may also limit our fibre intake.”
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