Why breakfast matters
You’ve heard that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day,” but not all of us enjoy eating it. Some folks simply can’t stomach a meal after they’ve just rolled out of bed, while others are sick of the foods deemed acceptable to eat before 11 a.m. But here’s the thing: A healthy morning meal can do a great deal of good when it comes to helping you reach your flat belly goals.
“Several scientific studies suggest people who eat a nutrient-packed breakfast have more slim-down success,” says Chicago-based dietitian Christine M. Palumbo, RDN, a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “One school of thought is that breakfast jump-starts the metabolism, and that effect continues throughout the day.” In one small Obesity Society study, research participants who consumed the bulk of the day’s calories at breakfast lost more weight and more fat around their midsection than folks who ate small breakfasts and large dinners. Just be sure to avoid foods that slow down your metabolism.
Eating breakfast may also improve your overall health. Research from 2018 in The Journal of Physiology, involving 49 lean and obese adults, suggests that regularly eating a morning meal may lower type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk, whereas skipping breakfast has been associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, or clogging of arteries that can lead to kidney or heart disease.
To help you fall in love with breakfast, we’ve hunted down nutritionist-recommended healthy breakfast ideas that will make your mouth water—no matter which weight loss plan you’re following. And as always, beware of these 17 healthy breakfast mistakes you might make this morning.
High protein: spicy eggs on toast
If you’re following a high protein, low-carb diet, Palumbo suggests topping a slice of dry whole-wheat toast with two hard or soft-boiled eggs and a sprinkling of chopped, dried Chipotle peppers. “Not only is this meal high protein and low-carb, but it’s also high in fiber,” Palumbo notes. Bonus: Chipotle peppers contain capsaicin. The chemical compound has been shown to suppress appetite and increase thermogenesis, which in turn, aids weight loss, according to a 2017 Bioscience Reports study. Here are more high-protein healthy breakfast ideas to help you slim down.
Vegan: sprouted grain bread with nut butter
Traditional breakfasts tend to be riddled with dairy and meat: milk and cereal; buttered toast; bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches; the list goes on and on. But if you want to know how to lose weight on a vegan diet, there are some delicious options.
“One of my favorite breakfasts is sprouted grain bread with nut butter,” says co-author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel, Ilyse Schapiro, RD. (You’ll find sprouted grain bread in the freezer section.) “The bread provides whole grains and fiber, and the nut butter has monounsaturated fats that are very satiating. Depending on how much nut butter you use, the breakfast can be anywhere from 260 to 360 calories and have between 10 and 17 grams of protein.”
And if you’ve gone vegan but used to love eggs, here’s an egg substitute vegans love.