If you are starting a weight loss journey, then meal planning is by far one of the most important things you can do to be successful. Because without proper meal planning, you risk reaching for the wrong foods when you get hungry. Meal planning ensures that you think about the food you will be eating and establishes that you reach all your nutritional goals while still focusing on reduced calorie consumption. Calorie consumption is the main factor in weight loss. It is almost impossible to make significant progress by just adding exercise to your daily routine. Although this may work at the beginning, you will definitely hit a plateau that will be impossible to break through if you do not alter your eating habits.
So, let’s break it down into meals. Everyone knows about three meals a day, but it’s also important to discuss snacking. When working on a meal plan, it’s much more efficient to have three smaller meals and two or three snacks. These mini-meals should be spread out throughout your day, starting right from the beginning.
Speaking of the beginning, let’s start with breakfast!
As children, we are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but yet so many adults say things like “I don’t have time for breakfast” or “I don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning.” These types of mentalities are a big part of why so many of us are overweight. After fasting all night, the body needs to fuel up again to get us through the day. Now, of course, there are things like Intermittent Fasting (IF), but if you are just starting your weight loss journey, those are methods that are better left for later stages. And here’s why if you are not eating a healthy weight loss focused breakfast, then you are more likely to be starving by mid-morning and make a poor choice. Or maybe you do hold out until lunch, only to find yourself gorging on fast food like a starving animal.
So, what can you do? What should you be eating for breakfast? Let’s take a look at several different breakfast options that can start your day off right. The goal is to ingest something that will give you a boost both physically and mentally and fuel you with the correct proteins, vitamins, and minerals, all while being positive in terms of weight loss. What you don’t want is a quick spike in blood sugar, followed by a significant crash. That means it is time to say goodbye to that sugary latte and the double-glazed donut that you know so well!
The following is a list of healthy breakfast foods that promote weight loss, help you to feel good and ready to take on your day!
Eggs with Spinach
Protein is a great way to start your day, it fuels the body and helps to reduce your appetite as compared to eating carbs. Eggs are a great protein source and are filled with vitamins and minerals such as selenium and riboflavin. This makes them an excellent choice for weight loss.
A great way to enjoy eggs in the morning is in an omelet or even just scrambled with a few sides. Sides like sautéed spinach with a few tomatoes thrown in, make for a complete meal that will energize you and keep your body primed for weight loss.
Bananas with Nut Butters
Bananas are high in great things like potassium and fiber but yet low in calories. They are also sweet, which does mean natural sugars; however, they still lower in sugar than a chocolate croissant! So, they will both satisfy your sweet tooth and be a better choice for weight loss. It has been proven that foods that are high in fiber empty the stomach more slowly and curb cravings, thereby keeping you feel full longer.
A great way to enjoy banana in the morning is to slice it up and add a dollop of your favorite nut butter on top! This will add some protein and make it a complete breakfast. Alternatively, you could eat it alone or add it to a smoothie or even as a topping over oatmeal.
If you choose a banana that is still unripe, you will have the added benefit of resistant starch, which again keeps you full even longer and can help decrease belly fat.
You might be saying, “What on earth is wheat germ!” right now, and that’s okay. It’s actually really simple. Wheat germ is a component of the wheat kernel, and it is filled with vitamins and minerals like magnesium and selenium. It’s also great at stabilizing blood sugar and is very high in fiber, and as we know, fiber is a great proponent of weight loss.
So how does one eat wheat germ? Well, you can add it as a crunchy topping over cereal, oatmeal, yogurt or smoothie bowls. It can even be mixed into a protein shake or smoothie too!
Yogurt, specifically Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is creamy and delicious and can be an excellent choice for a weight loss breakfast. But not just any yogurt. Nix the sugary artificially sweetened ones and opt instead for Greek yogurt. This type of yogurt is packed with protein, which makes it a great weight loss breakfast choice.
Studies have shown that eating a high protein yogurt like Greek yogurt first thing in the morning, will decrease your calorie consumption throughout the day. An excellent idea is to top your yogurt with berries, flax seeds, wheat germ, hemp, or chia seeds.
Smoothies and Protein Shakes
This is perhaps one of the best choices for a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast. A highly concentrated dose of nutrients that will satiate your hunger and provide your body with everything it needs to start the day right.
There’s a lot of fun with this option too! Customizing your smoothie with fruits, protein powder, or nut butters, veggies like kale, and other options make it easy to find your perfect match. The only thing to be mindful of is the calories. If you add too many ingredients, the calorie levels could go up too high. Typically, one cup of non-dairy milk, one cup of berries, some greens, and a few tablespoons seeds would be sufficient.
Fruit salads or smoothie bowl
A morning bowl of fruit any way you like it accompanied by a little protein is also a great way to start your day. Berries, in particular such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all low in calories but filled with essential nutrients. They are also filled with fiber, which reduces hunger and food intake.
Either a fruit salad or a blended smoothie bowl, both make great ways to get your morning fruits in. They can be topped with seeds and nuts for protein as well.
Fruits can also come in the form of citrus like grapefruits or oranges. Eating this raw first thing in the morning is a popular way to fuel up when counting calories. They are low in calories, high in water and fiber. Both have been shown to decrease body fat and reduce overall calorie consumption.
Coffee is often the only thing many adults consume in the morning. If you find yourself falling into this camp and unable to stomach the idea of eating in the early hours of the day, then perhaps this option is the right for you!
Studies have shown that a morning cup of black coffee has some amazing weight loss benefits. Of course, notice that it mentions a black coffee – not a triple mocha latte! Caffeine in itself aids in weight loss by boosting your metabolism and gets your body burning fat more quickly and for longer. Want to know more about black coffee? Check out another article HERE on all the benefits of drinking your coffee black.
Prefer to leave your coffee for the late afternoon? No problem! Green tea is an excellent solution for a morning breakfast boost. Almost all diet pills or supplements have green tea or maca or sometimes called matcha powder in them, and this is for a good reason! Green tea is a natural fat-burning substance that gives a boost to your metabolism right away. Have a hot cup in the morning, or even add the powdered format to your green morning smoothie. It will help you to burn calories faster and set you up for a healthy day.
These magical little seeds are a fabulous breakfast choice for weight loss. They are very high in fiber an actually absorb water and form a gel-like substance which expands in the stomach and keeps it feeling full longer. They are also rich in protein and can reduce blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds can be used in baking, smoothies, overnight oats, and many more breakfast options. Even something as simple as adding a teaspoon to a glass of water and drinking it first thing in the morning is a great way to fuel your body with minimal calories.
It may remind you of childhood, but oatmeal feels tried and true because it is. Oats are very low in calories but high in fiber and protein, so they really make a complete breakfast choice. Especially for weight loss as all these elements together make a strong impact on your appetite and therefore control future calorie consumption.
Oatmeal has also been shown to be good for heart health and the immune system as well as begin able to impact blood sugar levels and prevent those nasty highs and lows that inevitably lead to bad food choices.
There are options to eat it cold as overnight oats or hot the traditional way. Oats can be used in baking as well as smoothies. So many options in this complete little grain!
Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts are chock full of protein and fiber, which are great ways to fuel up in the morning. Flaxseeds, for example, like chia, are a soluble fiber that absorbs water and forms a gel in the stomach. This means slower digestion and a decrease in appetite, which, of course, equals lower calorie consumption.
Nuts offer a considerable amount of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Almonds, for example, are an excellent choice for a low-calorie nut; they provide a nutrient-packed breakfast or even mid-morning snack. Add a few fruits, like berries on the side, and you will feel full and energized!
Breakfast is definitely an important meal. It can either start your day off right and fuel you up for the day or it can bring you down. If you fare on a weight loss journey and are finding that you have a blood sugar crash before lunchtime, then reevaluating what you eat for breakfast is essential. Anyone of the above options will help you to feel full and still keep you on track for weight loss. Perhaps even more so! So don’t delay, revamp your breakfast, and you’ll feel better, stronger, and leaner in no time.