6 Best Breakfast Foods To Lose Belly Fat & Slow Aging
There are two types of people in the world: Those that think about their breakfast before falling asleep at night, and those who sort of have to force themselves to eat something in the morning. But the older you get, the harder it can be to tap into your natural energy reserves, especially if you neglect to start your day with a nutrient-dense meal. Skipping breakfast may seem like a shortcut to weight loss, but in actuality, this can create obstacles that hinder you from burning any pesky belly fat. Whether you're a breakfast lover or not, eating this meal at the top of each day can help support your overall health and wellness while supplying you with the boost of energy you need to show up with your best food forward. Furthermore, there are particular breakfast foods that can help reduce belly fat and slow aging at the same time.
When it comes to losing belly fat, it is even more important to focus on this as you age because aging can slow dow your metabolism, making you more susceptible to developing the most harmful type of belly fat, visceral fat. Visceral fat grows around your abdominal organs, and carrying too much of it is a known risk factor for conditions like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Unfortunately, age in and of itself is a major risk factor that can also leave you vulnerable to developing these conditions, in addition to other chronic illnesses. However, there are healthy ways to leverage your diet so that you can manage and even lose belly fat while also slowing down the pace of your biological aging.
To find out which breakfast foods were best to help lose belly fat and slow signs of aging, we spoke with a handful of expert dietitians and rounded up their suggestions for the best healthy breakfast options that address these factors. Read on to learn which breakfast foods are best for burning belly fat and retaining your youthful vitality—and for more healthy eating tips that also enable aging, check out The 5 Best Vegetables to Eat After 50.
Avocado toast with eggs
According to Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, at Balance One Supplements, a great way to start your morning is with some avocado toast topped with an egg.
"The fiber, protein, and healthy fats in this meal will keep you full for longer, which will prevent overeating and rapid glucose spikes," says Best. "Simply top a slice of whole-grain toast with avocado and a poached egg."
One study published in Nutrients found that participants who consumed avocados on a regular basis gained less weight than those who didn't eat avocado. Another study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health noted that pairing eggs with a high-fiber food (i.e., avocado and whole grain toast) was associated with greater feelings of fullness and therefore fewer calories consumed at the following meals. These findings show that this breakfast meal may help you consume fewer calories, which can aid in weight loss efforts.
Researchers have also discovered that avocado consumption can help improve your cognitive function as you age. It may even help improve your skin's elasticity, essentially reducing the appearance of skin sagging that can emerge over time as you grow older.
Because eggs are an amazing source of protein, and many dietitians suggest using eggs to make an omelet so you can pack in a ton of other nutrient-dense ingredients. The nutrients of the eggs and vegetables together can help with aging and belly fat loss.
"A veggie-packed omelet is a great breakfast option for weight loss and anti-aging benefits. They are loaded with healthy fats and antioxidant-rich produce that will directly fight inflammation, are low in calories for weight loss, and rich in nutrients that fight aging," says Best. "They are also an easy and tasty way to get lean protein and vegetables, which can help with weight loss efforts. The protein from the eggs and fiber from the vegetables will help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time which will offset your hunger and overeating throughout the day."
"Combining a variety of fruits like kiwi, grapefruit, bananas, and berries can be mixed together to create a fruit salad medley that provides a number of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants," says Best. "The fiber will keep you feeling full for longer and the antioxidants will help reduce oxidative stress in the body."
Oxidative stress—which can contribute to chronic disease—can accelerate the biological signs of aging. This form of stress occurs when there's an imbalance in your body of antioxidants and free radicals, which is why eating antioxidant-rich foods like fruit can help avoid it.
Fruit not only plays a role in slowing the aging process, but it can also be a helpful breakfast food for belly fat loss as well. For instance, according to the Journal of Nutrition, consuming fruits and vegetables was linked to less visceral fat in both men and women.
Oatmeal with fruits, nuts, & seeds
No matter what your personal health goals are, oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfasts you can eat. And specifically, it can help with both belly fat and the aging process.
"Oats are a wonderful source of dietary fiber and help you stay full longer. You can make your oatmeal as nutrient-dense as you like through the ingredients you choose to top it with. Adding nuts will help raise the protein content, which can also help you feel satisfied longer. Protein also helps build muscle and get rid of fat around the belly area. Blueberries and flaxseed will give you natural sweetness. Flaxseed is high in omega-3 and could help stabilize your blood sugar levels. And, blueberries are high in antioxidants, which can help your skin look and feel better," says Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, and author at GoWellness.
Nuts & nut butters
Whether you're topping off a bowl of oatmeal with almonds, adding peanut butter to your yogurt bowl, or spreading some almond butter on top of a piece of whole-grain toast, nuts and nut butters can contribute to healthy aging and belly fat loss.
"Nuts are packed with protein and healthy fats. Several studies have shown that nuts help people to lose and maintain weight loss. This may be related to the satiety they produce. Satiety is the feeling of being full, yet also satisfied. Nuts also have an anti-aging effect. They have been linked to a decreased risk of mortality from heart disease," says Kathryn Piper, RDN, LD, NBC-HWC. "Just be mindful of your portion size. A serving of nuts is about 1/4 cup, while a nut butter's serving size is 2 tablespoons."
Greek yogurt is a great choice for yogurt lovers as a breakfast to help with belly fat loss because it is often higher in helpful nutrients and lower in added sugars.
"Greek yogurt is high in protein, and the higher protein content makes us feel fuller longer. It can also provide a bit of sweetness that some may miss at breakfast. It is also high in calcium, which contributes to its anti-aging properties and plays a large role in bone health which is important as we age," says Piper.
Eating Greek yogurt for breakfast can also help your anti-aging and belly fat loss efforts by giving you a vessel for more nutrient-dense add-ons like fruit, nuts, and seeds.
A previous version of this story was published on July 7, 2022. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, additional research, and updated contextual links.