12 Breakfast Foods to Get a Flat Belly, According to Experts
Are there truly breakfast foods out there that can give you a flat belly? Well, not exactly. The foods themselves won't flatten your stomach, but the actual habit of eating healthier foods in the morning will flatten your belly out over time. And don't worry—these flat belly breakfast foods are all foods you'll still love! Scrambled eggs, toast, yogurt, oatmeal, even fruit cups—this list includes it all.
Nevertheless, in order to determine the best flat belly breakfast foods, we spoke with numerous registered dietitians and nutrition experts to make a cohesive list you can constantly turn to each morning.
"Get an inspirational start to your day beginning with breakfast foods helping beat a bloated belly," says Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD, clinical dietitian, adjunct professor, and author of The Nourished Brain. "Dump the donuts and drive on by drive-throughs, and instead choose foods that aid in digestion, maintain energy, and reduce hunger all day long. My top three nutrients helping achieve a flat belly start with a well-balanced breakfast containing a dynamic trifecta of fiber, protein, and potassium."
"Weight loss is achieved by eating balanced meals that follow portion size recommendations based on your weight loss goals," says Sandy Younan Brikho, MDA, RDN Dietitian Nutritionist from The Dish On Nutrition. "You do not need to eat perfectly every day or at every meal in order to see weight loss results and get a flat belly! It's what you do more often that will impact your weight loss results, not what you eat on occasion. You can eat the foods you love and lose weight. If you learn how to incorporate your favorite foods while losing weight, then it will be easier for you to keep the weight off long term since you are enjoying what you are eating!"
Follow Younan Brikho's lead and pick out your favorite flat belly breakfast foods from the list below, and prepare some of your favorite dishes! Long-term weight loss success comes from feeding your body good, whole foods, and treating it with care through exercise and proper sleep. So get started today with these flat belly breakfast foods, and for more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.
"A perfect start to your day is to include a high-fiber food at breakfast. One of my favorite fiber-rich foods is raspberries," says Mussatto. "A cup of raspberries provides a whopping 8 grams of fiber (more than double in a cup of strawberries). Fiber-rich foods slow down digestion so you feel fuller longer making it easier to avoid mid-morning hunger attacks. If you suffer from constipation, fiber makes stools softer and bulkier, speeding their passage from your body."
No wonder they're considered The #1 Fruit You Should Be Eating Every Single Day!
"Having 2 to 3 eggs in the morning, paired with some healthy fats and fiber (like avocado or chia seed pudding) may help to keep your belly flat," says Megan Byrd, RD from The Oregon Dietitian. "Lots of carbs in the morning can really wreak havoc on our digestive system, and cause a lot of bloating. By focusing on protein and fiber in the morning, and keeping the carbs minimal, you can avoid bloating and more sugar cravings later in the day."
"Protein is a known nutrient belly fat blaster," says Mussatto. "Not only does it reduce appetite and cravings, but protein is necessary to help maintain muscle mass and a high metabolism both good for reaching a healthy body weight. The more muscle mass we have, the more calories we burn, even when at rest. My top go-to breakfast food rich in protein is eggs. Eggs are incredibly nutritious and make a perfect replacement for a bowl of sugary cereal. And when paired with high-fiber whole-wheat toast and fruit, you'll avoid less belly bloat and a mid-morning sugar crash leading to hunger pangs."
"Some two to three scrambled, boiled, or whichever style you choose to make them, will supply your body with the right amount of proteins," says Edie Reads, RD and chief editor for healthadvise.org. "And, more importantly, eggs will help curb your appetite and ultimately help with fat loss."
Get started with one of these 71+ Best Healthy Egg Recipes!
Fruits & vegetables
"Serve the eggs with some veggies," says Reads. "Yes, fruits and vegetables will also get you in shape pretty fast. They'll supply your body with enough fiber and essential vitamins. When you can, have a slice of avocado, some bananas, and a berry (or two). They'll help you stay full for longer."
"This isn't necessarily 'food', but I'd also like to add just simply drinking a 12 to 16 oz. glass of water in the morning right when you wake up helps you get a jump start on your hydration during the day," says Byrd. "Staying hydrated is a great way to keep from bloating up and will definitely promote a flat belly."
"Breakfast foods rich in protein can help you feel fuller longer, leading to fewer overall calories consumed throughout the day," says Mackenzie Burgess, Colorado-based RDN and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. "If you're one for meat in the morning, try swapping your regular sausage for one of Teton Waters Ranch's breakfast sausage. These sausages have real ingredients you can pronounce and are 100% grass-fed, allowing it to have 2 to 4 times more healthy omega-3 fats. You could also choose other lean protein options like Greek yogurt, eggs, or nuts. Whatever protein you choose, pair it with a healthy carbohydrate like fresh fruit or whole-grain toast for long-lasting energy."
Plain, low-fat yogurt
"It's the perfect go-to breakfast that offers you a rich amount of fuel to get your metabolism going, critical for ensuring that you are able to exercise optimal physical performance whether at work, fitness workout, or just life itself," says Chris Higgins, ACSM certified trainer with calisthenics-gear.com. "Yogurt contains conjugated linoleic acid, which can help you stay lean—top it off with berries and you got yourself a low-sugar flavoring."
"The yogurt helps keep your digestive system healthy so you have less bloating," says Brenda Braslow, MS and Registered Dietitian with MyNetDiary. "The Greek types are higher in protein so you stay satisfied longer. Adding seeds boosts the fiber and the healthy fat in seeds keeps you satisfied longer."
"The best foods to keep you full and satisfied have been proven to be high fiber, high protein, nutrient-dense, and low in sugar, that's why oats are a common favorite amongst those looking for these macros," says Nilou Shahryari, CEO of ONO Overnight Oats. "At ONO we've taken these benefits and expanded on them adding in more protein—25 grams to keep you satiated and fueled for the day, as well as healthy fats from chia and flax seeds for a fully balanced meal!"
"Eating a larger meal that is based on unrefined starch, like oats, can help fill you with fiber that will slow your digestion and keep you feeling full for longer, which will prevent overeating throughout the day and inevitable weight gain," says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements. "Packing in nutrient-dense foods when you're able is a great way to get in nutrition, reduce inflammation, and also improve your overall health."
Here are 7 Ways to Make Oatmeal for a Flat Belly.
Avocado on whole-grain toast
"The avocado provides heart-healthy fat and keeps you full longer," says Braslow. "Choose a high-fiber bread for the toast with at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. The insoluble fiber helps keep your digestion moving so you are less likely to have abdominal bloating."
"Foods high in fiber like oats, whole-grain bread, and berries are perfect at breakfast," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. "Fiber helps push stuff through your system, helping to keep you regular and feeling less bloated and that belly flat. It's important to note that you need to consume more water when you eat more fiber."
"Carbohydrates are an essential part of any diet," says Younan Brikho. "There is a big misconception that carbs cause weight gain or are 'bad' for you, but that could not be more wrong! Carbohydrates are actually the brain's primary source of fuel and [are] part of a balanced diet. Carbs only cause weight gain if we eat too many carbs. However, if you are following portion size recommendations, you will lose weight and lose belly fat as a result!"
"Not only are smoothies a quick and easy way to obtain a rigorous dose of nutrients, [but] they also double as a convenient breakfast item that can accelerate weight loss," says Shannon Henry, RD with EZCare Clinic. "Smoothies can be a convenient way to increase your intake of fiber and protein to reduce hunger and increase weight loss. Be sure not to add too many high-calorie ingredients."
"High in fiber but low in calories, bananas are a great alternative to sugary breakfast cereals to satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning," says Henry. "Bananas are high in fiber, which can keep you full for a long time. Unripe bananas also contain compelling starch, which may help decrease food intake and belly fat."
"Wheat germ is an element of the wheat kernel that contains a concerted number of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, thiamine, and selenium," says Henry. "Wheat germ is high in fiber. Studies show that cereal fiber may help reduce appetite, decrease your risk of weight gain and keep blood sugar levels stable."
Need some breakfast inspiration? Try one of these 38 Quick & Easy Breakfast Ideas!