The Best Breakfast Foods for a Flatter Stomach, Say Dietitians
Sometimes when you are trying to get a flatter stomach, you may think that skipping meals will help. However, breakfast is not only crucial to your overall health; it's also critical to supporting your metabolism and getting that flat belly you desire.
When we talk about losing belly fat, what we are focusing on is the visceral fat that collects around a person's abdomen. Visceral fat is known as the "dangerous" type of fat because it sits on your abdominal organs and can lead to things like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Losing this fat is different for everyone, but it often involves making some dietary changes as well as incorporating movement and exercise where you can.
Some of the best breakfasts you can choose when you're working on losing belly fat include eating higher amounts of fiber and protein, which are both important for healthy weight management. In fact, according to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating a diet higher in both protein and fiber was associated with weight loss and reduced risk of metabolic factors.
With this in mind, which specific foods should you stock up on for breakfast? We asked a few experts to give us their list of the best breakfast foods for a flatter stomach, and the results may surprise you.
Oatmeal is one of the best breakfasts you can possibly eat for getting a flatter stomach.
"The fiber in oatmeal helps us feel satiated longer because it is a slow-release carbohydrate, which means that it provides energy but doesn't spike blood sugar," saysPaula Doebrich, MPH, RDN. "The energy from slow-release carbs is released over a long period of time, giving you plenty of energy for the day without making you feel sluggish."
"Eating oatmeal gives your body the fiber it needs not only for heart health, but [also] for proper digestion," says Michelle Ricker, RDN, director of Worldwide Health Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition. "When your digestion is working properly, your stomach will thank you and start getting flatter."
According to our experts, eggs are another great way to start your day and work toward achieving a flat tummy. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, an egg breakfast along with a caloric-deficit diet helped participants lose more weight than those who ate a bagel for breakfast.
"Eggs are a great source of complete protein, which will help balance that morning blood sugar response while also helping keep your lean muscle mass fueled for a metabolism boost," says Ricker. "Eggs mixed with some high-fiber veggies are fabulous for getting that flat stomach."
In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, an egg breakfast along with a caloric-deficit diet helped participants lose more weight than those who ate a bagel for breakfast.
Speaking of protein, a filling protein shake is also a great option breakfast choice, especially if a flatter tummy is your ultimate goal.
"A morning protein shake will help you gain a flatter stomach by keeping your breakfast calories in check and providing the 20–30 grams of protein the body needs for proper metabolism," says Ricker. "When you can add in fruits and veggies to your protein shake, you are even more ahead of the game for the day by boosting your daily fiber intake and helping build your digestion for that fatter stomach."
In one 12-week study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, women who ate a high-protein diet experienced more weight loss than those who ate a standard amount of protein. If you're in need of a significant protein boost, a protein-shake can be a great way to start your day.
If you're craving a sweeter treat in the morning, protein Greek yogurt with some fruit and nuts on top is the way to go. According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, those who ate a high-protein yogurt for a snack in the afternoon experienced more satiety and ate fewer calories at dinner.
"Greek yogurt is a convenient breakfast that is delicious, enjoyable to eat, and rich in protein," says Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, of Wellness Verge. "In fact, research has shown that those who consume Greek yogurt regularly actually tend to weigh less."
Turkey or chicken sausage
Getting good-quality protein in your morning meal is important for weight loss, especially around your stomach area. Research shows that eating a diet higher in protein can help with satiety and having greater feelings of fullness. Studies have also illustrated the correlation between protein quality central abdominal fat (CAF) management.
To get some extra protein in your breakfast, you try chicken or turkey sausage. This will give you a protein boost that is leaner than typical pork or sausage. Then be sure to round out your breakfast plate with some fiber- and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, creating a well-balanced petit-déjeuner.
A previous version of this story was published on November 20, 2021. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, additional research, and updated contextual links.