11 Best Breakfast Hacks for Weight Loss
In theory, opting for a homemade meal over something processed will almost always serve up more nutrition and save you tons of calories. The truth is, though, that many of us don't know how to prepare a meal for optimal weight loss. But before you get yourself into a scramble (pun intended), know that there are a number of simple breakfast hacks that can elevate your breakfast to the next level in terms of health and taste.
Read on to discover the world's best homemade breakfast hacks for major weight loss. And to blast even more fat—and shrink your belly—check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
Bake a better muffin.
On average, large commercially prepared muffins have 521 calories and 22 grams of waist-widening fat—and with 400 calories and 15 grams of fat, homemade varieties don't fare much better. Ironically, if you want to avoid getting a muffin top, switching to VitaTops Muffin Tops is your best bet. The Wild Blueberry variety has 120 calories and just 2 grams of fat and 5 grams of sugar. Or better yet, whip up a batch of energy bites and eat two or three instead of a pastry. Or try these Snickerdoodle Protein Mini Muffins!
Eat the yolk.
Sure, making your own eggs is better than picking up the breakfast platter from McDonald's, but if you've only been scarfing down the whites, you're missing out on one of the most potent fat-fighting nutrients: choline. Yolks also deliver vitamins D and B12, so they're great for your bones and brain, too. And not to worry that eggs will hike your cholesterol: Turns out health experts' concerns from back in the day were premature. Newer studies have found that dietary sources of cholesterol have little to no connection with the kind that clogs arteries.
Getting sick of the same old scramble? Give some of these 71+ Best Healthy Egg Recipes a try!
Zap your tea.
If you've been reading Eat This, Not That! for a while, you've probably heard that green tea is rich in catechins, compounds that signal fat cells to release trapped lipids. For even better results, zap your brew in the microwave for thirty seconds as it steeps. Researchers in one study found microwaving green tea bags in water extracted 20 percent more catechins than simply letting them sit in hot H2O. Further research will pinpoint why. Until then, zap away!
Speaking of tea, be sure to check out our best-selling diet plan, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Diet and Cleanse. Test panelists lost an amazing 10 pounds in one week!
If you usually make oatmeal or a smoothie in the morning, grab a slightly green banana, slice it up, and add it to the mix. Underripe bananas are rich in resistant starch, a type of starch that passes through the small intestine without being digested. This feeds healthy gut bacteria, leading to prolonged feelings of fullness and more efficient fat oxidation. What's more, just one small banana serves up 20 percent of the day's vitamin B6, a vital nutrient that helps convert food into energy.
Add an apple.
If fruit salad is a typical addition to your morning meal, increase its fat-burning power by adding in a chopped pink lady apple. Pink Lady apples are one of the best fruit sources of fiber, a nutrient proven to be integral to reducing belly fat. In fact, one pool of researchers found that for every 10-gram increase of soluble fiber eaten per day, study participants shed 3.7% of visceral fat over five years. For more flat-belly diet ticks check out these 11 Eating Habits that Will Uncover Your Abs.
Sprinkle on cinnamon.
Seems everything about this spice is nice. The latest news is that cinnamon improves the body's sensitivity to insulin, according to findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a powerful effect that helps ensure incoming calories are converted to energy, not fat. And earlier research has shown that cinnamon heightens cognitive processing and brain function. (No wonder it's one of the Healthiest Spices on the Planet). Dust a spoonful on coffee, oats, and Greek yogurt, or stir it into a protein shake.
Pick the right protein.
Sure, bacon and sausage make your taste buds sing, but they should be a tasty cheat, not starring in your regular morning rotation. The reason: Many brands of cured meats are loaded with potentially harmful nitrites and saturated fat—bad news for your heart and waistline alike. To stay safe and start slimming down, opt for Applegate Naturals' Natural Classic Pork Breakfast Sausage. Made with humanely raised animals and minimal ingredients, Applegate's version of the classic breakfast side delivers a solid protein-to-fat ratio. Or better yet, get your morning protein from a source like eggs, canned wild salmon (one of the Best Fish for Fat Loss), or Greek yogurt.
Butter a better biscuit.
Biscuits: they're flaky, melt-in-your-mouth delicious—and so not what you should be eating for weight loss. Homemade versions are filled with calories, and the majority of the packaged kind is chock full of artificial trans fats—invented to make baked goods more shelf-stable—that have been linked to heart disease.
Our go-to alternative? Thomas' Light Multi-Grain English Muffins. Its "nooks and crannies" save you from not only the dangers of trans fats but each muffin is about 90 calories. Smear some butter and mashed blackberries on those babies to amp up the flavor and add a hit of sweetness. This simple swap is sure to help you slim down fast!
Stock better grab-and-go grub.
Even if you plan to make yourself breakfast every day, there will be days when spending 20 minutes in the kitchen just isn't going to happen. Instead of pouring yourself a bowl of sugary cereal, stock up some health instant breakfasts.
We're big fans of Evol's Lean & Fit: Egg White, Kale, Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese breakfast sandwich. It serves up 10 grams of protein and is filled with nutrient-rich veggies, which is something Tony the Tiger can't claim. If sitting down with a breakfast sandwich isn't an option, why not grab one of these delicious 15 Best Healthy & Low-Sugar Protein Bars? Eating on-the-go has never been tastier—or healthier.
Spice up your life.
What do avocado toast, omelets, egg sandwiches, and frittatas have in common? They all taste great with a sprinkle of pepper. Piperine, the compound that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, has been shown to stop adipogenesis, the formation of new fat cells. This can help shrink your waistline, lower your cholesterol levels, and give you that flat belly look you crave.
Looking for more ways to keep your cholesterol levels in check? Read up on these 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.
Choose a different toast topper.
Toast with a smear of margarine is a breakfast staple for many. But before you smear anymore of the stuff on consider this: Without all the additives, margarine is actually an appetite-crushing shade of grey. As if that weren't bad enough, many brands add propylene glycol, the antifreeze compound, to their recipe to pile on the grease without adding calories. Research has shown that the spread may expand your waistline, increase dangerous cholesterol levels, and up your heart disease risk.
People have been cooking without margarine for centuries, and we suggest you continue to follow in their footsteps. So what should you use instead? Grass-fed butter gets a green light from diet experts! In fact, it's one of the 10 Surprising Foods Diet Experts Eat Every Day. Another tasty option is coconut oil. In one study of 30 men, participants lost an average of 1.1 inches around their waists when they consumed two tablespoons of the tropical oil daily for a month!
Or why not avocado? Avocado is actually The One Food To Eat To Feel Full, According to a Dietitian.