Ways Eating Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians
Even though the term "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" was debunked as marketing strategy, the truth of the matter is…breakfast is still very important. In fact, there are numerous ways sitting down with a plate of eggs and toast can actually help you finally reach your health goals—including weight loss. Numerous experts and researched studies have proven how eating breakfast can help you lose weight long term, turning the famous slogan back from fiction into fact.
How so? Here are the few ways eating breakfast regularly can help you lose weight, and if you're curious what foods you should stock up on, here are The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Eating breakfast keeps you feeling full.
"Eating breakfast can help you lose weight since you are creating a sense of structure and not waiting till you are ravenous to eat which tends to lead you to eat too much," says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, and author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.
The key to eating a feeling full after eating breakfast is incorporating all of the key elements you'll need for a healthy meal: protein, healthy fat, and fiber-rich carbohydrates. If you include foods from each of these groups into your meals—including breakfast—you'll feel full for hours after.
Here are a few Healthy Breakfast Foods Dietitians Say You Should Be Eating.
Eating breakfast can help you avoid night-time cravings.
"As a registered dietitian, I have listened to hundreds of people tell me what they eat, and hands down, people that skip breakfast typically crave carbs at night," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. "A breakfast of high fiber carbohydrate and protein sets your blood sugar on a steady pace for the day and can help you ward off cravings later. While many people think skipping breakfast saves them calories, they often end up eating those calories back in junk later in the day."
Your body gets even more fiber from breakfast foods.
Luckily, most healthy breakfast foods are surprisingly high in fiber! Oatmeal, whole-grain bread, fruit, and even some cereals are all great sources of fiber in the morning.
"Many Americans do not meet the requirement for fruits and veggies, and they are a great source of fiber," says Jinan Banna, PhD, RD. "Fiber is key in helping you to stay full to prevent overeating while trying to lose weight. Fiber contributes little in the way of calories to the diet. Try adding fresh fruit to cereal at breakfast to add fiber."
You'll get even more of a boost in protein.
Along with getting that boost of fiber, your breakfast can be another opportunity to get a sufficient amount of protein for the day. According to a study published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, higher protein diets have shown a great effect of fullness compared to participants who ate a lower protein diet. Goodson recommends getting at least 20 to 30 grams of protein in your breakfast, along with a fiber-rich carbohydrate.
Shannon Henry, RD with EZCare Clinic, recommends eggs or yogurt as a nourishing breakfast full of protein. She points out how both of these foods can increase fullness and reduce food intake later in the day, which can enhance your weight loss overall.
What if you don't want to eat breakfast?
"If you are not a breakfast person, however, don't fret," says Young. "Children should most certainly eat breakfast when they wake up before heading to school (even virtual school!). However, adults don't have to eat breakfast right away in the morning if they are not hungry. They are better off waiting to eat as opposed to shoveling some food in."
Nevertheless, eating breakfast can result in weight loss overall, which means it's still good to have a little something in the morning to hold you over until lunch.
"I would recommend eating something—even a snack or a mini breakfast—within several hours of waking up to keep blood sugar steady," says Young. "A yogurt and berries or an apple with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, for example, would be great options. Including protein in the morning is best for weight loss as it's super filling."
Get started with one of these 19 High Protein Breakfasts That Keep You Full.