You've heard it before and you'll hear it again: breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and eating it could help battle the bulge and manage it long-term.
However, what you actually eat for breakfast is incredibly important. A ham and cheese croissant has roughly the same kilojoules as five eggs, yet not all kilojoules are created equal.
We're talking whole pieces, not juice. Fruit contains fructose, but the difference between whole fruit and fruit juice is that the fructose in whole fruit is packaged up with a bounty of antioxidant, fibre and diluted with water giving metabolic advantages such as slow digestion and satiety (feelings of fullness). For a well-rounded breakfast, pair it with rich protein sources - such as yoghurt or an egg. Fresh, seasonal fruit is best in terms of taste and nutritional content. Frozen fruit is just as nutritious and handy for making a quick smoothie.
Not only will adding a serve of veg to your A.M. meal be a wholesome way to fill up, it also adds a ton of versatility. If their vitamins and minerals don't persuade you, maybe their waist whittling powers will do the trick. All veg are fibre-rich, with few kilojoules - meaning you'll be satisfied without adding inches to the waistline. Team a green smoothie with toast, add sauteed spinach or mushroom to an egg wrap or frittata, try a sweet potato hash or team vegetables and cereal, such as zucchini and oats (aka zoats).
It's quick and cheap, but navigating the cereal aisle in search of a good choice has never been so tough. Start by choosing a cereal with rich in fibre - a hunger-busting nutrient to keep morning munchies at bay. In fact, increasing fibre intake is well known to reduce body fat and food intake later in the day. Look for 7g of fibre per 100g. What's more, numerous studies show that choosing wholegrain varieties can lower insulin levels which, in turn, helps speed up the fat-burning process. Choose cereals with at least 50 per cent wholegrain ingredients. Think rolled oats, whole wheat, spelt, barley, quinoa and brown rice. As always, read the fine print.
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Your best bet are Greek or natural yoghurt since they have no added sugar (check the label). Along with bone-strengthening calcium, Greek yoghurt in particular packs a protein punch (nearly twice as much as regular yoghurt) so you're not starved an hour after you eat. To tangy? You can make the stuff edible by topping with fruit or drizzle honey and cinnamon.
It's time to keep the egg whites and enjoy the whole egg. An entire egg contains at least 11 different vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-3 fats, antioxidants and high-quality protein, which helps to preserve your lean muscle mass - exactly what you want if you want to you're your metabolism fired up for longer. Cholesterol fear not. The dietary cholesterol (found in eggs) is not a culprit for raising your blood cholesterol levels - hence why experts now agree that eating eggs everyday are okay. So get cracking.
Don't eat eggs or dairy? Nut butters are an excellent alternate source of protein and heart-healthy fats. Pair it with wholegrain toast or add to fruit smoothie for a well-balanced meal. Avoid ones with added oils, sugar and salt, where possible.
The low fat mantra of the 80s and 90s is a thing of the past and everyone is returning to healthy plant sources of (unsaturated) fats such as avocados, which helps lower cholesterol and control appetite. Bonus. They replace sugar-laden spreads with appetite-curbing good fat and a great substitute for butter.
How much breakfast should I eat?
While it's tempting to miss breakfast if you want to skimp the kilojoules, it's not clear that this helps you to lose weight. Most nutrition experts recommend having at least 20% of your daily kilojoules at breakfast. That's about 1700kJ for many adults, or a bit less if you are a smaller eater, aiming to lose weight or planning a morning snack.