Five Breakfast Foods That Sabotage Weight Loss
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is weight loss. As with most resolutions, this is a very general goal, making it difficult to stick to. This year, why not focus on setting specific goals rather than resolutions? Setting a series of smaller goals that are attainable increases your chance of success on your weight loss journey! A great goal to start with is committing to a healthy breakfast. Starting your day off with a balanced meal helps curb cravings and makes you more likely to stick to healthy eating throughout the day.
The problem is, many breakfast foods marketed as “healthy” are quite the opposite. The types of food you eat, and how you combine them, affect your metabolism, appetite, and ability to burn fat throughout the day. The common breakfast foods below actually increase hunger, decrease energy, and slow weight loss. Opt for these healthy swaps for a more balanced option to start the day strong.
- Fruit Juice: Juice is high in calories and sugar, and contains no fiber, fat or protein to keep you feeling full. This leads to a blood sugar spike, followed by a crash that leaves you tired, hungry and craving sugar the rest of the day.
- Instead Try: A smoothie with whole fruit. Try frozen fruit with protein powder, almond milk, and almond butter for a balanced meal replacement. Add a handful of spinach or kale for an extra nutrition boost!
- Yogurt and Granola: This breakfast staple is a recipe for a mid-morning energy crash. Store-bought granola is surprisingly high in calories, and low-fat varieties are loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are also high in sugar, low in protein, and contain artificial ingredients like modified food starch and food dyes.
- Instead Try: High protein plain greek yogurt with almonds, berries and a teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup. The small amount of sweetener will add far less sugar than store bought varieties!
- Cereal- Cereals are packed with added sugars that increase appetite and cravings for more sugar. Most people also don’t realize the recommended serving is only 1/2 cup, so chances are you’re taking in a lot more calories than you think with a full bowl!
- Instead Try: Warm quinoa cereal. Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, and high in protein. Cook it just like oatmeal, and toss in fresh berries and a handful of nuts!
- Breakfast Sandwich- A sandwich may be a convenient grab-and-go breakfast, but the bread and cheese can be a major calorie bomb! Fast food versions frequently contain powdered eggs, high in oxidized cholesterol that promotes weight gain, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk.
- Instead Try: Grab-and-go egg“muffins.” Scramble together eggs, nitrate-free turkey bacon, and veggies and bake in muffin tins for an easy, high-protein breakfast!
- Low-Fat Muffin- Even if you choose a low fat/calorie option, store bought pastries are loaded with refined flour, sugar and trans fats, all of which promote weight gain. Your “blueberry” muffin may not even contain real blueberries, but a concoction of corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and food dyes!
- Instead Try: A homemade version! Muffins are quick and easy to make- try making large batches and freezing leftovers. You can also swap refined grain flours for coconut/almond flour for a lower carb version. Add fresh berries and mashed banana for natural sweetness, and top with almond butter for healthy fat and protein.
Starting the day off with a low-sugar, high-protein breakfast will give you more sustained energy and boost your fat burning mechanisms. These healthy substitutions will keep you feeling satisfied and jump-start weight loss!