Gain Breakfast, Lose Weight

It may sound counter-intuitive, but in order to lose weight, you need food. Starting with breakfast.  

People who have had a significant weight loss and who’ve kept it off long-term share a number of healthy habits—drinking water, exercise, etc.—that are essential to overall health. It may surprise you to learn that one of these habits requires you to eat…breakfast.

According to the U.S. National Weight Control Registry, which tracks adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for over a year, 80 percent of those in the database eat breakfast each and every day.

People who are on a diet, unfortunately, often skip breakfast because they think it’s an easy way to cut back on food (i.e., calories).

"But studies have shown that people who don’t eat a morning meal have a tendency to make up for it later in the day," says registered dietitian Beth Mansfield, who runs nutrition programs for the Lipid Clinic of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Breakfast eaters consume fewer calories on average than those who skip the first meal of the day.

Balance and portion control are the keys to a healthy breakfast. Aim for a small serving from at least three of the four food groups — carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and dairy — as well as some fat. And don’t forget fibre! It can help you feel more satisfied on fewer calories.

Here are five easy breakfasts—chock full of good nutrition—that fit the bill, according to Mansfield.

  • 3⁄4 cup cooked oatmeal with 1⁄4 cup applesauce and a latte with one cup low-fat milk.
  • One or two slices whole-wheat toast with one to two tablespoons peanut butter, a small banana and 3⁄4 cup low-fat yogurt.
  • A poached egg on a whole wheat English muffin, topped with one slice of melted cheddar cheese and two tomato slices, along with 1⁄2 cup fruit or vegetable juice.
  • 3⁄4 cup fruit salad with 1⁄2 cup low-fat cottage cheese and eight almonds.
  • 1⁄2 cup muesli or granola mixed into 3⁄4 cup of your favourite yogurt.

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