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Here’s Exactly How To Use Breakfast To Lose Weight

Posted on: by Michelle October
A smoothie bowl is an ideal weight loss breakfast

Photography by StockSnap

The exact tips you need to hack breakfast and reveal that tight tummy you’ve been dreaming about. 

You want to lose weight. But your breakfast regimen is a shamble: it’s either nonexistent or happens at 1pm, which means lunch happens at 5pm, which means dinner happens at 10… so you’re just stuck with your muffin top forever and ever. Wrong! This intel, collected by us from dieticians, show you exactly how to use breakfast to fuel your weight loss. The best news? You eat what you like.

Fill Up In The Morning

One of the ways we’ve been taught to eat is to have our lightest meal in the morning, with dinner being the heaviest meal. But this frame of reference means you’re setting yourself up to be hungry all day, and digesting too much at night, when your body’s functions wind down. “Breakfast eaters weigh less because their blood sugar levels remain at an even keel,” says Dr Susanna Kassier, Dietetics and Human Nutrition at UKZN. That’s because when you wake up, your body needs fuel to recover from the 6-hour plus fasting period. Enter your body’s fuel: oats. “Apart from sustaining blood sugar levels (If they’re low you end up with cravings or the munchies), cooked oats result in slower stomach emptying, making your tummy fell full for longer,” says Kassier. If you’re not a breakfast person, there is hope. “Keep a stash of breakfast cereal or instant oats at the office so that you can re-energize when you get hungry,” says Kassier.

READ MORE: 10 Power Breakfast Recipes Every Active Girl Needs In Her Life

Balance Your Food Groups

Contrary to popular belief, not every meal needs to be all-protein, all the time. A good balance of healthy carbs, protein and fats gives you all-rounded energy and nutrition to set you up for the day. “Egg breakfasts are great,” says registered dietician Kim Hofmann. “Scramble your eggs with some onions, mushrooms and peppers and serve them on seed loaf, rye toast or baked beans together with some avocado.” Another trick Hofmann recommends is to add nuts and seeds to your cereal. “Nuts and seeds add protein and healthy fat to your meal allowing your breakfast to keep you fuller for longer,” she says.

READ MORE: 6 Meal-Prep Mistakes That Are Making You Gain Weight

Add Functional Flavour

Sick of blah blah oats? Add spices to your meal that’ll enhance the flavour, but will also give you a nutritional boost. Hofmann recommends adding cinnamon and vanilla. “Cinnamon has many benefits; it helps control blood sugar levels, which can reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes,” she says. Adding berries is another win. “Using this low-kilojoule fruit will help sweeten your oats,” says Jade Seeliger, registered dietitian from Nutritional Solutions. “Berries have an added advantage as they contain ellagic acid – an antioxidant which has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties,” she says.

READ MORE: 5 Healthy Breakfasts That Will Help You Lose Weight

Mix Up Your Meals

One of the biggest challenges to having a great breakfast is how boring it gets to have the same thing every day. While repetition can be useful, boredom can seriously sabotage your efforts. “I usually pimp my breakfast up by making my own muesli mix using raw nuts, dried goji berries, raw rolled oats and some raw coconut shavings and having a quarter-cup of this with some fat-free yoghurt,” says Roxanne Fisher, registered dietician at Panorama Dietitians. Another dietician favourite is ham and corn egg pots. “These have a combination of carbohydrate (corn) and protein (egg and ham), which helps to slow down gastric emptying and thus enhances the satiety value of the meal,” says Seeliger.

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