When it comes to weight loss, being healthy is not enough.
Rather, sustainable weight loss comes down to calorie control and a balance of macronutrients — the carbs, proteins and fats that make up our food. This means that while popular breakfast options such as toast, yoghurt or a breakfast drink may appear to be relatively good options, they lack the specificity of the foods more likely to support weight loss.
So if your goal is to drop the kilos, here are the best breakfast choices.
Fruit yogurt offers some protein and calcium but in many cases it also offers 20-30g of sugars and less than half the protein of a couple of eggs. If you love your yogurt, the best option is a Greek-style yogurt, in particular the ones that contain no added sugar and clock in at almost 20g of protein in a single serve. Or if you are really serious, you could try quark — a Swedish spin on yogurt that naturally increases the protein content by three times, with just 1 per cent fat. High-protein yogurt served with some fresh fruit and a spoon of nuts or seeds is a nutritionally balanced, calorie-controlled breakfast option that will keep you full for several hours.
Whether you enjoy them hard-boiled, poached with a slice or two of wholegrain toast or in an omelet, it is the 16-plus grams of protein found in a couple of eggs along with more than 20 other key nutrients that truly make them a superfood. When it comes to weight loss, it is known that consuming 20g of high-quality protein helps to control insulin levels, the hormone that controls fat metabolism in the body, and this is just one of the reasons eggs for breakfast are so closely linked to weight control.
Many of the breakfasts we pick up on the run are much higher in carbohydrates than they are protein — think muffins, banana bread, smoothies. On the other hand, a small wholegrain wrap filled with smoked salmon, lean turkey or ham or cottage cheese is a perfect mix of carbs and proteins and you can even add in some salad for extra fiber and bulk. A breakfast wrap is also an option you can prepare the night before and enjoy on the way to work.
Smoothies can be a great breakfast option as long as you get the right mix of ingredients to avoid a complete calorie overload. Start with some fruit and vegetables, add your favorite milk and then remember that you need one other high-protein ingredient to make it a balanced meal — think Greek yogurt or protein powder.
Often forgotten, the humble baked bean is a nutrient powerhouse and contains a near perfect mix of carbs and proteins in a single serve. Eat them out of the tin; make your own at home or team a small can with some wholegrain bread and cheese for a yummy, protein and fiber-rich breakfast dish.