IT’s said to be the most important meal of the day.
And by making a few simple swaps, you could make breakfast the healthiest too.
In particular, top nutritionist Susie Burrell says that there are some simple steps you can take in the morning to maximise weight loss.
And she emphasises that while many think avoiding breakfast is key to weight loss, having a hearty meal first thing can “keep you full” and stop you from snacking throughout the day.
Below are her top tips on how to kickstart your day in a healthier way…
1. Start with good quality carbs
While many people believe anything carb-heavy can ruin an otherwise good diet, Susie says they are a vital part when it comes to starting the day.
She says: “Unless you are specifically following a low carb or keto program, adding some wholegrain low GI carbs to your breakfast mix is the best way to help replenish your body after the overnight fast, and ensure your brain and muscles have all the energy they need to be at their best.
“If cereal is your thing look out for low sugar granola options or oats, fresh fruit is a great option and there is a growing number of lower carb breads in supermarkets that combine wholegrain goodness with fewer carbs than white breads and wraps.”
Foods to pick or ditch: Go for a piece of granary toast and butter or a bowl of granola but make sure to avoid pastries and croissants.
2. Focus on protein
Having protein at the start of the day is a great way to help stay healthy and remain lean.
Susie says: “One the most powerful things you can do to ensure you breakfast keeps you full for several hours is make sure you include 20g of good quality protein in your breakfast mix.
One the most powerful things you can do to ensure you breakfast keeps you full for several hours is make sure you include good quality protein
“A couple of eggs, a serve of Greek protein yoghurt, smoked salmon or high protein breads are all easy ways to boost the protein content of your breakfast.”
Foods to pick or ditch: Pick a small portion of eggs and bacon but try to avoid that greasy full English.
3. Add some fruit and veg
We’re all guilty of not having enough fruit and veg – but Susie says that adding it to your diet first thing can really make a difference.
Susie says: “Few of us get the recommended number of vegetable serves each day and don’t forget that breakfast is a meal in which we can easily add some extra vegetable serves.
Quick breakfast tips
- Always choose brown over white when it comes to bread
- Keep croissants, muffins and pastries as an occasional treat
- Use as little oil as possible and use sunflower, olive or rapeseed oil instead of butter
- Add extra fruit and veg whenever you can
- Ditch the “breakfast drinks” – Diabetes UK tested one 330ml drink and found it contained 32g of sugar which is more than the RDA of free sugars for adults
- Don’t buy kids’ cereals. Only buy low-sugar alternatives like Shredded Wheat
Source: Diabetes UK
“Think sliced tomato on toast, grated veg added to egg dishes or veg blended into juices and smoothies for an extra fibre and vitamin boost.”
Foods to pick or ditch: You can’t go wrong with a bowl of fruit salad but try to avoid anything too sugary like a sweet latte or carton of juice.
4. Don’t forget the good fats
Susie says: “Goods fats that come from a range of foods including olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and peanut butter not only offer a range of key nutrients but adding some good fat to a meal helps to ensure that you will be kept fuller for longer after eating.
“Avocado works well with toast and smoothies, as do nuts and seeds.
“In particular 100% nut spreads such as Mayver’s Peanut Butter add good fats and protein to toast, smoothies and breakfast baking whilst adding plenty of taste and flavour.
“Aim to add at least one serve of good fats to your favourite go to breakfast of choice.”
Foods to pick or ditch: Peanut butter on toast is a great breakfast choice or if you’re feeling fancy pick an avocado.