AS creatures of habits, we typically reach for the same breakfast every day – cereal, toast, or a croissant on route to work.
But if you are serious about losing your tummy, breakfast is a good place to start.
A high protein breakfast fosters weight loss in a number of ways.
High protein foods can “help with weight loss by decreasing hunger and promoting a sense of fullness,” said Registered Dietician Brittany Dunn.
Protein is more filling than carbohydrates or fats, which will prevent you reaching for snacks before lunch time.
Dunn told Eat This Not That that high protein diets are extremely effective in weight loss, because “they preserve muscle mass and prevent decreased metabolism”.
Protein at your first meal will also help to avoid a spike in blood sugar levels, and more throughout the day.
And keeping blood sugar levels balanced is extremely helpful for weight management, experts say.
Phoebe Liebling, a Harley Street functional nutritionist, told The Sun: “It’s pretty much dictated by the first thing that you put in your mouth in the morning and it’s then compounded over the course of the day.”
As a general rule of thumb, Phoebe always recommends a breakfast that consists of slow releasing carbohydrates with a 20 to 30g serving of protein.
Add in a small amount of fat and you’ve got a complete and balanced meal.
Some of the most typical protein sources to eat at breakfast are eggs, smoked salmon and sausages and bacon if you’re feeling fancy.
But read on for some breakfast examples you probably haven’t considered.
Hummus is not just a dip – it is a rich souce of plant-based protein and fibre – both of which are regarded highly for weight loss.
And, being made of chickpeas, it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a “complete” source of protein.
An 100g serving of hummus (half a standard pot sold in the supermarket) contains 7-8g of protein, and 226 calories.
With a slice of wholegrain toast, which contains up to 5g of protein per slice (131 calories), you’re well on your way to a nutritious vegetarian breakfast.
Top with combinations such as tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, or Mediterranean veggies (tomatoes, olives, feta and a squeeze of lemon).
A review of hummus in the diet, published in the journal Nutrients, reported that chickpea and hummus eaters in the US were 53 per cent less likely to be obese.
Experts wrote: “In general, diets high in fibre, low in energy density and glycemic load, and moderate in protein are thought to be particularly important for weight control “
Cottage cheese is high in protein with all the benefits of being a dairy product.
It contains something called casein – a protein that helps to build muscle and is often found in protein shakes.
And, although being a cheese, it is relatively low in calories.
A 100g serving contains 11.3g of protein but only 160 calories (even less with the fat-free version).
Its slightly savoury taste makes it delicious with sweet honey, fruit such as peaches or berries. Top with some oats or granola for a carbohydrate serving.
Savoury options include mixing it into scrambled eggs with wholegrain toast, or spread onto a bagel with avocado and sliced tomato.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2018 found eating cottage cheese could aid weight loss when eaten as a snack, too.
Participants – 10 active women in their 20s – were given 30g (approximately two tablespoons) of cottage cheese around one hour before bed.
It had a positive effect on muscle quality and metabolism – both of which could improve weight loss.
Protein powder isn’t just for bodybuilders. It will boost your protein intake without any cooking required.
Protein powders are concentrated sources of protein from animal or plant foods, such as dairy (whey), eggs, rice or peas, making it suitable for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.
Studies have shown that using protein powders can aid fat loss by filling you up and reducing appetite, while also promoting muscle growth.
One scoop of the powder packs in the protein – a 30g serving (around one scoop) can contain up to 25g or protein, and usually over 100 calories.
Protein powders, which come in dozens of flavours, can be added into smoothies, stirred into yoghurt or porridge, or be shaken with milk or water as a side to your breakfast.
Beans on toast
Could it get any better than beans on toast for breakfast?
Beans are nutritionally good for you; they contain plant-based protein and are high in fibre, which are both helpful for weight loss.
Baked beans are low in fat and calories, but will still provide a filling and hearty breakfast.
Including beans and pulses in your diet may help balance blood sugar levels (which in turn keeps sugar cravings at bay).
Half a tin of beans contains up to 10g of protein and just 160 calories. It’s the perfect topping for some whole grain toast, with a side of vegetables.
But be wary of the sugar content in tinned beans from the supermarket, with half a can up to a third of your daily NHS sugar recommendation.
Go for reduced sugar versions, or, if you’re feeling brave, make your own at home.
For a carb serving in the morning, consider quinoa, which is a little like cous-cous in its fluffy texture.
Quinoa is a “complete protein” because it contains all the nine essential amino acids, or so-called building blocks for the body.
It has been recognised by the United Nations as a supercrop for its health benefits: packed with dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
When it comes to weight loss, quinoa is fibre-rich – adding more of these foods to your diet can help with weight loss.
It’s also lower in glycemic index, which means it won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
Many health enthusiasts substitute oats for quinoa for a porridge-style breakfast with fresh fruit, nuts, yoghurt and honey. There are plenty of recipes online.
There’s a reason avocados are hailed as a superfood – eating avocados twice a week may help improve your overall heart health and reduce the risk of deadly events such as heart attack.
But it has also been shown in a number of studies to potentially drive weight loss, and reduce fat around the middle.
One study showed that eating an avocado every day can fight visceral belly fat in women – a dangerous type of fat that sits around the organs.
Avocados are nutrient-dense fruits that contain dietary fibre, minerals, and healthy fats (but be wary – they are a higher-calorie food).
With a serving of protein, the green stuff makes for an excellent savoury breakfast, such as avocado on toast with a poached egg.
Or, throw it into a smoothie with protein powder, a banana, some berries and spinach, for a sweet and filling breakfast.