However, if you want to lose belly fat, you’ll need to pay more attention to what you eat for breakfast.
MANY OF US are guilty of hurriedly stuffing a croissant or muffin into our mouths before leaving the house in the morning.
It turns out that eating a nutritious breakfast can help you make better dietary decisions throughout the day.
Those who ate a nutritious breakfast of yoghurt, fruit, and nuts had less stomach fat than those who ate cereal or toast with spread, according to a study of over 1,300 Swiss citizens.
It was “partly explained by their healthier diet for the rest of the day,” according to the study.
However, it’s worth noting that adding one additional type of food to the mix isn’t necessarily a good idea.
You can’t expect berries for breakfast to help you lose weight if you’re still eating takeout every night.
In its essential principles, fat loss is a combination of eating healthier and moving more, and the same is true for the stomach area.
However, there are several crucial dietary practices that will aid in belly fat loss, such as increasing your protein and fiber intake while avoiding excess carbs and sugar.
Continue reading to learn how to incorporate this into your daily morning routine…
How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Regardless of the answer, if you can spare the time and effort to rustle them up first thing, you’ll be onto a winning breakfast, experts say.
Rob Hobson, a London-based nutritionist and head of Health span, told The Sun: “Eggs are breakfasts of champions – if you have time.
“You can scramble them in a couple of minutes and have them on some brown toast or a whole meal bagel.”
He also recommended an omelette, maybe with vegetables or a side of fruit, or poached eggs with halloumi cheese.
Eggs have been proven to be a weight-beneficial way to start the day because they are filling, which makes you less likely to scavenge for snacks come 11am.
Eggs are high in protein – which is more filling than carbs or fats – and are bursting with essential nutrients.
One study showed that men who had eggs for breakfast ate 270 to 470 less calories at lunch time compared to those who had cereal, toast or croissants first thing.
That’s bound to be beneficial for keeping your waistline trim.
Dr Mayur Ranchordas, an exercise physiologist and sport nutritionist at Sheffield Hallam, said you still have to be careful at breakfast to make sure the calories don’t rack up too high, even if the foods are healthy.
He warned: “If you had two slices of wholemeal toast, poached eggs, salmon and avocado, that’s 700 to 800 calories in one breakfast.”
Regularly eating yogurt has been linked to a reduced risk of excess weight and obesity.
One study undertaken at the University of Tennessee revealed people dieting who ate three servings of yoghurt per day lost, on average, 61 per cent more belly fat compared to those who opted to diet without eating yoghurt.
It’s unlikely you’ll eat three servings of yoghurt per day, but the study simply proves the importance of nutrients like calcium for healthy weight loss.
Dr Michael Zemel, who led the study, said: “Not only did yogurt help the study participants lose more weight – the average weight loss was 13 pounds – they were about twice as effective at maintaining lean muscle mass.
“This is a critical issue when dieting. You want to lose fat, not muscle. Muscle helps burn calories, but it is often compromised during weight loss.
“The moral of the calcium story is to not dump dairy when you’re dieting.”
Yoghurt is also a higher protein food – and protein does wonders for helping with busting body fat.
The only downside of the dairy product is that you can easily and accidentally choose one that could in fact hinder your weight loss goals.
Rob said: “Fruit yoghurts have a lot of sugar in – up to the same amount as a chocolate bar.
“So go for natural or Greek yoghurt.
“If you eat too much sugar you obviously increase your risk of putting on weight and you could end up with sugar highs and lows.
“If you have a sugar spike followed by a sugar low, you might look around for sugary foods to bring you back up again.”
Porridge is a popular choice for many people who want a comforting, nutritious and hassle-free breakfast.
It has been shown to support a healthy weight.
For example one study that tracked the diets of 22,000 US adults showed that those who ate oatmeal had lower BMIs and waist sizes.
The researchers said this may be because the participants had better diets in general, suggesting it is a top choice for those who are effortlessly slim.
Top nutritionist Susie Burrell says oats are “low GI carbs”.
She said: “If cereal is your thing, look out for low sugar granola options or oats, fresh fruit is a great option to add too.”
Low GI foods are those that release energy slower than high GI foods.
Some experts suggest using low-carb and higher fat and protein foods for a flatter belly over time.
But as long as you are cutting back on the overly processed carbs – like pastries, biscuits and cakes – you’re going to see some benefits, regardless of what you do.
Oats are very versatile and quick to make.
To eat them hot, combine 50g of rolled or instant oats with 200ml (or more for runny porridge) of semi-skimmed milk in a bowl, and microwave on full power for two minutes.
To have them cold (and prepped ahead), combine oats with yoghurt or milk and let them sit overnight in the fridge.
Top either option with your fruit of choice – such as raspberries, mashed banana or mango. Some people like to add a little honey for sweetness, too.
One of The Association of UK Dieticians’ top tips for breakfast is to include fruit and vegetables.
It says: “Fruit and vegetables often get forgotten about at breakfast time. This is a great opportunity to add some into our day, and there are lots of delicious options.”
Fruit and vegetables contain fibre, which “make us feel fuller” while contributing to lower disease risk, the NHS says.
We are supposed to eat 30g of fibre every day, but most barely hit 20g.
It may seem difficult – sometimes stomach-churning – to have some greens in your morning meal.
But they are easily disguisable in smoothies, which are also a great option for an on-the-go or office desk breakfast.
You can chuck in vitamin and mineral rich ingredients like spinach, kale, avocado, ginger – which certainly wouldn’t usually be part of a cereal breakfast.
Smoothies can get a bad rap (especially if shop bought) because they can end up becoming quite high in calories if you’re not careful.
But Rob said: “I don’t like anything that deters people from fruit and veg.
“If you eat them whole, you get the benefit of the fibre rather than extracting the juice.”