The Secret to Losing 15 Pounds? Eat Breakfast

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Don't skip breakfast and you'll lose weightSkipping the first meal of the day means you’re more likely to consume too many calories later. Get 10 tips for making your breakfast healthy and satisfying from Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, author of The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You.

A good way to gauge whether your breakfast is balanced is to take note of how long it takes before you feel hungry again. If you feel hungry an hour later, usually it is because your breakfast was too high in carbohydrates, loaded with sugar, and/or not high enough in fiber and protein. Many of my patients must be weaned off of their early-morning, low-fiber choices, such as buttered rolls, low-fiber cereals, bagels and cream cheese, croissants, and doughnuts. The more fiber your breakfast contains, the longer it takes to digest, causing you to feel fuller longer. Sometimes you might find yourself too hungry because you eliminated fat. Shocking, I know. The ultimate goal with breakfast is to have a well-balanced meal with high-fiber carbohydrates, some lean protein, and a little healthy fat. (As you’ll see, this balance is important in lunch, dinner, and snacks, as well.) We’ll explore lean proteins and healthy fats in more detail in later chapters. For now, here are some easy Small Change Breakfast Tips to help balance your breakfast:

Small Change Breakfast Tips

  1. Make oatmeal with milk (non- or low-fat) for more protein.
  2. Add cinnamon to oats for sweetness instead of sugar.
  3. If a bowl of cereal leaves you hungry, add 1 hard-boiled egg on the side for additional protein.
  4. Make scrambled eggs with 1 whole egg and 2 or 3 egg whites.
  5. Top cereal or yogurt with nuts if choosing nonfat milk/yogurt. The added fat will help you feel more satiated.
  6. To lightly sweeten plain yogurt, add 1 teaspoon of jam or whole fruit.
  7. Choose a piece of whole fruit instead of juice. Juice adds calories without the benefit of fiber.
  8. If you can’t pass on your bagel in the morning, scoop out the inside.
  9. Try “buttering” your bread with 100 percent vegetable oil spread instead of butter. If you’re not ready to part with butter, switch to more spreadable whipped butter instead of sticks, and you’ll consume less saturated fat.
  10. Switch from regular cream cheese to low-fat cream cheese.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You (Copyright © 2011 by Keri Gans), is a registered dietitian in private practice in Manhattan. Keri is a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and a past president of the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA). She is the proud winner of the 2010 NYSDA Media Excellence Award and the 2006 NYSDA Emerging Dietetic Leader Award.

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