Losing weight in your midsection— or anywhere else— requires a balanced diet along with regular exercise. While working to lose weight in this area or elsewhere, it is vital to provide your body with energy from high-protein foods, especially first thing in the morning. We reached out to registered dietitians, nutritionists and other health experts for three breakfast ideas that will not only help you start your day off with needed energy, but that will also keep you satiated (and less likely to eat more and gain weight later). Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Jay Cowin, registered nutritionist and Director of Formulations at ASYSTEM, and Trista Best, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.
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1. Egg Whites
By swapping regular eggs for egg whites, you can instantly give your breakfast a boost of protein, Best explains. “When it comes to consuming eggs for weight loss, there are some modifications we can make,” she says, adding, “egg whites, for instance, can be a great way to cut down on the fat of a traditional egg-based meal while maintaining a lean source of protein.” Eating just the egg whites, she continues, allows you to “cut down on calories from 71 to 18, while only losing 2 grams of protein.” The fat content, however, drops from “5 grams in an entire egg to zero when only eating the egg whites,” she points out. When working to lose weight in your midsection, egg whites can provide you with protein for energy needed to complete your workouts, while also keeping you full and satisfied until your next meal. They are also versatile, Best says, making them a great breakfast choice on their own, scrambled, used for an omelette, etc.
2. Oats with Protein Powder
While oats are already protein-rich to begin with, Cowin offers another idea to bring even more of the nutrient to your first meal of the day. “A great breakfast food that’s filled with protein is oats,” he notes, adding, “You can pair this up with some almond milk and some berries, or even blend them all together with ice and add some protein powder to turn it into a shake.” This, he says, is a great combination and very “convenient for those who are always on the go.” You can also make overnight oats with protein powder, he suggests, “which you can customize any way you like.” Cowin says that out of the three macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein), protein will keep you fullest for the longest because it “suppresses your appetite.” This, he stresses, is a “big help when you’re trying to cut back.” Protein also has a “higher thermic effect than the other macronutrients,” which means your body has to burn many calories to digest and process it.
3. Greek Yogurt with Berries
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein on its own, Cowin says, and adding fruit to it will give you even more energy and flavor for your breakfast. “Greek yogurt is a good source of protein, which can help you feel full for a while so you can avoid overeating,” he points out, plus, “Greek yogurt is also lower in sugar and calories than other types of yogurt.” Cowin adds that this is “perfect for those who want to satisfy their sweet tooth but are working to lose weight.” Fresh fruits, he says (pointing to high-protein choices like blackberries, bananas and raspberries) are “low in calories and high in nutritional value,” making it the “perfect and best addition” to yogurt for people who are trying to lose weight. Noted!