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Many experts hail breakfast as "the most important meal of the day" for weight loss because it jump starts your metabolism, gives you energy for workouts, and prevents that famished feeling that can make you overeat calories later in the day. Before spooning, biting, or sipping that a.m. meal, avoid these mistakes that can leave you hungry and cause weight gain.
Not Enough Protein
While toast or a bowl of granola is quick and easy, it's not offering you nearly as much protein as you need to have energy all morning long. You'll just feel blah and end up reaching for a sugary pick-me-up. No need to go overboard and slurp down a 30-grams-of-protein shake —
13 to 20 grams is perfect.
Get inspired with these
quick high-protein breakfast ideas that are also low in saturated fat.
Not Measuring Ingredients
Whether you're pouring a bowl of cereal with fruit, nuts, and coconut; crafting a jar of overnight oats; or whipping up a smoothie, just because you're using all healthy ingredients doesn't mean it'll help you lose weight. It all boils down to portion sizes and measuring ingredients (instead of eyeballing) to ensure you stay within your limit. Try these
overnight oats recipes all under 400 calories, and use an eight-ounce mason jar to ensure your portions are appropriate.
Overdoing the Carbs
If you feel too weighed down after a bowl of oatmeal, try
this version made with cauliflower! You can also try these low-carb, high-protein breakfast recipes.
Forgetting the Healthy Fats
Protein? Check. Fiber? Check. Healthy fats? Whoops. Make sure your breakfast includes 10 to 15 grams of healthy fats (not saturated), and it'll add to that "I'm full" feeling that keeps hunger satiated for hours.
Avocado is a great choice because it also offers fiber to use it instead of butter when baking these
banana oatmeal muffins. Add it into your smoothie or mash it on your toast. If avocado isn't your thing, nuts and seeds and the butters made from them, as well as flaxmeal and chia seeds, will also help keep you feeling full.
Too Many Refined Carbs
Sometimes a baked good for breakfast is a necessity, but if you load up on refined carbs and sugar (even if those
blueberry muffins are made with flaxmeal!), you're going to end up feeling super hungry within a few hours after that last bite.
If you crave these foods, go for a small portions and pair it with a protein smoothie, or
bake your own with protein powder, whole grains like rolled oats, and less sugar.
Too Many Calories
With all the amazingly delicious options out there for breakfast, it's easy to go a little overboard. Aim for a range between
300 and 400 calories. If you're not into counting calories, Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition suggests to eat slowly and stop eating when you are 80 percent full. Here are some satisfying breakfast ideas under 400 calories.
Drinking Your Calories
A frozen banana here, a scoop of peanut butter there, a big splash of vanilla soy milk — while smoothies are full of healthy ingredients, if you mindlessly throw things in the blender, you could end up sipping down 800 calories or more ! Follow specific recipes like these so you can ensure your smoothie is between 300 and 400 calories. The same goes for specialty coffee drinks. Make sure you look at the menu before ordering a 500-calorie Frappuccino .
Not Enough Fiber
If you're all about going low carb and high protein, then you might be missing something very important in your meal: roughage. Getting enough fiber in the morning (
at least six grams) will not only keep you regular (bonus!), but it takes longer to digest so you'll feel fuller longer. Get your fill with these high-fiber breakfasts ideas.
Not Eating Enough
While noshing on a simple breakfast of a banana with peanut butter or an all-fruit smoothie may seem like a light, healthy breakfast, if you don't get between 300 and 400 calories, you'll likely end up feeling famished a couple hours before lunch. So pair that fruit with something else, preferably with protein and healthy fats! Here are some
filling breakfasts all around 350 calories.
Not Planning Ahead
If you're the kind of person who's always rushing in the morning and thinks you'll grab whatever on the way, that usually means something not so healthy like a scone with your coffee. Planning ahead will ensure you have a nutritious breakfast that's low in sugar and calories.
To save time in the morning, try these
breakfast prep ideas like making smoothie freezer packs, DIY-ing your own protein bars, or freezing steel-cut oatmeal.