Skipping meals is not the best weight-loss strategy, especially when it comes to breakfast. Eating in the morning wakes up your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout your day. A solid first meal of the day also helps keep you feeling satiated so you eat fewer calories later. If you’re working to drop pounds, keep in mind these four breakfast rules.
Eat Breakfast Within 1 Hour of Waking
The timing of your first meal is important. It’s best to eat breakfast within 30 minutes to an hour of waking. An early breakfast helps maintain your circadian rhythm, boosts your metabolism early, and feeds muscle growth.
Go For Protein, Not Sugar
While pancakes dripping with syrup sounds scrumptious for a Sunday brunch, it’s not something you should devour regularly for breakfast. High-protein choices, like eggs, smoothies made with beans or protein powder, whole grains, and nuts, are lower in calories and provide more energy than a sugary pick-me-up. Here are some breakfasts featuring whole grains, and if you love eggs, try this simple recipe for eggs and avocado.
Eat at Least 8 Grams of Fiber
The key to losing weight is to eat foods that make you feel full so hunger pains don’t drive you to eat high-calorie foods. For the first meal of the day, go for tons of fiber — at least 8 grams. Whip up a bowl of oatmeal, or try these high-fiber smoothies. If you’re in a rush, pour a bowl of one of these 10 cereals with 8 or more grams of fiber. If you have a little more time, try these breakfast ideas that contain 10 grams of fiber and are also gluten-free.
Don’t Go Overboard on Calories
Depending on your weight, your weight-loss goals, and what you eat for the rest of the day, it’s important to keep your breakfast calorie count between 300 and 500. That means you probably don’t want to splurge on a 390-calorie doughnut. Choose low-calorie options like veggie omelets, protein smoothies, oatmeal, fresh fruit, and whole-wheat toast. A bowl of cereal is another great option; just don’t make these calorie-busting cereal mistakes. If you’re into smoothies, here are some ways to save calories before you sip.