If you want to lose weight, you're not alone. More than half of Americans desire to shed pounds, according to Gallup. This goal inspires people to take action in many ways, from increasing exercise to modifying meals.
One thing many people do is skip breakfast in order to lower calorie intake. While this may seem like a good idea to lose weight, research proves otherwise. In fact, eating a big breakfast followed by smaller meals throughout the day is the best method for weight loss.
A new study in The Journal of Nutrition investigated the relation between meal frequency and timing and changes in body mass index (BMI). The study found that "eating less frequently, no snacking, consuming breakfast and eating the largest meal in the morning may be effective methods for preventing long-term weight gain."
“When you eat your meal matters," says Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner. "The best way to eat for energy and weight is to eat a big breakfast, smaller lunch and light dinner because it mimics our days' activities."
Blatner explains that people are typically most active in the beginning of the day and so need the most fuel then. They slow down as the day progresses, and by dinnertime they need less fuel.
"But it’s not just about eating anything in the morning," she cautions. "It’s important to pick nutrient-dense foods to fuel your day right."
Blatner provides three tips for creating a wholesome breakfast that will give you energy and support your weight-loss goals:
1. Fruits and veggies
Wake up your taste buds and give your body important vitamins by eating a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies. Try shopping the farmers market for locally sourced in-season produce. A quick frittata with egg and chopped veggies or a smoothie bowl topped with fresh fruit will satisfy. If fresh produce isn't available, frozen has optimum nutrients so it is a smart alternative.
2. Whole grains
Make whole grains part of your breakfast and you'll feel fuller for longer. Oatmeal is a classic whole-grain breakfast option. Use whole-grain pancake mix to whip up some flapjacks. Bake muffins with whole-grain flour. Make cornbread with whole cornmeal. When shopping for cereal or other breakfast products, look at the label to ensure it's made with whole grains.
Eggs are a great source of protein and nutrients for breakfast, but not all eggs are created equal. Swap out ordinary eggs for Eggland’s Best eggs, and you’ll get great taste and superior nutritional benefits with 10 times more vitamin E, six times more vitamin D, more than double the omega-3s, more than double vitamin B12 and 25 percent less saturated fat.
Short on time in the morning? Try Make Ahead Breakfast Bowls that can be frozen and microwaved in minutes for a satisfying start to your day.
Make Ahead Breakfast Bowls
12 Eggland’s Best eggs (large)
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 green pepper, seeded then chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, chopped
toppings: tortilla chips, salsa, avocado
6 individual-sized containers with lids
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a large baking sheet, place potatoes, peppers and onions in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt and ground black pepper. Toss until evenly coated.
Roast for about 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and tender, stirring and rotating pan halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, crack Eggland’s Best eggs into a large bowl, then season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat then spray with nonstick spray and add eggs.
Scramble until the eggs are just barely cooked through and still slightly glossy, then scoop onto a plate and set aside.
Divide the potatoes and scrambled eggs evenly between the containers then set aside to cool.
Once cool, sprinkle with cheese and green onions, then cover and refrigerate. Freeze any portions that aren’t eaten within three days.
To reheat from frozen: microwave for 1 1/2 minutes then stir and continue microwaving until food is reheated, stirring between intervals. Top with optional toppings, then serve.
Tip: Store in individualized microwave-safe containers with lids to make these bowls ready to reheat and go.