The first meal of the day can be a stumbling block to those who are seeking to lose weight. Start your day off on the right foot by avoiding these fifteen breakfast mistakes that cause weight gain.
1. Making Breakfast the Smallest Meal
Science Daily reports that, according to research done at Tel Aviv University, making breakfast the largest meal of your day helps fight not only obesity, but also disease. Because the first meal jump starts your metabolism, people who eat a large breakfast are more likely to lose weight than people who eat a large dinner.
2. Eating Before You’re Hungry
While your first meal of the day should be your largest, don’t rush to eat breakfast as soon as you awake, because once you eat, you’ll kick start your metabolism, which could make you hungrier for lunch earlier in the day. Eat that large, first meal when you begin to feel hunger pains. Breakfast doesn’t have to be at 6 AM.
3. Skipping the Coffee
Excess caffeine is bad for your health, but one to two cups a day can actually benefit you. Morning is the best time to drink coffee, not only because it perks you up after you roll out of bed, but because caffeine has the tendency to suppress appetite. If you start your day with a cup of Joe, you might not feel the need to eat breakfast until later in the morning. If you don’t like coffee, consider caffeinated tea.
4. Doctoring Your Coffee
While it’s good to start your day with java, don’t add unnecessary calories to the mix. If possible, learn to drink your coffee black. If you need a little white for your stomach’s sake, use skim milk instead of cream. And if you can’t stand unsweet coffee, consider an artificial sweetener or a calorie-free flavored coffee.
5. Failing to Hydrate
Even if you eat breakfast later in the morning, don’t overlook water. It’s important to remain hydrated, and water has the benefit of being a calorie-free beverage. Start your day with water, followed by coffee.
6. Forgetting to Focus on Proteins
Science Daily reports that, according to a 2013 University of Missouri-Columbia study, eating a breakfast rich in protein can help curb appetite throughout the entire morning. So consider skipping the pancakes, muffins, toast, and cereal. Focus instead on high protein breakfast foods such as sausage, eggs, and bacon. A high protein breakfast also helps you to maintain glucose control.
7. Eating Ready-made Cereals
If you feel you must eat some kind of cereal to start your day, avoid ready-mades and opt for real oatmeal. According to research, oatmeal is better for curbing appetite than boxed, ready-made cereals. Pass over the bran flakes in favor of a hot bowl of oatmeal, and you’ll feel satisfied longer.
8. Choosing Cereals with Small Flakes
If you simply must have ready-made cereal, however, don’t opt for the small-flake variety. Studies show that, according to a study conducted by Penn State, when flake size is smaller, people eat more calories. This is because small flakes make it harder to judge volume.
9. Exercising After Breakfast
Instead of exercising after breakfast, exercise before you eat to boost metabolism. If you wait to eat until after your morning walk or trip to the gym, your body will be ready to burn up those breakfast calories.
10. Jumpstarting with Juice
Juice is a staple of many breakfasts, but skip this calorie-packed drink. It’s easy to consume scores of calories in juice without even trying. Instead, eat whole fruit. It will give you the same nutrients but fill you up more with fewer calories.
11. Eating on the Go
Take time to sit down and eat a real breakfast. Grabbing a breakfast, granola, or cereal bar on the go may seem convenient, but those foods are packed with calories and especially sugar.
12. Eating at Breakfast Buffets
Avoid the ever popular, all-you-can eat breakfast buffet. Not only will the selection be tempting, but you may feel like you have to eat your money’s worth, and you could find yourself still eating well after you’re satiated. If you do go out for breakfast, order from the menu instead of choosing the buffet.
13. Loading Up on Carbs
If you can’t help but add a little bread to your breakfast, stick to a single serving. Instead of an entire English muffin, consider eating half. Fruit is healthy, but it has a lot of sugar and carbohydrates; stick to a single serving.
14. Giving into the Lure of Pastries
Donuts, éclairs, cinnamon rolls…these delightful treats beckon in the morning, but beware. They’ll spike your blood sugar first thing. Don’t give in to temptation. Instead, if you must have a small treat, wait until closer to dinner, when the inevitable crash from your sugary spike won’t force you slug through the rest of the day.
15. Adding Alcohol to the Mix
Breakfast cocktails such as bloody Mary’s and mimosas are popular, but you can easily cut out 100 calories from your breakfast by skipping the additional vodka or champagne.
Avoid these fifteen common mistakes, and you’ll be well on your way to losing weight.