Breakfast is the ultimate opportunity to gear up for weight loss success. “The way that you start your day sets the tone for the entire day,” The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, tell Eat This, Not That! By starting each morning on a healthy note, you’ll likely feel more inspired and motivated to keep those healthy habits going throughout the rest of the day. That’s why we spoke with The Nutrition Twins who share seven of their top-recommended breakfast habits to lose weight and curb cravings for good. This way, you don’t feel like “throwing in the towel” early on and are in stellar shape to maintain a healthy mindset.
Keep reading to learn all about the best breakfast habits to lose weight and curb cravings for good. And for more weight loss tips, be sure to check out 5 Foods Everyone in Their 40s Should Eat for Faster Weight Loss.
Sweet breakfast treats like cinnamon rolls, frosted donuts, and chocolate croissants may taste delicious, but they’re not your friends when you’re trying to curb cravings and lose weight. Added sugar causes your blood sugar to spike and your energy levels to drop, which can lead to unhealthy cravings throughout the remainder of the day.
“It starts the vicious sugar-craving cycle,” The Nutrition Twins explain. “You repeatedly give in to a sugar craving, then you crash and crave another quick source of fuel, and turn to more sugar.”
Sticking to an eating schedule is always a smart idea. Pinpointing the best time of the day for you to enjoy breakfast, and maintaining that schedule daily, can help you curb cravings and lose weight.
“For example, if you know that eating breakfast too early will leave you ravenous by mid-morning, then waiting an extra hour to eat can help you to stay on track all day—so commit to this time daily,” The Nutrition Twins point out. “Alternatively, if you know waiting too long to eat breakfast will result in you feeling insatiable the rest of the day, always eat breakfast at the earlier time that works for you.”
Avoiding salty foods is another key breakfast habit to develop if you want to shed stubborn weight. After all, research shows that consuming salt can make you crave even more food. The usual high-salt suspects at the breakfast table include biscuits, bacon, sausage, muffins, croissants, and cheese. These items are heavily processed and high in both calories and fat.
Protein reigns supreme for more than a few reasons. According to the Mayo Clinic, incorporating high-protein foods in your diet can help decrease body fat, preserve your supply of lean muscle, and keep you full. Protein can also help you drop weight.
The Nutrition Twins add, “Protein slows digestion and helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. By preventing energy dips, you’ll prevent your brain from craving the quickest pick-me-up it can find…sugar—and refined carbs. Aim to get 20 grams of protein or more at breakfast.” Solid sources of protein you should add to your morning include eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, salmon, and tofu.
Right before you have breakfast, get your fill of H2O—The Nutrition Twins recommend having at least 16 ounces of it. “This will take the edge off hunger, so you’ll be less likely to get cravings for unhealthy foods simply because you’re hungry,” they explain. “Second, it wakes you up as it helps to carry nutrients and oxygen to the brain and muscles and helps you to feel refreshed and energized, so you won’t experience sugar and carb cravings that you’d otherwise experience when you’re tired and your body and brain crave energy.”
Keeping your kitchen stocked up with fresh and healthy breakfast foods will make it much easier to ward off cravings. That’s especially true if you have at least a few simple, go-to recipes you enjoy whipping up in the morning.
“Even if it’s just throwing together a few healthy combinations of protein and fiber-rich foods, you can dive right into making it and eating it so you don’t have time to get distracted by hunger and cravings,” The Nutrition Twins point out. “It doesn’t have to be complicated—try protein options like hardboiled eggs, Greek yogurt, baked tofu, and protein powders that you can mix with fiber-filled foods like whole oats, a slice of whole grain toast, fresh fruit, and berries.”
Our breakfast habits to curb cravings and lose weight wrap up with getting your fill of fiber. Foods that are high in fiber keep you fuller for a longer amount of time, which is a great way to avoid unhealthy snacking. Shop for foods like whole grains (quinoa and oatmeal), fresh fruits (citrus fruits and berries), and veggies that you can easily work into your breakfasts and smoothies.