Here are 5 best and worst breakfasts for burning belly fat. When I talk with someone for the first time about shedding weight, particularly through the midsection, they tell me about what they eat. Usually people have tried plenty of their own fat-shedding tactics before seeking my advice. The biggest mistake people make when they want to lose weight is they try to follow a one-size-fits-all approach. More often than not, that one-size-fits-all approach involves two words that are the kiss of death for anyone wanting to lose belly fat: low fat. Yes, most low fat diets increase belly fat in those with existing belly fat, aka Apple Types.
Focus on Protein and Fat…not Low Fat Foods High In Refined Carbs
Low fat diets might be good for some people, but when it comes Apple Types, it's probably the worst way to eat. Why? Well, most low fat diets, especially commercial low fat diet foods are very high in added sugar. Sugar does the Apple no favors whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, we all need a little sugar, but our body usually does a pretty decent job breaking down healthy carbs to sugar when we need it.
The second biggest mistake I see people make when it comes to their diet is they eat scarcely in the morning, or they completely throw their blood sugar levels into a tail spin by, you guessed it, eating low fat in the morning. A bowl of low fat cereal followed by a cup of coffee will have most people ready to eat cardboard hours before lunch.
Apple types need to focus on foods that are going to do a good job regulating the hormones that promote belly fat in the first place: insulin, cortisol and adrenaline. All of these get thrown off when we eat too many low fat, sugary foods.
Get your day started right by eating right for your body type. If you're an apple, here are the breakfast WINNERS:
1) 2 Eggs + Sliced Tomato + Sprouted English Muffin w/ Butter or Coconut Oil
Eggs make a great addition to breakfast for most of use, but Apples in particular. Pair this with fresh sliced tomato on the side and a sprouted English muffin with a little coconut oil or butter on it, and you're good to go.
It's important to eat the whole egg. It's loaded with an valuable nutrient called choline that is completely absent if you eat the white only. What's more, there is no real science that shows eggs are bad for our health, much less our heart, in any way, shape or form.
I'm also a big fan of sprouted grains. Conventionally-produced grain products are typically very high in something called phytic acid. While our body needs a little phytic acid, it doesn't need as much as our grain-crazy diets give us. Think of phytic acid as a magnet for minerals. As it works its way down and out of our body, it grabs lots of important minerals and pulls them out, too! This can leave us depleted of energy-boosting minerals that would otherwise do our body good. Sprouting grains helps to reduce the amount of phytic acid before we eat them. A good brand of sprouted grains is Food for Life.
2) Oatmeal + Whole Milk (or full fat coconut milk) + Walnuts + Blueberries + Cinnamon
You might already be making oatmeal a morning ritual, but how are you preparing it? Most pre-packaged oatmeals are laden in sugar. What's more, they're usually instant, which break down very quickly in the body, causing our blood sugar to get all out of whack. The milk and walnuts in the breakfast give your body plenty of healthy fat and protein. The blueberries, preferably raw, are an ace of low glycemic nutrition and the cinnamon is extra insurance that you'll feel satisfied for at least a few hours.
Soak the oats: To bring this breakfast from good to great, soak the oats in a little water and let them sit on the counter the night before you prepare breakfast. They're a grain and should be treated like one.
3) Full Fat Yogurt + Cinnamon + 1/2 Green Apple + Almond Butter
Change up your breakfast parfait to something that will turn your metabolism on. This simple foursome can get thrown together in less than two minutes, so it's great to make if you're short on time.
When it comes to fruits and Apple Types, I usually recommend low glycemic fruits. Green apples are typically lower on the glycemic index than red apples. A little bit of sweetness is all the Apple should need to keep their morning moving along.
4) Mini-BLT Quinoa Cups
If you like to prepare your breakfast in advance, or want some sort of a breakfast/snack combo, try these Mini-BLT Quinoa Cups from Iowa Girl Eats. These little cups are an Apples dream come true. They're healthy, gluten-free and loaded with everything this body type needs Don't stop at one cup…have a couple - and enjoy them.
5) Strawberry Avocado Smoothie
Avocados are so healthy, have such a smooth flavor and so easy to disguise in just about anything. In fact, I've even made chocolate pudding with avocado! Add the strawberry into it and you've got a fresh, absolutely delicious breakfast. Here's the recipe:
Strawberry Avocado Smoothie
1 c. frozen strawberries
¼ ripe avocado
¼ c. plain full fat yogurt
1 c. water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 packet stevia (or 2 tsp honey)
Puree all ingredients in a blender or with an immersion blender. Enjoy.
Those were the best, now onto the worst.
These may be easy breakfasts, but easy isn't always healthy.
1) Fruit-Flavored Yogurt - more sugar than ice cream
Yogurt has the potential to be so good, but the sugar and other additives found in most commercial yogurts absolutely obliterate any possible nutritive benefits. Loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, yogurt really isn't that much better than a scoop of ice cream. In fact, one container of Yoplait Greek Blended Strawberry Yogurt has 18 grams of sugar. That's a lot, especially when you consider on scoop of vanilla ice cream has 14 grams of sugar!
Yogurts like this are often very low in fat, if not fat free. Protein is important, but so is fat. It's important for Apple types to look beyond smooth-looking packaging.
2) Granola-Based Cereals - unreasonable portion sizes
Boxes of granola sit on the grocery shelf and speak to you with words that imply health, like "kind," or "natural." They might be mostly natural, but the trick with granola is the serving size. Typically a serving of granola is 1/4 of a cup. That's not a lot, and very easy to overshoot a serving, quickly doubling, tripling or quadrupling the amount of food you're actually eating. That 140 calorie serving of granola just jumped to a whopping bowl of cereal that, with milk, comes to about 600 calories and almost as much sugar as a can of Coke.
3) Plain Old Bagels - far too heavy on carbs
Bagels are an easy go-to for breakfast, but for an Apple type, they're too high in mostly refined carbohydrates. While there may not be a lot of added sugar, the amount of carbs will quickly breakdown, causing an insulin spike. This insulin spike leads to hunger. Of course, hunger leads to more eating. And so the cycle continues. Belly fat slowly but surely creeps on.
4) 100 % Fruit Smoothies - 3 days of sugar in one smoothie
Smoothies with nothing but fruit in them might sound mighty healthy, but it's the last thing an Apple type needs. One medium BananaBerry smoothie from Jamba Juice contains 82 grams of sugar. That's nearly 20 teaspoons, over three times the daily allowance recommended for women by the American Heart Association. No one needs that much sugar. As tempting as it may be, Apples should stick with a breakfast that is full of high quality fat and protein. Carbohydrates should definitely be there, but in much lesser amounts than what's found in this type of smoothie. Read more about why sugar from fruit can increase belly fat.
5) Waffles, Pancakes, Biscuits, Muffins and Scones - dessert for breakfast
You may call them breakfast. I'll just call them dessert. It probably comes as no surprise that pastry-like foods are not a healthy choice when it comes to breakfast (or any meal), especially to those trying to shed a little weight through the belly. Two things all of these foods have in common is they're usually high in sugar and they almost always have something added to them, including syrup and jam. Eating one of these as an every-once-in-a-while treat is one thing, but if starchy, sugary carbs like this become a weekly routine, weight gain won't be far behind.
Traci D Mitchell is a nationally-recognized Chicago-based nutrition coach and personal trainer featured on the TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. As the trainer for Steve Harvey's Bridal Bootcamp, Traci keeps herself busy by challenging others to be the healthiest they can be. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and private coaching. Interested in working with Traci? Get info here. To keep up-to-date, subscribe to her newsletter.