The top 9 best breakfast habits for a flat stomach: advice from nutritionists and experts

Yulia PoteriankoLS Food
Eating to lose weight? If we are talking about breakfast, then definitely yes

Even though nutritionists have recently become less categorical about breakfast and do not force those who do not want to eat in the morning, the morning meal is still considered extremely important for health. After all, it gives the body and brain the necessary nutrition to start the day productively.

Moreover, according to experts interviewed by Eat This, Not That!, it is the right breakfast habits that keep your stomach flat, your metabolism fast, and your body healthy. And this is no exaggeration – scientific studies do show that those who eat breakfast properly are less likely to get a rounded tummy and a wide waist. Here are 9 rules for making breakfast as nutritious and healthy as possible.

Eat within 30 minutes of waking up

Not feeling hungry in the morning is a deceptive feeling. After 7-8 hours of sleep, plus the time between dinner and bedtime, you wake up hungry. It is at this moment that your body is most ready for a meal that will not add anything extra to it. According to strength and conditioning specialist and sports chiropractor Dr. Matt Tanneberg, skipping breakfast can significantly slow down your metabolism. So give yourself 30 minutes to wake up fully and realize that it's time to eat.

Drink water immediately after waking up

It's not just food that you need after a long sleep, but also fluids. So get in the habit of drinking a glass of water right after waking up. Nutritionist Ilana Mühlstein calls this habit one of the best eating behaviors we can have. Ilana herself used to drink even two glasses of water before breakfast and, among other things, it helped her lose 45 kilograms. "Thinking 'water first' helps you make better food decisions throughout the day," she says.

Take care of macronutrients

Breakfast is a great opportunity to enjoy carbohydrates to your heart's content. According to Tanneberg, the first meal of the day should be rich in carbohydrates, but it's important not to forget about proteins and fats. Of course, it is better to give preference to "slow" carbohydrates. So, for example, treat yourself to your favorite sweet fruit. And a combination of protein and good fats can be found in eggs. These foods, among other things, will help you stay full longer.

Don't overindulge in sugar

Just because breakfast is a time for carbohydrates doesn't mean you should make your morning menu all about sweets and pastries. Certified nutritionist Trista Best reminds us that refined carbohydrates lead to a sharp rise in blood glucose levels, which can make you feel exhausted and hungry. As the name "fast carbohydrates" suggests, the body digests them in a short time, and therefore you will soon be hungry again, which means you risk grabbing too many calories. This doesn't mean that you should give up croissants or buns for breakfast altogether. Best recommends combining them with protein foods such as eggs, fish, legumes, or Greek yogurt.

Stick to fiber

Dietary fiber satisfies hunger as effectively as any other ingredient in any food. They also contain very few calories. As nutritionist Sarah Chatfield reminds us, fiber also slows down the body's absorption of sugar, which is very good for the shape of the abdomen. The easiest choice here is whole-grain toast or high-fiber cereal. But you can also go for some unconventional options – sprinkle unsweetened yogurt with bran or add bell pepper slices or spinach to your morning omelet.

Get into the habit of eating oatmeal

Slow carbohydrates and fiber are all about oatmeal. It is thanks to this combination that oatmeal or porridge for breakfast helps to keep you feeling full longer and lose weight more effectively. This is what Julie Miller Jones, professor emerita of nutrition, reminds us of. She also noted that oatmeal for breakfast allows you to eat so well that you won't need a high-calorie lunch later – the body will have enough of something lighter to satiate.

Oatmeal can be prepared in advance

A favorite argument of those who are used to skipping breakfast is that they have no time to cook in the morning. No problem, take care of it in the evening. Clinical nutritionist Juliana Tamayo advises simply adding peanut butter, Greek yogurt, flaxseed, or nuts to your oatmeal at night. In the morning, you'll have a ready-made dish with a great combination of all the necessary macronutrients. Tamayo recommends drinking it with green tea - according to some reports, it can slightly speed up the metabolism. An additional advantage: this breakfast can reduce cravings for sweets.

Your favorite drink will help you lose belly fat

Studies that have examined the absorption of caffeine and fat in the body have shown that a cup of coffee or tea with breakfast can help make your stomach flatter. For example, according to data published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2021, it was found that men who consumed as much caffeine as a cup of strong coffee 30 minutes before training built muscle mass and burned fat faster. Green tea has a similar effect – it combines caffeine with catechins (a type of flavonoid). Obese people who consumed this drink burned more abdominal fat during exercise than obese adults who drank a placebo containing caffeine but no green tea extract.

Don't be afraid of toast or store-bought cereal

Some people are demotivated by the common belief that store-bought breakfast cereals or white bread toast are not as healthy as a breakfast made with whole grains. Of course, this is true, but compared to no breakfast at all, they are still a much better option. At the same time, physiology professor Dr. Glenn Hesser, who analyzed 11 cohort studies related to grain consumption, concluded that, with few exceptions, consumption of refined grains is not associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the scientists drew attention to the fact that ready-made breakfasts are often enriched with thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and iron, as well as folic acid, so you will still get some of the benefits from them.

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