The best breakfast to lose weight

If you’re trying to lose weight but struggling with all the Christmas temptations then the best way to start the day is with a protein and fibre rich breakfast. It will help you lose weight and curb your appetite, avoiding the sugar highs and lows of a coffee and a croissant or skipping breakfast altogether.

A recent study in Chicago supports this. A group of volunteers were either given a high protein breakfast of eggs and sausage or a high carbohydrate breakfast of pancakes and syrups, both of which were 300 calories, or had nothing at all.

The volunteers then rated their appetite after breakfast at intervals up to lunch, and the amount they chose to eat at lunch was recorded. By far the best for reduced appetite and food chosen at lunch was the higher protein breakfast.

This makes complete sense because protein takes longer to digest and ‘slow-releases’ the carbohydrates in breakfast. That is why I always eat protein with carbs for breakfast. My favourite options are two eggs with one piece of wholegrain rye toast or three oatcakes; a serving of Get Up & Go, which has protein from quinoa, soya and rice, plus I add a spoonful of chia seeds which are high protein; or a bowl of oatflakes with a flat dessert spoon of chia seeds.

In addition to this I take a teaspoon (or three capsules) of glucomannan fibre with a large glass of water with my breakfast. Glucomannan is a highly soluble fibre in konjac plant and absorbs 50 times more water than wheat bran, bulking up the food you eat, making you feel fuller for longer. Because of it’s highly absorbent properties it is very important to take it with a lot of water.

A study in Thailand found that giving 1 gram of glucommanan before meals significantly lowered the GL, and the need for insulin, in people with type 2 diabetes. Other studies have shown that glucommanan lowers cholesterol and also stabilises blood sugar, which is associated with improving insulin sensitivity. It’s also a brilliant aid for healthy weight loss. Two studies, one in Japan and one in the US, reported an additional 1lb weight loss a week when patients took 3g of glucomannan a day.

At the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, we decided to put glucomannan to the test by giving 3g a day to 10 overweight people over a three-month period. None made any apparent change to their diet or exercise regime. Nine completed the trial, with an average weight loss of 6.6lb each. In 2005 a review of all studies to date concluded ‘At doses of 2-4 g per day, glucomannan was well-tolerated and resulted in significant weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.’ You need about 3 grams, or a flat teaspoon for this kind of effect.

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of fibre see my July newsletter (issue 76). To learn more about a low GL diet visit this link. Totally Nourish offer a variety of supplements that support sustained energy release and balanced blood sugar levels.