Dietician on why you should avoid pastries for breakfast if you want to lose belly fat

Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley

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Choosing the right foods to kick-start the day can impact weight loss. Some like to abstain from eating their first meal until later in the day – brunch, or going straight for lunch – while others prefer a small breakfast to keep hunger pangs at bay. Either way, society has suggested foods such as cereals, toasts and fruits are a good breakfast option, with many negating more savoury choices like meats, cheeses and other sources of proteins when making a quick mid-week breakfast. There is, however, one breakfast item that should be avoided if you’re looking to lose belly fat, and that’s pastries, according to a dietician.

Trista Best from Balance One Supplements explained why pastries are not the best choice for breakfast if you’re trying to lose weight.

She said: “Breakfast pastries like processed and pre-packaged toaster pastries, doughnuts, and even some meal replacement bars can be stalling your weight loss efforts, especially because weight gain around the belly is easily exacerbated by a diet containing refined carbohydrates and sugar.

“These pastries are calorie-dense and loaded with ingredients that will lead to inflammation, glucose spikes, and subsequent crashes, as well as only temporary relief from hunger.

“This may lead to overeating on other foods soon after consuming breakfast pastries with little to no valuable nutrients.”

The expert also pointed out to that eating foods that are low in nutritional value, especially in the morning hours, can “leave you feeling hungry and fatigued throughout the rest of the day”.

Breakfast pastries are a refined carbohydrate and while they have an immediate impact on glucose levels and energy, they can also contribute to belly fat over time, if consumed regularly.

For example, one study recently published in The Journal of Nutrition found a connection between regular consumption of refined carbohydrates and more weight around the abdominal area.

This same study also found that replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains could help improve abdominal weight gain.

So what do you eat instead of pastries if you’re looking to target belly fat?

Here are a few recipe suggestions if you have a sweet tooth.

Protein-packed waffles

Makes one waffle

One egg
One scoop protein powder
Quarter of a cup oats
Quarter of a cup plain greek yoghurt
Quarter of a cup milk
Quarter of a tsp baking powder
Quarter of a tsp salt

1. Blend all of the ingredients.
2. Heat the waffle iron, then spray it down with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Pour in the waffle mixture, then close.
4. Let the waffle cook until the waffle maker beeps.
5. Serve with fresh fruit, if desired.

Protein-packed blueberry and lemon ricotta pancakes

Makes four servings

Two cups frozen wild blueberries
Half a cup water
Quarter of a cup sugar
One cup plain Greek yoghurt
One cup low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta
Three eggs
Juice of one lemon
One cup white whole wheat flour
Half a tsp baki

1. Mix the blueberries, water, and sugar in a saucepan.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the blueberries begin to break apart.
3. Whisk together the yoghurt, cottage cheese, eggs, and lemon juice in a bowl.
4. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Add the flour to the yogurt mixture, and stir just until blended.
5. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat.
6. Coat with nonstick cooking spray, and add batter in large spoonfuls (about quarter of a cup each).
7. Flip the pancakes when the tops begin to bubble, three to five minutes, and cook the second side until browned. Serve with the warm blueberries.

Acai-blueberry smoothie bowl

Makes one serving
100g frozen unsweetened pure acai fruit puree
Half a cup frozen mixed berries
10 tbsp plain whole milk yoghurt, divided
Quarter of a cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Two tsp honey
Two tbsp fresh blueberries
One tbsp chopped toasted pecans
Half a tsp chia seeds

1. In a blender, combine acai fruit puree, frozen berries, eight tablespoons of the yoghurt, the almond milk, and honey. Cover and blend until smooth.
2. Pour smoothie into a bowl. Top with remaining two tablespoons yoghurt, the fresh blueberries, pecans, and chia seeds.

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