So How Many Calories Should I Eat at Breakfast ?

Counting Calories

If you’re on a calorie controlled diet or simply want to change your eating habits, then counting calories is a useful way to make sure you’re not putting too energy into your body during the day.

Too much energy = Fat deposits in your body

It’s as simple as that!

By the time breakfast comes around, you’ve likely been sleeping for 8 hours and your last meal was probably a good 10 – 12 hours ago. This means that your body is literally craving glucose, sugars and energy to keep everything working as it should!

This can pose a problem if you’re trying to lose weight, as your body needs energy to “kick start” the day, yet too much will obviously not yield you the weight loss you want.

As we’re about to discover, breakfast is all about being sensible and balanced.

A Simple Figure, 25%

The general consensus is that the average human needs to consume 25% of their daily calories at breakfast. For a man that’s 2500 / 4 = 625k and women need to consume 2000 /4 = 500.

If you’re following a calorie controlled diet then you’ll want to cut those figures down a little, not too much however; your body can easily go into “fasting mode” if you eat too little, making weight loss almost impossible!

Research by the university of Columbia says that the average human should eat between 350k and 500k at breakfast, which rather neatly ties into our 25% of your daily intake theory. Any calories taken onboard over this amount will likely be stored as fat, not good for your health!

How Should I Consume My Calories?

breakfast

This is a tough one that many people get wrong. In the world of food, we should all try to get a broad range of calories in our diet.

This even includes the “bad things”.

  • 10% Protein
  • 50% Carbohydrates
  • 40% Fats

Yes, that’s right, fat is actually not a bad thing to eat at all (1)! Many people believe that fat is a direct cause of weight gain; after all, if you eat fat you’ll become fat, right?

Wrong!

The major cause of weight gains and unhealthy lifestyles in the west is refined sugar and salt. Sugar is essentially a highly concentrated form of energy, and as we discussed earlier, too much energy will become stored as fat in your body.

To follow a healthy and nutritious calorie diet, the easiest way to ensure you pack in all the good stuff, without any of the nasties, is to drop sugar and salt from your life. Most humans eat way too much anyway, so removing as much of it as you can should give you an instant health boost straight off the bat.

As far as fat goes, try to maintain a 4 grams of fat per 100grams of food ratio. This will mean going for leaner meats like chicken and occasionally modifying recipes to ditch the fat. A great example if Spaghetti Bolognese, by draining the fat from your beef you’ll be helping to bring your meal under that magic 4grams mark!

So What Does A 350 Calorie Breakfast Look Like?

  • 1 egg contains 155 calories
  • Slice of toast contains 65 calories
  • Average bowl of cereal contains 379 calories

calories in breakfast

Can you see the huge difference between the cereal and toast / egg? This is because most cereals contain huge quantities of sugar and are actually highly refined.

Most people who follow a healthy diet tend to either junk the cereal, or go specifically looking for cereals that are not so high in calories. Good old fashioned porridge and muesli fall into this category quite well, particularly if you sprinkle fruit on top, as opposed to sugar.

Fruit is a massively popular breakfast food and with great reason. They are sweet, yet don’t have any nasty refined sugars within them. They’re also packed with minerals, vitamins and healthy forms of energy. Nuts and berries are also a great pick for providing a healthy energy boost in the morning.

There’s a reason why top athletes munch on a banana or berries during training sessions (2). All the energy, none of the nasty stuff!

What Happens If I Become Hungry Before Midday?

If you’ve been used to eating large quantities of calories in the morning, you’re almost certain to feel hungry for the first few weeks of your healthy diet. However, what eventually happens is that your stomach tends to “shrink” down to its new size.

You’ll soon discover that those huge meals you were originally capable of polishing off with ease actually become a real chore. This is your stomach and body discovering a “new normal” as far as diet goes.

So please don’t feel like your diet will perpetually suck! After a few weeks your stomach will get the hang of things, allowing you to get on with your life!

Keep A Little Bit Back for A Morning Snack

This is a top trick I’ve been using for years. Just because you need to consume 350 calories for breakfast doesn’t mean you have to consume them all at once!

Sometimes, I’ll consumer 300 calories in the form of egg and toast before work, and then take a banana or other fruit to the office for a morning snack.

This is a great way to give your body a little 10:30am pick me up and avoid those lengthy periods between meals that can destroy a healthy diet!

Try to avoid breakfast bars and modern inventions though, as with most cereals, they tend to be packed full of sugar and will do more harm than good (3). Once again, fruit is a great idea as are nuts and berries – both packed with what you need without any nasty sugars or fat!

There’s No Exact Breakfast Requirement, But Do Eat Something!

This is another thing many people don’t quite understand, atleast until they’ve been dieting for a while and have done some research.

It doesn’t actually matter when you consume calories, along as you feel okay and you’re getting all the energy you need to function each day.

There’s one proviso with this and it related directly to breakfast.

Never Skip It!

It doesn’t matter if breakfast is simply a piece of fruit and a cup of coffee; however, your body does need atleast a little energy to kick start your metabolism for the day. If you don’t eat anything in the morning, your body will assume it needs to be in “fasting mode” – basically your body will shut down and try to consume as little energy as possible!

This, as you can imagine has terrible consequences for anyone on a weight loss plan. If you’re eating less, yet your body is desperately trying to use as little as possible, then it’s going to be an uphill battle.

A Sensible Approach to Breakfast

  1. Try to eat at least 200 – 300 calories for breakfast, more if you have the time. Breakfast is that moment when your body moves from “fasting mode” to “normal metabolism”. By eating a good breakfast you’ll be kick-starting your body and helping you to lose weight.
  2. Morning exercise is actually a great idea, the simple act of combining a morning exercise regime with a hearty breakfast will send your body into metabolism overdrive.
  3. Steer clear of refined sugars and try to keep fat as lean as possible. Think of foods as “energy” rather than fats, sugar is laden with energy that your body won’t use – storing it as fat.

So that’s it, eat between 200 and 300 calories for breakfast, perhaps a little more for fully grown male adults. Try to steer clear of sugary cereals and move towards toast, eggs, fruit and nuts / berries.

Don’t be scared to cut calories at breakfast if you want to have a snack during mid-morning, but please do have a breakfast – it’s the most important meal of the day for very good reason!

CatchyScoop Team

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