Let’s start with the bitter truth – breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day.
I know, right?! Bit like finding out about Santa. So, that being the case – why am I writing about breakfast foods then?
Well, because I’m a breakfast-lover (not one of those coffee-and-run type of morning peeps)!
Add to that, my private coaching clients often bring up the topic of breakfast foods – “this one filled me up,” “this one wasn’t as filling…”
As an intuitive eating coach, I help my clients learn to connect with their hunger and fullness cues. And once they reconnect with those cues – they’re surprised to discover how different foods can be so much more sustaining than others, particularly breakfast foods.
Which brings me to today’s topic…
Which Breakfast Foods Will Keep You Fuller Longer?
Before we talk about which breakfast foods will help you feel fuller longer (cos no-one wants a rumbling tummy 1 hour after breakfast), let’s refresh on the golden rules of intuitive eating, basically summed up by these three;
- You have permission to eat whatever foods you like.
- Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
- Eat foods that nourish you and bring satisfaction.
So yes, I’ve got a list of some delish, filling foods to try – but if you hate them all, you don’t need to eat them. Awesome right? You are 100% free to eat what you want.
The key to feeling fuller for longer is to choose foods loaded with protein, healthy fats, fibre, or any combination of those. So here we go…
1. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are loaded with minerals, vitamins and good fats. And no, they don’t “make you fat”.
Clinical trials have shown that a daily small handful of nuts lowers cholesterol levels. And observational studies have shown time and time again that those who eat nuts daily have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. That’s why the Heart Foundation recommends we eat 30 grams of raw nuts (a small handful) daily to improve diet quality and reduce our risk of heart disease.
Plus nuts are satiating – which is the fancy way of saying they are really filling! Like, really.
And you can have nuts and seeds in so many different ways in your breakfast:
- Sprinkled over your morning muesli or rolled oats
- Added to your overnight oats
- Blended into your breakfast smoothie
- Toasted and thrown on top of your breakfast avo on toast, or poached eggs
It’s one of the simplest ways to make your existing breakfast more filling – experiment and see how long your breakfast without nuts/seeds keeps you full (count the hours), then the next day add nuts and seeds and see how many hours it keeps you full for…
2. Greek yoghurt
This stuff is so filling, thanks to it’s high protein content (protein fills us for longer than carbohydrates or fat). Plus, it’s nice and sour!
All yoghurt is a good source of protein, but Greek yoghurt typically has the highest protein content of all the yoghurts out there.
So if you’re using a yoghurt in your breakfast, and you want that breakfast to keep you fuller longer, then swap to a greek yoghurt.
Try Greek yoghurt:
- Dollop on your breakfast muesli and fruit
- In your breakfast smoothie
- In your overnight oats
Bonus – a recent study found that greek yoghurt consumed after exercise helped improve muscle strength and muscle thickness more than a carb-based snack. So if you’re wanting to build up a little muscle (and all of us could need strong muscles as we head through adulthood) – then make Greek yoghurt your go-to yoghurt.
There’s a lot of raving on about our gut health lately and yes it’s important. But it’s all kombucha, kefir and sauercraut are great for gut health, etc, etc, etc. But what about Greek yoghurt? It’s great for gut health too! It’s loaded with probiotics too. And it’s damn easy to include in your daily eating.
3. Higher protein milk
Kinda ditto on the Greek yoghurt situation.
More protein equals more filling. So if you’re including milk in your breakfast – choose a higher protein milk.
Cows’ milk, such as Calci Trim and Anchor’s new Protein Plus milk are good examples.
If you’re a dairy-free gal or guy, then read the labels on your dairy-free milk and choose one with a good dose of protein, as often these milks can fall short in the protein area.
Studies have found that fresh avocado substituted for refined carbs creates a more satisfying meal and keeps us fuller longer.
That means, that if you swapped your two pieces of toast topped with jam or marmite, for a topping of avocado, you are undoubtedly going to feel fuller longer.
And remember, as always with intuitive eating, that if you listen to your hunger and fullness signals you will guide your body along the right track.
So try these popular ideas:
- Avocado on toast (okay boomer),
- Avocado chopped up in scrambled eggs,
- Avocado added to your morning smoothie.
5. Grainy bread
Grainy bread has more chewy, fibre, filling stuff going on – so it goes without saying, that it’s going to take longer to digest and help you to feel fuller that bit longer.
So if you’re a breakfast toast kind of a gal, then try out some grainy breads. Find one you love – you’ll feel fuller longer and your gut will thank you for the extra fibre and nutrients to feed your gut bacteria.
Eggs, eggs, eggs – gotta be one of the most filling breakfasts you can pick right?
Right in protein, nutrients and fats.
And while I always encourage my clients to eat a breakfast that they enjoy and want to eat, they quickly work out for themselves that eggs are the best option on work days when they’ve got a busy morning of meetings and appointments and won’t be able to eat lunch until later in the day.
By choosing eggs those mornings, they know they’re NOT going to be sitting in a business meeting with a rumbly tummy.
And that’s the great thing about intuitive eating – the more you get to know your hunger and fullness, and which foods are more filling and which are less filling, the better you can tailor your food to suit your desires, to nourish your body, and to fit well into your lifestyle. #winning
7. Rolled oats
I realise there’s a whole segment of society who hates grains. But I am not one of them. I L.O.V.E. oats.
I feel like oats got sadly swept into the same bucket as all the ready-to-eat breakfast cereals out there. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Study after study has shown us that oats are much more filling than ready-to-eat cereals. One of my private coaching clients even shared her own personal experience of comparing breakfast oats to Special K cereal – her oat breakfast takes her from 8am through to 1pm, while the Special K cereal only kept her fill until around 11am.
And speaking of buckets… there’s a bucket-load of scientific evidence to show that they help to lower cholesterol levels, prevent constipation and generally improve our gut health.
Everyone is raving about gut health and the importance of it, at the moment while sipping their kombucha. Well if you love your gut so much, then do it a favour and eat some oats too. They’re packed with fibre that will figuratively speaking “brush out” your insides. And the beta-glucan fibre they contain is super powerful at lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Try them any way you like:
- Oat-based muesli
- Overnight oats
- Breakfast oaty cookies
- Banana-oat pancakes
So there it is – 7 delicious ideas to make your breakfast more filling. You could also super-boost your breakfast by combining a few of these together… did I tell you about my super-boosting banana-oat pancakes? A story for another day 😉
P.S. One of the biggest problems I see with clients is distracted eating – that means they never feel full and aren’t satisifed with their meals (and so begins endless snacking and munchies). Wanna fix it? Grab this Happy Eating Checklist and I’ll guide you through a more mindful eating experience: