Contrary to popular belief, sweating out in the gym cannot completely eliminate body fat. The journey towards achieving your desired physique must begin in the kitchen.
Albert Matheny, a registered dietician, shares that the ultimate secret to weight loss is taking in fewer calories than you burn from exercise. To put it simply, if your daily calorie intake is larger than the amount that you burn, you won’t lose weight no matter how hard you work out.
Additionally, overexerting to make up for a poor diet can bring more harm than good to your body. Business Insider reports that working out too much can be damaging to your cardiovascular health and make you more susceptible to physical injuries.
More severe complications of excessive exercise include rhabdomyolysis, bone mineral loss (more common in women), and upper respiratory tract infections (in athletes).
Therefore, it’s best to follow the 80:20 rule, which the Hearst Magazine Media defined as a combination of 80% diet and 20% exercise.
Prioritizing nutrition over exercise is ideal for improving your chances of losing weight. Planning your meals meticulously also enables you to choose healthier food options and monitor your macros.
Below, we provided a seven-day breakfast meal plan for boosting weight loss. But, before we dive into the details, let’s briefly tackle what meal planning is about.
What is Meal Planning?
Just as how warriors train hard before heading towards the battlefield, you also have several things to prepare before you start your fitness journey. One particular example is strategically planning your meals. Meal planning involves designing a guide composed of meals you intend to have for several days.
It also entails selecting ingredients and recipes that match your unique health needs. This being said, it’s vital that you first figure out your daily calorie requirement based on your body mass index.
It’s also important to calculate your basal metabolic rate so you’ll have a clearer idea of how much you need to eat every day.
Moving on, meal preparation is the final step in meal planning. To actualize your written guide, you must allot a few hours per week for cooking, portioning, and storing your meals.
A 7-Day Breakfast Meal Plan for Weight Loss
The meals featured below are only meant to inspire. You are free to alter each one to make it more suitable for your nutritional needs and chosen type of diet (i.e., paleo, keto, vegetarian, etc.).
Day 1. Healthy Pancakes
To make healthy pancakes, skip refined flour and opt for wholesome alternatives such as oat flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, and almond flour. Moreover, instead of refined sugar, it’s better to use artificial sweeteners.
According to Adda Bjarnadottir, a registered nutritionist based in Iceland, consuming refined carbs and sugar is heavily linked to an increased likelihood of developing diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
In addition, processed carbs have been stripped off of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber, meaning you’ll only consume meaningless calories that induce weight gain.
They also have a significantly high glycemic index, which can spike your blood sugar levels, leading you to overeat and crave unhealthy food.
Day 2. Tea Smoothie
Prepare a filling breakfast smoothie by mixing some low-carb fruits with a base of black or green tea. Tea provides caffeine that aids in fat loss, but without the jittery effect of coffee.
There are two ways to prep your on-the-go meal. First, blend the ingredients, store the smoothie in a mason jar, and freeze it.
As for the second method, chop up the fruits, place them in a ziplock bag (one bag for a single serving) and store them in the freezer.
Day 3. Veggie Omelet
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with approximately 6g per piece. A protein-rich meal can make you feel fuller and satisfied for longer. Protein also promotes the growth of muscle mass.
To make this omelet, sauté chopped veggies like bell peppers, spinach, carrots, and onions in a pan. Then, add some eggs and flavor with a dash of salt and other spices of your choice.
Day 4. Baked Egg Cups
Start by placing chopped tomatoes, spinach, and bits of bacon or ham into muffin cups. Then, pour egg white portions on top of each cup. Flavor with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350°F.
These baked egg cups can last up to seven days in the fridge, but if you keep them in the freezer, you can extend their shelf life for up to three months.
Day 5. Toast with Egg
Toast two slices of whole-grain bread of your choice. Top each toast with avocado slices and a protein source.
For example, you can have a poached egg or slices of salmon. Add a pinch of ground pepper and salt for flavor.
Day 6. Overnight Oats
A mason jar of overnight oats provides you with complex carbs, protein, and fiber. Oats are also versatile and can either be sweet or savory. Plus, you can incorporate different ingredients depending on your preference.
Overnight oats can last up to five days when stored correctly in airtight containers and kept in the refrigerator, so it’s safe to make them in batches.
Day 7. Yogurt Bowl
According to a Harvard report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, yogurt is effective in speeding up weight loss. It also contains probiotics that optimize your gut health.
Add some fruits to a bowl of Greek yogurt for your dose of carbs, antioxidants, and protein. Top the mixture with nuts and seeds that contain healthy fatty acids.
When trying to lose weight, it’s crucial to stay in a caloric deficit. However, you should still hit your recommended daily intake of other nutrients to prevent developing deficiencies.
Furthermore, it’s not ideal to decrease your calorie intake too much as this can lead to a compromised metabolism and negatively affect your mood and cognitive function.
Lastly, if you have a unique health condition, consult with a registered dietician before making any big changes in your diet.