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Cutting Carbs at Breakfast Can Jumpstart Weight-Loss
The trendiest diet of 2018 was hands down the ‘Ketogenic Diet’. The goal of the Ketogenic Diet is to shift people into ‘ketosis’ where the body uses fat as a fuel source instead of sugar.
To achieve this, most people have to keep their carb intake to below 5-10% of total calories (usually around 30 grams of net carbs per day). To put this into perspective, 1 banana has around 27 grams of net carbs. Up to 70% of calories must also come from fat sources to keep the body in ketosis.
While the Ketogenic Diet may not be right for everyone, an easy way to reap some of the benefits is to replace your regular breakfast with a low-carb option. A recent study showed that eating a low carbohydrate breakfast for 8 weeks resulted in increased weight loss (around 7.7 lbs more) versus eating a higher carbohydrate breakfast with the same amount of calories.
Most lower-carb breakfast foods are usually high in protein and healthy fats, whereas high-carb options are low in both. Both protein and healthy fats are linked to increased satiety (feeling full and satisfied after a meal) and improved blood sugar regulation. This could be one of reasons why participants lost more weight on this diet.
If I can’t eat bagels, what can I eat for breakfast? Low-carbohydrate breakfast food options are eggs, avocado, meats (preferably organic), non-starchy vegetables, omelettes and chia puddings.
Most of the time, the morning is a mad dash to get out the door, causing us to reach for quick, convenient foods (which are likely higher in carbohydrates). If you’re short on time, meal prepping is a great way to save time and set you up for success!
Here are two low-carb breakfasts that can be prepped ahead of time. Double or triple the recipes to have breakfasts for the entire week.
Berry, Cinnamon, Chia Seed Pudding
(vegan, gluten + dairy free)
2 tbsp chia seeds
3/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp almond butter, sunflower butter or coconut butter
Vanilla extract (optional)
- Add the chia seeds to a glass jar and combine with the almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla
- Refrigerate for minimum 2 hours or ideally overnight.
- Add the berries, nut butter and a sprinkle of hemp seeds as a topper.
- Serve cold or warmed up.
Make Ahead Mini Egg Cups
(dairy +gluten free)
1 cup finely chopped vegetables
(choose a mix of broccoli, kale, onion, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini)
Ghee or avocado oil
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Coat a mini muffin tin with ghee or avocado oil.
- Whisk eggs together and add salt and pepper.
- Fold in chopped vegetables.
- Pour mixture into your coated muffin tin.
- Bake for approx. 20 minutes.
- Serve topped with 1/4 avocado.
Tip: These freeze great!
Courtney Ranieri is a Naturopathic Doctor with practices in Mississauga and Vaughan. She has a clinical focus in weight management, hormonal health, digestion and fertility. Learn more at: www.drcourtneyranierind.com
European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 2018 Annual Meeting; October 4, 2018; Berlin, Germany. Abstract 193.
Nuttall, F., Almokayyad, R., & Gannon, M. (2016). The ghrelin and leptin responses to short-term starvation vs a carbohydrate-free diet in men with type 2 diabetes; a controlled, cross-over design study. Nutrition & Metabolism, 13(1). doi: 10.1186/s12986-016-0106-x
Romon, M., Lebel, P., Velly, C., Marecaux, N., Fruchart, J., & Dallongeville, J. (1999). Leptin response to carbohydrate or fat meal and association with subsequent satiety and energy intake. American Journal Of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 277(5), E855-E861. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1999.277.5.e855