If you’re trying to lose weight, breakfast is a great place to start altering your eating habits. A plate full of fried potatoes, bacon, biscuits, and thick gravy might taste good, but it’s not good for you. Even breakfast foods you might think are healthy — like yogurt and cereal — are sabotaging your diet. Avoid the following foods to stay healthy.
1. Frozen breakfast sandwiches
Don’t think you’re doing yourself any favors by skipping fast food breakfast sandwiches and sticking to what’s in your freezer. Most frozen breakfast entrees come pre-loaded with way more salt and sugar than necessary — and they aren’t very nutritious.
Consider making your own breakfast sandwich using fresh, healthy ingredients like whole grain bread and lean protein (maybe eggs, turkey, or both). You can even put the sandwich together the night before, stick it in the fridge, and reheat it on your way out the door.
2. Yogurt with fruit on the bottom
The fruit on the bottom of even the healthiest yogurt comes coated in added sugar — it’s how they extend the product’s shelf life. When it comes to processed foods, Greek yogurt can be extremely healthy. However, stay away from even the fruitless flavored varieties. Start with plain Greek yogurt and add fresh fruit to give your breakfast a fiber and protein boost without the sugar overload. You can even add a little honey for a little extra sweetness (but not too much!).
One of your favorite breakfast staples really doesn’t belong in your pantry after all. Bagels don’t have much nutrition for their calories, Health.com admits. They aren’t terrible — but they’re extremely low in protein and fiber, which are important components of any nutritious, filling breakfast. Really, they’re just doughnut-shaped sugar dispensers — you can do better.
Try some whole grain toast with almond butter, avocado, or Greek yogurt instead of a bagel topped with cream cheese.
4. Frozen waffles
Some foods are relatively low in sodium, sugar, and fat — but they’re unhealthy in a different way. Frozen waffles, for example, are a terrible breakfast choice by themselves. Like many frozen foods, these toaster-friendly treats simply lack the fiber and protein you’d need in order for them to count as a filling meal. Also, adding butter, syrup, and chocolate chips on top still doesn’t add anything beneficial to your breakfast.
You might be able to improve a waffle-based breakfast with nut butter and fresh fruit.
5. Flavored instant oatmeal
Even processed oatmeal is made with real oats — but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all good for you. Not all packaged oatmeal is off limits — just the flavored ones, mostly. The HuffPost suggests staying away from brands that use preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Instead of reaching for flavored packets of sugar (with some oats mixed in), choose plain (usually labeled “original”) oatmeal and add your own fruit and sweeteners after cooking.
6. Breakfast cereal
Cereal is convenient. It takes all but 30 seconds to pour a serving (or two) of Cocoa Puffs into a bowl and start chowing down. Unfortunately, it’s just another convenience food tainted by heavy processing. Healthline says though many breakfast cereals are fortified with essential vitamins, most are high in added sugars.
Pour one of these healthier cereals into your bowl (sorry, Cocoa Puffs) to cut down on refined sugars and avoid unwanted junk food cravings later.
7. Toaster pastries
You probably already know Pop-Tarts are the best excuse to eat dessert for breakfast. It doesn’t help that the nutrition facts panel lists all values for one pastry when each package has two of them — you’ve probably been eating double the calories and fat and didn’t even know it. While you might be able to get away with eating sugar for breakfast, you’re just going to feel hungry again in two hours — also doubling your chances of overeating more refined sugar later on in the day.