Your breakfast regimen is a shamble: it’s either nonexistent or happens at 12pm, which means lunch happens at 5pm, which means dinner happens at 10pm… so you’re just stuck with your muffin top forever and ever. Wrong! Collected by us from dieticians, here’s how to use breakfast to fuel your weight loss. You can still eat what you like!

Eat a Fairly Large Breakfast

“Breakfast eaters weigh less because their blood sugar levels remain at an even keel,” says Dr Susanna Kassier, Dietetics and Human Nutrition at UKZN. When you wake up, your body needs fuel to recover from the night fasting period. Enter your body’s fuel: oats. “Apart from sustaining blood sugar levels (If they’re low you end up with cravings or the munchies), cooked oats result in slower stomach emptying, making your tummy fell full for longer,” says Kassier. Not a breakfast person? Here’s a tip. “Keep a stash of breakfast cereal or instant oats at the office so that you can re-energize when you get hungry,” says Kassier.

Balance Your Food Groups

A healthy balance of good carbs, protein and fats gives you an all-around energy and nutrition to set you up for the day. “Egg breakfasts are great,” says registered dietician Kim Hofmann. “Scramble your eggs with some onions, mushrooms and peppers and serve them on seed loaf, rye toast or baked beans together with some avocado.” Another trick Hofmann recommends is to add nuts and seeds to your cereal. “Nuts and seeds add protein and healthy fat to your meal allowing your breakfast to keep you fuller for longer,” she says.

Add Healthy Flavors

Tired of plain old oats? Hofmann recommends adding cinnamon and/or vanilla. “Cinnamon has many benefits; it helps control blood sugar levels, which can reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes,” she says. Adding fruit, such as berries, is another way to brighten up those old oats. “Using this low-kilojoule fruit will help sweeten your oats,” says Jade Seeliger, registered dietitian from Nutritional Solutions. “Berries have an added advantage as they contain ellagic acid – an antioxidant which has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties,” she says.

Switch it up Every Few Days

It gets fairly boring to have the same thing every day. While repetition can be useful, boredom can very much sabotage your efforts. “I usually pimp my breakfast up by making my own muesli mix using raw nuts, dried goji berries, raw rolled oats and some raw coconut shavings and having a quarter-cup of this with some fat-free yoghurt,” says Roxanne Fisher, registered dietician at Panorama Dietitians. “These have a combination of carbohydrate (corn) and protein (egg and ham), which helps to slow down gastric emptying and thus enhances the satiety value of the meal,” says Seeliger.