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What is the best food to eat for breakfast to lose weight? Hint--there might not be an answer.

Updated: May 31, 2023

I often hear this question or similar questions. What is the best food to eat for breakfast to lose weight? What food should I eat after a workout to lose weight? What should I eat post partum to lose weight? You get the idea. I've been a dietitian for about 8 years, and I don't have the answer so many of my patients want.

beautiful overweight woman who feels pretty

Ok, I'll give you a bit more. There is no good answer to this question. In the research literature, there are many foods that are found to be associated with a lower body weight, but when we look studies that are trying to determine a cause and effect relationship, those foods are unclear or nonexistent. In short, there is no food that is known to cause weight loss, when all other factors are equal.

Honestly, the issue is really with what is behind the question, not the lack of answer. There are two problems. First, there is rarely a quick, simple, one factor answer to any health concern. Second, this question insinuates that weight loss is the outcome to be looking for. Some more useful questions to ask are:

  • What types of foods will keep me feeling satiated while helping me maintain blood sugars in my goal range?

  • What types of foods can assist in improving my blood pressure?

  • How can I eat to lower my risk of heart problems?

  • Are there any foods that can help prevent my kidney disease from getting worse?

  • Why am I unsatisfied with how I look? What societal pressures cause me to be preoccupied with my weight?

  • Given that there are factors that I can't change about myself, what can I do or focus on to feel good about myself?

  • Am I pushing off experiences until I reach a certain size? Can I pursue those experiences now?

  • Do people around me make disparaging comments about my looks? Who of my friends are kind to me? Can I pursue those relationships more?

Now, if after a thoughtful conversation with your healthcare provider, the two of you conclude that your weight is impacting your health, and you decide you would like to treat this medical concern, just know, that diet is not the only treatment of choice. Perhaps it is not even a treatment at all. So next time you are wondering about the best food to eat for breakfast to lose weight, I'd encourage you to open your mind to some of these other questions.


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