Who doesn’t love brunch on the weekend?
Eggs cooked to your liking, a fresh juice and a bucket load of quality coffee — what’s not to like?
While an occasional breakfast feast poses no issue, if you regularly indulge in café fare, you may be taking in far more calories than you’d expect.
Muffins, Turkish toast, large juices, pancakes and jumbo coffees are far too many calories for the average person in a single meal.
And if you consider that we tend to load up on many high calorie options at brunch, it may be worth revising your morning order if your goal is weight control.
The worst offenders
A brekky favourite for many, the issue with this tasty dish is that the high-fat hollandaise sauce is full of butter and eggs, and sends the calorie count through the roof!
With more than 1,000 calories in a single serve (almost two thirds of your daily calorie intake) and more than 70g of fat (more than most adults will need in a day), this is one heavy breakfast.
If you must indulge, at least ask for the sauce on the side to help you control the portion size.
Ham and cheese croissant
While it may be popular, this seemingly simple breakfast can contain almost your entire daily fat requirement, most of which is saturated.
With up to 400 calories per serve and at least 30g of fat, this simple pastry will require at least 40 minutes of high intensity training to burn off!
It may come as no surprise that a meal that includes sausages, bacon, fried eggs along with toast and plenty of butter is not the healthiest of breakfast choices — too much food and too many calories.
Even simple additions such as Turkish toast and avocado can add another 200-300 calories.
Basically, the more ingredients the more calories, so simple breakfasts will always be your best choice when weight loss is your goal.
A popular cheat meal breakfast, the mix of flour, milk and eggs along with syrups, ice-cream and sauces that leaves you with a high carb, high calorie breakfast with very little protein to keep you full.
The average serving of sweet pancakes will set you back 1,000 calories and more than 100g of carbs in a single serve.
Large smoothies and juices
The biggest issue with liquid calories consumed during breakfast is that the serving sizes tend to be large and full of high-sugar ingredients such as fruit, milk, yoghurt and honey.
Considering that a smoothie can contain 40-60g of sugar and more than 300 calories, and a juice 30-40g of sugars and 200-300 calories, it’s these liquid calories that most of us can do without.
The healthier choices
Bacon and egg roll
While a thick white roll with lashings of butter and fatty bacon will load you up with fat and calories, if you choose a grain or wholemeal bread, ask for the rind and fat to be removed from the bacon and request no butter, a plain bacon and egg roll may actually be relatively low in fat and offer a good dose of protein to kick start the day.
Muesli can be a high calorie and sugar choice with plenty of grains, yoghurt and fruit. On the flip side, it’s also a fibre and nutrient rich breakfast option likely to keep you full for several hours after eating it. The key is to load up on fresh fruits, plenty of Greek yoghurt and a few tablespoons of grains.
Avocado smash on toast
While a typical café serve of avocado is a little heavy on the fat side, avocados do primarily offer monounsaturated fats which are good for your heart. Ideally a serve would be no more than 1/2 an avocado which will offer you between 16-20g of fat, served with a good quality bread such as rye or sourdough.
Corn fritters with smoked salmon
Nutritionally the mix of low GI corn, omega 3 rich salmon and vegetables is a great balance and an appealing café breakfast option.
Just be careful with the high-fat sides including sour cream which can significantly increase the amount of fat and calories.
Your favourite eggs served with sourdough or grain toast and a veggie side are a perfect nutritional mix of low GI carbs and protein for breakfast.
With just 300-400 calories per serve, the key is to always ask for extra vegetable sides for a nutrition boost and choose good quality, small slices of bread when ordering.
Egg white omelette
The greater the number of vegetables your omelette contains, the better it will be for you, and an egg white omelette with ricotta or cottage cheese will also be low in fat.
With just 200-300 calories per serve, this protein rich, low carb breakfast choice is a great option for those wanting to enjoy a hot breakfast out minus the extra fat and calories.