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Brunch is one of those meals that can make or break your diet. A healthy one can set you up for the day, and an unhealthy one can wreck days and even weeks of dieting. Make sure you don’t fall foul of these common mistakes.
Having brunch can be a great way to save a few calories when you’re dieting. Many people get fooled into thinking they need a huge breakfast to kickstart their day, and boost their metabolism, but are hungry again by lunchtime, and so end up grabbing something from the vending machine, hitting the work canteen, or dashing to the nearest takeout restaurant for a calorie-filled, dieting-disaster meal.

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Choose Calorie-Free Drinks

This is an easy one, and a really simple way to save calories. Just make sure that all your drinks contain no calories – or as close to it as possible. Plain water is your best choice, but you could also go for tea or coffee. Herbal teas are high in antioxidants, so you might want to consider going for green tea, red bush tea, or ginseng for a bit of a change. These teas have also been associated with boosting metabolic rate and increasing fat loss.

If you usually have coffee, you’re find to stick with that, just ditch the sugar. If it’s not sweet enough for you without sugar, then a small pack of sweetener, or a tablespoon of sugar free syrup can help. Also, if you’re particularly inclined, you can have diet sodas, as they’re calorie free, but it depends whether you can stomach them that early in the day!

Skip the Condiments

Condiments just add unnecessary calories, so you’re best off avoiding them. Most of the time you’ll find that you don’t need them anyway, and just add them out of habit. If you can’t do without them though, look for low sugar versions of your favorites, such as low sugar maple or chocolate syrup, or go for a naturally low calorie alternative, such as a tomato salsa, or hot sauce.

Pick Protein

Instead of high carb items, choose high protein ones. Protein helps keep you fuller for longer, and is “thermogenic”, which means it takes the body more time and energy to break it down, so burns more calories during the digestion process. Lean sausages and bacon are a good bet – the higher quality the better, so get free range, organic, or grass fed if possible. Or you can go for the classic – eggs. A couple of poached, scrambled or boiled eggs is an ideal protein hit.

Avoid Buffets

Eating brunch at home is easy, as you can control portion sizes. If you’re going out though, try to avoid all you can eat restaurants and diners, as it’s easy to get carried away. If you can’t avoid them, just make sure you stick to one plate of food.

Skip Fruit

Fruit is good in moderation, but the calories can quickly add up. If you want some fruit, have some mixed berries, and apple, plum, kiwi fruit or bowl of melon. These are much lower in carbs than things like bananas, pineapple and dried fruit.

Hopefully that’s given you some ideas of how to turn your brunch from an all out dieting disaster, to a healthy, calorie-controlled, tasty start to the day.