Twelve billion. That's the number of breakfast meals we devour each year at America's restaurants. And 80 percent of them come from fast-food or fast-casual restaurants, which means we have no idea what’s really in them. As we've been demonstrating since 2007, sometimes this means pastries packed with more sugar than an ice cream cone, sausage patties with more fat than a double cheeseburger, and omelettes with enough sodium to pickle a barrel of cucumbers.
Don’t get me wrong—we need a complete breakfast to help us power through the day. Skipping it means you're 450 percent more likely to end up overweight orobese, according to recent studies. That's why we devote more than 50 pages to this crucial meal in the new Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet book, which takes all the food and nutrition secrets we've championed the past few years and turns them into an effortless, delicious, flat-belly-fast plan that works for everyone—and keeps your weight off for good!
Here's an exclusive peek inside. These healthy, delicious breakfasts will keep your belly full and flat at the same time.
BEST BREAKFAST SANDWICH
Panera Bread Breakfast Power Sandwich
14 g fat (6 g saturated)
830 mg sodium
Panera’s menu provides plenty of opportunity to ruin your morning, but with this sandwich the chain has hit all the right keys. Ham, egg, and cheese are arguably the best breakfast-sandwich stuffers known to man, and instead of the starchy bagels and ciabatta used on most of the menu, this one is built with whole-grain bread. That brings in 4 grams of belly-filling fiber, and along with the 23 grams of protein, it’s enough to ensure you stay full until lunch!
Asiago Cheese Bagel Breakfast Sandwich with Sausage
31 g fat (14 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
1,130 mg sodium
Your Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet savings: 310 calories, 17 grams of fat, and nearly a half day’s worth of saturated fat!
Bonus Tip: Did you know that you can shave up to 1.8 inches off your waistline by regularly eating breakfast, according to one recent study. For more great tips like these, sign up for our FREE daily Eat This, Not That! newsletter or follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/davezinczenko).
IHOP Simple + Fit Spinach, Mushroom & Tomato Omelette w/ Fresh Fruit
12 g fat (5 g saturated)
690 mg sodium
Omelettes can be a healthy and delicious start to the day, but the tendency at chain restaurants is to befoul them with copious amounts of cheese and a butcher shop’s worth of meat. IHOP’s Simple + Fit Omelettes are made the way all omelettes should be—with simple, fresh ingredients that, in this case, give you 5 grams of fiber and 28 grams of protein. Which of course begs the question: Why does the chain still have the 910-calorie Hearty version on its menu? Steer clear.
IHOP Hearty Spinach and Mushroom Omelette
71 g fat (26 g saturated, 1 g trans)
1,580 mg sodium
Your Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet savings: 580 calories, 890 mg of sodium, and an entire day's worth of both fat and saturated fat!
Bonus Tip: Be wary of foods (especially breakfast foods!) with more than 1,500 mg of sodium, like IHOP's Hearty omelette. And definitely stay away from anything on this new list of the 30 Saltiest Foods in America, unless you're trying to melt a glacier.
BEST ON-THE-GO OATMEAL
Jamba Juice Fresh Banana Oatmeal
5 g fat (1 g saturated)
33 g sugars
Whole grains have been shown to help with weight loss, and the whopping 8 grams of fiber this meal delivers will subdue even the most ravenous of stomachs. That’s more than can be said for many of the smoothies on the Jamba Juice menu.
Ideal Meal Chunky Strawberry (16 oz)
17 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
54 g sugars
Your Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet savings: 200 calories, 12 grams of fat, and five teaspoons of sugar!
BEST ON-THE-GO BREAKFAST WRAP
Dunkin’ Donuts Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wrap
11 g fat (4 g saturated)
470 mg sodium
Sure, the doughnuts and pastries are tempting, but they're not on Dunkin's DDSmart Menu for a reason: They're dumb choices. The Wake-Up Wraps are a smart choice, and even if you order two of them you’ll be amply rewarded with 16 grams of protein. What do you get for eating two doughnuts? A mid-morning sugar crash and hunger pangs. Even the Sausage and Egg Croissant below is a better choice than doughnuts, but no one should eat 46 grams of fat for breakfast.
Sausage and Egg Croissant
46 g fat (18 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
1,280 mg sodium
Your Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet savings: 500 calories, 35 grams of fat, and nearly three-quarters of a day's worth of saturated fat!
BEST STEAK & EGG SANDWICH
Subway Steak, Egg, and Cheese Muffin Melt
17 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
600 mg sodium
Hats off to Subway for the line of Muffin Melts that debuted last year. These svelte sandwiches are some of the lowest-calorie breakfasts in the world of fast food. Order two and this combo provide 12 grams of fiber and 32 grams of protein—and you still get to enjoy a steak-and-eggs breakfast for less than 400 calories. That's no small feat. To compare, check out the steak-and-omelette disaster that made our list of the 20 Worst Breakfasts in America.
6” Breakfast BMT
28 g fat (11 g saturated, 0. 5 g trans)
1,940 mg sodium
Your Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet savings: 370 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 1,340 mg of sodium!
BEST ON-THE-GO BREAKFAST MEAL
McDonald’s Egg McMuffin with Hash Brown and Coffee
21 g fat (6.5 g saturated)
1,130 mg sodium
I know what you’re thinking: a hash brown!Well, sure. Alongside a lean, protein-packed sandwich like an Egg McMuffin, a hash brown isn’t such a bad choice—though you can cut 300 mg of sodium from this meal if you skip it. The Egg McMuffin itself looks and tastes indulgent, but in truth it’s one of the healthiest sandwiches out there (especially compared to those that made our list of these 30 Worst Sandwiches in America). You're saddled with less saturated fat than you'd get from just one of McDonald’s breast-meat Chicken Selects, and it packs in 2 grams of fiber. So enjoy—guilt free.
Big Breakfast with Hotcakes and Regular Size Biscuit
56 g fat (19 g saturated)
2,150 mg sodium
Your Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet savings: 640 calories, 35 grams of fat (13.5 saturated), and a half-day's worth of sodium!
Bonus Tip: What's for lunch? Glad you asked. Check out these 7 Fast-Food Meals Under 350 Calories, and you'll be fighting fat all afternoon too!