We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!By Molly Raisch, Prevention
Mom always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And she was right. Morning meals are essential to revving your metabolism and kick-starting your calorie burn, but indulging in a fat- and calorie-laden breakfast from your favorite fast-food chain could easily send you into sugar shock and pack on the pounds. Research shows that people who ate a big morning meal consumed an extra 400 calories per day, setting themselves up for muffin tops and pancake bottoms. Here are six breakfast drive-through disasters and their Prevention-approved healthier, make-at-home options.
Starbucks® Zucchini-Walnut Muffin
Muffins are calorie sinkholes — they pack in the calories but somehow still leave your stomach grumbling. This muffin from Starbucks® seems healthy enough, boasting both zucchini and walnuts, but don’t be fooled by its veggie-based name. This morning baked good has close to 500 calories and 28 grams of fat.
Try Instead: Zucchini-Raisin Muffin
These scrumptious zucchini muffins are half the calories and nearly a third of the fat as their coffeehouse counterparts. Tricks of the trade: Load up your bread batter with tons of zucchini shreds and add raisins for a touch of natural sweetness.
McDonald’s Big Breakfast® With Hotcakes
When your breakfast comes off a fast-food menu and has the word “big” in it, your waistline is headed in the same direction. This hearty breakfast has scrambled eggs, sausage, a buttermilk biscuit, hash browns, and two hotcakes piled onto a plate, making it no surprise that one order accounts for over half your day’s calories and over 55 grams of fat. The worst part? This lumberjack breakfast is sky-high in sodium: 2,150 milligrams.
Try Instead: Pancakes With Berries and Cinnamon
Satisfy your hotcake cravings with these light and fluffy low-cal flapjacks. The secret to cutting fat and calories without losing any buttery flavor: bake them in the oven. Top with berries and cinnamon, and you’ve got a mouthwatering, guilt-free pancake breakfast the whole family will love.
Keep reading for more healthy breakfast swaps after the break.
Cinnabon® Regular Caramel Pecanbon®
Once you stand within 100 feet of a Cinnabon® shop, it’s hard to stop salivating over the sugary cinnamon scent of its signature cinnamon rolls, but resist the urge to make a beeline for the pastry counter. One of these caramel-pecan buns is the ultimate calorie bomb, coming in at almost 1,100 calories per bun — not to mention it’s oozing with more fat than nine chocolate chip cookies.
Try Instead: Maple-Pecan Cinnamon Roll
This homemade version has all the ooey, gooey characteristics you love about the fast-food variety with nearly a third of the calories and a quarter of the fat. You can even create that “just baked” taste — and scent — by popping one in the microwave.
Hardee’s® Double-Loaded Omelet Biscuit
This “Double-Loaded” omelet from Hardee’s® packs 800 calories and has three types of breakfast meat — bacon, sausage, and ham — on top of a buttery biscuit.
Try Instead: Hearty Egg Sandwich
This breakfast sammy fills you up without weighing you down by swapping out the trio of artery-clogging breakfast meats and adding in rich Hass avocado and tomato slices. This less-than-400-calorie version also slashes the fat and calories by using reduced-fat Cheddar.
Dunkin’ Donuts® Chocolate-Coconut Cake Donut
While you already know that a doughnut isn’t diet-friendly food, you should know that one of these chocolatey treats accounts for over a quarter of your day’s calories. It also has nearly as much sugar as a whole chocolate bar.
Try Instead: Strawberry-Banana-Topped French Toast
Satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking the calorie bank with this decadent strawberry and banana French toast. You would never guess this entire rich meal is less than half the calories of just one doughnut.
Flickr User canadapenguin