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What to Eat on an Empty Stomach to Lose Weight? (Easy Guide)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Whenever I advise clients to lose weight, I recommend they consume nutrient-dense foods and low-calorie beverages first thing in the morning.

And to give them accurate information regarding which foods are best on an empty stomach, I’m conducting continuous research.

Recently, I spent a day going over some scientific literature on the matter, so I discussed it with a dietitian to conclude which foods are ideal to avoid consuming extra calories in the morning.

Throughout this article, I will detail all the information I have gathered, so read on to learn more.

Quick Summary

  • The ideal foods for weight loss to consume on an empty stomach are those that are low in calories, low in acid, and high in protein.
  • Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein first thing in the morning is among the best ways to lose weight.
  • In addition to eating breakfast, increasing physical activity and using natural fat burners can help you lose fat faster.

15 Weight-Loss Foods to Take First Thing in the Morning

Different tea and drink

One component of weight loss plans is to eat something in the morning on an empty stomach.

However, some foods can cause high blood sugar levels and weight gain. So, knowing which foods to eat first thing in the morning is essential to losing weight.

1. Herbal Teas

Known for their high polyphenol content, herbal teas aid digestion and metabolism by boosting antioxidant activity [1].

Having plain green tea first thing in the morning will not only improve your mood but also help you lose weight.

2. Warm Water With Lemon and Honey

It takes only a short stretch of time to make a drink of warm water, lemon, and honey, but it boosts metabolism [2].

Taking this zesty drink on an empty stomach not only helps to cleanse, detox, and energize your body, but it also aids the digestive tract in breaking down fat from your diet.

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3. Aloe Vera and Lemon Mix

Aloe vera contains essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids that can boost your metabolism and increase your energy [3].

Mixing it with lemon water and drinking it 20 minutes before breakfast every day can remove toxins and help burn fat.

4. Raw Vegetable Juice

Celery, beets, and leafy greens are known not only for their healing properties but also for their ability to aid weight loss [4].

Making raw vegetable juices, like celery juice, and drinking them in the morning on an empty stomach has been shown to help digestion, metabolism, and fat burning.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar top view

Several studies have found that taking apple cider vinegar (ACV) before meals boosts metabolism, burns stubborn fat, and prevents fat buildup by increasing the digestive juices in the stomach [5].

Therefore, it's likely that drinking ACV can help you lose weight before eating breakfast.

6. Cinnamon Water

According to studies, cinnamon, which is considered one of the ayurvedic superfoods, aids weight loss by increasing body heat, resulting in a faster metabolic rate [6].

So, beginning the day with a glass of water with cinnamon may be a great way to burn calories and lose extra fat.

7. Oatmeal With Berries

High-fiber foods like oats and berries have been shown to help with weight loss by increasing satiety [7].

Hence, eating oatmeal with berries first thing in the morning may help you eat fewer calories throughout the day.

You can even sweeten your oatmeal water with a little coconut sugar without spiking your blood sugar levels too much.

8. Mixed Fresh Fruits

Mixed fresh fruits in a bowl

Bananas, watermelon, and papaya are high-fiber fruits that can help with appetite suppression and water retention [8].

Consuming raw fruits that help you lose weight like semi-ripe bananas or green apples an hour before breakfast can boost metabolism, cause you to eat less, and aid in fat loss.

9. Green Salad

Green salads are one of the best fat-burning foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and contain fewer calories and fats than other foods [9].

Eating salads drizzled with coconut oil and a pinch of pink salt for breakfast rather than other high-calorie foods is one of the simplest ways to accelerate weight loss.

You can also add some lean chicken or turkey and drizzle it with olive oil vinaigrette for a low-calorie Caesar salad, which will keep you satiated for longer because of the lean protein.

10. Healthy Nuts

Almonds, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts are some examples of healthy nuts to eat for weight loss that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and high nutrient content [10].

A handful of mixed low-calorie nuts first thing in the morning can help you feel full for longer and resist cravings.

11. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs in half

Eggs are rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, so they can satisfy your appetite without leaving you hungry.

Having two hard-boiled eggs in the morning can provide you with 14 grams of protein, which is about two-thirds of what the body needs to build muscle after training [11].

12. Fiber-Rich Seeds

Sunflower, flax, and chia seeds have antioxidant properties as well as high protein, healthy fat, and fiber content [12].

When you eat these healthy seeds for weight loss before breakfast, you can suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism at the same time.

13. Porridge

Rice porridge with chicken and chopped steamed vegetables are high in protein and minerals but low in calories [13].

Starting your day with porridge gives you complete nutrition without loading you with calories as compared to eating plain rice.

14. Whole Grain Bread

2 slices of whole grain bread

Whole grain products are filling and lower in calories, making them one of the healthier breakfast options.

Eating whole-grain bread rather than refined bread can provide you with more vitamins, minerals, and fiber, causing you to eat fewer, more nutritious foods [14].

15. Dried Fruits

While fresh fruits reduce water retention to aid weight loss, dried fruits can also help you lose weight, especially when eaten near a workout, by satisfying your sweet tooth with healthier sugars.

Raisins, dates, and prunes are high in fiber and essential vitamins, which can help control your appetite without lowering energy levels [15].

Are There Any Other Health Benefits Besides Losing Weight?

Besides losing weight, consuming high-protein, low-calorie foods first thing in the morning has other health benefits, such as managing diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

“Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, so it therefore keeps us satisfied and satiated. And the longer you keep hunger at bay, the less likely you’ll be to reach for another snack, so it’s a good way to keep calories in check.”

- Mary Wirtz, Registered Dietician 

Eating complex carbohydrates, like oats, nuts, raw fruits, and vegetables that burn fat, can help you control your appetite, thus lowering your calorie intake and preventing blood sugar spikes [16].

Moreover, drinking water infused with fruits, cinnamon, and honey has been shown to help the body get more vitamins and minerals for better digestion and nutrient absorption [17].

What About the Downsides?

A person with an upset stomach

Eating certain foods and beverages that can irritate the stomach by increasing acidity, can certainly have some downsides.

While apple cider vinegar may accelerate metabolism and fat loss, it contains acetic acid, which might cause heartburn for some and irritate the stomach lining; the same goes for lemon juice, which is acidic in nature [18].

Furthermore, eating too many fiber-rich foods on an empty stomach may cause stomach discomfort, most likely bloating, heartburn, and constipation [19].

FAQs

How Many Hours Is Considered an Empty Stomach?

One hour or more before eating or two hours after eating is considered an empty stomach, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [20]. However, it is generally believed that the stomach may not be completely empty after just 2 hours.

Which Fruit Is Best for an Empty Stomach to Lose Weight?

Papayas are one of the best fruits to eat on an empty stomach if you want to lose weight.

This is because papayas are low in acid, high in water, and low in calories, but they still taste great [21]. Consuming them early in the morning can also help flush out toxins from the body.

Best Foods to Eat First Thing in the Morning to Help Weight Loss

To lose weight, eat nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods first thing in the morning, as well as snacks that will not aggravate any existing medical conditions.

Besides consuming a healthy breakfast, I also advise my clients to exercise regularly and use natural fat burners to have a faster weight loss journey.

Through rigorous testing, we've discovered that these products on the list are both safe and effective at helping my clients lose weight faster and maintain their body composition more easily.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6099746/
  2. https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/6-reasons-why-you-should-drink-lemon-and-honey-water
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5438379/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19469536/
  6. https://time.com/5035411/cinnamon-health-benefits-weight-loss/
  7. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/insoluble-soluble-fiber
  8. https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/what-fruit-to-eat-at-what-time-during-the-day-and-their-benefits-4790564.html
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264798/
  10. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/go-nuts-your-diet
  11. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/350259
  12. https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/5-super-healthy-seeds-and-their-health-benefits-chia-seeds-flaxseeds-pumpkin-seeds-sesame-seeds-and-more/444896
  13. https://inf.news/en/fitness/6e9169c1ee149fae89148d22301e0152.html
  14. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-bread-and-diet
  15. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Cooking-And-Food/Vegetables-and-Fruit/All-about-dried-fruit.aspx
  16. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/role-of-fiber.html
  17. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-infused-water
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18290732/
  19. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321286 
  20. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/28/well/live/drug-medication-empty-stomach-prescription.html
  21. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/fruit-month-papaya
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