Eggsactly what you need for breakfast.
Byline: MAEVE QUIGLEY
BY MAEVE QUIGLEY DO you struggle to lose weight? It could be that you're not eating the right breakfast.
Recent research has proved eating eggs for breakfast could help you battle the bulge.
And nutritionist Orla Walsh said it's essential to have a proper breakfast if you want to lose weight. She added: "At breakfast time, what many people are doing is turning bread into cake.
"The difference between making bread and cake is that with cake you add more butter and sugar.
"But if you wake up in the morning, make your toast and then put butter and jam on it, you're basically turning your bread into cake.
"At breakfast time if you were to have porridge, make it with oats and water, that's just a bowl of carbohydrate as it's just oats.
"So it's kind of similar to having a bowl of potato for breakfast."
One of the best ways to get your first daily meal right is by adding an egg to your morning menu.
Orla, who works with some of Ireland's leading athletes, said: "The ideal breakfast would contain carbohydrate, protein and some fruit and vegetable.
"An ideal breakfast can be made from anything as long as it is balanced.
"For example, you could have porridge made with milk with some nuts, seeds and berries on top.
"Or a good high-fibre bread with eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes."
Eating breakfast as soon as you wake up helps kick-start your metabolism.
Orla added: "Ideally you would eat breakfast as soon as possible after waking up.
"We now know protein needs to be spread across the day and we need it with every meal because there is only a certain amount we can absorb at any one time.
"Eggs have a good standard of protein with one containing six or seven grams so having eggs for breakfast is an easy way of getting your protein for that meal."
Research has shown eating eggs first thing helps you feel more satisfied and less hungry so that leads to eating less during the day and being less inclined to snack.
Orla said: "Slow-release energy is better for your energy levels, cravings and moods and will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
"It lets your body know you are up and awake.
"Your body never stops, overnight it is still performing very important tasks. When you wake up you need it to know it's time to wake up fully and that's why breakfast is so important.
"Studies have shown those who eat breakfast have a lower BMI so it can help you control your eating and help you lose weight too."
And when it comes to healthy breakfasts you need look no further than McDonald's...yes really!
The fast-food chain's franchises here serve more than two million eggs each year, all of which are 100% Irish and free range, sourced from Greenfield Foods in Co Monaghan.
And the good news is McDonald's is launching its Free Breakfast Friday tomorrow where all 89 restaurants around Ireland will give customers either a free Bacon & Egg McMuffin or a free Sausage & Egg McMuffin until 10am.
For the full range of breakfast items - including porridge, pancakes, toasties, hash browns and breakfast rolls - visit www.mcdonalds.ie.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT Nutritionist Orla Walsh, and left, a McDonald's Egg McMuffin