Count the calories and you can eat pancakes.
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Losing weight is partly about counting calories and partly about making sure that every calorie counts. Pancakes made of processed white flour, topped with butter and fake syrup do not offer the quality of nutrition your body needs. But whole-grain pancakes with fruit and nuts topped with real maple syrup, honey or agave syrup offer plenty of protein, vitamins and fiber to keep your energy levels up and help you feel full until it's time for lunch.
You can eat pancakes and lose weight as long as you watch your portion sizes and make them out of nutritious and low-fat ingredients.
Start From Scratch
Making your own pancakes at home is the best way to ensure that you control the amount of sugar and salt and avoid empty calories. Substitute whole what, buckwheat or rye flour for refined white flour. You will need to add more liquid if you do this, so your batter is not too thick. Nut flours, coconut flour and rice flour can also be added. Play with the proportions until you find the right mix for you.
Use water or nonfat milk for the liquid to help keep the calorie count down. You can also add nonfat yogurt to the batter, or sprinkle in some protein powder.
Create Some Crunch
Chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds add a toothsome texture to pancakes, and they hold up especially well in buckwheat pancakes. Nuts also add protein and essential fatty acids which help build strong bones and muscles and provide rich antioxidants to help scrub away free radicals in your bloodstream.
If you have nut allergies, you can add granola or toasted oatmeal to your pancake batter. Choose granola that is low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Add fruit to pancakes to up the sweetness factor and provide vitamins and minerals. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches and pears work wonderfully well with pancakes. Add fresh or frozen fruit to your pancakes before flipping them.
Sliced bananas also work well in pancakes. Add a spoonful of peanut butter to pancake batter and then scatter sliced bananas before you flip them for a sweet, protein-packed treat.
Try Healthier Toppings
Splurge on real maple syrup rather than buying the fake stuff. There's not a whole lot of difference between them, but the natural syrup does offer some calcium, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. But, at 50 calories and 12 grams of sugar per tablespoon, you'll need to drizzle it on sparingly to keep your calorie count low.
Another topping to consider is pureed fruit. Mash berries in a small pot with a little bit of water and a sprinkle of cinnamon and let them reduce. This offers a thick, syrupy topping without empty calories.
A dollop of fruity yogurt also adds a rich creaminess to pancakes while offering calcium and vitamins A and D.