How Many Calories in a Full English Breakfast?

John just returned from London and shared information on his various meals. I was struck by his photo of what he called a traditional English breakfast. I suggested that he put in a nutritional breakdown, but said he had a hard time finding the foods in Lose It! Fair enough. Unfortunately, it isn’t very useful to readers the way he wrote it.

I lived in London for a year on a posting by Reuters. I was what they called a Domestic Correspondent (not quite as cool as a Foreign Correspondent, but hey). I spent an amazingly educational 12 months there. In that year, I never owned a phone, a TV set or a car and that was before the internet or personal computers. Despite these apparent ‘deprivations,’ I was never bored for a second in what must be one of the world’s most fascinating cities. I was also a practicing vegetarian at the time so my dining was not traditional British in any way.
A traditional English breakfast
Getting back to John’s traditional English breakfast, I have to say that his photo cried out to me for analysis. That is a PLATE LOAD of food!

So here goes. I have used the Lose It! app and made certain assumptions. If you have a comment or adjustment you want to suggest, please do. Readers’ thoughts are always welcome.

One fried egg: 90 calories, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 210 g cholesterol, 94 mg sodium, 0.4 g carbohydrates, no fiber and 6.3 g of protein.

One link sausage: 212 calories, 18.6 g total fat, 6.4 g saturated fat, 47.2 g cholesterol, 540 mg sodium, 1.8 g carbohydrates, no fiber and 8.7 g of protein.

One slice Canadian bacon: 89 calories, 4 g total fat, 1.3 g saturated fat, 28.5 g cholesterol, 803 mg sodium, 1.0 g carbohydrates, no fiber and 11.8 g of protein.

One large slice bread: 100 calories, 1.4 g total fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 195 mg sodium, 17.8 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g fiber and 4.1 g of protein.

One cup beans: 360 calories, 4 g total fat, 6.1 g saturated fat, 15.5 g cholesterol, 1113 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates, 18 g fiber and 17.5 g of protein.

TOTAL MEAL: 850 calories, 40.4 g total fat, 16.1 g saturated fat, 301.2 g cholesterol, 2745.4 mg sodium, 19.4 g carbohydrates, 18 grams of fiber and 48.4 g of protein.

My main interest in this meal was the stunning amount of fat in it as well as the amount of fried foods. As you can see there was a stunning 2745 mg of sodium. Experts recommend not more than 1500 mg for folks over 50 years old. Please note that the beans were the main culprit on the sodium and I only estimated one cup. The photo looks like more than a cup.

If I could even finish this much food at one sitting, I am sure I would need a nap afterward. I certainly couldn’t consume it on the way to work.

If you are reading this later than December of 2012, you know that John has left the blog. Check out Notice anything different? and A Love letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT  for the further information on calories and nutrition.



Filed under calories, fat, healthy eating, portion size, Weight

34 responses to “How Many Calories in a Full English Breakfast?

  1. Hi all,

    To build on Tony’s post, I had put 799 calories in my LoseIt for this breakfast but that took into account that I did not eat all the beans nor all the bread; I estimated my bean intake at 4 ounces, 134 calories, and bread at 1and a quarter white bread slices or 83 calories. This shows, though, how tricky it can be to record calories when traveling or when eating out.


    • Greycat –

      Yum indeed.

      When you decide to try doing something about those extra pounds I suggest you go to our “How to Control Your Weight” page. There are some very useful ideas on it.

      Speaking of ideas. Wouldn’t have minded an idea credit or even a photo credit for our Eew, Seriously and So Gross post. I created the illustration myself.




  2. nathalie

    Hoe much sugar is in it?


    • Nathalie –

      Sorry, I only track sugar in drinks. For the full English breakfast I thought the calories and fat were much more important.

      For the record, I don’t see any particular sugar offenders on the plate.



  3. Richard

    Very interesting and informative post, and it is amazing how much is in it. (As a Brit, I should point out, it’s not even that big an example…sans black pudding, bubble, tomatoes, just one sausage, one piece of toast…)



    • HI, Richard –

      Thanks very much for your comment. Wow, you mean breakfasts run bigger? In the year I was posted over there, never was tempted to have one of these belly busters.



      • Cornz

        Trust me, as a Englishman, that aint no belly buster. Besides, may I ask, how does that compare to a Mac D’s big breakfast I wonder and which one is the healthiest in terms of additives etc etc.


      • Why compare it to a Mac D’s big breakfast? I haven’t recommended that as a healthy alternative.


  4. BL

    Hi Tony,
    I made an English breakfast today and had 2 good quality sausages, a fried egg (tiny bit of oil on a non-stick pan), small can (200g) of reduced salt/sugar beans and a couple of slices of olive bread. My calculations based on the packaging information: 2 sausages (340 kcal), fried egg (90 kcal as you suggest), beans (140 kcal), bread (approx 200 kcal). Total: 770 kcal. (normal meal portion) Total Fat (from packaging info): 26g. (half of your count). It’s possible to have a low fat English breakfast if you make it yourself and are careful about picking your ingredients. It’s also delicious and nutritious. I’d never suggest it was a healthy option but it’s not necessarily bad for you on the odd occasion. I’m a Brit too and I eat this about once a month. I also exercise regularly at the gym, have a body fat percentage of 12.5% and a BMI of 22.3. It’s all about balance.



    • BL-

      Thanks for the update and my compliments on your rendering of the English breakfast. Sounds tasty and isn’t such a belly-buster as the original.

      For the record, I agree with your approach completely on this. As an Italian, I LOVE pizza. I go to the Italian bakery and buy several of their large slices. I refrigerate them and each day I cut one in half and cook it in the toaster oven. So, I eat pizza every day – just not too much. It amounts to about 200 calories. As you say, it’s all about balance. Couldn’t agree more.

      My compliments on your body fat percentage, too. You are clearly taking care of business.

      Keep up the good work!



  5. gav

    2 fried tomato 2 sausage 2 egg 2 bacon 2 blackpuding full tin baked beans my breakfast works out about 1800 cals


    • Thanks for the info. Not quite sure why you sent it. The average person needs around 2200 calories PER DAY to maintain his weight. Since your breakfast works out to 1800, you don’t leave much room to eat the rest of the day. A normal healthy breakfast comes in under 1000 calories.


  6. Looks like there is some butter on that toast too – more fat! When I lived in Toronto, I had a friend who was from London. She still ate a lot of traditional English food, and wanted me to take a look at the “healthy” changes she had made. I was shocked when she showed me her “improvements.” She thought a meat pie – with a trans fat and processed flour loaded crust and salty, saucy filling – was healthy and low calorie. Wow! Apparently she was proud of giving up some sweeter things – good start – but I was shocked. One never knows what people believe. There is so much confusion.


    • Thanks for your thoughts. I agree there is so much ignorance and misinformation out there about diet and healthy eating, it is amazing. You really have to work at it to get it straight.


  7. SHI

    I have been to a lot of English/Irish pubs in different countries but never was tempted to try one of those belly-busters. English full breakfast does look delicious but the sodium content is huge enough to put me off food for 2 entire days. I don’t worry much about the fat and calories though because I can always burn it off. Although the sugar content must be high, canned baked beans is full of sugar so and this breakfast is usually paired with some kind of canned orange drink.


  8. Sandis Birins

    Either 700 or 1100 kcals – it will not “make or break” in the long run knowing that to gain excess of 1 pound of body fat you need extra 3500 kcals, therefore, being off by 1100-700=400 kcal would give you 80 gr of fat gain.. In the long run “guestimating” or “eyeballing” food macros is a sane and logical choice. I find myfitnesspal is a good food tracking and mindfulness app/website. Cheers!


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    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bob

    From a nutritional perspective, pretty horrendous on salt and fat, but an 800 calories meal is standard for the moderate training I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I found this page as I was about to tuck into a Full English so I’d know how to log it on My Fitness Pal. To be fair, if you get a good one (and yes, the example here is not actually huge as others have said, it’s missing a sausage and a black pudding ;)) you literally don’t need to eat for the rest of the day 😀 Special once a month treat on a cheat day, but I’d eat it every day if I didn’t think it’d kill me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow Tony, that is a lot of calories for just one meal!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t that amazing? I have to admit I am surprised that you unearthed this post. It has been a while since I wrote it. I lived in London for a year and was not so impressed with what most folks ate. I was a vegetarian doing yoga at the time. BTW, that post has the highest number of hits of all 3000+ things I have posted. It is often the most read post on any given day. More than 70,000 people have read that single post. Crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow. that’s a lot of readers! Fantastic! It’s a great story… I forgot what I was looking for, but that came up and I tried for a long time to hit ‘like’ – I think I have something wrong with my phone not allowing me to ‘like’ something so I have to remember when I get home from work – and well, you know how that goes… LOL Always great chatting with you Tony – thanks for the wonderful work!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for going the extra mile to comment and like. Keep in mind I said that was the number one post of them all. That is not representative of readership. It is the most active post on any given day, though. Go figure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • yes, I see you have a very large readership 🙂 Well deserved Tony!


  13. Carl Carlson

    newcomer here….great site!
    also if i may be so bold, as a man who unfortunaly sees alot of cafe’s and slopped together full englishes, this is a very modest plate…which makes me sad for most of the labour workers in the uk =(

    Liked by 1 person

  14. TOTAL MEAL: 850 calories??? So a cup of cappuccino has more.. (31.4kcal so 31400 calories), right?

    Liked by 1 person

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