How Many Calories In A Full English Breakfast?

The other day I treated myself to a fry-up, I don't have them very often so they count as a bit of a treat. There's a good reason not to have them very often and I'm going to explore a bit more here as to why.

Other names for a cooked breakfast

It seems that depending your nationality determines the name you use for a good old fry-up. The names I've heard and seen being used are: British cooked breakfast; English breakfast; fry-up; all day breakfast; American breakfast; Aussie breakfast; Australian breakfast; Irish breakfast; Scottish breakfast; Welsh breakfast. All have little tweaks on the main theme of fried sausages, bacon, beans, and egg.

The Great British Fry Up, calories and fat content...

Everyone knows that a cooked English breakfast is not good for you, but how many of us know exactly how bad they really are? Let's look at the typical ingredients in a cooked breaky. I'd say the core ingredients are sausages, bacon and eggs. There are then the add on parts to fill that plate right up. Some options are fried bread, beans, hash brown, grilled tomato, plum tomato, mushrooms, baked beans, even chips! Then topped with either ketchup or brown sauce.

Looking at the list there is only one that's good for you, the grilled tomato. No oil involved, just grilled. The rest is either fried, full of fat, or both. The egg, this can be fried, poached, scrambled or omelette. The best option is of course poaching, but let's assume we are going all out fried. One fried egg is going to contain 80 calories, and 5g of fat. I normally have two of these so doubled. Next on my normal cooked breakfast list is bacon, 2 slices which will donate 109 calories and 9g of fat to the total, I'd normally cook four for myself so doubled again. Sausages always make an appearance and each one will stump up 206 calories along with 15g of fat.

I'm doing well so far. I had 1/2 tin of baked beans too.

Summary of the calories contained in the main ingredients of a cooked breakfast

Ingredient Quantity Calories Fat(g)
Fried Egg 2 160 10
Bacon 4 208 18
Sausages 3 618 45
Baked Beans ½ Tin 140 1.1
Totals   1126 74.1


Considering that the recommended calorie intake for men is 2500 and women 2000 this is a big chunk of my daily allowance already.

Calories and fat contained in the 'optional' extras of a typical fired breakfast

Ingredient Quantity Calories Fat(g)
Fried Bread 1 142 18
Fried Mushrooms 1 portion 156 13.5
Hash Brown 1 80 11
Grilled Tomato 1 64 0.4
Buttered Toast (White) 1 130 6
Ketchup 1 tablespoon 20 0
Brown Sauce 1 tablespoon 20 0


A typical fried breakfast at one of those motorway services: 2 bacon, 2 sausage, mushrooms, fried egg, hash brown, beans, toast, tomato, coffee/tea. Work out the total and we have roughly 1000 calories and a whopping 75 grams of fat. The NHS website says that your saturated fat intake, which I expect this to contain, is 30g for a man and 20g for a woman. Rather unpleasant isn't it, over a third of your daily allowance of calories, and 2.5 times the amount of fat recommended in one day. Wow. The calories you can work with, because you could limit the amount you have for the rest of that day, however the fat well, that has ruined it completely. Overall not good, and after getting this far through writing this article I'm now thinking that maybe I can't even call it a treat.

I must admit before researching this subject I wasn't aware how bad they really are. I guess once in a while my body can take it, but that would be only if I've had a week of good food. It would ruin any weight reduction programme a person may be on, it would basically cancel the whole week's work out. Something to think about definitely, the next time anyone thinks about having a full English Breakfast.


Sources used for this article:

Calorie and fat content: Livestrong Daily Plate – a great organisation promoting good health and helps track your diet.

Recommended Daily Allowances: NHS website – National Health Service in Great Britain

Fried Breakfast Photo: Image: vichie81 /


# John Nelson 2012-11-05 10:14
Luckily I don't have them very often, then again I have to make sure I have all the ingredients available here in France... English sausages being the most difficult.
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# El Pato Loco 2013-09-21 11:20
Oh come on, seriously? Is this not just scaremongering? I really get irritated when I read stuff like this.

As part of my weight loss programme I logged my food intake on a daily basis over a year (and still do, albeit more out of habit)

I don't punish myself and eat a sensible balanced diet the 'majority' of the time (yes I do like a beer, garibaldi biscuit and one of my 3 year olds attempts at cakes occasionally) and my fat intake spread across a week or even a month is either just about spot on or even slightly less than the recommended.

I too treat myself to a cooked breakfast on a Saturday morning in a little cafe while my eldest goes to dance classes. After a week of 'sensibility' it IS my treat, and after an early morning run it's a lovely one too.

Is your fat intake on a single day really so significant when taken into account of your average over a week/month for the impact it has on your body?
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# Stuart Edge 2013-10-09 12:28
Thanks for your thoughts El Pato Loco.

It's not really scaremongering because the figures I've stated above are fact.

Secondly, yes one days intake could affect you over many years. Just like binge drinking at the weekend isn't good for you either.

If you're at all concerned about your diet I'd suggest consulting your GP.

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# Richard 2014-06-24 22:03
The issue with the article is that fat is not equal to saturated fat. Saturated fat is bad. Fat really isn't. It's just one method of delivering calories.

In terms of pure weight loss, calories are king. In terms of heart conditions and such, saturated fat/salt become equally if not more important.
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# Fill My Tum 2014-03-23 10:06
We all know that fry ups aren't the healthiest of breakfasts. However, I doubt that many of us, when we do have a cooked breakfast, eat 3 sausages, 2 eggs, 4 rashers of bacon (and we don't know the sizes you're talking about) plus the extras.

We all know its unhealthy, but don't exagerate and scare people. An English breakfast is something we should all be able to enjoy as a treat.
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# Cut the Bull 2014-04-17 07:07
This is a load of bull. NHS does recommend 30g of sat. fat for men and 20g of sat fat for women BUT the amount of fat you calculated in the meal is NOT all saturated fat. . . Very misleading, Quite disappointing.
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# Clare 2014-04-27 21:47
Oh, that'd be quite a lot of food for someone my size! (~120 lb, 5'3). I'd probably take one egg, one sausage and 2 pc bacon. And the beans... toast, mushrooms, and a slice of tomato. Yum! My father is 5'7 about 140lb and has bacon and eggs every morning, has for years. Cholesterol levels are 'perfect' according to his dr but the rest of his day is chicken and vegetables and fruit. I think it all boils down to your genes and common sense!
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# Biola 2014-05-27 06:03
I think we should all just man up and face the truth instead of rubbishing the article. I absolutely love a good fry up and take it as a treat once in a glorious while but after struggling to lose over 20kg, I know the writer is sport on. Good luck to those born with good genes. Some of us aren't
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# your mum 2014-07-31 10:20
What a crap article!!! Absolute rubbish. yes not the healthiest thing but everything in moderation is fine. as long as you're not having one every morning there is nothing wrong with them. Start writing something worthwhile putting on the internet you tool!
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# Anitapita 2014-08-17 10:25
Totally agree with Your Mum, also, there aren't any scrambled eggs in this list. I just finished my cooked breakie and had 1 grilled quality sausage, 2 grilled rashers of bacon, 1 scrambled egg with a tiny bit of butter and a grilled fresh tomato from my own garden. Also had brown toast with only a two teaspoons of marmalade. Can't believe that's unhealthy!
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# Slimnot 2015-06-20 13:12
Gee Stu you got a good grilling there mate :oops:
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