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 /