Best Healthy Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss
One of the best ways to get lean and start your day on the right foot is to eat a healthy breakfast for weight loss. That’s an indisputable fact, according to a Cornell University study. When researchers surveyed 147 slender people who said they’d never had to struggle with their weight, they found that a whopping 96 percent of them ate breakfast nearly every day. But it’s not just fit people who make sure breakfast is a part of their daily routine, it’s also people who want to lose weight.
It’s a staggering statistic: 78% of people who are able to lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast every day. That’s one of the findings of the National Weight Control Registry: an ongoing research project that has been collecting data for over 25 years on how people lose weight and keep it off.
Ok, so now that we know eating breakfast is important—whether you want to lose weight or not—but what exactly is in a healthy breakfast for weight loss? We put together a list of the healthiest breakfast foods that deserve a spot in your morning meal as well as the breakfast recipes you can use them in.
Healthy breakfast ideas
Once you stock up on the best healthy breakfast foods we list below, you need to turn them into meals! For that, we have a master list of the best healthy breakfast recipes for weight loss as well as easy breakfast recipes. But for inspiration—fast—get your creative juices flowing with these weight loss breakfast ideas that all feature at least two healthy breakfast foods:
- Greek or Icelandic yogurt, berries, and granola
- Oatmeal, apples, peanut butter, flaxseeds
- Southwest-inspired eggs, black beans, avocado, tomato salsa
- Salmon toast, Greek yogurt spread, tomatoes, cucumber, high-fiber bread
- Ground turkey and egg hash with sweet potatoes
- Weight loss smoothie with peanut butter, strawberries, protein powder
- Almond butter toast with bananas
- Broccoli, egg, turkey bacon, and cheese quiche
- Protein coffee
- Whole wheat pancakes with berries, mint, walnuts, and yogurt
- Chia pudding
What foods to eat for breakfast to lose weight
The best breakfasts start with healthy breakfast foods. These foods are the foundation—the building blocks if you will—for the meal that’s about to set the tone for your entire day.
These healthy foods are high in protein, low in unhealthy fats, rich in fiber, and low in calories.
Bookmark this article so you can always reference it when you’re building your grocery list.
Organic Protein Powder
Protein, 2 scoops: 34–48 g
The American Society of Nutrition states that having a breakfast that is high in protein will not only benefit muscle health and support weight loss, but will also leave you feeling satiated and help with glucose regulation. Protein powder is the most versatile and nutrient-dense source of the musclebuilder nutrient, earning it a top spot on our list. Use it to make a high-protein smoothie, add it to oatmeal to amp up the protein count, use it to make a homemade nutrition bar, mix it into pancake mix—the options are truly endless.
Protein, per 3 oz: 17 g
“The healthy dose of protein and omega-3 healthy fats found in salmon will keep you satisfied and energized all morning long,” says Kristen Carlucci Haase, RDN. “I love smoked salmon and smashed avocado on wholegrain toast, or reheating leftovers of grilled salmon and vegetables for a quick, superfoods-packed start to the day.” Just make sure you avoid the farmed variety if weight loss is your goal. For more weight loss tips, don’t miss these best-ever ways to boost your metabolism.
“Eggs are an excellent source of protein and other healthy nutrients including fat-burning choline,”
Protein, per 2 tablespoons: 7–8 g
“Almond butter is high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats,” says McKittrick. “Studies have also shown that people who eat nuts are less likely to become overweight than those who avoid them, likely because it helps you feel fuller, longer.” To reap the benefits at breakfast, McKittrick suggests spreading some nut butter on wholegrain toast or adding a tablespoon to oatmeal or smoothies.
Protein, per 4 oz: 22 g
If you want to amp up your morning dose of protein, consider adding ground turkey (along with some onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms) to your eggs. The combination is quite tasty and somewhat unexpected, making it a perfect choice for fatigued taste buds. Bonus: The meat is a prime source of DHA omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve brain function and mood and prevent fat cells from growing.
All-Natural Peanut Butter
Protein, per 2 tablespoons: 7–8 g
While processed peanut butter is filled with sugar and waist-widening oils, the real stuff is made with just two ingredients: peanuts and salt. This legume is filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and genistein, a compound that downregulates fat genes. Take 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk and blend it with 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder, 1/2 banana, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
“This drink is a simple way to start the day with a perfect balance of healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores and promote muscle growth, without an overabundance of calories for those seeking weight loss,” says Reisinger.
Protein, per ½ cup: 7 g
Packed with soluble fiber—a powerful belly fat fighter—beans will not only fill you up for hours but also help slim you down. To eat the magical fruit for breakfast, make a Southwestern-inspired omelet filled with black beans, salsa, and non-dairy cheese.
Protein, per 4 oz: 19 g
Chicken may not be your average breakfast food, but maybe it should be. ” “To spice up my breakfast, I’ll pull out some leftover dinner, which often contains plenty of fiber-rich veggies and hunger-slashing lean protein. This perfect combination of nutrients keeps me full and energized for hours,”
Nitrite and Nitrate-Free Canadian Bacon
Protein, 3 strips: 18 g
Many brands of bacon contain sodium nitrate and nitrite to keep the meat-free from harmful bacteria. Under certain conditions, sodium nitrite and nitrate react with amino acids to form cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines. And sodium nitrate has been shown to interfere with the body’s natural ability to process sugar. According to the Mayo Clinic, sodium nitrate has been proven to increase the risk of heart disease as well.
However, if you stick with the right variety, bacon can be a healthy, slimming part of your morning meal. Go with Canadian.
Sugar, per 1⁄4 fruit: 0.33 g
Fiber, per 1⁄4 fruit: 3.5 g
Avocados—one of the best weight-loss foods on the planet—contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, says McKittrick, including oleic fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce abdominal fat. Avocados are also a good source of fiber and fat. “Use the green fruit to make avocado toast or bake an egg in half of an avocado,” McKittrick suggests. See, not all fats are bad.
Other Healthy Breakfast Foods That Help You Lose Weight
When you’re trying to lose weight, breakfast can set the tone for the rest of your day.
Consuming the wrong foods can amplify your cravings and set you up for failure before the day even begins.
On the other hand, filling up on the right foods can curb cravings and keep you feeling full until lunchtime to minimize snacking and ease weight loss.
Here are 14 healthy breakfast foods that can help you lose weight.
Rich in protein and a wealth of important vitamins and minerals, such as selenium and riboflavin, eggs are a true powerhouse of nutrition.
Thanks to their high protein content, eggs may reduce appetite when eaten with breakfast to give weight loss a serious boost.
For example, one study in 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast significantly increased feelings of fullness and reduced food intake later in the day, compared to eating a bagel. Similarly, another study in 152 adults found that replacing a bagel breakfast with eggs resulted in 65% more weight loss and a 34% greater decrease in waist circumference over an eight-week period.
From boiled to scrambled to sunny-side-up, there are many different ways to enjoy your.
Try cooking up two or three eggs any style, then combining them with a serving of your favorite veggies, for a nutritious and delicious breakfast.
SUMMARYEggs are rich in protein and have been shown to increase fullness, reduce food intake later in the day and enhance weight loss.
Wheat germ is a component of the wheat kernel that contains a concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, thiamine and selenium.
It’s also high in fiber, boasting nearly 4 grams of fiber in each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.
Studies show that increasing your fiber intake from cereal grains may benefit weight loss.
In one study, eating a high-fiber cereal was effective at reducing appetite and food intake, as well as helping stabilize blood sugar after a meal.
Another study followed over 27,000 men for a period of eight years and found that a higher intake of cereal fiber was associated with a lower risk of weight gain.
Try using wheat germ as a topping for oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt bowls to add a bit of crunch and some extra fiber to your breakfast.
SUMMARYWheat germ is high in fiber. Studies show that cereal fiber may help reduce appetite, decrease your risk of weight gain and keep blood sugar levels stable.
High in fiber but low in calories, bananas are a great alternative to sugary breakfast cereals to satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning.
One medium banana has just over 100 calories yet packs 3 grams of dietary fiber — knocking out up to 12% of your daily fiber needs in one shot.
Fiber helps slow the emptying of your stomach to curb cravings and keep you feeling fuller longer.
Multiple studies have found that upping your intake of fiber from fruits and vegetables is associated with increased weight loss.
Additionally, unripe bananas are a good source of resistant starch, a type of starch that your stomach and small intestine don’t digest.
Research suggests that resistant starch may help reduce food intake and decrease belly fat
Bananas can be enjoyed alone or sliced as a topping for yogurt, cottage cheese, or oatmeal. You can also add unripe, green bananas to your morning smoothie for a hearty dose of resistant starch.
SUMMARYBananas are high in fiber, which can keep you feeling fuller longer. Unripe bananas also contain resistant starch, which may help decrease food intake and belly fat.
Creamy, delicious and satisfying, yogurt makes an excellent addition to a weight loss diet.
In particular, Greek yogurt delivers a hearty chunk of protein in every serving, making it an ideal weight loss breakfast food.
One study in 20 women found that eating high-protein yogurt as a snack decreased levels of hunger and reduced food intake by 100 calories later in the day, compared to unhealthy snacks like chocolate and crackers.
Another study in 8,516 people showed that those who ate at least seven servings of yogurt each week had a lower risk of being overweight or obese compared to those who did not regularly consume yogurt.
Try combining one cup (285 grams) of Greek yogurt with some mixed fruit, chia seeds or wheat germ for an especially nutritious breakfast.
SUMMARYYogurt is high in protein and has been associated with decreased hunger and food intake, plus a lower risk of weight gain.
Not only are smoothies a quick and easy way to obtain a concentrated dose of nutrients, they also double as a convenient breakfast item that can accelerate weight loss.
Since you can customize your ingredients, you can tailor your drink to fit your personal preferences.
Filling your smoothies with veggies and low-calorie fruits can boost fiber intake to help you feel fuller longer.
Throw in some high-protein ingredients like nuts, seeds or protein powder to promote feelings of fullness and fight off cravings.
However, keep in mind that smoothies can quickly turn into calorie bombs if you overdo the high-calorie ingredients.
For an easy weight loss smoothie, blend one cup (240 ml) of milk with a handful of leafy greens, two tablespoons (28 grams) of chia seeds and one cup (144 grams) of strawberries.
Enjoy your smoothie throughout the morning to resist snacking and combat cravings.
SUMMARYSmoothies can be a convenient way to increase your intake of fiber and protein to reduce hunger and increase weight loss. Be sure not to add too many high-calorie ingredients.
Berry varieties such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all incredibly nutrient-dense, meaning they’re low in calories but packed with essential nutrients.
In addition to providing many important vitamins and minerals, berries are rich in fiber, which may reduce hunger and food intake.
In fact, one study in 12 women found that swapping a high-sugar afternoon snack for a serving of mixed berries reduced calorie intake later in the day by an average of 133 calories.
Another study in 133,468 adults showed that each daily serving of berries was associated with 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) of weight loss over a four-year period.
Add berries to your morning smoothie, oatmeal, or yogurt to take advantage of their unique weight-busting benefits.
SUMMARYBerries are nutrient-dense and high in fiber. Studies show that eating berries may decrease calorie intake and aid weight loss.
Grapefruits are a popular component of many diets and weight loss programs — and for good reason.
Besides being low in calories, grapefruits have a high water and fiber content — both of which can be beneficial for weight loss.
One study in 91 obese adults showed that eating half a grapefruit before meals resulted in significant weight loss, compared to a control group.
In the 12-week study, participants who ate grapefruit lost an average of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) — about five times more than the control group.
In an 85-person study, consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice before a meal for 12 weeks and pairing it with a low-calorie diet, decreased body fat mass by 1.1%, increased weight loss by 7.1% and reduced calorie intake by 20–29%.
Fresh grapefruit slices make a great addition to a well-rounded breakfast. You can also add grapefruit to parfaits, smoothies, or fruit salads.
However, if you are taking any drugs make sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before eating grapefruit. Certain drugs may interact with grapefruit, potentially causing some adverse effects.
SUMMARYGrapefruits are low in calories, high in water and rich in fiber. Studies show that they may increase weight loss and reduce calorie intake and body fat.
Some studies have found that your morning cup of joe could bring big weight loss benefits.
Because of its caffeine content, coffee may aid weight loss by boosting metabolism and fat burning.
According to one small study in eight men, caffeine consumption increased metabolism by 13% and enhanced fat breakdown.
Another study in 58,157 adults showed that coffee may aid long-term weight control, as increased coffee intake was associated with less weight gain over a 12-year period.
While coffee may not make a balanced breakfast all on its own, you can easily pair it with your favorite healthy breakfast foods to give your morning meal an upgrade.
Just make sure not to overdo the sugar or creamer, as they add calories and negate some of the coffee’s potential health-promoting properties.
SUMMARYCoffee has been shown to increase metabolism and fat-burning. Long-term coffee consumption may also aid weight control.
High in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium, kiwis offer an impressive nutrient profile.
They’re also an excellent source of fiber — just one cup (177 grams) provides up to 21% of your daily needs.
One study in 83 women showed that a high-fiber, calorie-restricted diet was effective at reducing appetite and preoccupation with food while also decreasing body weight, body fat, and waist circumference.
What’s more, kiwis contain a specific type of fiber called pectin, which has been shown to enhance feelings of fullness, decrease appetite and boost weight loss.
They also act as a natural laxative by stimulating the movement of your digestive tract to support regularity and help you lose water weight temporarily.
Sliced kiwis make a great breakfast boost. You can also add them to yogurt, smoothies, or cereals.
SUMMARYKiwis are high in fiber, including pectin, which may reduce appetite and enhance weight loss. This green tart fruit also acts as a natural laxative to help reduce water weight temporarily.
Take a look at the ingredients in almost any diet pill or fat-burning supplement and there’s a good chance you’ll spot green tea.
Green tea has been studied extensively for its metabolism and fat-burning capacities.
For instance, one small study in 23 people found that taking three capsules of green tea extract increased fat burning by 17% within just 30 minutes.
Another study in 10 adults showed that green tea extract sped up metabolism and increased calorie burning over a 24-hour period by 4%.
Similarly, a study in 31 adults found that consuming a beverage containing caffeine, calcium and certain compounds found in green tea three times daily for three days increased the number of calories burnt per day by 106 calories.
There are limitless ways to enjoy green tea in the morning. Try adding a squeeze of lemon, drizzling on a bit of honey, or brewing your tea with ginger or mint to bring a tasty twist to your cup.
SUMMARYGreen tea and its components have been shown to increase fat burning and your number of burnt calories, which could aid weight loss.
Tiny but powerful, chia seeds are an excellent breakfast supplement.
They’re high in fiber and can absorb water to form a gel, which expands in your stomach to help keep you feeling fuller longer.
They’re also rich in protein, which can slow the emptying of your stomach and reduce levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating hunger.
One study in 11 adults found that eating chia seeds baked into white bread reduced both appetite and blood sugar levels.
Another 12-week study in 19 people showed that 35 grams of chia flour daily significantly reduced body weight and waist circumference.
Try making a chia seed breakfast parfait by mixing one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds with one cup (245 grams) of yogurt in a bowl or mason jar.
Let the mixture soak for about 30 minutes to allow the seeds to swell, then top it off with a one-half cup (74 grams) of your favorite berries.
Chia seeds also make a delicious and nutritious addition to tea, smoothies or overnight oats.