There are lots of recipes for high protein breakfast meals for weight loss to be found on the internet. There even hundreds of them on this site’s recipe section. But finding a good recipe doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight or be healthy after you eat it. Here are some tips to help you choose the best high protein meals for weight loss from the countless options available on the web.
How protein helps you lose weight
Protein is arguably the single most important nutrient for weight loss.
This is because the body uses more calories to metabolize protein, compared to fat or carbs. Protein also keeps you feeling fuller for longer
One study in women showed that increasing protein intake from 15 to 30% of total calories helped them eat 441 fewer calories per day. They also lost 11 pounds (5 kg) in just 12 weeks
Another study found that increasing protein to 25% of total calories reduced late-night snacking by half and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%
In yet another study, two groups of women were put on weight loss diets for 10 weeks. The groups ate the same amount of calories, but different amounts of protein.
All the women in the study lost weight. However, the high-protein group lost about half a kg (1.1 lbs) more, and a larger percentage of body fat
Protein may also help you maintain weight loss in the long term. A study found that increasing protein from 15 to 18% of calories made dieters regain 50% less weight
Adding protein to your diet is a very effective way to lose weight. It may also help dieters sustain long-term weight loss.
Many studies are examining how protein at breakfast affects eating behavior.
Some of them have shown that high-protein breakfasts reduce hunger and help people eat up to 135 fewer calories later in the day
In fact, MRI scans have shown that eating a protein-rich breakfast reduces the signals in the brain that control food motivation and reward-driven behavior
Protein also helps you feel full. This is because it activates the body’s signals that curb appetite, which reduces cravings and overeating.
This is mostly due to a drop in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the fullness hormones peptide YY, GLP-1 and cholecystokinin
Several studies have now demonstrated that eating a high-protein breakfast changes these hormones throughout the day
High-protein breakfasts reduce calorie intake later in the day. They improve the levels of your appetite-regulating hormones, leading to reduced hunger and cravings.
High-protein breakfasts can reduce appetite and cravings. They may also help you lose belly fat.
Dietary protein is inversely related to belly fat, meaning the more high-quality protein you eat, the less belly fat you have
One study of obese, Chinese teens showed that replacing a grain-based breakfast with an egg-based meal led to significantly more weight loss over 3 months.
The higher-protein breakfast group lost 3.9% of their body weight (about 2.4 kg or 5.3 lbs), while the lower-protein group lost only 0.2% (0.1 kg or 0.2 lbs)
In another study, people on a weight loss program received either an egg breakfast or a bagel breakfast with the same amount of calories.
After 8 weeks, those eating the egg breakfast had a 61% higher reduction in BMI, 65% more weight loss and a 34% greater reduction in waist measurements
Eating protein for breakfast can lead to significant weight loss, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose.
The Best High-Protein Breakfasts
Still, if you’ve ever tried following a high-protein diet (or simply boosting your protein intake), you know that increasing your protein intake isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have your recipe arsenal stocked with high-protein breakfast ideas.
Enter: nutritionists, bloggers, and chefs. They’re here to offer their high-protein breakfast ideas, from sweet and savory options to vegan or paleo picks. Just keep in mind that the nutrition facts are approximate—some of the numbers might change depending on the specific brands you choose. The best part? There’s something everyone will love on this list.
Protein Oatmeal Muffins
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Homemade muffins made with eggs, fruit, oats, and protein powder make for a great grab-and-go, protein-packed breakfast, says Maggie Michalcyzk,a registered dietitian and recipe developer behind Once Upon a Pumpkin. “Easy to make ahead of time, protein oatmeal muffins can be flavored with different fruit like banana, apples, blueberries, and pumpkin,” basically anything you have on hand. Plus, protein oatmeal muffins pair perfectly with a spoonful or two of your favorite nut butter for an additional punch of added protein. Yum!
Per serving: 175 calories, 15 g protein, 3 g fat, 25 g carbs, 4 g fiber
Power Breakfast Bowl
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Made with Applegate Naturals Genoa Salami, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, olives, spinach, and tomatoes then topped with a drizzle of Italian dressing, this breakfast bowl will keep you satiated and satisfied. “Applegate is my choice when it comes to meats because they are 100 percent natural with no chemical nitrates or nitrites and humanely raised with no antibiotics ever,” says Michalcyzk. Adding a hard-boiled egg and salami slices takes the protein up a notch giving this bowl more staying power for your morning.
Per serving: 273 calories, 23 g protein,13 g fat, 24 g carbs, 8 g fiber
Skip the usual slices of toast and instead, make a high-protein breakfast quesadilla using black beans, cheese, scrambled eggs, spinach, turkey bacon, and whole wheat tortillas. Place on a pan to heat until the cheese is melted and then top with sliced avocado. “Black beans are a great source of plant-based protein,” says Michalcyzk, “in addition to the protein in these quesadillas from the eggs and turkey bacon [too].”
Per serving: 360 calories, 17 g protein, 6 g fat, 40 g carbs, 11 g fiber
Spread hummus on a whole grain tortilla and top with avocado, cheese, chicken breast or turkey slices, and spinach for a satisfying and protein-packed breakfast that is easy to make and is completely customizable based on what you have on hand.
Michalcyzk adds, “Hummus helps to add more protein to anything you add it to.” So if you are looking for a low lift way to add more protein to breakfast or any meal for that matter, try a dollop or two of hummus.
Per serving: 246 calories, 21 g protein, 10 g fat, 35 g carbs, 8 g fiber
Blueberry Protein Oatmeal
Oatmeal on its own is a delicious breakfast full of fiber and whole grains, but you can round it out and amp up the nutrition by adding protein-packed ingredients like flax meal, chia seeds, soy or almond milk, or protein powder, says Kimberly M. Neva, RD, a dietitian and bariatric specialist at Rush University Medical Center. Her favorite is 1/3 cup oats topped with 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, and 1/2 cup blueberries. That’s right, you can stir flavored or unflavored protein powder right into your oatmeal.
Per serving: 329 calories, 21 g protein, 11 g fat, 50 g carbs, 8 g fiber
Oat Yogurt Cups
Another option to increase the protein in your oatmeal is to add a couple of dollops of Greek yogurt, Neva says. Sprinkle with cinnamon for extra flavor. “This packs 11 grams of protein per serving and is easy to take on the road with you,” she says. “Plus, you get filling fiber and healthy probiotics.” One serving is 1/3 cup oats and 4 ounces of flavored, low-fat Greek yogurt.
Per serving: 196 calories, 15 g protein, 5 g fat, 33 g carbs, 6 g fiber
No time to make breakfast? Consider a well-rounded protein bar, like one of these RxBars varieties. They lean on simple ingredients —egg whites, almonds, cashews, and dates—to provide you with enough energy to fuel your morning until you can settle in for a solid lunch. Pair one with a banana or apple for a more well-rounded nosh.
Per serving: 210 calories, 12 g protein, 9 g fat, 23 g carbs, 5 g fiber
Mini Egg Frittatas
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If eggs for breakfast sounds boring, try these individual frittatas, Neva says. Mix 2 whole eggs and 1 extra egg white together with 2 ounces of sautéed vegetables. For even more protein, add 3 ounces of turkey sausage. Simply pour the mixture into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until you can insert a knife in them and it comes out clean (in a standard-size muffin tin, that will be about 20 to 25 minutes). One serving is two egg cups. These are a perfect option if you’re not a morning person, as they can be made ahead and then reheated quickly on your way out the door, she adds.
Per serving: 353 calories, 31 g protein, 17 g fat, 17 g carbs, 2 g fiber
Turkish Fried Egg
Looking for an exotic flavor? Try this modified version of a popular Turkish dish, courtesy of Marina Rösser, senior nutrition specialist for the fitness and diet app Freeletics. Sauté red onion, garlic, frozen spinach, and sliced chili peppers in a little olive oil. Once the veggies are soft, add an egg and finish cooking. Top with full-fat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt. “The combination creamy yogurt, fragrant olive oil, spicy chili and lemon is irresistible,” she says.
Per serving: 200 calories, 15 g protein, 12 g fat, 11 g carbs, 1 g fiber
Cottage Cheese Bowl
When it comes to increasing your protein intake, low-fat cottage cheese is an option many people overlook. The nutrition, taste, cost, and ease of preparation make it a great addition to your breakfast rotation, Rösser says. (Note: Low-fat cottage cheese has more protein per serving than full-fat, although both are great options.) She recommends filling a bowl with 1 cup cottage cheese, mixing in 1/4 cup black beans, and topping with tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper.
High Protein Breakfast Ideas to Help You Lose Weight
Ready to start your day off right? Enjoy one of these healthy high-protein breakfasts, from a grab-and-go shake to a hearty breakfast skillet.
1) Simple High-Protein Shake Recipes
Perfect for a quick and healthy high-protein breakfast, this fruity and fun smoothie is sure to start your day off right.
With the addition of a quality protein powder, you can get up to 40 grams of protein per smoothie!
2) Egg and Vegetable Bite Recipe
Frittatas are a classic Italian egg-based dish similar to a crustless quiche and typically include a variety of other ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and cheese.
Frittatas do well when paired with a flavorful sauce too. Top it with a farmer’s market salad full of fresh greens and green goddess dressing, or drizzle some delicious herb pesto to finish it off.
Here are some of our favorite frittata flavor combos:
- Broccoli and feta cheese
- Mushroom, tomato, and balsamic vinegar
- Roasted veggies and romesco sauce
Average protein per serving: 18 grams.
3) “Cheesy” Vegan Tofu Scramble Recipe
A delicious, savory, protein-packed recipe that’s perfect the day of or to meal prep for a scrumptious get-up-and-go breakfast during the week.
For another take on the tofu scramble, try this recipe. A medley of summer vegetables comes together with a seasoned tofu scramble with a satisfying cheesiness to satisfy any morning hunger. The trick? Nutritional yeast! You’d never know it’s vegan!
Average protein per serving: 24 grams.
4) Healthy Greek Yogurt Protein Parfait Recipe
Packed with protein, yogurt parfaits are the perfect way to include a sweet treat in any brunch spread! They also make great meal prep as they can be prepared ahead of time for an easy high-protein breakfast or enjoyed as a dessert perfect for overnight muscle recovery.
Average protein per serving: 32 grams.
5) Lox Style Salmon Toast Recipe
News flash: you can make more than avocado toast for breakfast! Get creative and enjoy all the flavors of a lox style bagel, but as toast!
There really are endless ways to prepare breakfast toast:
- Smoked Salmon Lox style breakfast toast
- Mushroom Avocado Toast
- Keto Cheese Toast
Bump up the protein by topping your toast with an egg! Hardboiled, softboiled, poached, or even scrambled eggs are a great addition to any toast.
If you choose to go hardboiled, try out grating your egg on top of your toast!
Average protein per serving: 23 grams.
6. Sweet Potato and Greens Breakfast Hash Recipe
This one-pan vegetarian sweet potato and greens breakfast hash recipe will provide 4 days of breakfast in less than 30 minutes. Use this recipe as an outline to turn last night’s leftovers into an imaginative high-protein breakfast feast.
Average protein per serving: 28 grams.