20 Quick & Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Weight Loss
By Finer Things Contributors
Contrary to popular belief, skipping breakfast won’t help!
As celebrated nutritionist Adelle Davis famously put it back in the 1960s, we should “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
Decades of research have proved she was right. Ask any registered dietitian for weight loss tips, and they’ll invariably answer “eat a healthy breakfast.” By front-loading our calorie intake, our bodies have more hours to burn them.
One 25-year long study found 78% of those who were able to lose weight and keep it off ate a healthy breakfast every day. Another found lean people almost never skip it. Breakfast eaters tend to have healthier hearts and lower cholesterol too, so getting into the habit of a morning meal offers a host of health benefits in addition to losing weight. It’s proven we need a healthy breakfast for weight loss.
The latest nutritional guidance suggests women should consume at least 15% to 25% of their daily caloric take in the morning, especially if they are focused on losing weight.
A healthy breakfast is key to weight loss
As with everything, what you eat is as important as when you eat. Within an hour or two after rising, focus on food that will deliver energy slowly so you’re less likely to experience blood sugar spikes or pangs of hunger. Both can lead to cravings, which in turn can lead to a doughnut.
Avoid sugary carbs, no matter how tempting that cheese danish looks. Instead, focus on protein-rich, nutrient-dense foods low in sugars and unhealthy fats to keep you satiated.
Make your breakfast options something you look forward to. Below we’ve outlined terrific ingredients and ideas to supercharge your morning meal.
Best Breakfast Food Foods A-Z
Mix and match to create your own healthy breakfast recipes.
High in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats, almond butter is a great choice to slather on whole-grain toast, bagels, or even add to a protein or bowl of oatmeal.
Fiber is a key to weight loss. Apples are loaded with pectin, a great natural source of fiber. Top sliced apples with cinnamon, add chopped apples to oatmeal, or toss into a smoothie. Or, just slather some slices with almond or peanut butter for a quick, healthy breakfast for weight loss.
This superfood is one of the best weight loss foods around, packing in nearly 20 vitamins and minerals into every bite. Its healthy fat and fiber content helps keep you full, too. Mash some up with curry and grinds of pepper on toast, add to a breakfast burrito or serve on the side of some scrambled eggs.
Eastern medicine has long known the power of piperine, the compound that gives black pepper its signature spice and heat. Recent studies discovered piperine may promote adipogenesis or the ability to block new fat cells from forming. So, grab that grinder.
Beans and Lentils
Flexible high-protein legumes are a great option at breakfast. Beans on toast are a traditional British breakfast item, even if we don’t associate them with a traditional morning meal.
Throw some chickpeas into a smoothie or on top of a parfait, add black beans to a breakfast burrito or lentils into a pan of shakshuka, the spicy tomato, and eggs dish that’s so on-trend now.
If you’re a certain age, when you hear the word “chia” you automatically add the word “pet.” Chia seeds originally hail from Mexico; the name derives from the Mayan word for “strength.” Chia is incredibly rich in fiber and protein and packed with antioxidants and omega-3 oils. A great way to get this into your diet is to make chia pudding, which is basically added seeds to some almond milk and let it rest. As the seeds absorb the liquid, they make a creamy, satisfying pudding that you can pair with granola, berries, or top with honey.
For many women, our morning coffee is a vital ritual. But that jolt of caffeine may do more than just wake you up. Research suggests that it can boost your metabolism, lower hunger hormone levels, and boost levels of hormones that make you feel full. Up your morning protein intake by adding a heap of protein powder to your morning coffee.
Not only does it add a tasty sweet note to everything from apples to oatmeal, but studies suggest that cinnamon may help ward off belly fat. Especially in the fall, we love adding cinnamon to a healthy breakfast for weight loss.
Flaxseeds are the richest plant source of healthy omega-3 fats, yet low in carbohydrates. Plus, each tablespoon of flaxseeds packs three grams of belly trimming fiber, antioxidants, and B vitamins. They’re also a good source for lignans, which balance female hormones. The nutty taste is a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and beyond.
OK, so it’s not exactly food. But, dozens of studies link green tea with weight loss. This is thanks to catechins, the group of antioxidants concentrated in the leaves of tea plants, specifically epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which is found almost exclusively in green tea. Drink a glass alongside a healthy breakfast for weight loss.
Organic protein powder
Getting into the smoothie or green habit is a great trick to weight loss. Add some protein powder into a blender with some almond milk, peanut butter, bananas, and even a little hot chocolate powder for a satisfying, filling start. Or, combine in a blender with green drink powder with ice, fresh fruit, or greens such as spinach.
Oatmeal’s claim to fame is its proven ability to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. It’s filling and you can top it with all kinds of toppings, including berries, chia seeds, flaxseeds, nut butter, cinnamon, honey, maple syrup, the list goes on. Do check the label, though. Oats are naturally gluten-free but can sometimes be made in factories where other gluten-containing grains are processed. Rolled oats are fine but you’ll get more fiber and nutrition benefits from steel-cut oats. The latter can take a while to cook, but fear not, you can easily prep them in advance by making overnight oats.
The humble egg is a nutritional powerhouse. Each one is loaded with 5.5 grams of protein, rich in calcium and other nutrients. Eggs also contain choline, which triggers your body to release fat from around your liver. Keep a few hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for a quick protein pick-up or whip a quick omelet or frittata with last night’s leftover veggies.
Want to mix it up? Take a Southwest theme with a breakfast burrito stuffed with eggs and black beans. If you worry about your cholesterol, you can opt to just use the egg whites, which is where most of the egg’s protein can be found.
Seek out high-protein, low sugar granola. Pair it up with some Greek yogurt, and you’re halfway to a breakfast parfait. Top it berries and sprinkle on some flaxseeds for a boost of omega-3 or some chia seeds with a drizzle of honey and voila!
Greek yogurt has been strained to remove extra liquid and whey. The result is a thicker, denser final product with a higher concentration of protein and probiotics. Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium, potassium, and Vitamin B12.
Natural Peanut Butter
Commercial peanut spreads are often loaded with sugar and oils, so look for a jar that contains just peanuts and salt. Better yet, find a local store that has a machine that grinds salted peanuts into butter on the spot. Although hefty in calories, the natural healthy fats in peanut butter will help with satiety to keep you full.
A slice of white meat or even a turkey sausage is an easy way to bump up your protein without introducing unhealthy fats. Add to avocado toast, stir into scrambled eggs, or add it to a breakfast burrito on a whole-grain tortilla.
This trendy protein-rich ancient grain is packed with fiber, making it great for weight loss. Treat it as an alternative to oatmeal as a healthy breakfast for weight loss.
Whole Grain, Sprouted and Multi-Grains
Some people just crave carbs in the morning. A plain bagel doesn’t pack much nutrition. Go with high-fiber, whole wheat, or whole grains over white bread. Add one of the options above like salmon, nut butter, or be on trend with some avocado toast.
Adding a slice of wild salmon, smoked or poached, is an indulgent way to amp up any breakfast concoction. Add a slice to that whole grain avocado toast or bagel or scramble into some eggs. Plus, salmon is super keto-friendly.
Breakfast for Weight Loss
Breakfast may not scientifically be the most important meal of the day – that slogan was dreamed up by General Mills to sell more Grape Nuts back in 1944. But, it can be critical to have a healthy breakfast for weight loss. If you can get at least 25% of your calories in by noon, that’s a good start. So, time to eat!
Wondering what else to do in the morning for your healthiest self? Try adding in some lemon water!