If you're trying to lose weight, you've got to start the day on a high note. But what is the best breakfast for weight loss?
But whatever diet you are on, your best chance of success is eating smart meals, loaded with nutritious foods that taste great. So what is the best breakfast for weight loss? We asked Instagram RDs and they had a lot to say about what foods you should be eating to start your day on the right foot.
Best Healthy Breakfasts for Weight Loss
A breakfast that honors your hunger
“When my clients skip breakfast, they wind up overeating later,” says Elizabeth M. Madison, RD, CDN and the founder of the Weight Loss Transformation Center. “They tend to double down and have a heavier lunch or a mid-morning snack and they wind up having more cravings for refined carbohydrates.”
Before we get to what should end up on your breakfast plate, Madison stresses the benefits eating breakfast can provide. Starting your day with a balanced meal tends to result in decreased cravings for refined carbohydrates, better portion control, and stabilized hormone regulation.
However, that doesn’t mean that everyone has to eat breakfast every day, says Ashley Holly, RD.
“There is not strong scientific backing that states breakfast is required,” she says. “However, the preference for breakfast is highly individualized and how you react to skipping or including breakfast will impact your success with weight loss.”
Meaning, if you’re ignoring hunger or your breakfast cravings, this is what is likely to sabotage your weight loss. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat or wait to eat breakfast. However, if you are hungry and skip breakfast, Holly warns that you may find yourself binging later on and that overeating could keep you from reaching your goals.
A breakfast that is easy, or already prepared
One of Madison’s favorite approaches with her busy clients is to help them find the best healthy breakfast they like that they can make in advance, maybe on the weekends, and then rewarm before heading out to work.
Among her go-to recommendations is a McMuffin knock-off, made on a whole-wheat English muffin with ham, egg, and a lower fat cheese. There is also a mini quiche, made with eggs and greens and baked in a muffin tin and kept in the fridge for easy reheating.
Overnight oats are the recommendation made by Holly. Her base recipe is ½ cup of old fashioned oats, 1 cup of your milk of choice, a tablespoon of flax seeds, and a tablespoon of a natural sweetener like maple syrup, honey or monk fruit. From there, you can customize your recipe by adding pumpkin or sweet potato puree, nuts, or cinnamon.
“If you are a busy human or mom, like me, then I recommend using the same amount of time to make several servings for your week,” she says. “Make one huge batch to serve several days in a row or make several single batches in mason jars so you can grab and go!”
A breakfast loaded with protein
If you’re looking for the best breakfast that could support you in your weight loss goals, Madison says she always recommends a high protein breakfast. Adequate protein intake helps to promote satiety, which is the feeling of fullness and satisfaction, and she says that a high protein breakfast helps her clients to last longer between meals.
“Eating a balanced diet that is low in carbohydrates, moderate in proteins and rich in healthy fats can reduce fat storing and promote weight loss,” says Jaime Coffey Martinez, RD. “Focus on eating a lower carb breakfast and one that is rich in proteins.”
Aja Gyimah, Graduate RD, of Aja Made Ya, also adds protein to every breakfast for a balanced meal. She suggests a greek yogurt parfait, an omelet, or a tofu scramble. The addition of soy milk, cows milk, meat and legumes are all other ways you can increase the protein in your breakfast.
A veggie-filled breakfast
“We tend to not eat many veggies for breakfast,” says Taylor Williams, the RD behind 413 Nutrition. “When you can add them into egg omelets or breakfast taco that’s always a plus.”
Vegetables bring added fiber and nutrients to the breakfast table. They can feel difficult to add to a meal, but there is nothing simpler than Williams’ Veggie Omelet in a Mug. Start with 2 eggs, a tablespoon of milk, and half a cup of chopped vegetables. Then, scramble with a fork, add salt and pepper, and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
More unconventionally, Madison suggests eating dinner for breakfast. That makes it a little easier to have a plate filled with lean protein, vegetables, and whole-grain carbohydrates or vegetable carbohydrates. She says that many of her clients have reported back that their coworkers have started to bring dinner for breakfast, too!
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A high-fiber breakfast
Eating high-fiber foods, like fruits and vegetables, is one of our weight-loss rules to live by. A balanced plate of protein, fat, and healthy carbohydrates is important but it isn’t complete without fiber. It is believed it may reduce appetite and promote loss of belly fat.
“Personally, I try to include as much fiber as possible as well,” says Williams. ”A good way to include fiber and some good fats is to use a seed sprinkle such as chia seeds. Sprinkle on toast, eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, or any other recipes you have. I use a hemp, flax, chia seed trio mix.”
Other high-fiber foods that go great with breakfast include avocados, bananas, pears and almonds. Starting your day with a high-fiber breakfast can help you eat the recommended intake, which is 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams for men.
Check out Larabar founder's Lara Merriken's delicious Breakfast Smoothie.
Elizabeth M. Madison, RD, CDN, founder of the Weight Loss Transformation Center
Medical News Today: "Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?"
Aja Gyimah, Graduate RD, Aja Made Ya
Taylor Williams, RD, 413 Nutrition
Healthline: "How Eating Fiber Can Help You Lose Belly Fat"