Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Weight Loss

Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Weight Loss

A dietitian’s perspective on whether eating breakfast is good for losing weight. Plus 12 dietitian-approved weight loss breakfast ideas.

Is eating breakfast good for losing weight?

If you’re trying to lose weight, one thing to look at besides calories is your meal pattern throughout the day. 

Studies have found that even when the same amount of calories are consumed per day, eating more in the morning and less at dinner is more effective for weight loss than eating less in the morning and more at night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). 

So why is this? There are likely several things at play, but they all tend to come back to one thing: your circadian rhythm. 

All of us have a natural rhythm in our bodies that causes our hormone levels to rise and fall. And these hormone levels affect everything from sleep to hunger cues to insulin. 

Insulin and hunger hormones are big deals when it comes to losing weight: insulin affects fat storage while hunger hormones tell us when we’re hungry and full. 

Additionally, research suggests that individuals who eat breakfast, compared to those who skip it tend to have better blood sugar control and improved heart health (7). 

Read more about the benefits of breakfast here. 

Breakfast can make intermittent fasting even more effective

If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you’ve looked into or even tried intermittent fasting. 

While there are many ways to do intermittent fasting, one misconception that’s become popular with it is that intermittent fasting automatically means you’ll be skipping breakfast. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

Sure, many people who do intermittent fasting choose to skip breakfast and instead be able to eat later into the day. 

However, some research suggests that adjusting your intermittent eating schedule to include breakfast and therefore stop eating earlier in the day may be more effective in burning fat and losing weight (8, 9). 

What to eat at breakfast to lose weight 

Of course, all of this also depends on what you’re eating for breakfast.

While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a scone or donut from time, to time, if you want to lose weight you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting enough protein. 

Protein is digested more slowly, which can help you feel fuller for longer. Or in other words, by getting enough protein in the morning, you’ll be less likely to mindlessly snack during the morning (10, 11). 

Additionally, research has found that splitting your protein intake equally throughout the day (known as protein pacing) not only helps with weight loss, but it’s been shown to help individuals lose weight while still maintaining more muscle mass. 

How much protein should you eat at breakfast to lose weight? 

How much protein you need at breakfast really comes down to individual needs and lifestyles. 

In general aim to get 20-30% of your calories from protein per day.

This means eating around 20-35 grams of protein at breakfast, depending on your individual calorie needs.

Note: If you have kidney disease, be sure to talk with your doctor before increasing your protein intake. 

Other nutrients for weight loss

But, protein isn’t the only nutrient that’s important when you’re trying to lose weight. 

These nutrients have also been linked with benefits for weight and fat loss:

  • Fiber: veggies, fruits, whole grains (12). 
  • Healthy fats: chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, salmon, avocado, olive oil (13).
  • Probiotics: unsweetened Greek yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut (14, 15, 16). 

12 Dietitian-Approved Weight Loss Breakfast Ideas

Time for the food! Here are 12 dietitian-approved healthy breakfast for weight loss. 

Sweet

Jar of healthy peanut butter overnight oats

1. Strawberries and Cream Protein Overnight Oats

Nutrition: 305 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 35g carbs, 10g fiber, 3g sugar, 22g protein.

2. Healthy Spinach and Cherry Smoothie (add 1 serving whey or plant-based protein powder)

Nutrition: 280 calories, 5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 30 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 19 g natural sugar, 33 g protein.

3. Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding from Eating Bird Food

Nutrition: 378 calories, 19g fat (1g saturated fat), 44 g carbs, 18 g fiber, 18g sugar, 14 g protein. 

4. Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Nutrition: 385 calories, 17 g fat (3 g saturated), 48 g carbs, 11 g of fiber, 5 g sugar, 15 g protein.

5. Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl from The Worktop

Nutrition: 311 calories, 22 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 12 g carb, 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 18 g protein.

6. Fluffy Cottage Cheese Pancakes from Food Faith Fitness

Nutrition: 122 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 13 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 7 g protein.

Savory

Slice of overnight broccoli and egg casserole

7. Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls from Well Plated 

Nutrition: 361 calories, 19g fat (3g saturated fat), 35 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 6g sugar, 16 g protein. 

8. Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust from Ambitious Kitchen

Nutrition: 143 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 2 g of fiber, 4 g sugar, 11 g protein.

9. 5-Minute Healthy Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon from Two Healthy Kitchens

Nutrition: 143 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 2 g of fiber, 4 g sugar, 11 g protein.

10. Overnight Broccoli and Egg Casserole 

Nutrition: 280 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 28 g carb, 9 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 15 g protein.

11. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches from Fit Foodie Finds

Nutrition: 328 calories, 15 g fat, 30 g carb, 5 g fiber, 21 g protein.

12. Simple Savory Oats 

Nutrition: 350 calories, 20 g fat (7 g saturated), 23 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 20 g protein.

More nutrition articles to check out 

Curious about what you should eat to fuel a morning workout? Check out my post here. 

Hungry for more recipes? Be sure to check out my sortable recipe index!

If you found this content helpful, be sure to leave a comment and follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more dietitian-approved breakfast tips and recipes! 

Best breakfast for weight loss

Disclaimer: This information is meant simply for educational purposes and should not be mistaken for personalized nutrition advice. It’s always important to talk with your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Here you’ll find healthy breakfast recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your health goals in mind.

As a dietitian I understand that a healthy breakfast is essential for giving you the fuel you need to power through your day. Which is why on TheHealthyToast, you’ll find nutrition guides plus the best healthy breakfast recipes for every diet and lifestyle.

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