What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Did you eat anything at all? While you could skip breakfast to avoid unhealthy foods and/or lose weight, choosing the right breakfast foods might actually get you closer to your goals than skipping it altogether.
Losing weight takes a lot of effort, patience, and courage. Trying new foods — and refining your cooking skills — can be overwhelming. But small, simple changes — like saying no to fast food, and mixing up your breakfast choices — can have epic results. Here are a few powerful breakfast foods you can prepare at home to help you curb cravings, shed pounds, and feel better in no time at all.
Avocados are everywhere — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A healthy dose of avocado for breakfast, especially paired with high-protein dairy or grains, can fill you up in no time. One serving provides 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. It’s a great substitute for high-fat or high-sugar spreads on toast, because it has just enough healthy fat to give you extra energy without leaving you hungry two hours later.
If you’ve had enough avocado toast (understandable), there’s plenty more you can do with this fruit to start your day off right. Bake it into a breakfast pizza. Mix it into your scrambled eggs. You can even use fresh avocado to bake healthier muffins and vegetable breads.
2. Steel-cut oatmeal
The vast majority of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are high in calories and sugar, resulting in a pretty empty and unsatisfactory breakfast. Hot cereals like oatmeal, however, provide the complex sugars and fiber a bowl of Lucky Charms can’t. Just one serving of cooked steel-cut oats yields 5 grams of fiber — a decent amount for just one meal. Cook your oats in water, or use milk for a slight protein and vitamin boost.
You could eat your oatmeal plain, but it’s OK to add your own flavor, either with spices like cinnamon or add-ons like bananas or granola. This is much better than pre-flavored instant oatmeal, which packs in way more sugar than you need so early on in the day. Also make sure you’re adding plenty of protein into your oatmeal so you can keep your midmorning snack — if you have one — fairly small.
3. Eggs and toast
Eggs are a popular breakfast staple for a reason. They’re not only versatile (Boil them! Scramble them! Fry them in oil!), but they’re also extremely nutritious. A single egg has 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fat, says Healthline, plus plenty of essential vitamins and minerals.
Toast, made with whole grains instead of white bread, is also a nutritious addition to your breakfast plate. The two together create a well-rounded pair full of flavor that’s guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied till lunch. You can even add other ingredients to make a full breakfast sandwich — like avocado, tomatoes, and cheese.
4. Nut butter
Nut butters can be high in calories per serving, but the protein and healthy fats they provide make up for that. You don’t want to go too crazy — they’re healthier than peanut butter, but not by too much. However, it’s not only a good alternative for those with peanut allergies, but also for anyone who wants to start their day off with more fiber and healthy fats that taste amazing.
Some of your favorite breakfast foods, like bagels or pancakes, can benefit from a creamy protein boost. This can help you charge toward your weight loss goals, too. Just eating a banana for breakfast, for example, might not keep you full for very long. Add a little almond butter, though, and you won’t have to take your usual midmorning snack break.
Many people find it difficult to incorporate even one serving of veggies into their breakfast. Grabbing a power bar or devouring an Egg McMuffin on the way to work won’t cut it. You might be surprised how easy it is to add some plant foods like spinach to your first meal of the day — especially because most are naturally fibrous and low in sugar.
A cup of spinach has just under 1 gram of protein, and about the same amount of fiber. Adding even a handful of leaves to your breakfast sandwich, omelette, or frittata will give you the long-lasting energy boost you need to make it through the morning.
6. Greek yogurt
Eating a variety of foods from different food groups is a healthy way to eat without getting bored. Choosing a healthy source of dairy isn’t always easy, but the right combinations could jumpstart your weight loss in no time. Research has shown foods like yogurt are optimal for weight loss. Greek yogurt especially, tends to be higher in protein and lower in saturated fat than regular yogurt, which is why it’s a breakfast food you should welcome into your morning routine.
You don’t have to eat yogurt straight out of the container to add more protein to your day. Spread it onto your bagel in place of cream cheese. Include it in your homemade smoothie. You can even bake scones, biscuits, and muffins with plain Greek yogurt instead of butter.
7. Brown rice
Mixing up your breakfast choices might mean eating something you never thought could work as a breakfast food. Rice for breakfast might seem out of the ordinary, but it’s actually one of the easiest ways to fill your belly and fuel up before your day starts. Unlike white rice, brown rice is a whole grain — it provides much more protein and vitamins per cup, and has a much stronger flavor, too.
Brown rice is a popular and highly effective oatmeal replacement. Toss in some fresh fruit and cinnamon to enjoy a gluten-free breakfast bowl worth savoring. Just try to avoid adding butter or sugar, which kind of defeats the purpose of making a healthy bowl of rice.