This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Weight loss is challenging enough. You don’t want to mess it up first thing in the morning. Discover the best breakfast foods for weight loss.
Eating the right things and avoiding the wrong ones in the morning can set you up for a day of weight loss succes
Do you need breakfast for weight loss?
Before explaining what the best breakfast foods are you need to know that it is ok and most likely even beneficial to skip breakfast.
There are claims that you need to “kickstart” your metabolism and such. This is not the case. Digesting food does increase the calories you burn but you can always have the same amount of food at a later time.
Extending the amount of time you fast overnight is a good thing for a lot of people.
If you are able to get enough nutrients in your other meals and don’t have any medical concerns, you can try skipping out on breakfast.
You will initially feel hungry but this will go away over time.
What your breakfast should do for you
Let’s say you decide to have breakfast. In that case there are a few different things you want your breakfast to accomplish. By knowing these things it will become clearer what you should and should not eat.
The first thing you want is feeling full for a while. Hunger is one of the common reasons people fail to stick to their weight loss routine. It can also really interfere with whatever you are doing that day.
The second thing is providing you with valuable micronutrients. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to survive and thrive. These nutrients greatly influence your health and weight.
The third thing is helping you consume enough calories and protein. Yes, you read that right, enough. Not consuming enough calories each day can have reverse effects of your weight loss. One of the best times of the day to consume these calories is in the morning.
Foods with micronutrients
The first category of food you should focus on are foods with micronutrients, vitamins and minerals.
These are mainly foods like vegetables, nuts and seeds. Fruit can also provide you with some micronutrients but in most cases vegetables have higher levels.
If you mind just consuming them raw in the morning you can for example combine them with eggs for a great morning omelet.
These micronutrient heavy foods also contain a nice amount of fiber most of the time. The fiber is not only good for your health. It will also help you avoid hunger a lot.
If you’re looking to change only one thing in your breakfast, adding more micronutrient dense foods might be priority number one.
Carbohydrate breakfast foods for weight loss
The next category of foods you can add to your diet are foods that are mainly consumed for their carbohydrate content.
Do keep in mind that there still is a big difference between the different kinds of foods within this category.
Some people argue that it’s better to completely remove most of these kinds of foods from your diet.
Carbohydrate breakfast foods that are good for weight loss are mostly more “complex” carbohydrates.
Some examples are legumes, oats, quinoa, corn, whole grains, berries, fruit,…
These foods will probably be the biggest sources of calories in your diet. Make sure you don’t overdo it with these.
The carbohydrate category also contains some of the worst breakfast foods. These set you up for a blood sugar and hunger rollercoaster throughout the day. Make sure you avoid these.
Some examples are processed cereals high in sugar, donuts, muffins, white bread, fruit juices, pancakes..
Protein breakfast foods for weight loss
Protein is a great addition to your breakfast. Do keep in mind that you can also have too much.
Protein will help you feel fuller, it will help your preserve and build muscle (which will help you burn more calories) and your body just needs enough protein to function.
The difference between health of foods within this category might not be as big as the carbohydrate category. However, some sources of protein are better for your health and weight than others.
Some good sources of protein breakfast sources for weight loss are plant-based proteins, fish,greek yogurt, and some lean meat like fish or turkey every once in a while.
Eggs are also a great addition to your breakfast. They are high in important nutrients.
Again, the following protein sources are probably not as bad as sugar but you might want to consume them in moderation.
This section is mainly red meats like bacon, sausages, pork,…
Fat breakfast foods for weight loss
Fat used to be thought of something you need to stay away from to be healthy. However, there is an important difference between the different kinds of fat heavy foods.
Some examples of good food with fat content are olive oil, fish, nuts, nut oils,… and arguably coconut oil
Bad vegetables oils are the main fatty foods you need to stay away from.
What should you drink at breakfast?
The best weight loss drinks at breakfast are pretty simple.
Water, coffee and tea are good. The fluid from them will help you feel fuller and hydrate your body.
You can flavor your water with some low calorie fruits like for example lemon.
Stay away from basically everything else. Fruit juice, soda, even so called “vitamin water” can contain questionable amounts of calories and substances.
What should you eat for breakfast to lose weight?
Every individual has different tastes, needs and habits.
If you exercise a lot you might want to increase your protein intake more than someone else. If you eat a salad at lunch you might need less vegetables in the morning. Some people need more calories than others.
What the ideal weight loss breakfast for you looks like is something you have to experiment with. Keep in mind the guidelines from this article and you will see a lot of improvement.