Healthy and filling, high-protein breakfast recipes designed for weight loss

  • 4 Minutes Read

Breakfast is important, but it doesn't have to be complicated or high-calorie with high-protein breakfast recipes created for weight loss.

High-protein breakfast recipes for weight loss

No argument here: Choose high-protein breakfast recipes for weight loss

Breakfast is the one meal we can't stop arguing about. No one tries to define the perfect lunch. No one argues about whether or not you should eat dinner. But for some reason, breakfast is controversial.

All of this makes breakfast sound like a lot of work. Who has time for that on a busy morning?

We do know this: a high-protein breakfast can help moderate your appetite throughout the day, and if you're trying to control calories, that's important. Research does show that skipping breakfast and eating nothing until midday or later is a bad idea. Hunger will catch up to you. If you're trying to control your calories, you can end up overeating or going for quick, sugary, high-fat foods instead of healthier food.

If your hectic morning schedule leaves no time for a traditional, sit-down, cooked breakfast such as eggs and toast, don't despair. High-protein breakfast recipes for weight loss can be found among simple foods you can eat or drink on the go.

Breakfast sandwich

According to the latest consumer research, breakfast sandwiches are growing in popularity. No wonder: they're convenient, tasty, and can be made in endless variations. You can make them at home or purchase them at restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, and food trucks. You can eat them in the car or at your desk.

What about the nutrition and calories? Here are some tips for a high-protein breakfast sandwich on the go:

  1. Quality protein: scrambled eggs, cheese, tofu, lean meat, nut butter, or refried beans
  2. Vegetables: tomato slices, grilled peppers or onions, lettuce or greens, sprouts, grated carrots, sauteed mushrooms.
  3. Whole-grain bread. (Use a lettuce wrap if you are on a very low-carb plan.)
  4. Modest size. You don't need a foot-long sandwich for breakfast. You don't need a giant bagel piled high with cream cheese or a huge breakfast burrito overloaded with cheese and fried potatoes. That's simply going too far, especially when watching calories.

High-protein breakfast sandwich combinations for weight loss

  1. Start with a small, single-serve, ciabatta-style mini bread, small tortilla, flatbread, or a small bagel. You can make the bagel more manageable, cut a few calories by slicing the bagel into thirds, and set aside the middle section for later. Hint: when you cut bagels this way, freeze the middle sections, and use those to make breakfast sandwiches another time.

  2. Add one or two high-protein ingredients: one scrambled egg, one to two tablespoons grated cheese, 1/4 cup refried beans, 1/4 cup hummus, or one to two ounces lean meat, tuna salad, or smoked salmon.

  3. Top with two or more vegetables of choice from the list above.

  4. Season with salt, pepper, herbs, or seasoning mixes. Fresh herbs, like basil, goes great with a tomato/mozzarella or scrambled egg/grilled pepper combination.

What about bacon? It's a protein

Bacon contains less protein than an egg or smoked salmon. Bacon certainly tastes good and adds a flavor boost, but it's also high in sodium. If you make a bacon breakfast sandwich using a small (3-inch) toasted bagel, one scrambled egg (non-stick pan), only one slice of bacon, sliced tomatoes, and grilled red pepper, it adds up to about 400 calories. Not bad for a breakfast sandwich. Bacon portion control is key. One slice on a small sandwich is sufficient, although you may say it is sacrifice! But remember, you're looking for high-protein to support weight loss.

Smoothies make a great high-protein breakfast on the go

For people who like to drink their breakfast, smoothies make the ideal quick, healthy breakfast. To make your own smoothie at home, combine these basic ingredients in a blender to make one modest serving:

  1. Ice chips, milk, soy milk, almond milk, or a combination of them: 2/3 to 1 cup

  2. Real fruit: 1/2 to 1 cup

  3. Yogurt: 1/2 cup-2/3 cup. Plain yogurt will give you a tangy, less sweet smoothie while vanilla, honey, or lemon will add sweetness. For a protein super-boost, use Greek yogurt.

  4. Other protein: If you prefer, you can add a protein powder of your choice (plant or animal-based) instead of yogurt. Silken tofu also works well in smoothies.

Sample high-protein breakfast smoothie

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup 1% milk or soy milk

2/3 cup Greek lemon yogurt

1 cup frozen mixed berries

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Approximately 280 calories, 19 grams protein per serving

Lower-carb breakfast

Sandwiches and smoothies make great breakfasts to eat on the go, but it's not easy to build a breakfast sandwich without bread or a smoothie without fruit or juice when you're going low-carb.

Wraps

One lower-carb breakfast is to use sliced deli meats or thin cheese slices for the wrap, rolling them around sliced or chopped vegetables. Use salsa or other lower-calorie sauces for dipping. Here are some examples:

If some carbs are OK in your diet plan, you can include chunks of leftover cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes in your wraps.

Egg breakfast

If cooking isn't a problem, egg breakfasts are a classic low-carb choice. A two-egg omelet with sauteed vegetables and one to two tablespoons of grated cheese will have about 300 calories. Or try a tofu scramble: two ounces soft tofu chunks sauteed with one to two cups of mixed vegetables: broccoli, onion, peppers, tomato, mushrooms, sweet potato, sugar snap peas. Season to taste.

More simple breakfasts for home or office

Additional reading about high-protein diets

Can eating high-protein meals help you lose weight? Here's what one study found
If you are starting a high-protein eating plan, check out these 5 steps for success
Protein powder pros and cons: What to look for to support weight loss and overall health
5 Ingredients or less high-protein snack ideas for weight loss

This blog was reviewed and updated by Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES on December 10, 2020.

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Meal Planning & Diets->Breakfast
Dec 11, 2020
Donna P Feldman MS RDN is author of Food Wisdom for Women and "Feed Your Vegetarian Teen". She writes about food and nutrition at Radio Nutrition.

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