When you’re trying to lose weight, breakfast can set the tone for the rest of your day.
Consuming the wrong foods can amplify your cravings and set you up for failure before the day even begins.
On the other hand, filling up on the right foods can curb cravings and keep you feeling full until lunchtime to minimize snacking and ease weight loss.
Here are 14 healthy breakfast foods that can help you lose weight.
Rich in protein and a wealth of important vitamins and minerals, such as selenium and riboflavin, eggs are a true powerhouse of nutrition.
Thanks to their high protein content, eggs may reduce appetite when eaten with breakfast to give weight loss a serious boost.
For example, one study in 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast significantly increased feelings of fullness and reduced food intake later in the day, compared to eating a bagel.
Similarly, another study in 152 adults found that replacing a bagel breakfast with eggs resulted in 65% more weight loss and a 34% greater decrease in waist circumference over an eight-week period.
From boiled to scrambled to sunny-side-up, there are many different ways to enjoy your eggs.
Try cooking up two or three eggs any style, then combining them with a serving of your favorite veggies, for a nutritious and delicious breakfast.
- Wheat Germ
Wheat germ is a component of the wheat kernel that contains a concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, thiamine and selenium.
It’s also high in fiber, boasting nearly 4 grams of fiber in each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.
Studies show that increasing your fiber intake from cereal grains may benefit weight loss.
In one study, eating a high-fiber cereal was effective at reducing appetite and food intake, as well as helping stabilize blood sugar after a meal.
Another study followed over 27,000 men for a period of eight years and found that a higher intake of cereal fiber was associated with a lower risk of weight gain.
Try using wheat germ as a topping for oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt bowls to add a bit of crunch and some extra fiber to your breakfast.
High in fiber but low in calories, bananas are a great alternative to sugary breakfast cereals to satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning.
One medium banana has just over 100 calories yet packs 3 grams of dietary fiber — knocking out up to 12% of your daily fiber needs in one shot .
Fiber helps slow the emptying of your stomach to curb cravings and keep you feeling fuller longer.
Multiple studies have found that upping your intake of fiber from fruits and vegetables is associated with increased weight loss.
Additionally, unripe bananas are a good source of resistant starch, a type of starch that your stomach and small intestine don’t digest.
Research suggests that resistant starch may help reduce food intake and decrease belly fat.
Bananas can be enjoyed alone or sliced as a topping for yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal. You can also add unripe, green bananas to your morning smoothie for a hearty dose of resistant starch.
Creamy, delicious and satisfying, yogurt makes an excellent addition to a weight loss diet.
In particular, Greek yogurt delivers a hearty chunk of protein in every serving, making it an ideal weight loss breakfast food.
One study in 20 women found that eating high-protein yogurt as a snack decreased levels of hunger and reduced food intake by 100 calories later in the day, compared to unhealthy snacks like chocolate and crackers.
Another study in 8,516 people showed that those who ate at least seven servings of yogurt each week had a lower risk of being overweight or obese compared to those who did not regularly consume yogurt.
Try combining one cup (285 grams) of Greek yogurt with some mixed fruit, chia seeds or wheat germ for an especially nutritious breakfast.
Not only are smoothies a quick and easy way to obtain a concentrated dose of nutrients, they also double as a convenient breakfast item that can accelerate weight loss.
Since you can customize your ingredients, you can tailor your drink to fit your personal preferences.
Filling your smoothies with veggies and low-calorie fruits can boost fiber intake to help you feel fuller longer.
Throw in some high-protein ingredients like nuts, seeds or protein powder to promote feelings of fullness and fight off cravings.
However, keep in mind that smoothies can quickly turn into calorie bombs if you overdo the high-calorie ingredients.
For an easy weight loss smoothie, blend one cup (240 ml) of milk with a handful of leafy greens, two tablespoons (28 grams) of chia seeds and one cup (144 grams) of strawberries.
Enjoy your smoothie throughout the morning to resist snacking and combat cravings.
Berry varieties such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are all incredibly nutrient-dense, meaning they’re low in calories but packed with essential nutrients.
In addition to providing many important vitamins and minerals, berries are rich in fiber, which may reduce hunger and food intake.
In fact, one study in 12 women found that swapping a high-sugar afternoon snack for a serving of mixed berries reduced calorie intake later in the day by an average of 133 calories.
Another study in 133,468 adults showed that each daily serving of berries was associated with 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) of weight loss over a four-year period.
Add berries to your morning smoothie, oatmeal or yogurt to take advantage of their unique weight-busting benefits.
Grapefruits are a popular component of many diets and weight loss programs — and for good reason.
Besides being low in calories, grapefruits have a high water and fiber content — both of which can be beneficial for weight loss.
One study in 91 obese adults showed that eating half a grapefruit before meals resulted in significant weight loss, compared to a control group.
In the 12-week study, participants who ate grapefruit lost an average of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) — about five times more than the control group.
In an 85-person study, consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice before a meal for 12 weeks and pairing it with a low-calorie diet, decreased body fat mass by 1.1%, increased weight loss by 7.1% and reduced calorie intake by 20–29%.
Fresh grapefruit slices make a great addition to a well-rounded breakfast. You can also add grapefruit to parfaits, smoothies or fruit salads.
However, if you are taking any drugs make sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before eating grapefruit. Certain drugs may interact with grapefruit, potentially causing some adverse effects.
Some studies have found that your morning cup of joe could bring big weight loss benefits.
Because of its caffeine content, coffee may aid weight loss by boosting metabolism and fat burning.
According to one small study in eight men, caffeine consumption increased metabolism by 13% and enhanced fat breakdown.
Another study in 58,157 adults showed that coffee may aid long-term weight control, as increased coffee intake was associated with less weight gain over a 12-year period.
While coffee may not make a balanced breakfast all on its own, you can easily pair it with your favorite healthy breakfast foods to give your morning meal an upgrade.
Just make sure not to overdo the sugar or creamer, as they add calories and negate some of coffee’s potential health-promoting properties.
High in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium, kiwis offer an impressive nutrient profile.
They’re also an excellent source of fiber — just one cup (177 grams) provides up to 21% of your daily needs.
One study in 83 women showed that a high-fiber, calorie-restricted diet was effective at reducing appetite and preoccupation with food while also decreasing body weight, body fat and waist circumference.
What’s more, kiwis contain a specific type of fiber called pectin, which has been shown to enhance feelings of fullness, decrease appetite and boost weight loss.
They also act as a natural laxative by stimulating the movement of your digestive tract to support regularity and help you lose water weight temporarily.
Sliced kiwis make a great breakfast boost. You can also add them to yogurt, smoothies or cereals.
- Green Tea
Take a look at the ingredients in almost any diet pill or fat-burning supplement and there’s a good chance you’ll spot green tea.
Green tea has been studied extensively for its metabolism and fat-burning capacities.
For instance, one small study in 23 people found that taking three capsules of green tea extract increased fat burning by 17% within just 30 minutes.
Another study in 10 adults showed that green tea extract sped up metabolism and increased calorie burning over a 24-hour period by 4%.
Similarly, a study in 31 adults found that consuming a beverage containing caffeine, calcium and certain compounds found in green tea three times daily for three days increased the number of calories burnt per day by 106 calories.
There are limitless ways to enjoy green tea in the morning. Try adding a squeeze of lemon, drizzling on a bit of honey or brewing your tea with ginger or mint to bring a tasty twist to your cup.
- Chia Seeds
Tiny but powerful, chia seeds are an excellent breakfast supplement.
They’re high in fiber and can absorb water to form a gel, which expands in your stomach to help keep you feeling fuller longer.
They’re also rich in protein, which can slow the emptying of your stomach and reduce levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating hunger.
One study in 11 adults found that eating chia seeds baked into white bread reduced both appetite and blood sugar levels.
Another 12-week study in 19 people showed that 35 grams of chia flour daily significantly reduced body weight and waist circumference.
Try making a chia seed breakfast parfait by mixing one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds with one cup (245 grams) of yogurt in a bowl or mason jar.
Let the mixture soak for about 30 minutes to allow the seeds to swell, then top it off with a one-half cup (74 grams) of your favorite berries.
Chia seeds also make a delicious and nutritious addition to tea, smoothies or overnight oats.
Oatmeal is a healthy and delicious breakfast option, especially if you’re looking to lose weight.
Oats are low in calories but high in fiber and protein — two nutrients that impact appetite and weight control.
In particular, oats are an excellent source of beta-glucan, a type of fiber shown to impact everything from immune function to heart health.
Research shows that beta-glucan can balance blood sugar levels, working to prevent spikes and crashes that may drive up your appetite.
One small study in 14 overweight adults also showed that consuming higher amounts of beta-glucan led to higher levels of peptide YY, a hormone that regulates food intake by reducing appetite.
Try combining one cup (235 grams) of cooked oatmeal with a one-half cup (74 grams) of berries, one tablespoon (7 grams) of ground flaxseed and a handful of almonds for a power-packed, high-fiber morning meal.
Flaxseeds are loaded with viscous fiber, a type of soluble fiber that absorbs water to form a gel in your gut.
Studies show that soluble fiber is especially effective at slowing digestion, which could help decrease appetite and lower calorie intake to aid weight loss.
Research suggests that adding flaxseed to your diet can have a powerful effect on weight loss and appetite control.
One small study found that consuming a drink made with flax seeds increased feelings of fullness and reduced appetite, compared to a sugar-sweetened beverage.
Similarly, a study in 18 men showed that bread buns with added flaxseed fiber suppressed appetite and enhanced fullness more than regular buns.
Flaxseeds are versatile and easy to enjoy. Ground flaxseeds can be sprinkled over cereal, used to thicken up your morning smoothie or even mixed into water to boost your fiber intake.
Nuts provide the perfect balance of fiber, protein and heart-healthy fats, making them a worthy addition to any breakfast.
A one-year study in 169 people showed that adding nuts to a Mediterranean diet significantly decreased waist circumference, compared to a control group.
Another study in 65 adults compared the effects of a low-calorie diet including three ounces (84 grams) of almonds per day to a low-calorie diet including complex carbs.
Both diets contained an equal amount of calories and protein. Yet, by the end of the 24-week study, those consuming almonds had lost 62% more weight and 56% more body fat than those consuming complex carbs.
Keep in mind that nuts are also very calorie-dense, so limit your intake to about one ounce (28 grams) at a time to keep the calories from stacking up.
Mix a serving of nuts into yogurt, cottage cheese or homemade granola to bring your breakfast to the next level in terms of nutrition.
The Bottom Line
Starting your day on the right foot and with the right food can make a world of difference when it comes to weight loss.
Eating healthy breakfast foods can make it easier to curb cravings and stick to your weight loss goals.
Keep in mind that following a weight loss diet doesn’t just end with a healthy breakfast. Be sure to fill your diet with nutritious whole foods throughout the day to optimize your health and help lose weight quickly.