It’s no secret that breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. But you need to do more than just eat something – anything – upon waking to reap the benefits of eating breakfast. You also need to choose healthy and satiating foods that keep you from hitting the vending machine before lunch. There’s a difference between grabbing a donut with your coffee and having a protein-packed meal that will keep cravings at bay.
Eating breakfast has been shown to encourage better food choices and increased activity levels. It’s also likely that if you eat breakfast, you’ll eat less overall throughout the day. That’s why research shows 78% of people who successfully lose and maintain their weight are breakfast-eaters. Breakfast has also been linked to improve concentration and memory.
To start your day right and stay energized, choose your breakfast wisely. Even if you’re short on time, you can grab something on your way out the door that will provide you with valuable nutrients while being hearty enough to keep you going for hours.
Need some healthy breakfast inspiration? Here are 9 good-for-you choices that will fill you up. The one thing they all have in common is that they’re packed with protein.
- Eggs, avocado and lox. Dice up a hard-boiled egg, half an avocado and an ounce of lox. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt and/or pepper. You’ll get over 12 ounces of protein and a dose of healthy fat, potassium and fiber.
- Cottage cheese on toast. Top 1 slice of toasted whole wheat bread with 6 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese and you’ll consume nearly 20 grams of protein. Add a piece of fruit to round out your meal.
- Greek yogurt. Skip the sweetened fruit-flavored yogurt and instead pair plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries and chopped nuts or low-sugar granola. You’ll get about 17 grams of protein per container.
- Egg roll-ups. Fill a whole grain tortilla with two scrambled eggs mixed with chopped veggies, turkey sausage and salsa for a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast you can eat on the go. Each large egg contains 6 grams of protein.
- Breakfast BLT salad. Salad for breakfast? You bet! Massage some kale with olive oil and vinegar then top with a soft-cooked egg, 2 strips of bacon, sliced avocado and grape tomatoes.
- Loaded egg muffins. Don’t have time to prepare breakfast in the morning? Make a batch of egg muffins ahead of time. Just whisk eggs with your favorite mix-ins, drop into a mini muffin tin and bake until centers are set. They’re the perfect portable breakfast.
- Avocado toast. Mash half an avocado on a slice of whole grain bread. Top with a slice of tomato and a sunny-side up egg. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper.
- Whole grain French toast. Soak a slice of whole grain bread in a beaten egg mixed with ½ t vanilla extract. Cook in a non-stick skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes per side and sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with fresh bananas or berries, a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
- Apple energy bites. Mix ½ cup almond butter with 2 T honey and 1 t vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of rolled oats with 2 T ground flaxseed, 2 T chopped nuts, 1 t ground cinnamon, ½ t allspice and ½ t salt. Combine the oat mixture with the almond butter mixture. Then stir in ¼ cup dried cranberries and 1 cup of apples that have been tossed in lemon juice. Roll into balls and store in the refrigerator.