The 15 Best Breakfasts for Weight Loss

Question: What are the best foods to eat in the morning for weight loss?

Answer: One word: protein. A slew of research shows that a high-protein breakfast, like eggs and bacon, trumps high-carb eats such as cereal.

In addition to helping you feel more full after your meal, the effects last all day long. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate a high-protein breakfast consumed fewer high-fat and high-sugar snacks in the evening compared to those who started their day with a lower-protein meal.

Another recent study found that high-protein breakfast eaters have better control over glucose and insulin levels, which can keep cravings in check and may lower your risk of developing diabetes.

Mike Roussell, Ph.D., a Men’s Health nutrition advisor, suggests downing about 30 grams of protein at breakfast from foods such as eggs, Greek yogurt, or a smoothie.

These meals will help get you there.

1. Egg and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich with Herb Mayo

If your first human interaction of the day is with a fast food drive-thru intercom, you’re off to a bad start. Eat this sandwich, which comes from the Men’s Health cookbook A Man, A Pan, A Plan, instead. You’ll avoid the grease trap, fill up on fiber, and even sneak in some vegetables before noon. Go, you.

Mitch Mandel

What You’ll Need:

1 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, and/or thyme)
1 Tbsp butter
1 whole-wheat English muffin, split
1 large egg
1 slice large tomato, 1/2-inch thick

How to Make It:

1. In a small bowl, mixthe mayo and herbs. Set aside. In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, melt half the butter. Add the 2 halves of the English muffin, cut side down. Toast until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the muffin to a plate and spread the mayo on 1 muffin half.

2. In the same pan, add the remaining butter and swirl to coat. Add the egg and the tomato on separate sides of the pan. Season the tomato with salt and pepper. Cook the egg to your liking, about 1 minute per side for over easy, 2 minutes for over hard. Flip the tomato when you flip the egg. On the muffin with the mayo, add the tomato and egg. Close the sandwich. Chow. Feeds 1.

Nutrition per serving: 412 calories, 13 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber), 29 g fat

2. Almond, Blueberry, Cinnamon Skillet Granola

Let’s call granola what it really is: glorified breakfast cereal. That said, a bowl of Frosted Flake doesn’t have nuts, fruit, and flaxseeds, like this A Man, A Pan, A Plan recipe does. Sorry, Tony. Serve this with a heaping heaping of Greek yogurt to hit your protein goals.

Mitch Mandel

What You’ll Need:

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp flaxseeds
2 Tbsp dried blueberries
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

How to Make It:

1. In a large non-stick pan over medium heat,melt the butter. Stir in the honey and mix well. Add the flaxseeds and blueberries and cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the oats, almonds, and cinnamon and cook, stirring continuously, until the almonds are golden brown and the mixture is slightly sticky, another 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Spread the granola on a sheet of aluminum foil and allow to cool. Store in a lidded container or serve with plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. Feeds 4.

Nutrition per serving (without yogurt): 214 calories, 5 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber), 10 g fat

3. Lemon Blueberry Banana Pancakes

A good pancake must be equally heart and fluffy. That’s where ricotta, the stabilizer of the milk product world, steps in. Its creamy curds buff up the batt, preventing the dreaded feeble flapjack syndrome. Love this recipe? Guess what? It’s from A Man, A Pan, A Plan too. (Last product plug, promise.)

What You’ll Need:

1 cup ricotta
2 Tbsp sugar
3 eggs, whites and yolks separated
Zest from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp melted butter, plus more for brushing
7 Tbsp flour
1 cup blueberries, lightly mashed
1 banana, sliced
Maple syrup, for serving (optional)

How to Make It:

1. In a large bowl, mixthe ricotta, sugar, egg yolks, and lemon zest. Gradually whisk in the 2 Tbsp of melted butter, followed by the flour. Mix till well combined.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until all the bubbles are gone. Add the egg whites and blueberries to the large bowl and mix well.
3. Brush a large nonstick pan with butter and heat over medium. Working in batches, add heaping spoonfuls of the batter to the pan. Cook until golden brown, 2 minutes per side. Serve immediately, topped with banana slices and syrup, if desired. Makes 10 to 14 smallish pancakes. Feeds 4.

Nutrition per serving: 360 calories, 14 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber), 21 g fat

4. Beet Fritters with Smoked Salmon

Congratulations, you’ve just found the best dang brunch recipe on this list. It’s also the messiest, due the work you’ll have to do on the beets. Like, your sink will look like Patrick Bateman stopped by for a visit. Apologies for the not-so-appetizing image. Just keep your guests out of the kitchen.

Mitch Mandel

What You’ll Need:
3 large beets, washed, and shredded with the coarse side of a grater
1 egg
4 tsp cornstarch, plus additional
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sour cream
4 oz smoked salmon
2 Tbsp chopped dill
1/4 small red onion, minced
1 Tbsp capers
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

How to Make It:

1. Using paper towels,wring as much moisture from the beets as possible. In a large bowl, combine the beets, egg, and the cornstarch. Toss well, adding more cornstarch 1/2 tsp at a time until the mixture is only slightly moist.
2. In a large nonstick pan over medium, heat the oil. When the oil shimmers, add a small pile of the shredded beets and press down with a spatula until the fritter is palm-size. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper and cook till crisp on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and repeat. Work in batches until all of the beets are gone. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
3. Transfer the fritters to plates and top with sour cream, salmon, dill, red onion, and capers. Serve with lemon wedges. Feeds 2.

Nutrition per serving: 619 calories, 41 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber), 42 g fat

5. Migas

Do you like breakfast? Do you like nachos? Then welcome these breakfast nachos in your morning. They’re crunchy. They’re eggy. They’re cheesy. And they’re great for using up the tortilla chip shake left at the bottom of the bag.

What You’ll Need:

1 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 medium white onion, chopped (About 1/2 cup)
1 cup lightly crushed tortilla chips
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp shredded cheese (pepper jack or Cheddar)
1/2 avocado, cubed
Leaves from 2 or 3 cilantro stems
Hot sauce, to taste

How to Make It:

1. In a large nonstickpan, heat the canola oil over medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chips and heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Then crack in the eggs, lower the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring constantly, until the eggs set, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Transfer the migas to a large plate and top with cheese, avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce. Feeds 1.

Nutrition per serving: 659 calories, 25 protein, 28 g carbohydrates (7 g fiber), 50 g fat

6. Porcini Mushroom and Goat Cheese Omelet

Leisurely mornings beg for something grander than scrambled eggs and squeeze-bottle ketchup. This recipe uses meaty mushrooms, creamy goat cheese, and freshly chopped herbs to elevate the eggs. Oh, you fancy now.

Mitch Mandel

What You’ll Need:
2 Tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp butter
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp chopped parsley, for serving

How to Make It:

1. In a medium bowl, cover the mushrooms with water and allow them to soak until rehydrated, at least 30 minutes. Rinse the mushrooms well and chop. Strain the mushroom liquid through a coffee filter and into a small bowl. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs vigorously with 1 tsp of the reserved mushroom liquid, along with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
3. In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium-low. Add the eggs and cook, undisturbed, until set, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Starting one-third of the way in, make a line using all the mushrooms and goat cheese. Using a spatula, fold the edge of the eggs over the mushrooms and cheese. Then carry the pan to the serving plate and use the spatula to gently guide the omelet to the plate, continuing to roll the omelet so that it sits in a tubelike shape on the plate. Top with the parsley. Feeds 1.

Nutrition per serving: 485 calories, 31 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber), 35 g fat

7. Supergreens Anytime Frittata

Dark, leafy greens are the X-Men of nutrition. Their superpowers include helping you feel full for longer, fighting deadly diseases, and even battling high blood pressure. Use this eggy, cheesy breakfast bake as the ideal delivery vessel. Wolverine loves this recipe.

What You’ll Need:

1 dozen eggs
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups roughly chopped broccoli
2 cups roughly chopped kale
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Paprika, to taste

How to Make It:

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with 2 big pinches of salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In a large, oven-safe, nonstick pan, heat the olive oil. Add the broccoli, kale, and spinach. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes.
3. Adjust the heat to low and add the eggs. Swirl the pan so that the eggs sit in an even layer. Cook until the edges of the eggs begin to set, 1 to 2 minutes. Top with the cheese and slide the pan into the oven. Bake until the eggs set completely and the cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
4. Using an oven mitt, remove the pan from the oven. Allow the frittata to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cutting board and slicing. Feeds 4.

Nutrition per serving: 317 calories, 25 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber), 21 g fat

8. Huevos Rancheros with Black Bean–Avocado Salsa

People tend to wig out about huevos when they’re on a restaurant menu. Deservedly so, because they’re a-maz-ing. Except that it’s not that hard to wig out over them while sitting at your dining room table either. Take 10 minutes to cook this. Eat. Rave. Consider opening your own restaurant.

Mitch Mandel

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 avocado, cubed
1/4 small red onion, minced
Juice from 1/4 lime
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 small (6-inch) flour tortillas
2 eggs

How to Make It:

1. In a medium bowl, mix the black beans, avocado, onion, lime juice, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. In a small nonstick pan, heat the canola oil over medium. When the oil shimmers, add the tortillas stacked atop one another. Cook until the top tortilla puffs, 15 to 30 seconds. Using tongs, flip the stack and then flip the top tortilla. Repeat 4 more times until all sides of the tortillas are cooked. Transfer the tortillas to a serving plate.
3. Adjust the pan’s heat to medium-low. Carefully crack in the eggs, cover the pan with a lid, and cook until the whites are firm, 2 to 4 minutes. Slide the eggs onto the tortillas and top with the salsa. Eat with a fork and knife. Feeds 1.

Nutrition per serving: 671 calories, 26 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates (13 g fiber), 39 g fat

9. Eggs in Hades

Maybe you’ve heard of eggs in purgatory, also known as shakshuka, which is, in summary, eggs baked in tomato sauce? The fate of this dish is more certain. Enter the inferno.

What You’ll Need:
1 tsp canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb spicy chicken sausage, casings removed
1 (24 oz) jar tomato sauce
4 eggs
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
2 Tbsp chopped basil
2 whole-wheat pocket pitas, cut in half, warmed, for serving

How to Make It:

1. In a large nonstick or cast-iron pan, add the canola oil, garlic, and onion. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add the chicken sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and adjust the heat to medium-low.
3. Using the back of a serving spoon, make 4 shallow “cups” in the sauce. Carefully crack an egg into each cup. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer until the whites of the eggs cook through, about 10 minutes.
4. Serve topped with crushed red-pepper flakes, basil, and the pitas on the side. Feeds 4.

Nutrition per serving: 402 calories, 31 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber), 16 g fat

10. Sausage, Garlic, and Greens with a Soft-Boiled Egg

The lids of pans are great for so much more than falling out of your kitchen cabinets. For instance, in this recipe, placing a lid atop the pan helps tough broccoli rabe turn tender quickly by creating a steamy cooking environment. Hooray, lids!

What You’ll Need:

4 eggs
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1 lb chicken sausage, casings removed
4 cups chopped broccolini or broccoli rabe
2 cups baby spinach

How to Make It:

1. Bring a small pan filled with simmering water to a boil. Adjust the heat to medium. Once the water reaches a strong simmer, carefully add the eggs. Cook, gently rolling with a spoon occasionally, until soft boiled, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs and transfer to a bowl to cool.
2. In a large pan, add the oil, garlic, and onion. Adjust the heat to medium. Cook the onion until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the caraway and sausage and cook until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the greens, close the pan with a lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. As the greens wilt, carefully peel the eggs. Transfer the contents of the pan to 2 serving platters and top with 2 eggs each, cut in half. Feeds 2.

Nutrition per serving: 584 calories, 54 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber), 35 g fat

11. Breakfast Salad

Salad for breakfast—why not? Eggs, bacon, and avocado join forces in this nutrient-packed day-starter.

Paul Kita

What You’ll Need:

Juice from 5 tomatoes
2 shallots, minced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp sliced chives
1 cup chopped cooked bacon (about ½ lb.)
2 romaine hearts, chopped
¼ large red onion, thinly sliced
1 hardboiled egg, quartered
½ avocado, sliced

How to Make It:

1. Make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk the tomato juice, shallots, mustard, a pinch of salt, red wine vinegar, mayonnaise, sour cream, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Once combined, slowly whisk in the olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to use. (The dressing makes about 1 quart and will last up to 2 weeks in your fridge.)
2. In a large bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, chives, bacon, romaine, onion, and 4 Tbsp of the reserved dressing. Top with the egg, avocado, and additional black pepper. Makes 4 servings.

12. Santa Fe Breakfast Burrito

“Without protein, guys can lose muscle mass quickly,” says William J. Evans, Ph.D., a professor of geriatrics, physiology, and nutrition at the University of Arkansas. This meal is packed with it.

What You’ll Need:

2 eggs
1 cup Santa Fe frozen mixed vegetables (black beans, peppers, and corn)
1 flour tortilla
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup salsa

How to Make It:

Mix the eggs and vegetables and spread the mixture on a plate coated with nonstick spray. Cook in the microwave for 1 minute, stir with a fork, and microwave again until the eggs are cooked and the vegetables warm. Pile onto a flour tortilla, top with shredded Cheddar cheese and salsa, fold, and eat. Feeds 1

Per burrito: 530 calories, 36 g protein, 53 g carbohydrates (6 fiber), 18 g fat

13. Black-Cherry Shake and Peanut-Butter Oatmeal

Men who ate at least one serving of whole-grain cereal (like oatmeal) a day had the lowest risk of dying of any cause, including heart disease, according to a 5-year study of 86,000 doctors. Cherries and strawberries are natural sources of salicylates—the active ingredient in aspirin—making them ideal for relieving stress-induced morning headaches.

What You’ll Need:

1 cup cherry juice
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen unsweetened cherries
2 Tbsp protein powder
2/3 cup oatmeal
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup milk

How to Make It:

Blend the cherry juice, frozen fruit, and protein powder until smooth. Microwave the oatmeal according to the directions on the package. Stir in the peanut butter and milk. Makes 1 shake.

Per serving: 600 calories, 27 g protein, 100 g carbohydrates, 11 g total fat, 10 g fiber

14. Overnight Protein Oats

It’s the ultimate one-minute meal for a morning workout guy.

What You’ll Need:

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup milk
2 Tbsp chocolate protein powder
1 banana, sliced
½ cup blueberries

How to Make It:

In a jar or bowl, stir together the oats, milk, and protein powder. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, just take off the lid and heat the oats in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir in the fruit and enjoy. Feeds 1

Per serving: 432 calories, 22g protein, 72g carbs (9g fiber), 9g fat

15. Savory Breakfast Grits

If you like to start your day with eggs, you’ll dig the yolks with the grits.

What You’ll Need:

2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 packet (1 oz) instant grits
2 large eggs
1 radish, thinly sliced
½ avocado, thinly sliced

How to Make It:

In a pan on medium, heat 1 tsp oil. Add the shallot and cook till soft, 2 minutes. Add the broth; boil. In a bowl, stir the broth and grits till thick. Cook the eggs with 1 tsp oil in the pan. Top the grits with eggs, radish, and avocado. Feeds 1

466 calories, 18g protein, 34g carbs (6g fiber), 30g fat

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