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
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 (1).
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 (2Trusted
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 (3Trusted
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
2. 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 (4).
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 (5Trusted Source).
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 (6Trusted Source).
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
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
Fiber helps slow the emptying of your stomach to curb cravings and keep you feeling fuller longer (8Trusted Source).
Multiple studies have found that upping your intake of fiber from fruits
and vegetables is associated with increased weight loss (9Trusted
Source, 10Trusted Source).
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 (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
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 (14Trusted
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 (15Trusted Source).
Throw in some high-protein ingredients like nuts, seeds or protein
powder to promote feelings of fullness and fight off cravings (16Trusted
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 (15Trusted
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 (17Trusted Source).
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 (18Trusted Source).
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 (19Trusted
Source, 20Trusted Source).
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% (22Trusted Source).
Fresh grapefruit slices make a great addition to a well-rounded
breakfast. You can also add grapefruit to parfaits, smoothies or fruit
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 (23Trusted Source).
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 (24Trusted
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 (25Trusted Source).
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 (26).
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 (15Trusted
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 (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).
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 (29Trusted Source).
Sliced kiwis make a great breakfast boost. You can also add them to yogurt, smoothies or cereals.
10. 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 (30Trusted Source).
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 (32Trusted Source).
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.
11. 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 (33Trusted
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 (34Trusted Source).
One study in 11 adults found that eating chia seeds baked into white
bread reduced both appetite and blood sugar levels (35Trusted Source).
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 (38Trusted
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 (39Trusted
Source, 40Trusted Source).
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 (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
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 (43Trusted Source).
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 (45Trusted Source).
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
Mix a serving of nuts into yogurt, cottage cheese or homemade granola to
bring your breakfast to the next level in terms of nutrition.