What you should eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight

by Rakib Sarwar, RPh
Published on May 13, 2024
breakfast on a plate

All over the world, 7% of people struggle with being too heavy. Look closer at the USA, and things look a bit more worrying: nearly two-thirds of adults are fighting off extra weight or obesity. It’s more than just about being heavier; obesity brings along a bunch of health problems – like blood pressure that’s too high, heart issues, sneaky type 2 diabetes, gallbladder problems, and it even increases your chance of getting cancer early. Yikes, huh? Plus, it might make your life shorter, which is a no-go for everyone. Jump into this to see how it impacts you and how you can dodge these scary statistics. Hang tight, because I’m about to share some secret tips to flip the script.

Obesity and overweight also incorporate numerous socio-psychological adverse situations like the decreased quality of living life, discrimination, bias, etc. Obesity and overweight have gained concern worldwide. There are numerous methods and instructions with scientific evidence for the management of overweight and obesity.

The normal diet of a person suffering from obesity and overweight associated with extra calorie intake. Eventually, this extra calorie is often one of the main reasons for growing obesity and overweight. The existing remedies for overweight and obesity include various strategies and restrictions, like drastically reducing the intake of energy-rich foods, increasing the volume of foods which may help in weight-loss, increased intake of fluids instead of solid food, increasing satiety be the way of consuming anorectic and combinations of micronutrients of high satiety values (1).

If we analyze satiety; fiber, protein and enormous contents of the water in the foods are associated with satiety along with the negative association of fat. It is true that in food groups there is certain food which contributes maximum to satiety or the maximum level of energy. In this context, two basic components come into discussion, (1) the foods those we take naturally have less nutritional value and responsible for natural weight-loss, and (2) conscious diet control to reduce weight loss. Eventually, both components are associated with what to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight (1).

Breakfast and obesity

In general, many observational studies reveal that breakfast is associated with decreasing body weight. In many cases, the public health authorities recommend breakfast for reducing obesity, but how far this is effective is still unknown. Many short-term studies have established that potential psychological mechanism influences the appetite, fat oxidation, energy expenditures, eventually leading to body weight and weight loss. However, the established psychological mechanism leading to long-term weight loss phenomenon needs to be further examined and clear evidence should be supported to the claim of breakfast reducing the body weight (2).

Several short-term studies regarding consuming breakfast and body weight claim that consumption of breakfast is essential in reducing body weight. It is believed that consumption of breakfast reduces the higher intake of energy food in the lunch, eventually reducing the body weight. However, long-term influence of breakfast consumption particularly on breakfast and bodyweight, breakfast and prolonged fasting, etc is still unclear (2).

Through a universal perception, weight-loss can be seen as easy for some as well as a difficult task for others. It is easy or difficult depends upon one’s own body and the level of metabolism. Based on this, the ratio and the speed of reducing weight take place. Among many reasons, one of the important reasons for weight loss is the quality of diet intake. A healthy diet means incorporating all macro and micronutrients in the daily diet and eat all three meal on a daily basis. Above all, incorporation of protein in the diet is undoubtedly a healthy diet for weight loss and since breakfast is claimed to be a weight loss measure, one must include protein in the breakfast (3).

As per Sarah Elder, “the body while sleeping in the night, uses many energy and repairs the loss of the body, it is essential to take a balanced breakfast to fill the gap of energy with necessary protein and calcium which is spent in the night” (4). Therefore, the issue of what to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight is not only relevant but essential.

As per a US study involving fifty thousand people over a period of seven years, claimed that breakfast is responsible for lower body mass index (BMI) and eventually reduces body weight in comparison to people who eat large lunch and dinner. Breakfast reduces satiety and calorie intake increases fiber and nutrients. Fredrick Karpe, the professor for metabolic medicine at the Oxford Center of diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism, claims that for other tissues to respond to the intake of food, an initial trigger of carb with the response to insulin is essential resulting in the necessity of breakfast (4).

The early finding of the researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of Aberdeen say that comparatively a bigger breakfast is better for weight control. Breakfast is beneficial for heart and people with type two diabetes. Breakfast also improves brain functions and memory along with concentration and language development.

The research of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisations claims that breakfast with high protein value reduces the food cravings in the later part of the day and eventually reduces food intake in lunch and dinner. Apart from this claim, the researchers from the University of Tel Aviv have found out that it is in the morning the hunger is better regulated than later parts of the day. Further, a specific review of 54 studies claims that no consensus has been yet developed to establish that what breakfast is healthier or what to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight and conclude that the food that you eat in the breakfast does not matter much than not skipping the breakfast (4).

Circadian rhythm and breakfast

Michael Rosbash and Michael Young were awarded for the discoveries of “Molecular basis of biological rhythms” necessitates the importance of circadian rhythms in biology or chronobiology, and how chronobiology affects the health and diseases. Besides the SCN, the peripheral clock genes are found in all tissues and organs regulating the timings of the body within these issues. The SCN functions as the main timekeeper, while the peripheral keeping the circadian rhythm all through the day and night (5).

The circadian rhythm essentially influences the metabolism and energy expenditure in the body including organs and tissues. Eventually, the entire activities like the timing of digestion, metabolism, nutrient intake, regulation of metabolism and hormonal function, appetite, etc. fall under a circadian rhythm. This impacts the meal timings and the effects of diet in the body particularly the metabolism or weight-gain and weight-loss. The theory further claims that skipping breakfast and late-night feeding is closely associated with obesity and related diseases. This indicates that morning intake of energy or breakfast has substantial benefits and so, what to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight has immense importance in metabolism (5).

Popular Breakfast Recipes for Weight-Loss

Egg breakfast and weight-loss

As per international journals of obesity, the egg breakfast combined with an energy deficit diet can lead to weight-loss. However, the egg breakfast does not induce the reduction of weight in a free-living situation. If you are looking for what to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight, you can include eggs to ensure nutritious supplement and effective weight-loss (6).


One of the best protein-rich breakfast food is beans. Besides protein, black bean is full of fiber. It gives a sense of fullness all through the day after your breakfast and keeps you away from taking lunch, snacks, and dinner for the rest of the day. This eventually leads you towards getting thinner with substantial weight-loss over a short period. It is estimated that every half cup of beans contains seven- gram of protein. (8, 10)

Natural Peanut Butter

Processed peanut butter is prepared with waist-widening oils and sugar, but the natural peanut butter is made out of just two simple ingredients, peanuts, and salt. Peanut butter is very good for heart health and contains genistein which reduces weight. However, peanut butter also contains a bit of fat component. Many researchers and diet experts say that fat at breakfast is good for weight loss. If you are confused about what to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight, blend one scoop of protein powder with one cup of almond milk. Mix one or two bananas and a tablespoon of peanut butter and take it in your breakfast. One tablespoon of peanut butter contains seven to eight grams of protein (8, 9).

Almond Butter

Almond butter is considered to be a protein-rich food with seven to eight grams of protein in two tables of almond butter. Besides protein, almond butter also contains fiber, antioxidant monounsaturated fat. It gives you full feeling sensation throughout the day. Almond butter serves as the best weight-loss breakfast without failure (9).

Wild Salmon

Salmon is undoubtedly and beyond dispute a weight-loss diet. Three oz of salmon contains seventeen grams of protein along with omega-3 healthy fats. However, the farm-produced salmon have a less weight loss effect and actually do not benefit you in your weight loss. Take smoked salmon on whole grain toast for your breakfast and reduce your weight quicker than you ever imagined (11).

Chicken Breast

Chicken breasts contain nineteen grams of protein in every 4 pounds. Breakfast with chicken breast keeps you full longer and prevents you hungry for lunch or snacks. This eventually leads towards your goal of weight-loss (12).


Add ground turkey to your weight loss breakfast to ensure high protein intake in your first meal in the day. Ground turkey contains twenty-two grams of protein in every four pounds. Ground turkey also contains DHA omega three fatty acids which prevent fat cells and improves brain function (13).


An average apple of 4.4 grams contains nineteen grams of fiber, and fiber is helpful for weight-loss. an Apple can be compared to black beans in terms of its nutrient value. Add an apple in your breakfast to perfectly answer the daunting question of what to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight.


Banana is beyond debate the best and effective weight-loss diet among all other weight-loss diets. Bananas have high contents of fiber and potassium. Both fiber and potassium contribute to weight-loss (8).


Berries contribute a lot to your breakfast in terms of two to four grams of fiber per half a cup of berries, and they have plenty of antioxidant for heart health. Besides this, berries have plenty of other vitamins like vitamin C and K, etc. The polyphenols in berries prevent the formation of fat in the body and reduce weight (7).

Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is one of the best in terms of weight-loss diet and contains two grams of fiber in half a cup of sweet potato including rich in vitamins and minerals. Sweet potato is low in the glycaemic index and absorbs slowly leading to giving a sensation of feeling full for longer. If you are worried about what to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight, add sweet potato to your daily breakfast for sure success in your effort of weight-loss (13).


Half a cup of broccoli contains one gram of fiber and other nutrients. Broccoli can be consumed raw or cooked and can be mixed with other vegetables or egg etc. Broccoli is proved to be the best breakfast recipe for weight-loss (13).


Many said that watermelon has higher sugar content. In fact, there are only five grams of sugar and five grams of fiber in half a cup of watermelon. Watermelon is counted as an effective weight-loss recipe in breakfast (8).


Spinach is very low in calorie but has a higher quantity of fiber. Half a cup of spinach contains two grams of fiber. Less calorie and high fiber help you quick weight-loss. Spinach also contains omega 3 and folate which reduces the risks of osteoporosis, heart diseases and possibilities of strokes (13).


Avocados are most talked about food in terms of weight-loss and nutrition. Avocados have rich fiber and contain 3.5 grams of fiber in 1.4 of a fruit. Besides this, avocados contain more than twenty vitamins and minerals including the rarest oleic fatty acids which reduces the abdominal fat. Add the avocados to your breakfast to ensure rapid weight-loss (13).


Oatmeal particularly the steel-cut oats have high protein and fiber contents, of five grams protein and three grams fiber in a cup of oat. Oats have a glycaemic index and take longer to absorb resulting in full feeling longer. Oats take longer to cook, but you have varieties of pre-cooked oats which can serve the purpose of your breakfast for your weight-loss (8).

Besides the above ideal weight-loss related breakfast recipes, you have many other foods that contribute to weight-loss like:

  • brown rice, quinoa, sprouted grain toast, black pepper, walnuts, ginger, cinnamon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Directly using organic protein powder in your oatmeal is also very helpful to reduce your weight. Two scoops of protein powder can supply you with 34 to 48 grams of protein directly.
  • Similarly, you can also try drinks like coffee, spa water, green tea, etc. in your daily breakfast to reduce your weight quickly and easily.

Besides considering on diet for weight-loss especially the breakfast recipes, there are other methodologies of tricks to keep yourself full all through the day and eventually make yourself slim. Water plays a very important trick to make yourself feel full longer. In fact, often when we feel hungry, we are actually not hungry, rather we are thirsty. Go on drinking water in small quantities all through the day. It will make you feel full. Similarly, drink water before breakfast and before each meal as well.

Ultimately, your food intake at breakfast as well as in lunch and dinner will get less. Divert your attention from food and food plate, and eat as slowly as possible. your food intake will decrease substantially and you will eventually progress in your weight-loss.


(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755181/
(2) https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/2/507/4576452
(3) https://food.ndtv.com/weight-loss/2005943
(4) http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20181126-is-breakfast-good-for-your-health
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5969247/
(6) https://www.nature.com/articles/ijo2008130
(7) https://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/weight-loss-foods/
(8) https://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/flat-belly-foods/
(9) https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/78/3/647S/4690007
(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622758/
(11) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-lose-weight_n_2965765
(12) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462824/
(13) http://www.fortunejournals.com/articles/identify-the-most-suitable-sources-of-protein-and-their-costs-for-the-dr-poons-metabolic-diet-program.html

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