Start your day with a satisfying, metabolism-boosting meal that contains these MVPs (most valuable proteins).
Several studies reveal that eating optimal amounts of the “right” protein at your first meal is one of the best ways to help jumpstart weight loss and promote other positive, health-promoting behaviors all day long.
Here’s why: Protein at breakfast has been shown to help reduce hunger and appetite, boost metabolism, provide lasting energy, conquer cravings for carbs, and help build and maintain muscle mass. The MVPs (most valuable proteins) to include during your morning meal that will help set you up for weight loss success are eggs, low-fat yogurt, milk (cow’s milk and some plant-based), and cottage cheese.
And since these foods tend to be breakfasts favorites, adding more protein early in your day may be one of the easiest ways to lose weight. In fact, in one study reported in the International Journal of Obesity discovered that participants who ate an egg-based breakfast compared to a bagel breakfast lost 65% more weight and saw a 34% greater reduction in belly fat. Another study discovered that when women doubled their daily protein intake from 15% to 30%, they consumed an average of 441 fewer calories per day–and shed an average of 11 pounds over the course of 12 weeks.
Ready to rev your metabolism before your first morning meeting? Below is a week’s worth of protein-packed breakfasts with at least 20 grams protein and fewer than 400 calories to help keep your appetite and daily calories in check:
Egg and Veggie Scramble
Eggs are the gold-standard for high-quality protein, with 6 grams of protein per one large egg. Several studies show that an egg-based breakfast, compared to a carb-rich first meal, helps reduce overall daily calories and keeps you fuller, longer and reduces cravings for carbohydrates. Make a satisfying and balanced morning meal with 1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites scrambled with your favorite veggies like mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and spinach or arugula with a toasted whole grain English muffin.
Cottage Cheese and Fruit Parfait
Cottage cheese is one of the best sources of leucine, the amino acid that helps build and maintain muscle mass. Enjoy a cup low-fat cottage cheese with one cup fresh berries, pineapple or pear slices and top with chopped nuts or granola for added texture.
One cup pea or soy protein non-dairy milk, 1 banana, 1 tbsp protein powder (vanilla or chocolate) and 1 Tbsp chia seeds. Blend all ingredients in blender until desired consistency.
Breakfast Egg, Ham and Veggie Burrito
2 whole eggs and 1 egg white scrambled with 1 slice Canadian bacon, chopped. While scrambling eggs, add chopped spinach, chopped bell pepper and salsa. Serve in 1 small (6 inch) corn or whole grain tortilla.
Yogurt, Oat and Berry Breakfast Bowl
Greek yogurt has a great protein to calorie ratios of any food, making it a great ally when trying to slim down and tone up. Whole grain oats also provide 4-5 grams protein per cup and the beta-glucan soluble fiber in oat groats helps trigger feelings of fullness. Try one cup cooked oatmeal topped with ¾- cup nonfat or lowfat plain Greek yogurt and with 1 cup fresh or frozen (no added sugar) berries.