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As a weight loss dietitian, I am a huge proponent of eating breakfast to support your weight loss efforts. But what you eat for breakfast truly matters, so I’m sharing 7 high protein breakfasts for weight loss today.

If you’re eating breakfast, but it lacks protein, chances are your belly will be rumbling shortly after. I’ve seen this happen with my clients when they eat carb-heavy breakfasts time and time again, sometimes, you may even find yourself more hungry than you would be if you skipped breakfast altogether!

While protein is not everything, aiming for a minimum amount of protein with breakfast is key to keeping you full longer and preventing cravings later in the day. So whether you’re looking to lose weight or simply boost the nutritional value of your breakfasts, I got you. 

Let’s dive in and share 7 high protein breakfasts for weight loss that are a cinch to make and will keep you full for hours. These high protein recipes for weight loss all contain at least 20 grams of lean protein, the minimal amount I recommend getting with your breakfast.

1. High protein vegan oatmeal

I just want to start out by saying I love oats. They have been coined “toxic” on social media lately by some (all uncredentialed persons), but there is absolutely no evidence to support these claims. Oats have always been a highly nutritious and health-promoting food especially when you make the unsweetened kind yourself!

“This vegan high protein oatmeal is delicious, is ready in minutes, and keeps you full all day long,” says Blair Persyn, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC of Bites with Blair. Since oats are not super high in protein on their own, this recipe has add protein powder to bump it up to a whopping 30 grams of protein per serving.

I have oats in some form several days a week, usually either hot or cold overnight oats, depending on my mood. I would definitely try this one if you need a new idea, or if your current oats recipe is not filling or protein-packed enough.

2. High protein scrambled eggs

Eggs are one of my top go-to’s for breakfast, and I can honestly say nothing fills me up as long, even if I’m getting the same amount of protein from another food. Everyone is different, so it’s important to experiment to see what works best for you!

Eggs are naturally high in protein, but this recipe increases the protein amount even more by mixing in ½ cup of cottage cheese. Even if you’re not a cottage cheese fan, I find it blends really nicely into eggs and you can’t even taste it. 

With the added cottage cheese, this meal contains 17 grams of protein. To bump it up to over 20 grams, add an extra egg or pair your eggs with 2 slices of a higher protein bread like Dave’s Killer bread thins and a handful of fruit for fiber. For more healthy bread options, check out my blog post “5 Healthiest Breads for Weight Loss.”

Eggs used to get a bad rap due to their cholesterol content, but new research shows consuming eggs regularly in moderation is not a concern for most people. If you have high cholesterol or have a genetic risk in your family, ask your doctor what your weekly egg intake should be.

3. Breakfast burrito casserole

Sometimes you want something a little different for breakfast. This breakfast casserole is full of flavor and can be made ahead of time. It’s also only 291 calories and contains 21 grams of protein per serving, a great protein-to-calorie ratio for weight loss.

“This is a Mexican-inspired breakfast burrito casserole that’s as healthy as it is delicious. It’s ideal for high protein meal prep as it can be made ahead of time and provides 12 servings,” says Elysia Cartlidge, RD of Haute & Healthy Living. 

You’ll love this one especially if you like a little spice or Mexican flavors, and all you have to do is warm it up when hunger strikes.

4. Savory quinoa breakfast bake

This delicious make-ahead breakfast contains a balance of ingredients for maximum flavor. The blend of whole grains from quinoa, fiber from protein and black beans, and lean protein from cottage cheese help keep your blood sugar (and therefore your hunger) in control.

“This savory quinoa breakfast bake is like a cross between a frittata and baked oatmeal (but with quinoa!). It’s high in protein and fiber to keep you full all morning long, and makes great leftovers for an easy grab-and-go breakfast!,” says Alex Evink, MS, RD of Moderately Messy RD.

This meal contains 343 calories and boasts over 26 grams of protein per serving. Make this ahead and enjoy it all week!

5. Strawberry cottage cheese smoothie

I’m a big fan of smoothies that provide the right amount of balance and flavor like this one that actually does hold you over. This smoothie is rich, creamy, and bursting with sweetness. You’ll love it, especially if you enjoy something sweet in the morning.

“This strawberry cottage cheese smoothie is a delicious and healthy twist on strawberry cheesecake. It has 8 grams of fiber and 22 grams of protein to keep you full and satisfied!, says Alyssa Pacheco, RD of The PCOS Nutritionist Alyssa. It also only contains 308 calories. 

You can substitute regular dairy milk instead of almond milk if you want to boost the protein content even further.

Many of my clients also appreciate the convenience of smoothies as meals, as you can sip on them while you’re doing other things or on work calls if needed. If you get on the road early or aren’t a big fan of eating solid food first thing in the morning, a nutritious smoothie is a great option.

6. Kodiak Cake Waffles

If you like something quick and sweet in the morning, Kodiak waffles are one of my favorite healthy waffle brands and can be made in 2 minutes. This is my own personal recipe, I make 2 waffles which contain 240 calories and 12 grams of protein. 

Then, add ½ cup of cottage cheese or Plain Greek yogurt (which adds 10-15 grams of protein, depending on the brand) and top with your favorite berries for fiber and more sweetness (I love raspberries). With toppings, this meal will contain around 22-28 grams of protein.

Personally, I like the Buttermilk & Vanilla flavor the most as I feel it’s the most versatile, but there are many other flavors to choose from like chocolate chip, dark chocolate, or cinnamon.

7. High Protein Chia Pudding

If you haven’t tried chia pudding yet, you’re missing out! It’s often thought of as a healthy dessert option, but it’s also great for breakfast if it has the right nutritional profile. 

    For more healthy sweet snack options, check out my post “Healthy Sweet Snacks for Weight Loss.”

    This high-protein chia pudding from the Real Life Nutritionist and is a cinch to make with only 3 ingredients. It’s very similar to making overnight oats in a mason jar with slightly different ingredients.

    Traditional chia pudding contains milk and chia seeds, but this one has added protein powder which helps bump the protein to 27 grams per serving! And at 447 calories, it is a reasonable amount to stay within most calorie-reducing diets.

    And because the vanilla protein powder pairs blend nicely into the pudding, you won’t get any chalky flavor. For best results to ensure this, it’s recommended to stir the pudding with a spoon after 1-2 hours if possible to break up any clumps of protein powder. Add your favorite toppings in the morning such as berries, nuts, or shaved coconut (my personal favorite), and enjoy!

    How A Higher Protein Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight

    Incorporating more high protein meals for weight loss, specifically at breakfast, can help you lose weight in a number of ways:

    Increased satiety

    Protein-rich foods keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating throughout the day.

    Improved metabolism

    A high-protein breakfast can boost your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest. This is because protein has a high thermic effect of food (TEF) compared to fat and carbohydrates. This means your body has to work harder to digest it, burning more calories in the process.

    Muscle preservation

    Adequate protein intake supports muscle growth and maintenance, which is crucial for preserving lean body mass while losing weight

    Regulates hunger hormones

    Protein helps regulate hormones that control appetite, leading to reduced cravings and better control over food intake, ultimately aiding weight loss efforts. For example, research has shown that higher protein diets in general can suppress ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger and the desire to eat.

    Criteria for a Balanced Breakfast

    While protein is one of the most important nutrients to pack into your breakfast, there are a few other criteria to aim for when seeking a balanced breakfast that supports weight loss:

    At least 20-25 grams of protein

    This is the minimum amount I recommend, and what most studies show to be important to support satiety (i.e. curb your hunger) longer. Keep in mind everyone has their own individual protein requirements and many factors are at play, but this is a good place to start.

    At least one fruit or veggie 

    Fruits and veggies are fiber-rich, another essential nutrient for breakfast. According to the latest statistics, most of us don’t get enough fiber. Thus, getting some in at breakfast can help keep it top of mind for the rest of the day. Not only does fiber in the morning support regularity and reduce bloat, it also works alongside protein to keep you full. 

    Try adding your favorite fruit such as berries, bananas, avocados, or a side of greens mixed in with your eggs or a smoothie.

    Contains a healthy fat

    Believe it or not, eating fat in your diet can actually help you burn fat. And many high-fat foods are incredibly nutritious – which is why you shouldn’t fear eating them in moderation. Add a serving of seeds, nuts, nut butter, or avocado to your breakfast to balance out the meal. 

    Portion control is still important – as high fat foods are still high in calories. 

    You can add a tablespoon of chia or flax, spread peanut butter on your toast, or serve avocado alongside your eggs. 

    Complex carbs

    I am SO happy that carbs are finally getting the attention they deserve from the media and that less people fear them. Adding a complex carb to your breakfast will enhance satisfaction and fuel your brain and body, especially if you’re a morning exerciser.

    Examples of complex carbs include whole grain toast, quinoa, oats, fruits, or starchy veggies like sweet potato. These are the best carbs for weight loss as they provide long-lasting fuel instead of more simple, processed carbs like donuts and muffins.

    All of the meal ideas in this article are considered healthy recipes for breakfast to lose weight based on these criteria.

    Bottom line

    If you’re looking for breakfast inspo, these 7 high protein breakfasts for weight loss are the perfect starting point. Whether you want eggs, a casserole, or a refreshing smoothie, there are plenty of delicious and filling breakfasts out there to support your weight loss goals.

    Remember that it’s not just about eating breakfast – it’s about what you are eating. Making sure you get in a minimum of 20-25 grams of protein at breakfast will help keep you full longer, support a healthy metabolism, and help you maintain sexy lean muscle as you lose weight.

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