We all know that breakfast plays a major role in weight loss and weight management, but more than 31 million Americans skip breakfast.
We get it.
Morning hours are hectic.
Between a quick morning workout and getting ready for work, preparing a healthy breakfast can be time-consuming and a major headache in your busiest time of the day.
Plus, for many of us who are constantly sleep deprived, getting extra 15 mins of snooze by opting out breakfast feels like a better end of the deal.
One study even shows that eating a big healthy breakfast can help accelerate weight loss.
Without a doubt, breakfast takes a particular importance in your health, weight loss and overall performance.
But the kind of breakfast you eat matters, too.
If you think a muffin and cup of coffee constitute a healthy breakfast, be warned.
A meal that's packed with lean protein, vegetables/fruits, whole grains and dairy helps you stay full longer, stabilize your blood sugar levels, and balance your hormones better than if you eat a breakfast that's heavy with and full of simple carbs and sugar like muffins and doughnuts.
To illustrate what's considered a good, healthy breakfast, I created a list of 6 healthy breakfast ideas that are quick and easy to make.
This list widens your healthy breakfast options and introduce you to new entries like healthy breakfast smoothie, heart healthy oatmeal, and Paleo turkey bacon.
They are so mouth-watering delicious and packed with essential nutrients and vitamins that you’ll even look forward to eating morning breakfast.
But before I start, let me share some compelling reasons why you should eat breakfast if living healthier is your goal.
The whole idea behind breakfast is to literally break your fast.
Your body has been fasting for several hours while you’ve been sleeping and your metabolism needs a jumpstart to wake up and start working.
When you skip breakfast, your body runs on fumes.
This lack of fuel has been linked to increased risks of:
- Coronary heart disease
- Higher rate of obesity
- Decreases in memory functioning
- Risk of type 2 diabetes
On top of that, if you don’t eat breakfast, you run the risk of being tired and and having a low energy morning which as you know can affect productivity at work.
Recent research indicates that this phenomenon can be seen in breakfast skippers who solely only drink unsweetened black coffee. They often reported tired and disoriented just half hour later.
This low energy and tiredness can be attributed to a big drop in their blood sugar levels.
The truth is, we all suffer from low blood glucose (sugar), or hypoglycemia occasionally— but habitually skipping breakfast can encourage regular hypoglycemia.
But that's not all.
Skipping breakfast can trigger all sorts of nasty, unexpected reactions in your body, and brain function is one of many that gets affected.
According to Leia Kedem, "Nutrition and Wellness Educator at University of Illinois", skipping breakfast can be detrimental to your brain function. She writes "The brain exclusively uses glucose to function, so you can imagine what happens when you skip breakfast."
Needless to say, not eating your breakfast can negatively affect your ability to think and be productive throughout the day.
Sadly, it won’t help you slim down either.
Quite contrary, Rush University Medical Center reported that people who eat breakfast are more likely to:
- have a lower BMI
- consume less fat
- eat more vegetables and fruits
- take in a higher amount of necessary vitamins and minerals like calcium and fiber
If additional calories you eat in the morning give you anxiety when on a weight loss, don't sweat.
Calories you take in from a healthy breakfast are readily burned as a energy throughout the day rather than getting stored up in your body, granted what you eat is not doughnuts or sugary cereals.
Here are 5 benefits of eating a healthy breakfast.
Lower body mass index (BMI)
Even though studies have found that people who skip breakfast eat slightly fewer calories during the day, they tend to have a higher body mass index (BMI) according to Christy Tangney, Ph.D, professor in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University.
Higher BMI has been associated with higher the risk of cancer, said Krishnan Bhaskaran, PhD, from the National Institute for Health Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.
Lower risk for type 2 diabetes
According to one study done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Women who consumed breakfast less than six times per week were at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who consumed breakfast daily.”
A study in the US National Library of Medicine reported that “Breakfast consumption may improve cognitive function related to memory, test grades, and school attendance.”
You already know that there are numerous studies that reported eating breakfast helps with weight loss, but what you may not have heard is a big breakfast can accelerate your weight loss.
Tel Aviv University conducted a study that separated women into 2 groups;
"Big Breakfast Group,": consumed as much as 700 calories in the morning, around 500 calories at lunch, and 200 calories at dinner.
"Big Dinner Group,": reversed the calories so that breakfast only consisted of a mere 200 calories.
The results were astonishing.
After 12 weeks, "The women in the big breakfast group lost, on average, 17.8 pounds and 3 inches from their waists," according to Medical News Today.
And there is more.
Skipping breakfast can also weaken your ability to fight off cravings and temptations for high-fat, high-calorie unhealthy foods during the rest of the day.
Here’s the rationale behind this:
"Skipping breakfast makes high calorie food more appealing later in the day because our brain circuits may be primed toward seeking it when fasting," according a study completed by Tony Goldstone of Imperial College London.
Next time you decide to skip a meal, remember that your body is going to feel hungrier and will gravitate towards high-calorie foods.
And your body will also crave a greater intake of calories to make up for the ones it should have consumed at breakfast.
Quick Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Once I realized how important and healthy it is to eat breakfast, I decided to find some healthy breakfast hacks to make my life easier.
These are my top breakfast hacks and favorite healthy recipes that are super easy to put together.
If your mornings are chaotic and you find yourself slipping into the old ‘no time for breakfast’ excuse, this next breakfast idea is for you.
Prepare your healthy breakfast the night before, that way you won’t have to worry about it in the morning. You can just grab it and go.
This is a sure to start your day right.
1. Acai Bowls
Acai bowls has been called the world best healthy breakfast by Huffingtonpost.com, and I agree!
This mouth watering healthy breakfast features the super superfood fruit from Brazil— acai berry which has been getting much deserved praises for its array of health benefits.
This diet friendly and weight loss treat marries the refreshing taste of a fruit smoothie with the crunchy satisfaction of a filling bowl of granola. Thanks to the super fruit acai, this healthy and delicious bowl is packed with much needed vitamins, antioxidants, and essential amino and fatty acids that will supercharge you and keep you feeling energized and healthy all day.
How to Make an Acai Bowl
It’s super easy to whip your own version of the acai bowl.
An acai bowl is basically a really thick smoothie that’s been topped with granola, coconut flakes and fruits like banana, strawberries, blueberries— I like to also use peanut butter as a topping. If you prefer, you can alternatively add almond butter.
Quick note: You just have to make sure that the acai berry products is a 100 percent pure like the one here, so you can enjoy the full, rich taste of the fruit.
- 2 Cups ( 10 1/2 ounces) frozen strawberries
- 2 frozen sliced bananas
- 4 tablespoons acai powder
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk ( or any milk of choice), plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter or nut or seed butter ( almond butter is great)
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon honey
- Fresh organic sliced fruits (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- Granola, coconut flakes, dried goji berries ( optional)
- Chia or hemp seeds ( optional)
I used a Vitamix for this just because it is a high-power blender that blends all things frozen really well and turn it into chunk free, velvety mixture.
Add the acai packs with a mix of the frozen fruits we mentioned above, along with a cup of liquid. This could be lemonade, apple juice, coconut water, or almond milk. I have also seen a recipe that uses pure green tea powder called matcha, which contains catechin known to boost your weight loss.
If you are aiming for even a richer texture like yogurt, go easy on the amount of liquid. More liquid you put, less dense it becomes and more smoothie like it gets.
Blend until it's creamy and smooth. If needed, add a little extra liquid to get the blender running. Again aim for a frozen-yogurt consistency (it should be thicker than a smoothie.)
There you have it! Acai bowl takes less than minutes to make, but it's as healthy as it can be.
Need to take it to go? Add extra liquid and make it into a healthy breakfast smoothie and pour into your to-go smoothie cup.
Add a straw, and you are good to go!
And the best thing is you have satisfied your sweet cravings, so you are all prepped to dodge the unhealthy, greasy doughnuts in the office snack room.
2. Breakfast Burrito
A breakfast burrito is a perfect breakfast meal to start your morning.
In case you haven't realized, I'm not talking about McDonalds breakfast burrito.
Breakfast items like breakfast burrito that you order off of McDonald's menu are loaded with high sodium, partially hydrogenated oils, and food additives that disqualify them from being on a healthy breakfast list.
The healthy breakfast burrito I'm talking about here is on the other had, very filling, nutrient dense and nutritionally well-balanced, containing all three macronutrients you need in your diet: lean protein, healthy fat and carbs.
It's also portable.
How to make a healthy breakfast burrito
- 2 Whole Eggs
- 1 Sliced of Paleo Turkey Bacon
- 1/4 cup of back beans
- 1 cup of chopped bell peppers
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- 1 cup of goat cheese
- Half avocado peeled, diced
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 ( 10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
- 1 tablespoons of coconut oil
First, take out all of your ingredients and put them on the counter.
Next, cook up the turkey bacon in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Heat up the 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions and cilantros. Sautéed until onions are transparent.
In a mixing bowl, beat together two eggs.
Add egg mixture to the vegetables and stir in. Continue to cook until the eggs are set. When the eggs are almost done, add the cheese and mix everything together.
Once the eggs are done, place them on top of the tortillas and add the bacon, black beans, diced avocado and a little bit of salsa before rolling it up.
I usually make ahead and roll a few of these the night before to make it to-go friendly.
If you decide to make ahead, simply heat it up before you eat and enjoy!
3. Overnight Oats
Overnight oats can be the best solution for a busy morning.
When I first heard the term overnight oats, I was puzzled.
I thought to myself, how appealing could oats that's been left out overnight be?
I was completely wrong.
After doing a little bit of research and trying some overnight oats recipes, I finally began to understand the benefits of overnight oats.
Overnight oats are:
- Quick on the go healthy breakfast
- Time saver - no cooking needed in the morning.
So what is overnight oats?
Overnight oats are just oats soaked overnight in milk or any kind of liquid you like. I prefer milk because it gives that creamy, yogurt like texture.
Easiest Overnight Oat Recipe
The most common ingredients of overnight oats are:
- Raw rolled oats
- Prepare all three ingredients in equal parts 1/3 or 1/2 cup each.
- Mix all ingredients together and put it in a mason jar or container of your choice.
- Put the cup with oat mixture in the fridge overnight and let them soak up the liquids.
- Add some healthy toppings to make it more delicious, exciting and less bland.
To save time in the morning, you can add the topping the night before. Or, if you prefer, you can add them when you eat. It all depends on what toppings you add.
Toppings like superfood chia seeds and flax seeds are just few examples of toppings you can add the night before.
Just in case, you haven't heard, chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals in just a small spoonful.
Flax seeds are less known for its fat, but its half of their fat content is omega-3 fatty acids also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They too provide antioxidants and fiber.
If you are looking for a way to incorporate them into your diet, overnight oats provide an excellent opportunity.
If you are adding chia seeds, know these seeds react differently than other seeds when in contact with liquids.
If you've read our 9 Reasons to Be Addicted to Chia Seeds, you already know that chia sees absorb liquids.
It's their water absorption that allows them to create fruit spread and pudding with nothing but chia seeds and liquids.
When added to overnight oats, chia seeds can add additional firmness to oat mixture.
The tiny seeds also expand in your stomach, keeping you full for much longer.
There are also other toppings you can add in the morning or when you eat.
Some of my favorite healthy choices are:
- Almond butter
- Pure maple syrup or Honey
- Sliced nuts
- Coconut chips
If you are adding maple syrup or honey, be mindful of how much you add.
Despite of them being healthier than refined white table sugar, they’re still sugar. Consuming too much can add quickly lead to over-consumption of sugar. Remember, daily recommended sugar intake is 6 teaspoons.
Overnight oats are a wonderful option year round; you can heat them up on chilly winter mornings or have them cold during hot summer months.
To make it your overnight oat more grand, you can play around with toppings and ingredients.
Here is one of my favorites.
Vanilla, Coconut Power Pack Overnight Oats
- 1 cup old fashioned oats (not instant)
- 1½ cups almond milk or any other liquid (try avoid sugary beverage)
- 1 cup yogurt
- ½ teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon oat flour
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or Honey
- 1/2 Bananas
- 1 cup of Mixed Berries
Place all ingredients (besides the toppings) in a glass container and stir until well combined. Seal with a lid and place in the fridge overnight.
Prepare the toppings.
Bring out the overnight oats out of the fridge and stir. You can see that oats and chia seeds soaked up a lot of the liquids. If you prefer a little looser consistency, add a little more almond milk before serving.
Place the toppings on top of the oats and enjoy!
4. Breakfast Quiche
I love breakfast quiche, because it combines all of my favorites foods: eggs, chicken/turkey sausages, fresh veggies like bell peppers, onions, and cheese.
Breakfast quiche is fun and delicious.
You can definitely say it's a crowd-pleaser.
Although the process of having quiche as a breakfast may feel like a major cooking undertaking, it's really not.
Especially if you have all ingredients at home, all you have to do is to mix, pour and bake the night before.
Here is the easiest quiche recipe I've been using for years.
- 1/2 lb turkey breakfast sausage
- 4 eggs, lightly scrambled
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk
- 1 small onions, minced
- 1 bell pepper, minced
- 1 frozen deep dish pie shell
- 2 1/4 cups of low-fat cheese
- 1 cup of spinach
- 1 tomato, minced
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Slice and cook the turkey sausage for 4 or 5 minutes, until cooked through.
- Sauté onion and pepper in fat for 12 minutes, until softened.
- In pie shell, layer with the cheese, onion, green pepper and sausage.
- In bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and flour.
- Pour over layered pie.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes until set, then cool for about 1/2 hour.
There you have it! breakfast quiche.
In the morning, you’ll have a healthy option that takes less than 5 minutes to reheat and packed with tons of nutritional benefits.
5. Yogurt Parfait
Mixed berry yogurt parfait looks and taste delicious. I never really cared for eating yogurt in the morning until I recently discovered this mouth watering recipe with Greek yogurt.
Greek Yogurt, Better Than Regular Yogurt
I only eat Greek Yogurt, and it's not just for its creamy and rich texture. It's healthier and more nutritious.
Compared to regular yogurt, it has double the amount of protein. For example, the one I buy in particular, Wallaby Organic Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt has 19 grams of protein per serving. That's more than protein you can find in 3 eggs.
But don't think you can just buy one at Starbuck or McDonalds and get the same benefits.
Pre-made yogurt parfaits from those vendors are high in calories and loaded with sugars; something you definitely don't want to start your morning with.
So for your waistline, it's best you make yours at home.
And homemade yogurt parfait gives the best bang for your buck, money wise as well.
So here is how to make it.
- 3 cups Greek yogurt
- 1/2 pint fresh blackberries, raspberries, blueberries
- 1 cup good quality granola (no canola oil, no trans fat, no high sugar)
- Prepare 4 tall glasses.
- Layer 1/3 cup Greek yogurt into the bottom of each glass.
- Add a layer of berries by laying them on top of the yogurt.
- Add a layer of granola on top of the fruits.
- Alternate layers of yogurt, fruit and granola until glasses are filled to the top.
Serve parfaits immediately to keep granola crunchy. Enjoy!
6. Almond Butter Toast
This is probably the easiest breakfast you can make in the morning, and the best part is, no cooking skill needed.
If you can make PB&J, you can make this.
You can also use peanut butter but I prefer almond butter over peanut butter. Although both options can be healthy, almond butter has the added benefits of higher amounts of iron, magnesium, and vitamin E, protein and fiber and are associated with a number of health benefits:
- Lowering cholesterol
- reducing the risk of cancer
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
Just a handful of almonds, approximately 1once contains 1/8 of necessary daily protein.
To make your almond toast, spread a spoonful of almond butter onto the toast and add a sliced banana on top.
Not surprisingly the total time to make this is less than five minutes, but it will keep you energized, full and awake throughout your entire morning.
Do you squeeze in a morning workout like our 6-Minute Morning Workout?, then you are in luck.
This simplest protein packed toast is also great as a post morning workout meal.
- 1 slice of rye bread
- 2 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 medium banana, sliced
That’s it! There you have it. 6 simplest, healthy breakfast meals you can ever make.