What breakfast food habits will help me lose weight?

Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

Simply eating breakfast is a great way to lose weight. Choose a balanced breakfast with some fat, protein, carbohydrate and fiber providing energy and fullness.

Breakfast Ideas:

  • oatmeal with nuts and chopped fresh fruit
  • eggs with whole wheat toast and vegetable oil spread with a small piece of fruit
  • low fat plain yogurt with fresh or dried fruit
Michaela Ballmann
Nutrition & Dietetics

To start, eating breakfast every day (preferably within about an hour or an hour and a half of waking) is a great promoter of a healthy weight.  Providing Calories in the morning fuels your brain and body and helps prevent overeating or binging later in the day.

When it comes to specific breakfast foods, I would recommend combining lean protein with unrefined carbohydrate.  Some good protein choices include low-fat milk or soymilk, eggs, turkey sausage/bacon, and tofu.  For the carbohydrate, oatmeal, whole grain bread, or high-fiber low-sugar cereal are good options.  I would also add a piece of fresh fruit and even some vegetables.  No reason not to include vegetables in every meal!  This combination of foods will keep you full and help you maintain a healthy Calorie intake throughout the day.

Karlene Karst
Nutrition & Dietetics
In order to give your metabolism a boost, breakfast is not an option but a must. I love combining healthy fats, fiber, dairy and protein at breakfast. A quick, nutritious and easy way to get all your food groups in one is to make a protein smoothie. Using your blender is such an effective tool, simply combine 1 cup of 1% or skim milk, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein isolate and 1 tsp of ground flaxseeds for a delicious breakfast that will keep your metabolism up and running for hours!
Susan Mitchell, PhD
Nutrition & Dietetics

First, just the fact that you eat breakfast will aid in weight loss. Data from the National Weight Control Registry on 'successful losers' has found that those who eat breakfast tend to eat less during the day and keep their weight off.

Breakfast should include a protein source and a high fiber carbohydrate source such as peanut butter on whole wheat toast or a hardboiled egg and fresh pear.  

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

At breakfast:

1. Try drinking skim milk at breakfast instead of juice. Overweight people who drank skim milk for breakfast ate fewer calories.


2. People who eat breakfast have a better shot at losing and maintaining weight loss.


3. Researchers found that dieters who ate eggs in the morning were less hungry than those who ate carb-heavy meals.


4. Oats are your friends! Eating a cup of oatmeal in the morning will prevent you from gorging in the afternoon.




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First, make sure you eat breakfast! Your metabolism has slowed down during the night. Kick start it by eating oatmeal, eggs and drinking skim milk. Choose oatmeal that is not processed and does not contain sugar such as some instant oatmeal packages. Your eggs do not need to be boring! Add some shallots, mushrooms or red peppers to add flavor. Cook the eggs in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to add a healthy fat and you have a great meal to start your day!

Just start by eating breakfast! Too many people skip breakfast and then spend the rest of the day overeating. Fuel your body right in the morning and you will have sustained energy all day long and feel more satisfied. Eating breakfast will help you be more mentally focused and physically efficient. People who eat breakfast have more active metabolisms and just the simple act of eating breakfast will help you have better, more productive workouts.

Next skip the sugar laden, processed cereals that have the cartoon characters on them.  I doubt there were talking tigers, toucans, and leprechauns on earth 10,000 years ago peddling their overpriced refuse but I am sure oats and wheat were here.  Our bodies are not meant to handle that processed garbage no matter how much they proclaim to have now added whole grains and fiber. Stick to the oatmeal with that Quaker guy on it. His smile may be a little spooky but his oatmeal will fuel your day and help you lose weight.

Also studies have shown that skim milk helps us to lose weight so don’t forget to drink an 8oz serving in the am.  You also cannot go wrong getting yourself properly hydrated in the morning; it will help curb those hunger cravings. I usually drink water with lemon or fresh-brewed iced green tea.

Finally, you have to skip the buttered white bread toast, danish, or that donut. To really fuel up your body try two pieces whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter split between them. An awesome pre-workout breakfast for me includes two pieces of whole wheat toast, one tablespoon of peanut, and an omelet of 5 egg whites with one whole egg. Always remember to include protein at breakfast to help keep your carb cravings under control. Good Luck!


Alberta Scruggs
Nutrition & Dietetics

Some breakfast food habits that may assist you in losing weight include:

  • Making sure you eat breakfast. Studies prove those who eat breakfast tend to have healthier weights than those who don't, and are less likely to engage in overconsumption of empty kcalorie foods before lunch.
  • Limiting the amount and types of condiments added to food during beakfast (and all meals). Learn to eat food based on the nutrient(s) provided. Adding butter, jelly, gravy and additional sauces to foods may spice up the taste, but the addition also adds kcalories (which may sabotage your weight loss goal).
  • Substituting high fat dairy products with low-fat dairy products. The difference between low-fat and high-fat dairy products is FAT. So if your choosing

Whole milk or yogurt, it has 8 grams / 72 kcalories from fat.

2% milk or yogurt, it has 5 grams / 45 kcalories from fat.

1% milk or yogurt, it has 3 grams / 27 kcalories from fat.

Skim milk or yogurt, it has o grams / 0 kcalories from fat.


Jim White
Nutrition & Dietetics

The breakfast meal is very important. You want to set the "pace" of the day with a balanced satisfying morning meal that is going to give you energy, boost your metabolism, and satisfy your hunger until the next snack or meal.

Rule #1 - don't skip this most important meal! Eat a balanced breakfast that includes a complex carb, protein, dairy, and fruit. A good example would be a serving of oatmeal, egg white omelette, and yogurt with fruit. For those who are tempted to just grab a cereal bar, or stop to get a breakfast biscuit, a better choice would a quick breakfast of a slice of whole wheat toast with natural peanut or almond butter, and banana.

Breakfast does not have to include the typical "breakfast" foods. Substitute those with your preference, for instance half a sandwich on a whole grain any lean protein will do. 

Avoiding the high fat breakfasts will set the pace for a healthy day!

Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics

Studies show that skipping breakfast may cause you to eat up to 500 additional calories per day. Over a weeks’ time, that equals 3500 calories, which is the amount needed to gain one pound. Make healthy choices that include protein. If you’re on the go, grab a light yogurt and a bag of Kashi or Kashi Go Lean Crunch-both cereals are good sources of protein and fiber.

Cindy Guirino
Nutrition & Dietetics

Just by eating breakfast you burn an additional 150 calories per day. Breakfast is eating within two hours of waking up. A great breakfast is one with fiber in it so you will feel fuller longer and fiber-rich foods are low in calories. This combination will help you lose weight. Try a cup of 0% fat Greek yogurt topped with 3/4 cup fiber-rich blueberries and 6 crushed almonds and you have a protein packed fiber rich healthy fat breakfast that will fuel your body strong all morning long!

Kait Fortunato
Nutrition & Dietetics
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting off your day with high protein foods and complex carbohydrates to feel energized all day long. Some of my favorite choices include bagel thin with egg whites and spinach, whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter, or a fruit smoothie with low fat milk and protein powder.
Janice Baker
Nutrition & Dietetics
Including whole grains, a protein source such as eggs or dairy, and fresh fruits or vegetables in the morning is a great way to start. An example: old fashioned oatmeal topped with chopped apples and walnuts with some milk or yogurt on the side is a great start to your day.
Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics

Eating breakfast in general is a good start to losing weight. By eating breakfast you "break" the "fast" and get your metabolism started for the day. It's also beneficial to include a low fat protein (like egg whites) and a high fiber food (like fruits, vegetables, and/or whole grains) to increase satiety for less calories.

Molly Morgan
Nutrition & Dietetics
The first breakfast food habit to focus on is having breakfast! Although that sounds really, simple, it's so important! Breakfast helps jump start your day and your metabolism. Some simple ideas to try: a bowl of whole grain cereal with low fat milk & sliced fruit or on the go grab a bar that contains fruit and nuts! A combination of protein (e.g. nuts or low fat milk) and carbohyrates (e.g. whole grain cereal or fruit) with some healthy fat (e.g. from nuts) will get your day started on the right path!
Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics

Breakfast can help you lose weight. But there are two things to consider:

  1. Choose healthy, low calorie foods with protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Eating a whole grain cereal with milk and fruit is an easy, quick way to get important nutrients.
  2. Start eating a smaller dinner, so that you are hungry in the morning.
Three small meals a day spreads out the calories throughout the day. If you skip a meal, you may end up overeating at the next meal. Eating breakfast for the sake of eating "breakfast" may cause you to gain weight. To lose weight, never eat, if you are not hung
Rebecca Bitzer
Nutrition & Dietetics

Eating breakfast helps you fuel your body for the day. A healthy breakfast includes a protein, carbohydrate and fat. It is good to include a source of fiber in your breakfast also. Some fun, easy ways to start your day with breakfast include: 

  • Breakfast burrito: eggs with grilled veggies in whole grain (WG tortilla) with salsa
  • Omelet with grilled vegetables, 2% cheese
  • WG waffle with fruit and low-fat (1% or skim) milk or yogurt
  • Bowl of WG cereal with fruit (like oatmeal, Kashi, Total, Wheaties, Shredded Wheat, Fiber One)
  • Fruit smoothie (berries, yogurt, low-fat milk or 100% juice, ground flaxseed)

In my experience, many people under eat during the day, which sets them up for being overly hungry later in the day and end up overeating. Try to stabilize you’re eating buy eating while you are active and need to be alert at your job or in school.


Cassie Vanderwall
Nutrition & Dietetics

Mama was right; breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Breakfast, breaks-the-fast and provides vital energy to get the day started and promotes a healthy weight. Would you start your car and expect it to run well without gas or oil? Our thought process should be the same for breakfast. Breakfast can help you to achieve a healthier weight because it can boost the metabolism first thing in the morning and prevent over-eating later in the day. Try the following breakfast tips:

  1. Eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking.
  2. Choose a serving of whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat for a long-lasting breakfast (Ex. 1/2 Cup Dry oats with 1 Cup Low-fat Milk and 10 walnuts).
  3. Stay hydrated! Enjoy 8 oz. of water or herbal tea at breakfast.
Sarah Mathot
Nutrition & Dietetics
I agree with Dr. Oz that having a glass of skim milk or eating breakfast cereal with milk is a good breakfast habit. That will help curb your hunger throughout the day.
Nadine Pazder
Nutrition & Dietetics

Always make time for breakfast. Include protein and a whole grain, like peanut butter on whole grain toast and you will be less likely to show any interest in the sugary donut on the coffee cart mid-morning.

There is research that shows breakfast eaters consume fewer calories overall during the day. And with losing weight, it is all about the calories!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.