Birthdays, happy hours, and Olympic pizza parties happen—even when you're trying to lose weight. But treating yourself once in a while doesn't mean you need to throw your goals out the window or vow to uphold a diet of iceberg lettuce and water for the next month. Instead, you can get right back on track in your weight-loss journey, starting with a solid breakfast. By eating one of these meals, you'll be setting yourself up for a fresh day of healthy eating—and you'll get plenty of blood-sugar stabilizing, filling, protein while you're at it.
1. Avocado Ezekiel Toast with Sriracha Hard-Boiled Egg
Avocado toast contains plenty of fiber and healthy fats to keep your blood sugar stable all morning long. Pairing it with one hard-boiled egg adds seven grams of hunger-suppressing protein. The yolk alone is a nutrient-packed powerhouse (with vitamin D, iron, vitamin E, and biotin), says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D.
"Both nuts and yogurt are great for satisfying your sweet tooth without significantly raising your blood sugar and exacerbating your cravings," says Janie Zeitlin, R.D.N. This is particularly important after overdoing it (especially on carbs) because your appetite and cravings may actually increase in response to your blood-sugar spike and subsequent crash, she says. Combine slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, and a handful of pecans with chia and flaxseeds. Then lightly coat the mix in almond oil (and a dash of coconut, if you want). For extra sweetness, sprinkle on a non-nutritive sweetener such as Stevia (try the brown sugar version). Spread the mixture evenly on parchment paper, bake at 300 degrees until golden, and serve with nonfat, plain Greek yogurt.
3. Greek Yogurt with Chia and Bran Cereal
Greek yogurt (high in protein and probiotics) and chia seeds can both help fight bloat, regulate digestion, and start the day off on a healthy note. Bran, which is full of fiber, also works to stave off hunger cravings, says Moskovitz.
4. Cottage Cheese, Fruit, and Nut Bowl
"Protein-filled cottage cheese, fiber-rich blueberries, and almonds (a source of healthy fat to reduce belly fat storage and inflammation) will quench your appetite, regulate blood sugars, and help keep your brain sharp to tackle the day," says Moskovitz. Plus, this is a great option when you don’t have a lot of time in the morning.
5. Baked Egg-Stuffed Avocado
"Avocado is filled with monosaturated fats and eggs are loaded with protein, which are exactly what you need to curb cravings and achieve satiety," says Zeitlin. Just cut an avocado lengthwise and scoop out the pit (plus any surrounding area necessary to create the space you need). Pour one egg, chopped tomatoes, fresh herbs, and cheese directly into the center of the avocado. Cook at 350 degrees until the egg white is firm and the yolk has set.
6. Almond Milk and Whey Protein Smoothie
"If you’re not in the mood to eat or time won’t allow it, go for a smoothie," says Moskovitz. Adding fruits and veggies, like blueberries, spinach, carrots, and beets, along with nuts and whey protein, will keep you full longer. And if you put the whole veggie in there instead of peeling it, you'll get a lot more belly-filling fiber, says Moskovitz.
7. Bran Cereal with Almond Milk and Strawberries
"Bran foods are leading sources of appetite-killing fiber," says Moskovitz. "If you're a cereal-and-milk kind of person, bran cereal with almond milk and low-sugar strawberries will help keep you full well into lunch." (Get more weight-loss friendly meals with Women's Health's Body Clock Diet.)
8. Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast
Putting salmon on whole-wheat toast is a great way to get in protein and fiber, while keeping your carbs in check, says Moskovitz. It's the perfect healthy alternative to a lox and cream cheese bagel.
9. Cinnamon Flaxseed Oatmeal
This meal is especially great for colder months. Oats are full of fiber, and cinnamon may help fight high blood pressure and blood sugar. "That means you'll feel calm and relaxed as you ease into your morning routine," says Moskovitz.
10. Overnight Oat Parfait
"This whole-grain breakfast is a great alternative to processed carbs," says Stacey Antine, R.D. Thanks to the soluble fiber and protein boost, it’s satisfying and filling so you won’t be hungry in an hour, she says. In a mason jar, add 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup of oats and rice milk (soy, dairy, or almond work, too), two teaspoons of nut butter, and one tablespoon of flaxseeds. Cover, and place in the fridge overnight. Top with freshly sliced bananas or berries in the morning.
11. Banana, Egg White, and Oat Pancakes
"This healthy alternative to pancakes is full of lean protein, fiber, and bloat-fighting potassium," says Moskovitz. Just beat three egg whites in a mixing bowl, then add 1/4 cup of raw oats and a small sliced banana to the mixture (you can top with cinnamon powder for extra flavor). Pour the batter onto the pan (over medium heat) in small circles. Flip after three to four minutes, and let cook for another three to four minutes until it solidifies and is cooked through. "Top with Greek yogurt and drizzled honey to complete the meal," says Moskovitz.
12. Overnight Chia and Oats
"It’s easier to make a good breakfast like this one ahead of time so you don't skip eating or, even worse, grab something like a donut or bagel," says Moskovitz. Soak 1/4 cup of raw oats in 1/2 cup of almond milk, and sprinkle in one tablespoon of chia seeds. Stir in cinnamon and cocoa powder. Pop it in the fridge, and it'll be ready by the time you wake up.
13. Quinoa Veggie Bowl
"This is one of my favorite breakfasts because it's savory and filling," says Antine. Cook up some quinoa and a variety of veggies, like cauliflower, carrots, and kale, add hemp seeds for added protein, and top with a drizzle of satisfying olive oil (a healthy fat).
14. Fruit and Almond Butter
If you feel bloated, this breakfast, which combines lean protein, healthy fat, and unrefined carbs, is a great way to get on track, says Antine. It will leave you satisfied until lunch so you’re not mindlessly snacking. Just spread almond butter on an apple or half a banana to kick-start your day, she says.