Quick Low Calorie Breakfast Ideas
Low Calorie Breakfast Ideas
Combining some of these ideas have helped me to stick to my low calorie diet plan by allowing me to still enjoy the food I love, in moderation of course! ;)
There are so many egg breakfasts that you can enjoy for a small amount of calories! These little 74 calorie morsels are packed with protein and a great way to pep up your morning. You can go from something small like a plain hard boiled, scrambled, or sunny-side up egg to a more elaborate breakfast quesadilla or avocado omelet. Some simple egg options include scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, an over easy egg with a slice of toast and a quarter of an avocado (194 calories), and super simple egg mugs. These egg mugs are quick and can be easily made in the microwave! Simply crack an egg and scramble it in a mug. Add whatever ingredients you have in your fridge (think leftover meat or veggies from the night before, or spinach, tomatoes, feta or cheddar cheese, ham coldcut, bacon bits, peppers, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, etc). You can throw them all in and mix it up. Stick it in the microwave for about a minute to a minute and thirty seconds depending on your microwave, and Walla! Super simple yet delicious egg mug to go! This will allow you to have plenty of vegetables and protein first thing in the morning with little effort. Other egg options include omelets—throw in your favorite cheese (I like cheddar, pepper jack, and mozzarella!), protein, and veggies and you will have a well -balanced nutritious breakfast in a flash. It only takes about ten minutes and depending on which ingredients you use (try to use mostly vegetables or lean meats) it can be low calorie (most end up being 100-150 calories) and very filling. For a better lower calorie option, you can use egg substitute or use one egg, and two egg whites to save on calories. The latter option starts you off with just about a hundred calories and makes a nice sized omelet. You can add as many vegetables as you like and I always make sure to add cheese. Two of my favorite omelets are ham and cheddar cheese, and spinach, mushrooms, and feta. Be creative with the options and you will never get bored! Another easy but delicious egg breakfast can be made by filling a muffin tin with a bunch of different vegetables and lean meats (try different combinations in each muffin section to switch it up!) and pouring in raw scrambled eggs or egg substitute. Again here, I would do a few eggs and a few egg whites to keep the calories low. You can make a bunch at a time to save for the week, make them for the family, or only make one or two and have them for that day. Put these in the oven for a few minutes, let them cool, and pop them out for a to-go egg muffin.
You can pair eggs with a side of toast, potatoes, berries, or yogurt, or you can add them to the refrigerated biscuits or croissants for a nice treat. If you are feeling ethnic, take a whole wheat low calorie tortilla and add eggs with spinach, feta, onions, cheese, and chickpeas to make a nice Mediterranean Breakfast Wrap, or add eggs, beans, salsa, cheese, and tomatoes to that whole wheat wrap for a Spanish Burrito Breakfast. You can make breakfast quesadillas with bacon or ham, eggs, and cheese, breakfast tacos with salsa, eggs, cheese (add hot sauce and/or sausage/bacon if desired!). Slice a hard-boiled egg if you prefer and add that to any of the above dishes for a different take.
A great start to your morning is a refreshing smoothie. They are good for on the go and are truly delicious! You can make a wide variety of different smoothies from mango banana to chocolate peanut butter. Add whey protein powder (I like Designer Whey flavored protein powder—chocolate is my favorite and it is only 100 calories and 18g of protein per serving!) and feel fuller longer! My favorite ingredients for smoothies are fruit: frozen or fresh strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, bananas, coconut, as well as coffee, oats, spinach (you don’t even taste it in there!), Greek (whips or 100 calorie serving) plain or vanilla yogurt, unsweetened cashew or almond milk, honey, peanut butter, and Nutella! Play around with all of these ingredients for some really delicious combinations such as chocolate strawberry, peanut butter banana, mango coconut, coffee protein, and honey vanilla. Just be careful not to add too many rich ingredients into one smoothie or you will pack on the calories! I usually try to stick to half of a serving of each of the higher calorie ingredients and add plenty of the lower calorie options like plain/vanilla greek yogurt and almond milk. Fruit will also help to add natural sweetness without the high calories. You can add a dash of cinnamon, vanilla extract, or orange juice as well, and don’t forget the ice!
Whether you like instant or old fashioned oats, turn your bland mornings into something spectacular by thinking outside the box. Besides fruit (blueberries, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, and peaches work well), there a wide variety of other combinations you can try to pep up your oats. If you have the plain oatmeal rather than the sugary ones you will save on calories but not on taste if you add your own toppings. Try a tablespoon of whipped peanut butter (Jiffs—only 75 calories for one tbsp.) and a dash of cinnamon. You can make a parfait by layering oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit or sprinkle some cinnamon, raisins, and a teaspoon of low calorie sugar for a nice cinnamon sugar oatmeal. Jarred fruits make for a delicious topping as well (peaches or pineapples work well) and a little vanilla extract or teaspoon of syrup goes a long way! Add nuts or cold cereal for a crunch, or cooked apples and cinnamon for a nice treat. Mix it up with a teaspoon each of peanut butter and jelly, or add some chocolate syrup and half a banana for a twist.
Bread & Waffle Options
Besides biscuits and croissants (try Pillsbury or America’s choice for a quick but lower calorie option than store bought), there are a lot of easy bread based breakfasts that you can enjoy on the go. Simply add a tablespoon of whipped peanut butter (75 calories) and a few slices of banana, cool whip, fluff, or Nutella if you like to eat something sweet in the morning to either a slice of whole wheat bread or a waffle. Try peanut butter and strawberries instead of jelly or cream cheese (Philadelphia whips 50 calories a tbsp.) and jelly (I like Smuckers Low Sugar jelly [no artificial sweeteners] and only 25 calories a tbsp!). Don’t forget eggs are great with a piece of toast—sunny side up, hard boiled, or scrambled; add an avocado and you will not be sorry. Scramble up some raw egg whites and make French toast that is much lower in calories! A waffle (try Fit & Active multigrain waffles—70 calories a waffle) with a quarter cup of ice cream (why not?!), or add a yogurt butter (like Brummel and brown) and light syrup for some great options too that may otherwise be higher in calories. As long as you watch the serving size and choose the right products you will be able to enjoy your usually higher calorie items every day! Before I found low sugar jelly and whipped cream cheese, I simply avoided the two because of the calories. The multigrain waffles were also an exciting find for me!
Yogurt & Fruit
There are a bunch of really delicious yogurts out there. My favorite are the whips, and now that they have come out with 100 calorie Greek Whips (Yoplait), I am very excited! Now I can enjoy all the benefits of Greek yogurt AND lose weight. It’s great. They have flavors like black cherry, tropical, and even VANILLA CUPCAKE! If you are not a fan of Greek yogurt, Yoplait has regular whipped flavors too like chocolate and strawberry. Dannon Light and Fit is a good 80 calorie choice as well and they have a bunch of delicious flavors. Finally, I am a fan of Gogurt—they have interesting flavors and it is only 70 calories a tube. It is easy to grab on the go and simple to eat in the car or at your desk when you are crunched for time. They now have them in ‘adult’ flavors too, but I like the kid ones as well! You can pair yogurt with any fruit you like, or mix in a half of a cup of oats or cereal of your choice for a nice crunch. Make a parfait by layering any combination of oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, nuts, cool whip, cereal, crushed graham crackers, and raisins. I love strawberries, bananas, and pineapple in mine. For a frozen treat, place yogurt in Popsicle Trays (or ice cube trays for a smaller, lower calorie option) and add a popsicle stick, sturdy plastic straw, or even a sliced carrot stick to act as a handle for the pop and put it in the freezer for a few hours. You can easily do this at night for a grab and go yogurt pop in the morning.
Other Low Calorie Breakfast Ideas
COFFEE-natural appetite suppressant—just watch the creamer (they now have coffee mate squeeze and go creamers which I can’t wait to try!)
Apples, berries, cheese and nuts
Carnation Instant Breakfast- Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry (you can mix with 30 calorie unsweetened cashew milk or unsweetened almond milk instead of 2% to save calories)
Chocolate or Strawberry milk (mix syrup into cashew milk)
Yoohoo (100 calories for one drink box)
100 Calorie Muffin Tops (Vitatops or Greek 100 Calorie ones found in Food Basics!)
Lower calorie cereal options: Kiks, Apple Jacks, Cheerios, Corn Pops, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Special K Berries, and Trix all have a serving size of 1 cup (instead of the usual ¾ or less) and are around 100-120 calories!
Cheese Stick (Weight Watchers, or Fit and Active brand have 50 calorie sticks)
Roll with whipped cream cheese or yogurt butter (Brummel and Brown)- usually rolls are only around 150-170 calories and there are always smaller options as well (try Portuguese rolls)
Graham Crackers (usually around 120 calories for two entire sheets) and cool whip or peanut butter (or both!)
Rice Cakes [flavored or unflavored] with whipped peanut butter, Nutella, or whipped chocolate peanut butter
Special K, Fit and Active, Jimmy Dean D-Lights Breakfast Sandwiches (they have Canadian bacon, ham, and sausage options, as well as pepper jack cheese and egg)
Special K pastry crisps (try the brown sugar cinnamon ones…two come in a package and they are only 100 calories!)
5 Ritz crackers (70 calories) with whipped peanut butter and/or jelly
Nutella and Banana Wrap/Sandwich
100 Calorie Packs
S’mores [live a little ;) ]
Hard Boiled Egg with avocado or guacamole instead of yolk
Cinnamon Raisin Bread (Pepperidge Farm, 80 calories/slice) and whipped cream cheese
Here are a few breakfast products (some are mentioned above) that I have found lower in calorie and quite delicious, followed by the place(s) I have found them: Pepperidge Farm ‘Very Thin’ White Bread (40 calories/slice, Target/A&P, Shoprite), Peter Pan Whipped Peanut Butter (jar, Shoprite) Jiff Whipped Peanut Butter (container, Target), Jiff Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate (container, Target), Portuguese Rolls (100 calories, Food Basics), Unsweetened Cashew Milk (30 calories/cup, A&P, Target, Walmart, Food Basics), Greek Yogurt Whips (Walmart, A&P, Food Basics, Pathmark), Vitamuffins Vitatops (A&P, Target), Greek 100 Calorie Muffin Tops (Food Basics), Designer Whey Protein Powder (Amazon), America’s Choice mini biscuits (50 calories, A&P, Food Basics, Pathmark), America’s Choice Bacon (two slices for 90 calories), Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese (lower in calorie than some of the lighter ones and has the full taste of real cream cheese, Food Basics, Walmart, A&P, Pathmark, Shoprite), Low Sugar Smuckers Jelly (25 calories/tbsp., A&P), Fit and Active Products (multigrain 70 calorie waffles, cheese sticks, light cheese slices, breakfast sandwiches –they also have soups, salad dressings, cereal bars, etc—Aldi’s). Again, these products are where I have come across them..they may be located at other stores as well, and please keep in mind that product supply may not be guaranteed in your area.
Some lower calorie breakfast choices for when you are out:
Subway: flatbread with egg white , ham, and cheese (350 calories for 6”)
Subway: flatbread with egg white and cheese (320 calories for 6”)
Dunkin Donuts: Iced Caramel Latte Light (120 calories for medium)
Dunkin Donuts Wake Up Wrap (ham, egg, and cheese 170 calories)
Dunkin Donuts French Cruller (220 calories)
Dunkin Donuts: Chocolate Frosted Doughnut (270 calories)
Dunkin Donuts: Egg and Cheese on English Muffin (240 calories, add ham for 40 more calories)
Dunkin Donuts: Egg White Veggie Flatbread (280 calories)
Dunkin Donuts: Original Oatmeal with Fruit (270 calories)
Ihop: Simple and Fit menu options, or eat half of your meal and opt for fruit salad instead of other higher calorie sides
Starbucks: Skinny Vanilla Latte (90 calories for tall)
Starbucks: Nonfat Caramel Macchiato (140 calories for tall)
Starbucks: Nonfat Café Latte (170 calories for tall)
Starbucks: Light Caramel Frap (100 calories for tall)
Starbucks: you will be able to save about 30% of the calories of almost any drink by asking for it “light”
Starbucks: for when you just do not want to pass up on a sweet treat-Vanilla Scone (120 calories) , Marshmallow Dream Bar (230 calories), cake pops (140-180 calories a pop)
McDonald’s: Egg White Delight (250 calories)
McDonald’s: Egg McMuffin (300 calories)
McDonald’s Sausage Burrito (300 calories)
McDonald’s: Fruit and Yogurt Parfait (150 calories)
McDonald’s: Hash brown (150 calories)
McDonald’s: Fruit and Maple Oatmeal (290 calories)
McDonald’s: Vanilla Cone (yes ice cream for breakfast again, 170 calories)
McDonald’s: Smoothies (250-260 calories)
Burger King: Quaker Maple Oatmeal (170 calories)
Burger King: Sausage Breakfast Burrito (310 calories)
Burger King: BK Egg and Cheese Breakfast Muffin (260 calories)
Burger King: Cinnamon Rolls (280 calories)
Burger King: Croissantwich Egg and Cheese (330 calories)
Burger King: Hash browns (250 calories for small)
Taco Bell: Grilled AM Taco (210-230 calories depending on toppings)
Taco Bell: Waffle Taco (260-370 calories depending on toppings)
Taco Bell: Cinnabon Delights (2 for 160 calories; small but delicious)
Bakery/Deli: Opt for a roll over a bagel and cream cheese over butter; most places will substitute egg whites for you and decide what is more important to you and skip either the meat or the cheese to save about 100 calories.
Diner: Opt for egg white omelets, or one egg and two egg white omelets with as many vegetables as you want (it is okay to add some ham and/or cheese in there too), whole wheat toast, Canadian bacon instead of regular, jam instead of butter on toast, and order a side of fruit salad. If you must have pancakes, make them silver dollar and ask if they have light syrup or try it with jam and/or cinnamon and skip the syrup altogether!
What new ideas will you incorporate into your breakfast menu?
These breakfast foods are just a few of the many choices you have while watching your calories. It is possible to eat delicious foods and still lose weight! It just takes finding the right options and switching up your combinations to keep you satisfied. Remember, it is OKAY to go off track sometimes. Everyone needs a break here and there. Just remember the 80/20 rule—eat healthy 80 % of the time, and it is okay to allow yourself to eat less healthy foods 20 % of the time. If you deprive yourself completely, you will 1: be miserable, and 2: most likely binge when you get the chance!
If you are careful with the calories for major meals and some snacks, you will be able to enjoy a few Oreos or a chocolate bar here and there without all the guilt! So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of these options. You will thank me later (when you have enough calories left to eat your chocolate bar that is)!