Breakfast is often hailed as the most important meal of the day—and for good reason. Nutrients aside, it jumpstarts your metabolism and provides lasting energy to tackle the day. However, not all breakfasts are created equal. Many popular morning meals are far from satiating and send your blood glucose on a rollercoaster. Rather than reach for a bowl of sugary cereal (or nothing!), opt for a well-rounded breakfast. Enter: protein. Kickstart your day with a balanced ratio of ingredients, including enough protein. For a bit of inspiration, I’m sharing 10 easy and nutritious protein-packed breakfast ideas.
why eat protein in the morning?
From building and repairing tissues—to producing essential enzymes and hormones—protein is essential for overall growth and maintenance. Whether you’re on a weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain journey, protein takes center stage. Specifically, consuming protein in the morning provides a range of benefits:
Protein-rich breakfasts help control hunger hormones, reducing the likelihood of overeating later in the day. This can be particularly beneficial for weight management.
The thermic effect of protein means your body expends more energy to digest it. In turn, it gives your metabolism a slight boost.
Start with Steady Blood sugar
First and foremost, what is blood sugar—and why is it important? Blood sugar plays a role in energy, cognitive function, hormones, and more. In fact, you may already be familiar it. Hello, mid-morning energy crash. In essence, blood sugar is the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood at any given time. It’s produced when we break down starchy carbs: bananas, bagels, a bowl of granola, etc. While we need some blood sugar, having too much isn’t a good thing. Ultimately, the goal is to keep blood glucose steady—especially in the morning. One of the easiest ways to do so? Add protein and healthy fats to your brekkie.
popular breakfast foods that spike blood sugar
Unfortunately, there are a variety of sneaky breakfast foods that spike blood sugar. Think: non-fat yogurt (not filling and has minimal fiber), oat milk (often contains added sugar and is rich in carbs), cereal (high in sugar and refined carbs), and most packaged breads. Other breakfast items that can send your blood sugar soaring? Freezer waffles, fruit juice, and protein bars. In fact, many protein bars are practically candy bars in disguise! Instead, stay satiated and energized with full-fat dairy, whole-food sources of protein (eggs, tempeh, cottage cheese, turkey bacon, etc.), colorful veggies, and 100% whole grains (or sourdough).
how much protein should you eat at breakfast?
Depends, of course! We’re all bio-individuals, so it’s important to consider factors like age, sex, activity level, and overall dietary goals. However, a general guideline is to aim for around 20-30 grams of breakfast protein. This amount can provides necessary energy, supports muscle maintenance, and aids in satiation. Options include eggs, savory breakfast sausage, protein pancakes, turkey bacon, smoked salmon on sprouted grain bread, cottage cheese, hemp seeds, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, grass-fed protein powder, or non-GMO tofu.
10 protein packed breakfast ideas
As mentioned, starting your day with a protein-rich breakfast is a simple yet powerful way to enhance your overall well-being. The benefits speak for themselves: sustained energy, appetite regulation, muscle maintenance, and a metabolism boost. Below are easy protein breakfast ideas to help you fuel your body the right way.
GREEK YOGURT PARFAIT
EGGS—SCRAMBLED, BOILED, OR AN OMELET
Eggs are a classic. Whip up scrambled eggs, boil a couple for a quick snack, or create a vegetable-packed omelet with goat cheese. For more protein, toss in an extra egg white or a few savory sausages.
COTTAGE CHEESE BOWL
SMOKED SALMON TOAST
Spread cream cheese on a thick slice of sprouted-grain bread. Layer with smoked salmon, sea salt, pepper, capers, dill, and lemon juice.
On the go? Toss 1-2 hard-boiled eggs, deli turkey or ham, sharp cheddar cheese, roasted almonds, and strawberries in tupperware.
CHIA SEED PUDDING
Make my keto chia seed pudding and top with Greek yogurt, sliced banana (or apple), and a drizzle of nut butter.
For a plant-based option, scramble tofu with bell peppers, mushrooms, and kale. Season with sea salt, pepper, ground turmeric, and nutritional yeast. Enjoy with a side of avocado toast!
Make a stack of pancakes using vanilla protein powder, oat flour, egg whites, and cinnamon. Top with berries, Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Fill a whole-grain wrap with scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, spinach, black beans, guac, salsa, and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.