While some may argue that it's impossible to lose weight with the click of a button, we have to disagree. As long as it's the defrost button you're hitting, it's totally possible to melt fat and get the body you've always wanted with minimal effort—all before you've even polished off a cup of java, no less. In fact, a whopping 78 percent of National Weight Control Registry members (who have all lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for at least a year) report that they eat breakfast every day!
With things like quinoa-spiked frozen waffles and flax egg sandwiches out there, taking a few minutes to eat the morning meal seems pretty darn appealing—which wasn't always the case. Years ago, frozen breakfasts products were all are drenched with shameful amounts of salt and additives—and many are still on the market today. So, we did the work for you to uncover the very best—and worst—items so that you can quickly spot which dishes to toss into your cart without freezing your fingers off in the freezer aisle. And if you like to heat-and-eat your other meals, too, don't miss our special report on The 46 Best Frozen Foods In America. Zapping your way slim has never been tastier!
FIRST, THE BEST…
Sweet Earth Natural Foods Harmless Ham, Egg & Swiss Farmstand Breakfast Sandwich
1 sandwich, 360 calories, 16 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 490 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 21 g protein
Flax bread, cage free eggs, Swiss cheese, vegetarian "harmless ham", apple cider vinegar, and a host of delectable spice join together to create a frozen breakfast sandwich that's surprisingly low in sodium and high in fiber and protein. And speaking of the muscle-building nutrient, add more to your diet with the help of these 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss.
Kashi Blueberry Waffles
2 waffles, 140 calories, 5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated, 310 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 3 g protein
Blueberries are figured prominently in these first-rate waffles, which explains the huge hit of fiber you see listed above. You'll also get nearly half a day's worth of whole grains—without the artificial colors found in a traditional heat and eat brands like Eggo. And yes, in case you were wondering, Eggos did, in fact, earn a spot on our list of The 67 Worst Frozen Foods in America.
Good Food Made Simple Spinach Scramble Breakfast Bowl
210 calories, 10 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 530 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 16 g protein
It's hard to go wrong with a bowl filled with egg whites, whole milk, sweet potatoes, spinach, cheddar cheese, and salsa. The only thing this top-notch meal is lacking is fiber. That's why we suggest pairing this breakfast bowl with a cup of berries, an apple, or any of these 20 Most Filling Fruits and Veggies.
Amy's Black Beans & Tomatoes Breakfast Burrito
270 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 540 mg sodium, 38 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 12 g protein
Black beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet so any breakfast burrito that's filled with them and still relatively low in sodium is a winner in our eyes.
Van's 8 Whole Grains Pancakes Multigrain
2 pancakes, 160 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 360 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 4 g protein
If you're going to eat something sweet for breakfast you should always look for something that has equal amounts of fiber, sugar, and protein. This ensures you get the decadent flavor you crave without spiking your blood sugar. Van's multigrain hotcakes, make with oats, barley, quinoa, amaranth, and millet, fit the bill to a tee! And speaking of healthy sources of carbs, be sure to add some of these 25 Best Carbs for Weight Loss to your shopping cart, too!
Evol Foods Lean & Fit Egg White, Kale, Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese
1 sandwich, 150 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 400 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 2 g fiber, < 1 g sugar, 10 g protein
Kale, tomato, and goat cheese are delicious toppers for this multigrain flatbread, but a mere 150 calories, isn't anywhere near enough to keep you satiated through the morning. To complete your meal, pair the sammy with a bowl of berries topped with dried, unsweetened coconut and chopped almonds.
Vitalicious Blueberry Muffin Top
1 muffin top, 120 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 170 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 3 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 5 g protein
On average, large commercially prepared muffins have about 520 calories and 22 grams of waist-widening fat—and with 400 calories and 15 grams of fat, homemade varieties don't fare much better. If you want to avoid getting a muffin top, switching to VitaTops Wild Blueberry Muffin Tops is your best bet.
Nature's Path Ancient Grains Frozen Waffles
2 waffles, 180 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 330 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 4 g protein
Chew on this: Just one 7-inch homemade waffle made with traditional ingredients like eggs, flour, milk, oil, sugar, and vanilla, has about 220 calories and a quarter of the day's fat. But not these frozen ones by Nature's Path, which clock in at a reasonable 90 calories a pop! Plus, they pack 30 grams of whole grains per serving and are made with superfood ingredients like quinoa, millet, and amaranth, a gluten-free fiber-packed pseudo-grain. To take these store-bought waffles to the next level, serve them with a spread of healthy toppings like antioxidant-rich berries, or natural peanut butter with slices of banana.
Alexia Organic Seasoned Salt Hashed Browns
2/3 cup, 60 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 310 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 2 g fiber, < 1 g sugar
Described by many as "the best hash brown ever," these bad boys are browned to perfection and seasoned with sea salt, onion, garlic and white pepper, so all you have to do is warm them up and enjoy.
Earth's Best Organic French Toast Sticks
4 sticks, 120 calories, 3 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 210 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein
Considering they're primarily made up of buttermilk, whole wheat flour, and cane sugar, these French toast sticks aren't half-bad. In fact, compared to Walmart's version of the finger food, they carry 50 percent fewer calories per stick! To stay on track with your healthy eating plan, skip the corn syrup-filled maple syrup and spring for the Grade A variety. Sure, it's a bit pricier, but the bottles are filled with actual sap that's been tapped from maple trees and boiled into an antioxidant-rich sweetener. (Cheaper brands are filled with stuff like corn syrup.) That means the flavor is super potent so you can get away with using far less—which is definitely a great thing! Less syrup on your plate means fewer pounds on your frame.
Applegate Natural Peppered Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patty
1 patty, 50 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 250 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 6 g protein
Add some extra protein to your plate with this impressively low-sodium sausage patty. They're flavored with sage, black and white pepper, ginger, as well as fiery red and cayenne peppers, to create an addition to your morning meal that won't soon be forgotten.
Sweet Earth Natural Foods Sausage, Egg & Smoked Gouda with Kale Pesto Spread Sandwich
1 sandwich, 390 calories, 18 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 580 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 27 g protein
Not only does this delicious, artisanal-style microwave sandwich carry 45 percent of the day's vitamin A and 35 percent of the day's calcium, it's overflowing with flavor thanks to its top-notch ingredients. When things like flag bread, garlic, smoked gouda, kale pesto, fennel and parsley join together to create a dish, you can practically guarantee it's going to be delicious.
Engine 2 Plant Strong Morning Blend Grain Medley
1 cup, 230 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 52 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 7 g protein
Loaded with tender, chewy nutrient-dense wheat berries, farro, black barley, and golden raisins, this vegan, high-fiber grain medley allows you to think outside the cereal box and beyond the oatmeal canister.
Sweet Earth Get Focused Breakfast Burrito
1 burrito, 260 calories, 11 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 470 mg sodium, 31 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 14 g protein
Since Sweet Earth calls on ingredients like hemp seeds, flaxseed meal, and pumpkin seeds to create its signature vegan burrito, you'll take in more omega-3s than you'd find in a 3-ounce serving of tuna even before you've polished off your morning cup of tea. Inside the wrap, you'll also find fibrous ingredients like farro, kale, and peas. Yummy!
Good Food Made Simple 100% Steel Cut Oats
8 oz, 150 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 27 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein
Steel-cut oats are higher in fiber and have a lower glycemic index than regular oatmeal. Want to add some additional flavor to your morning bowl? These 24 Best Toppings for Oatmeal are all solid selections.
Luvo Farmer's Market Frittata
1 pouch, 250 calories, 10 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 350 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 12 g protein
The bulk of the appetizing freezer meal is comprised of sweet potatoes, egg whites, and mangos. A spicy poblano chile salsa adds intense flavor and heat which eliminates the need to go heavy-handed with the salt shaker.
Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich, Egg, Vegetables & Pepper Jack Cheese
1 sandwich, 150 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 430 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 10 g protein
This easy-to-find sandwich is filled with veggies and fiber, yet low in sodium, making it an Eat This pick.
AND NOW, THE WORST…
Kellogg's Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Grain Waffles
2 waffles, 170 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 27 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 4 g protein
As long as brands like Kashi keep making waffles with 50 percent more fiber and fewer calories and fat there's no reason to settle for a frost-bitten Eggo.
Kellogg's Special K Flatbread Sandwich Sausage Egg & Cheese
1 sandwich, 220 calories, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 700 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 14 g protein
Corn syrup solids, soybean oil, xanthan gum, calcium sulfate, processed cheddar cheese product, and ascorbic acid are just a few of the tough-to-swallow ingredients that grace this flatbread's nutrition panel. Pair that with sky-high sodium counts and you've got the makings of one of the worst breakfast sandwiches in the freezer section.
Hot Pockets Sausage Egg & Cheese
1 sandwich, 320 calories, 17 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 370 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 10 g protein
Nearly 140 of these calories are from simple (read: nutrient-stripped) carbs in the form of a croissant crust, which is not how you want to kick off your day.
Kellogg's Eggo Blueberry Waffles
2 waffles, 180 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 370 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, < 1 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 4 g protein
Blueberries are the 12th ingredient on the list—and they're colored with the assistance of Blue 2 and Red 40. In Kashi's chemical-free rendition, the antioxidant-rich berry is listed third, which tells us it plays a far more prominent role in the pastry. Not only that, Kashi's waffles pack far more satiating fiber than Eggo's. The winner here is clear.
Jimmy Dean Original Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick
1 each, 230 calories, 12 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 480 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 6 g protein
C'mon, you had to know that a sausage wrapped inside a package wasn't the best idea, right? While none of these nutrition stats are too outrageous, know that eating one of these bad boys exposes you to countless harmful ingredients—ranging from caramel color to BHT (which are both possible carcinogens) —your body doesn't need. Plus, there's nothing on this stick that will keep your body full and satisfied so you'll likely need to eat again soon after you've sat down at your desk. To learn about more potentially harmful ingredients that could be lurking in your food, don't miss our special report The 23 Worst Food Additives in America.
Jimmy Dean Bacon & Veggies Stuffed Hash Browns
1 piece, 240 calories, 11 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 720 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 10 g protein
This product has one of the longest lists of ingredients we've ever seen on a heat-and-eat dish—and only a handful of them don't raise an eyebrow.
El Monterey Signature Egg, Sausage, Cheese & Potato Burrito
1 burrito, 270 calories, 12 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 550 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 11 g protein
The majority of this burrito is filled with various sources of fat and dough conditioners. Yuck!
WalMart Great Value French Toast Sticks
5 sticks, 320 calories, 15 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 370 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 43 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 5 g protein
Considering other brands pack 50 percent fewer calories into each stick there's really no reason to snag this store-brand imposter.
Jimmy Dean Original Pork Sausage Patties
2 patties, 270 calories, 24 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 500 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 11 g protein
How Jimmy Dean manages to pack 40 percent of the day's saturated fat and 21 percent of the day's salt into two tiny sausage patties the world may never know. There are far leaner breakfast meats to be had—and unlike these bad boys, many of them are free of cancer-causing caramel coloring.
Kellogg's Eggo Buttermilk Pancakes
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3 pancakes, 280 calories, 9 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 590 mg sodium, 45 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 6 g protein
While we're not a fan of this product by any means, if you're a big fan and sad to see it on our "Not That!" list, you can rest easy knowing that they also come in mini size. Two tiny flapjacks will cost you 50 calories and 2 grams of sugar, which is a far cry from this larger, more indulgent version.
Jamba Strawberries Wild Smoothies
4 oz, 60 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 20 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 2 g protein
Anyone who's ever made a smoothie before knows that they're sweet enough without adding any sugar or stevia to the mix. But apparently, Jamba Juice didn't get the message. You're better off making a drink from scratch using unsweetened frozen produce like berries, pineapple, and spinach. This way you have total control over what winds up in your cup.
Amy's Breakfast Scramble
1 entrée, 360 calories, 20 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 780 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 18 g protein
Warning: The amount of salt in this scramble rivals what you'd find in the bottom of the ocean. Amy's makes far better products so we suggest you stick to one of those.
Aunt Jemima Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
1 package, 250 calories, 15 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 870 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 2 g fiber, < 1 g sugar, 11 g protein
This high-salt dish is made with subpar ingredients like "scrambled egg product," "butter flavor" and "smoke flavorings," which pretty much makes it the opposite of appetizing.
Bob Evans Sausage, Egg & Cheese Burrito
350 calories, 21 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 810 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 13 g protein
Don't let the picture of the barn on the box fool you, these burritos are far from "farm fresh." Not only do they pack 40 percent of the day's saturated fat (much of which comes from hydrogenated palm oil), they bring next to nothing to table in terms of nutrition. There are far more wholesome choices in the freezer section. So why not pick those up instead of these duds?
Pillsbury Toaster Strudel Strawberry
1 pastry with icing, 180 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 180 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 3 g protein
Not only are these pastries void of any nutrients your body needs to fuel the day, they're spiked with high fructose corn syrup and soybean oil, a fat that's been connected to rapid weight gain (details on that here). Not to mention, as a general rule of thumb, you should never buy a breakfast food that proudly advertises that it has "30 percent more icing."