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The #1 Best Breakfast for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians

The best weight loss breakfast is one you can seamlessly work into your morning.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Breakfast can be as simple as a smoothie or parfait, yet it may be the meal most skipped by adults. Time constraints and lack of inspiration in what to prepare are some of the most common reasons for skipping breakfast. However, this bad habit can hamper your weight loss goals, and research shows it's associated with less healthy behaviors. If weight loss is a priority for you, consider the #1 best breakfast for weight loss you can seamlessly work into your morning.

Your first meal of the day doesn't have to take long to prepare or require countless ingredients. In fact, with fewer than five ingredients and no cooking time required, you can have a delicious, well-balanced meal. Your breakfast should contain a combination for protein, healthy fats, fiber, and produce. This balance of nutrients will provide energy, contribute essential nutrients, and leave you feeling full and satisfied, and less likely to overeat throughout the day. A bowl of cereal or granola bar won't cut it, but with just a little extra effort, you can create the best breakfast for weight loss. Read on to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out Can Eating Oatmeal Help You Lose Weight? A Dietitian Weighs In.

What is the #1 breakfast for weight loss?

yogurt parfait

Made with plain Greek yogurt, nuts, and fruit, a simple parfait is the best breakfast for weight loss. Not only does this meal come together with few ingredients and minimal effort, but it also meets a nutrient composition that could aid your weight loss journey.

Yogurt parfaits are great because they are so customizable. Choose your fruit based on preference and seasonality, incorporate a variety of nuts to meet your flavor and texture preferences, and top off your parfait with spices like cinnamon for a flavor bonus that won't cost you any calories.

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The benefits of eating a fruit and yogurt parfait for weight loss:

yogurt parfait ingredients, berries and nuts

1. This meal is protein-packed.

One container of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt provides around 17 grams of satiating protein, making for a filling meal. Greek yogurt and similar styles of higher protein yogurt provide much more protein than the traditional yogurt you may have grown up eating. To make the most of your parfait, choose an option with high protein content and minimal added sugar.

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2. It's full of fiber.

Nuts and fruit are both excellent sources of fiber, helping you get several grams in this meal. Fiber is a filling ingredient, and eating a hearty dose at meals can help you feel full and satisfied. You should aim to consume at least 25 grams of fiber each day, incorporating this nutrient into each of your meals and snacks throughout the day.

3. It offers essential fats.

The nuts you choose to incorporate into your parfait provide heart-healthy fats that play essential roles in your body. Omega-3 fats found in some nuts, like walnuts, serve numerous health functions in the body, from aiding in heart health to reducing inflammation. Not only do these nuts provide essential nutrients with health benefits, but fat is a more filling nutrient than carbohydrates. This can contribute to your level of fullness after a meal.

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4. It has micronutrients.

The calorie-containing nutrients in your meal serve their own functions, and the vitamins and minerals you eat are just as important in different ways. The micronutrients found in all of your parfait ingredients—especially the fruits—aid in energy production and metabolism, amongst other functions, allowing your body to properly use the energy from your food. Consuming a variety of micronutrients throughout the day also reduces your risk of deficiency and can promote overall wellness.

5. It's convenient.

If being short on time is your main reason for skipping breakfast or choosing something less nutritious, a parfait is a great option. It's a meal that can be made ahead of time and comes together within minutes when created on demand. Convenience in healthy eating is beneficial for weight loss, as it makes it easier and more approachable to work toward your goals. A variety of ingredients and convenience in preparation make a yogurt parfait the hands-down best breakfast for weight loss.

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How to make this breakfast for weight loss:

Your yogurt will serve as the base of the meal. Remember to choose a high protein option with minimal added sugar to further your weight loss goals. Added sugar contributes empty calories to your day, potentially slowing your progress.

On top of your yogurt, add your favorite fruit. Berries are an easy option, and you can also incorporate sliced bananas, tropical fruits, and diced apples. All fruits contribute fiber, carbs, and micronutrients, so your choice comes down to your personal preference in flavor and texture.

Next, add your nuts. Walnuts are known for their omega-3 content, but all nuts will provide fiber, some protein, and plenty of healthy fats. Slivered almonds and chopped pecans are other great options for your parfait.

Lastly, consider adding a flavor boost to your meal. A dash of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or vanilla extract can go a long way in boosting flavor for not many calories. Combine everything together, or enjoy the layers in each bite for a tasty meal that can promote weight loss.

Kelsey Hampton Abdullah, MS, RDN
Kelsey is a Texas-based dietitian and professor who specializes in sports nutrition. Read more about Kelsey
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