When it comes to weight loss strategies, eating breakfast may not be everything it’s “cracked up” to be. Recently, nutrition experts have been debating if breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Some argue that without a morning meal, your metabolism will stall and your blood sugar will spike throughout the day, ultimately resulting in weight gain. Others say that skipping breakfast will have no effect on your health and may even help you lose weight.
While the jury is still out on the meal’s effect on your gut, we know one thing for sure: breakfast foods are dang delicious! And nine times out of 10, that’s because they’re filled with copious amounts of sugar, salt, and fat. So no matter what science will ultimately say about the importance of eating in the A.M., it’s clear that eating things like pancakes and donuts on the reg will wreak havoc on your waistline. But don’t run out the door with an empty stomach just yet! We’ve found 14 recipes that taste just like all of your indulgent go-tos but carry far fewer calories and chemicals. Swap them in for your go-tos and watch that stomach fat melt away—stat!
Coconut Flour Pancakes
Yields: 3 pancakes
Nutrition: 84 calories, 2.7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 10.4 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4.5 g sugar, 4.5 g protein
Whether you call them flapjacks, hotcakes, or griddle cakes, it’s time to let your inner kid out! With just 84 calories a pop, you can indulge in your favorite childhood breakfast guilt-free. Not only is this recipe low in sugar, all the sweetness comes from all-natural sources like banana and maple syrup (one of our favorite sweeteners for weight loss) earning it extra brownie—er, pancake—points.
Get the recipe from Dishing Out Health.
Super Healthy Avocado Breakfast Sandwich
Yields: 2 sandwiches
Nutrition: 375 calories, 27.5 g fat (6.1 g saturated fat), 309 mg sodium, 26.7 g carbs, 9.5 g fiber, 4.2 g sugar, 10.6 g protein
If your eyes got wide at the fat content in these beautiful breakfast sammies, hold that thought! The fat comes from omega-3s, one of the many healthy fats that aid weight loss and bolster heart health. Plus, this recipe is rife with fiber and protein to give you the kind of lasting energy we like to see in a good breakfast.
Get the recipe from The Awesome Green.
Chocolate Banana Nut Smoothie AKA The Anti-Frappuccino
Yields: 1 smoothie
Nutrition: 229 calories, 11 g fat (1.9 g saturated fat), 181 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 28 g protein
If you love to kick off your day with a sugary coffee drink, this one’s for you. This recipe features a few simple ingredients for amazing flavor and infinite fullness. Getting enough protein is one of the best ways to speed up metabolism and boost energy, and with 28 grams of protein (far more than what you’d find in a fatty Frappuccino), this smoothie knocks it out of the park. So grab your blender and some bananas and kick off your day to a sweet and healthy start.
Get the recipe from The Zero Belly Cookbook.
Almond Butter Blueberry Paleo Waffles
Yields: 3 waffles
Nutrition: 234 calories, 18.7 g fat (3.1 g saturated fat), 188 mg sodium, 10.7 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 3.0 g sugar, 8.2 g protein
Loaded with carbs and doused with sugar-laden toppings, waffles are normally a weight loss nightmare—but they don’t have to be! These waffles swap out processed sugars, oils, and flours for less processed superfood ingredients like coconut flour and coconut oil. To ensure this recipe remains a healthy one, don’t go too crazy with the syrup or toppings.
Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.
Breakfast Burrito Bowl
Yields: 2 bowls
Nutrition: 567 calories, 31.2 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 243 mg sodium, 47.9 carbs, 13.0 fiber, 6.1 g sugar, 27.7 g protein
From taco trucks to Chipotle, one thing is clear: Tex-Mex has taken over the food world. It’s even dominating breakfast. Think about it: When’s the last time you read a breakfast menu that didn’t feature an egg-filled burrito? Probably not for a while. Though delicious, these zesty favorites often add unnecessary carbs (from the wrap) and unhealthy fats (from sour cream) to an otherwise healthy egg dish. With this wrap-less breakfast burrito bowl you can still get that fiesta-in-your-mouth flavor without slowing down your weight loss progress. That’s what we link to call a win-win!
Get the recipe from In It 4 The Long Run.
Better-For-You Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts
Yields: 6 donuts
Nutrition: 168 calories, 4.1 g fat, 2.2 g saturated fat, 118 mg sodium, 32.4 carbs, 2.9 g fiber, 13.2 g sugar, 3.7 g protein
Can’t quite stifle that morning sweet tooth, donut (ahem, do not) fret, we have a recipe that will keep your taste buds and waistline happy! These pumpkin spice donuts call on gluten-free flour and all-natural sugars to create a donut that’s lower in calories and sugar than anything you’ll find at the drive-thru. A pumpkin donut from Dunkin’ Donuts, for instance, has 360 calories, 20 grams of the sweet stuff, and a whole host of artificial ingredients, making this a must-try healthy breakfast idea for donut lovers everywhere.
Get the recipe from Nutritionist In The Kitch.
Pecan French Toast
Yields: 6 pieces
Nutrition: 210 calories, 13.2 g fat (6.1 g saturated fat) 114 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 7.2 g sugar, 1.9 g protein
From avocado toast to sweet potato toast, toast is all the rage among healthy foodies. However, there’s one toast that doesn’t quite fit the nutritional bill: French toast, which is just a fancy name for sugar-injected bread cooked in a pan. We’re fans of this recipe because it dials back on the sugar while keeping the flavor that makes French toast, well, French toast.
Get the recipe from Against All Grain.
Paleo Protein Bagels
Nutrition: 281 calories, 21.4 g fat (2.4 g saturated fat), 358 mg sodium, 10.4 g carbs, 5.9 g fiber, 0.5 g sugar, 13.6 g protein
Sure, bagels are nice and round, which make them easy to eat on the run, but they’ll also leave you looking, well, nice and round. And that’s because they’re made with little more than processed carbohydrates that leave you feeling hungry and run down. To counteract the carbs, this recipe features ingredients like almond flour and flax seeds which pump up the protein and fiber content, transforming this otherwise Not That! dish into something we feel good about recommending.
Get the recipe from Elana’s Pantry.
Yields: 4 bowls
Nutrition: 138 calories, 7.4 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 768 mg sodium, 14.6 g carbs, 1.9 g fiber, 3.6 g sugar, 4.3 g protein
From grits and biscuits to sausage and muffins, Southern breakfast staples hit the spot. Their only downside? They’re far from weight loss-friendly. Thankfully, one of your favorite southern breakfasts has gotten a lean, green makeover. While grits are traditionally prepared with fattening cheeses, this recipe ditches the stuff altogether and replaces it with two of our favorite nutrition superheroes: eggs and kale, which add a host of vitamins and antioxidants to a traditionally nutrient-void morning dish.
Get the recipe from Eat Your Greens.
Spicy Nut & Seed Breakfast Bar
Yields: 10 bars
Nutrition: 204 calories, 14.2 g fat (1.6 g saturated fat), 97 mg sodium, 14.3 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 7.1 g protein
Convenience is key when it comes to breakfast, which is why so many Americans grab a protein or granola bar and eat it as they’re heading out the door. If you’re one of these people, beware! Many bars are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients. This recipe, on the other hand, is overflowing with the good stuff: healthy fats, protein, and even some capcasin, from the cayenne pepper. Fiery capsaicin has been shown to increase body heat, boost metabolic rate and decrease appetite, so adding it to your morning meal is a smart move. Next time you have a little free time, whip up this super easy recipe to make your next on-the-go breakfast a healthy one.
Get the recipe from The Simple Veganista.
Grain Free Pumpkin Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins
Nutrition: 154 calories, 10 g fat (1.6 g saturated fat), 152 mg sodium, 13.4 g carbs, 1.9 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 3.9 g protein
There’s just something about a steaming cup of tea and a muffin that feels so right. That is until you step on the scale and realize that your muffin habit has given you your very own muffin top. And not only does the sugary morning pastry leave you with a gut, it leaves you feeling run down, too. For a low-carb, low-sugar option that will give you hours of energy, try this grain-free version with a steaming cup of tea! And to reap the most fat-burning benefits from your brew check out The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in one week!
Get the recipe from A House In The HIlls.
Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Yields: 6 bowls
Nutrition: 184 calories, 7.2 g fat (4.8 g saturated fat), 113 mg sodium, 30.1 g carbs, 3.1 g fiber, 15.9 g sugar, 2.2 g protein
Cereal is everyone’s go-to last minute breakfast and some of us even eat it for dessert. But cereals are often packed with artificial ingredients and scary amounts of refined sugar. Sure, it may look like this recipe is also filled with the stuff, but it’s coming from a far healthier source: coconut sugar, a natural sugar that has a lower glycemic index (GI) than white sugar. Foods with a low GI keep your blood sugar stable, while traditional high GI sugar causes blood sugar levels to spike. When your blood sugar spikes, your body is flooded with excess sugar that your body ultimately stores as fat. So if you can’t make it through the day with your beloved bowl of cereal, try this creative, all-natural recipe instead of reaching for the boxed kind. For even more food swaps that can help you reach your flat-belly goals, check out these 30 Foods That Melt Love Handles!
Get the recipe from Food Faith Fitness.
Low-Sugar Orange Cranberry Scones
Yields: 8 scones
Nutrition: 206 calories, 7.4 g fat (4.2 g saturated fat), 223 g sodium, 29.3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 5.9 g sugar, 5.2 g protein
You know that flaky, warm scone you get from the coffee shop on the way to work? It’s made with gobs of butter, flour, and sugar, and packs about 500 calories—not good news if trimming down is among your health goals. This recipe, however, swaps out white flour for gluten-free flour and uses coconut palm sugar as a natural sweetener making it a smart alternative worth adding to your weekly lineup.
Get the recipe from The Healthy Maven.
Cinnamon Rolls: Clean Classic Cinnamon Rolls
Yields: 12 rolls
Nutrition: 123 calories, 1.2 g fat (0.6 g saturated fat), 113 mg sodium, 25.2 g carbs, 0.9 g fiber, 8.8 g sugars, 3.0 g protein
We’ve all experienced it: You’re walking through the mall when suddenly a sweet, cinnamon aroma hits your nose. And before you know what’s even happened, you’ve scarfed down an entire 1,000-calorie cinnamon bun all on your own. The better move? Next time you have a craving for the treat, rush home and make this recipe. It calls for whole wheat flour and coconut sugar to keep your energy levels high and your blood sugar stable. Looking for more tasty treats that will keep you going like the Energizer Bunny? Check out these 23 Best Foods for Energy!
Get the recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking.