With countless restaurant options on your morning commute, you may have built a sit-down breakfast into your morning routine. This might be an enjoyable way to start your day, but it can also lead to excess calories and a less-than-ideal nutrition composition. Breakfasts that are loaded with sugar, sodium, and saturated fat can contribute to health issues if enjoyed too often. Not to mention, a high sugar count could leave you with an energy crash mid-morning. As often as possible, enjoy breakfast at home. But when you are out and about, we've rounded up some of the best low-calorie breakfasts at 10 major restaurant chains so you can make the healthiest choice.
Again, it's important to stress that eating breakfast at home is a smart choice when you're looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Make-ahead meals, smoothies, bars, and freezer options make for quick choices and can be much healthier than what you get at a restaurant. You may be surprised to learn many restaurant breakfast items can pack near 1,000 calories, or more, and enough fat for an entire day. When selecting a healthier breakfast at a restaurant, avoid fried items, syrup, and extra butter. This can drastically limit empty calories.
When in doubt, refer to this list of the best low-calorie breakfasts at 10 major restaurant chains. Each provides suggestions for making the most out of your meal, allowing you a delicious breakfast that can serve your health goals, too. Read on to learn more, and when you're done, be sure to check out the 10 Best Frozen Foods To Buy at Whole Foods for Weight Loss.
Denny's Fit Slam
NUTRITION: 450 calories, 12 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 860 mg sodium, 59 g carbs (5 g dietary fiber, 22 g total sugars), 27 g protein
The base of Denny's Fit Slam is egg whites which makes for a protein-packed meal that is also lower in fat than most of the other menu offerings. A side of turkey bacon adds more protein to this meal, and the spinach and tomatoes in the eggs contribute fiber and micronutrients. Sides of fruit and an English muffin round out your meal with some quality carbs and additional fiber. At just over 400 calories, this meal fits the needs of a wide range of calorie needs, allowing you to enjoy it as-is without modifications.
IHOP Pesto Veggie Egg White Omelette
NUTRITION: 480 calories, 34 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 640 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (7 g dietary fiber, 16 g total sugars), 21 g protein
Another egg white option, the IHOP Pesto Veggie Egg White Omelette is loaded with veggies and topped with pesto and avocado for some healthy fats. A side of fruit contributes carbs and fiber to this breakfast, making it a balanced option. At just under 500 calories, this meal may not fit a lower-calorie budget. However, you could ask the kitchen to use less oil during preparation and skip the pesto to save some fat calories.
Corner Bakery Café Garden Gate Scrambler
NUTRITION: 370 calories
Eggs pack protein and are a breakfast staple for good reason. In addition to protein, they provide fat and essential nutrients, like choline and B vitamins. The Corner Bakery Café Garden Gate Scrambler combines scrambled eggs with veggies and cheese for a hearty meal that's under 400 calories. Fruit and toast round out the meal, and create a filling breakfast. If you'd like to reduce calories slightly, swap the toast for extra fruit and skip the cheese.
Waffle House Egg Breakfast
NUTRITION: 410 calories, 26 g fat (8.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 450 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (5 g dietary fiber, 6 g total sugars), 21 g protein
A simple Two-Egg Breakfast is your best bet at Waffle House. With many menu items over 1,000 calories a piece, there aren't many options that meet the needs of those who are looking for a low-calorie option. However, this breakfast that combines two eggs and toast is around 410 calories when you swap out the grits for tomato slices and opt for wheat toast. Skip the jam and butter on your toast to stay mindful of calories, and instead boost flavor with salsa or hot sauce on your eggs.
Bob Evan's Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich
NUTRITION: 490 calories, 26 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1085 mg sodium, 50 g carbs (3 g dietary fiber, 21 g total sugars), 15 g protein
Another menu with few low-calorie options, beware when choosing breakfast at Bob Evan's. Some meals pack nearly 2,000 calories and plenty that are 1000+. This Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich may not be the most nutritious option on this list, but it provides just under 500 calories. Skip the meat on your sandwich, and choose the side of fruit to keep this calorie count. Consider skipping the cheese on your sandwich to lower calories and fat grams as well. You can also eat this as an open-faced sandwich to reduce calories, fat, and carbs further.
Cracker Barrel Biscuit Breakfast
NUTRITION: 505 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,250 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (0 g dietary fiber, 3 g total sugars), 15 g protein
While biscuits aren't as nutritionally balanced as wheat toast, the Biscuit Breakfast is one of the lowest-calorie options at Cracker Barrel. Two biscuits with meat inside make the bulk of this meal, and you can choose a side option to incorporate more nutrients into your breakfast. Go with the fruit or tomato slices for the most nutrient-dense sides, and consider eating both sandwiches open-faced to save significant calories and grams of fat. The sugar ham is the lowest calorie protein for this sandwich, with bacon as a close second, so go with one of those to keep this breakfast around 500 calories.
Another Broken Egg Café Skinny Omelette
NUTRITION: 520 calories, 28 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 800 mg sodium, 54 g carbs (8 g dietary fiber, 13 g total sugars), 31 g protein
Egg whites, goat cheese, and plenty of veggies create this hearty breakfast option, the Skinny Omelette from Another Broken Egg Café. Sides of an English muffin and fruit add fiber and quality carbs for a balanced meal that's around 500 calories. Enjoy your English muffin dry to limit empty calories at this meal, or swap it all together for additional fruit to boost nutrients at your breakfast. Either way, this is a great low-calorie restaurant breakfast.
The Original Pancake House Feta Spinach Omelette with Egg Whites
NUTRITION: 350 calories
You won't find pancakes on our low-calorie list. Instead, opt for an egg white omelette at the Original Pancake House. The Feta Spinach Omelette made with egg whites packs plenty of protein, and tomatoes and spinach will incorporate some fiber into this meal. This dish comes with three buttermilk pancakes, which you're much better off skipping for a side of fruit. A few bites of flapjacks won't hurt, but three cakes on their own provide enough calories for the entire meal.
Huddle House Two Eggs and Turkey Sausage
NUTRITION: 380 calories, 26 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 820 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g dietary fiber, 1 g total sugars), 33 g protein
Another restaurant with numerous high-calorie options, Huddle House's Two Eggs and Turkey Sausage is a simple meal that will keep you under 400 calories. Two turkey sausage patties and two eggs provide plenty of protein and fat in this meal. Choose a side of fresh fruit to boost nutrients and fiber. The meal comes with buttered toast or a biscuit, but skip the bread for another serving of fruit to keep your breakfast under 500 calories. Another healthy swap? Trade the full eggs for egg whites to drastically lower calories in this meal.
Panera Avocado, Egg White, Spinach & Cheese on Multigrain Bagel Flat
NUTRITION: 350 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 680 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (5 g dietary fiber, 5 g total sugars), 19 g protein
With 5 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein, Panera's Avocado, Egg White, Spinach, and Cheese on Multigrain Bagel Flat is a hearty breakfast that's no doubt filling for only 350 calories. The multigrain flat is sandwiched around egg whites, cheese, avocado, spinach, and tomato to create a balanced breakfast that requires zero modification. If you'd like even more protein for few calories, add an additional egg white patty to your sandwich.