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What Are The Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas?

By Marc Perry / August 2, 2017

We’ve probably all heard at some point that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But so many breakfast foods are super processed and full of sugar & fat: think, waffles and syrup, pancakes, bagels with cream cheese.

Even when you want to keep in shape and eat healthy, if you’ve got no alternative to what’s out there, it becomes more tempting to just grab a croissant and go in the morning.

So, we’ve put together a few ideas from the team at BuiltLean that will hopefully give you some tasty – and healthy – options for breakfast ideas that will keep you energized as you start the day!

Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas #1 – Whole & Unprocessed

If you like a savory breakfast, eggs and sautéed veggies provide protein, healthy fats, healthy carbs, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

For an on-the-go breakfast, a quick green shake is an excellent option, and a great way to sneak in veggies. Blend a frozen banana, some spinach or kale, and water or unsweetened non-dairy milk (optional ingredients: your favorite protein supplement, a scoop of nut butter, berries or other fruit). For more, see: Best Protein Shake Recipes.

Whatever your breakfast preference may be, opt for whole, unprocessed, unpackaged foods to get the most nutrients and energy to start your day.

Kristin Rooke, CPT

Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas #2 – Eggs With Extras

My favorite breakfast is a couple whole eggs and a couple egg whites scrambled with onions, peppers, a little cheese, and a grapefruit. It’s only about 400-500 calories, but hits the spot. If I want a bigger meal, I’ll have a bowl of oatmeal.

I love eggs for breakfast because they are easy to digest, have a solid nutritional profile with ample protein. It’s the best way to start my day. The other option if I’m having a lazy Saturday morning is a simple strawberry/banana protein shake (See: Best Protein Shake Recipes).

Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT

Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas #3 – Over-Easy Eggs & Avocado

Considering what most people eat for breakfast is not healthy, I would suggest no breakfast over some of the high glycemic carb bombs people eat. No breakfast is also, coincidentally, my favorite breakfast. I feel that if you don’t workout in the morning and you’re not trying to put on muscle, no breakfast can be ideal for a good number of people, once you get used to it.

If I do eat breakfast though it’s usually 4 over-easy eggs made with organic, grass-fed butter with ½ an avocado. This breakfast is high in protein, fiber and healthy fats that keep me full for a long time.

John Leyva, CSCS, CPT

Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas #4 – Low Carb

I‘ve found that you can’t go wrong with eggs, meat, and vegetables in any combination. Veggie omelets, hardboiled eggs, or just meat and veggies, have always been my go-to meals for breakfast. If you noticed, I didn’t include any type of grain. There is a reason.

Popular belief has always been that your body needs carbohydrates when you wake up to provide you with sustainable energy. The fact is that your body typically has more than enough energy stored from what you ate yesterday.

Personally, I consume most of my carbohydrate for the day post workout or later in the day when I am more apt to indulge. Instead of limiting myself when I am out with friends or family, I find it easier to avoid carbs in the morning and instead opt for high protein/moderate fat meals that most people need more of anyways. I have found that eating like this has provided me with more energy throughout the day as well as making food choices easier when I am out and about.

Stephen Bergeron, CSCS, CPT

Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas #5 – Hard Boiled Eggs & Whey

Unless I’m exercising early in the morning, I’m not a breakfast person. I tend to eat based on hunger signals, and they don’t usually kick in until lunchtime. But for the purpose of nutritional optimization, my pre-workout breakfasts are generally rather austere (no complicated fruit smoothies or 8-ingredient omelets). They usually consist of a few hard-boiled eggs, some meat and veggie-based leftovers, and a scoop of whey protein in kefir for the road. Occasionally, the protein shake is substituted or supplemented with a protein bar depending on availability and hunger. In general, it’s an attempt to balance convenience and with nutritional optimization.

William Lagakos, Ph.D.

What are your favorite healthy breakfast ideas?


  • Freddy says:

    Breakfast #1
    -Grilled Chicken (however much it takes; I figured I only eat two meals and is pretty much lean protein)
    -Sweet potatoes (2 medium), mushrooms (8oz), 2 bell peppers red and green; all cooked in olive oil.
    -Sometimes I replace the veggies above with Brown rice
    -for a drink 1 cup of low fat milk mixed with a scoop of protein and fill the rest of my container with water and mixed. (I get very hungry and try to save calories by adding water to the milk and protein)
    And I repeat this meal at nigh. Am I a fat pig? I am trying to build muscle

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Freddy - if you are trying to build muscle, it requires eating A LOT of food, almost to the point of being gluttonous. This is a another reason why I generally recommend losing fat without losing muscle to see how much muscle you have and question whether you really want/need more. And if you do want to build muscle, work at it really hard for 3-6 months, and that should be enough time to get to where you want to be for maintenance. In other words, my sense is that constantly trying to build muscle requires such a huge calorie intake, it's just not optimal for the body to be processing so many calories/food over long periods of time. I hope to explore this concept more in another article.

  • Corey says:

    I have to have a sweet breakfast. I normally do a cup of egg whites with some fat free Mozzarella cheese, with red pepper flakes and garlic. (Reminds me of pizza). Then, I follow it up with a bowl of oatmeal mixed with a tbsp of 100% cocoa powder and a tbsp of Almond Butter. Comes to roughly 500 calories, with 51 grams carbs, 50 grams protein.

    Really helps with a morning workout routine and helps control hunger for a good amount of the busy morning.

  • Mark says:

    Nothing wrong w/ eating breakfast but if you're really trying to get lean and get stuck, skipping breakfast is the best way to go about it. I never do breakfast... after I quit, I immediately got leaner and have way more energy.
    Skipping breakfast = longer window for the body to burn fat every day.

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Mark - I'm happy it has worked well for you. I still believe that for most people on a fat loss program, breakfast helps. It's happened countless times with several clients; once they start eating breakfast they stop massively overeating at night. But again, it really depends on the individual and I'm thrilled to hear that skipping breakfast has worked well for you.

  • Pete says:

    1Tbs ground flax seed, 1Tbs ground chia seed. I grind fresh every morning 10 seconds in a coffee grinder. Add this and 2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes to a glass of water and drink. Also take 1 garlic pill, 1 vitamin C (1000 mg.) and 1 multi-vitamin (in case I missed anything). After that, green tea and a whole wheat bagel with butter and peanut butter, and usually a banana.

  • John says:

    Carbs at breakfast turn off catabolic processes that have started due to an overnight fast. Everyone is metabolising muscle when they wake up, and carbs turn that off quicker than protein, or continued fasting. It doesn't matter if you are trying to gain muscle or lose weight, morning carbs preserve muscle, and that's a good thing. You don't need much, but you need some.
    Sorry I cannot reference this.
    I would love to hear more about the timing of food intake, there is a lot of conflicting info out there.

  • Z says:

    @Stephen - What do you recommend for meat at breakfast? Presumably not bacon or deli meat... Chicken works, but for variety would you recommend ground turkey or turkey sausage?

    Also, I know this is a "best breakfast" post, but fat free Greek yougurt didn't make the cut? It's been mentioned before on the site as a healthy snack.

    And finally a question: oatmeal is often tauted as a superfood, but does it have any benefits beyond being low fat and making you feel satiated? You still need to add protein...

  • Suzannah says:

    Hey! These are great breakfast ideas! If you're still looking for some new, fun and tasty breakfast recipes check out my new cookbook.

    Hope you enjoy it!!! :)

  • Petar says:

    Hello All,
    I am student from Bulgaria. I want to start eating healthy breakfast but I am not morning person and when I go early to work I don't have time for eggs or vegetables. I have time for "banica" (something like salty cheesecake, Google it is very popular here) on the way to work. Can you give me some ideas to eat something fast while walking to work which is healthy. I don't think bananas work because you need to peel it which is not suitable while walking. Also I sometimes skip breakfast because I am tided of banicas which is not good too.

  • ABDUL says:

    I don't galblader , 3 years before surgery and remove my galblader
    what type of food i have to tack in my break fast and launch and dinner please give some advice , thanking you

    • Kristin says:

      Hi Abdul.

      I would recommend speaking with your primary care physician or a registered dietitian/nutritionist for recommendations on what to eat. They'll be able to help you create a meal plan that is appropriate for you considering that you've had your gallbladder removed.

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  • Keith says:

    What about oatmeal? I know it's full of carbs, but it also is good for holistic health (reducing cholesterol, etc.)

    • Kristin says:

      Great question, Keith! Oatmeal is a great way to start the day. It's a good source of whole grain carbs, and like you said - it's associated with certain health benefits such as decreased risk cardiovascular disorders. You can absolutely eat oatmeal plain, or you could add some protein. For example, mix in a scoop of protein powder, or stir in 1-2 eggs while it's cooking. Hope that helps!
      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor