High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfasts to Help You Lose Weight
We all know that starting your day off with a healthy breakfast is important for keeping energy levels stable, concentration sharp and hunger at bay. When following a special diet, like a low-carb diet for weight loss, it becomes even more important to eat a nutritious breakfast and to be strategic about the foods you're choosing. Going low-carb can have its benefits, but only if you're not going too low in carbs and are making sure to get enough of other important nutrients, like protein (read more on this below). These high-protein, low-carb breakfasts set you up for healthy eating success so you'll feel your best while losing weight.
Are Carbs Bad for You?
The simple answer is no. Complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, are full of important nutrients and provide the majority of fiber in the meal pattern. Fiber is great for weight loss because it helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied after meals, which is why you don't want to eat too few carbs. At EatingWell, we recommend that on a low-carb diet you get about 40 percent of your calories from carbs, or at least 120 grams of carbs total per day. This is a healthier approach to low-carb eating than what the keto and Whole30 diets suggest and, in general, it's more doable than trying to stick to a super-restrictive low-carb diet.
Why Is Protein Important?
Getting enough protein at breakfast and throughout the day can make all the difference in your weight-loss success. Protein digests slowly, which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. By including protein-rich foods at every meal, you're more likely to feel satisfied, rather than starved, which is especially important when eating fewer calories to lose weight. Aim to get at least 50 graams of protein per day.
The high-protein, low-carb breakfast ideas we share below show you all the delicious meals you can make when following a low-carb diet for weight loss. Froom everything you need to get started to the ingredients to use, the recipes to try and the tips for taking these low-carb breakfasts on the go, you'll have no reason not to eat breakfast.
See what a full day looks like: High-Protein, Low-Carb Meal Plan: 1,200 Calories
High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfast Foods
What can you actually eat when following a high-protein, low-carb diet? The answer: lots of healthy and delicious foods! This high-protein, low-carb foods list lays out the best ingredients to use to build a healthy and satisfying breakfast, including vegetarian and vegan options so you're not just eating eggs and meat, like keto diet breakfast recipes would recommend. Combine these high-protein, low-carb foods with fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy low-carb foods to create well-rounded and filling breakfasts:
- Cottage cheese
- Ground chicken, turkey and beef
- Peanut butter & other nut butters
- Smoked salmon or trout
- Greek yogurt
- Ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Nuts & seeds
Don't Miss: 30-Day Low-Carb Meal Plan: 1,200 Calories
High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfast Recipes with Eggs
Eggs are the easiest go-to for a high-protein, low-carb breakfast. Here are our best low-carb egg breakfast recipes that go beyond simple scrambled eggs. Some recipes need a little extra something to make them a balanced meal, like adding an extra serving of protein or more carbs in the form of fruit or whole grains (which are the good kinds of carbs you should be eating).
Everyone has different needs at breakfast so mix and match the serving suggestions as you please. And don't miss the meal-prep ideas for making part or all of the recipe ahead of time for a faster morning meal. When you're sick of eggs, we have plenty of other delicious high-protein, low-carb breakfast ideas without eggs—just scroll down.
Instead of wrapping up eggs in a tortilla for a classic breakfast burrito, we're wrapping up veggies and bacon in a tortilla made out of eggs. The egg "wrap" is an omelet that's made thin enough to wrap the veggies and bacon inside for a healthy low-carb take on a burrito. The eggs and bacon combine to deliver 15 grams of protein to help you feel satisfied through the morning. Serve with a side of fruit to complete this healthy breakfast.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Cook the bacon and veggies ahead of time or simply use leftover veggies from last night's dinner for an easy next-day breakfast.
These individual mini quiches are a fun take on a traditional quiche, using slices of ham to create a cup for the tomato-Parmesan eggs. Serve these egg cups with a piece of fruit, like an apple or pear, to round out the meal and get the calories and carbs up, so you're not starving an hour later.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Make a batch or two of these easy eggs cups and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months for an easy breakfast later on.
Colorful bell pepper rings stand in for bread in this nutritious version of egg in a hole. Cook the eggs inside the pepper rings and top with a vibrant avocado salsa for a healthy high-protein, low-carb breakfast.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Make a double batch of the avocado salsa the night before—serve with dinner and save some for this breakfast recipe.
Bake up omelets in peppers for a healthy, veggie-packed breakfast. Sweet bell peppers are filled with a cheesy ham-and-egg filling that provides 12 grams of satisfying protein. Consider having two of the stuffed peppers to get the protein up or serve with a side of Greek yogurt and berries or cottage cheese.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Assemble the peppers the night before but wait to add the scrambled eggs until the morning. Pop these in the oven when you first wake up—by the time you're done getting ready, they'll be ready to eat.
Protein-packed omelet muffins, or baked mini omelets, are a perfect breakfast for busy mornings. Make a batch ahead for the days when you don't have time to make something from scratch. Serve these low-carb egg muffins with a piece of fruit to fill it out.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Make a batch or two and refrigerate for up to 3 days or individually wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, wrap the egg muffin in a paper towel and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
This easy and nutritious version of breakfast hash uses cauliflower rice instead of potatoes, and turkey sausage instead of breakfast sausage, for a healthier, low-carb breakfast. Top it off with fried eggs for a satisfying morning meal with 26 grams of filling protein. Serve with a piece of fruit, like an orange or half a grapefruit.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Use frozen riced cauliflower to make this a speedy recipe. If you want to have this on a busy weekday morning, make the hash the night before, so all that's left to do is fry the eggs.
Making a big batch of eggs has never been easier with this one-pan oven-baked eggs recipe. Whether you're making brunch for a crowd or just want to meal-prep healthy breakfasts for the week, you'll have 12 servings ready in just 45 minutes. You'll want to serve this egg baked with a side of fruit like a banana, apple or pear, to round out the meal and get the calories and carbs up so you feel full. Remember—eating too few carbs can make weight loss harder!
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Make a batch or two and wrap the squares individually in plastic wrap or place them in a sealed container between layers of parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds.
Stay full until lunch when you add avocado and smoked salmon to your omelet. Delivering 19 grams of protein per serving, this high-protein, low-carb breakfast omelet helps keep you feeling fuller for longer. And since it only takes 10 minutes to make, there's no excuse not to have a nutritious breakfast. Serve with a piece of fruit to finish the meal. Try these other avocado omelets with kale and arugula.
This easy grab-and-go breakfast wrap is a clever low-carb take on a traditional breakfast burrito that is typically made with calorie- and carb-heavy tortillas. The batter for the pancake is spread thin in the pan like a crepe for fewer carbs than a regular pancake and for easy rolling. Tuck high-protein scrambled eggs and bacon inside and, if desired, drizzle with a little maple syrup. Yes, a little maple syrup can still fit within a low-carb day.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Make extra crepes and refrigerate between sheets of wax paper for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Roll up this wrap in foil to take on the go.
These delicious and unbelievably simple pancakes are best enjoyed right after cooking. With just eggs and a banana, you can have healthy grain-free pancakes. Instead of maple syrup, mix it up and make a peanut butter sauce to drizzle on top and serve with a side of Greek yogurt and high-fiber berries to finish the meal.
This low-carb bread is chock-full of seeds and flours that make the loaf mimic classic bread while managing to keep carb counts low. Top a slice with cream cheese and strawberries, apple slices and melted cheddar cheese or hummus and cilantro to get the calories and protein up enough to make it a filling breakfast.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Get all the flavor of classic everything bagels with fewer carbs and calories. These grain-free cauliflower bagels leave plenty of room for garlicky everything bagel seasoning and traditional bagel toppings—like cream cheese and smoked salmon, mashed avocado, ham and cheese and if you're not sick of them yet—fried eggs. The toppings will help to fill out this meal with more protein, calories and carbs, to make for a satisfying breakfast.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Make a batch or two and freeze the baked bagels between layers of parchment or wax paper in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Looking for a low-carb way to enjoy toast in the morning? Try these toasts made from cauliflower rice, egg and cheese. Make a big batch to keep in your freezer for an easy breakfast or a healthy base for a sandwich (like grilled cheese!) any time. To make it a complete breakfast, you'll want to add some toppings, so the calories, carbs and protein aren't too low, like cream cheese and smoked salmon, mashed avocado, ham and cheese and if you're not sick of them yet, fried eggs.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Freeze baked toasts between layers of wax or parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Think of these meatballs as a healthier breakfast sausage. Make a double batch one night to have for dinner and save the leftovers for breakfast. Serve with a dip, like tzatziki or hummus, and with sliced tomatoes and cucumber on the side for a healthy Mediterranean-style breakfast.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Cooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfasts without Eggs
If you are looking for some high-protein, low-carb breakfast combinations that don't contain eggs, here are some easy ideas for you.
Cottage Cheese Bowls
Cottage cheese is a healthy high-protein, low-carb breakfast idea that can be enjoyed in many different ways, be it sweet or savory. A half-cup serving of 2% cottage cheese delivers 92 calories, 5 grams carbs and 12 grams protein. When topped with foods like bacon and avocado or blueberry and walnuts, it can become a healthy breakfast. Try these combos!
Cottage Cheese with Blueberries & Walnuts:
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts
Cottage Cheese with Bacon, Avocado & Hot Pepper:
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1 sliced crumbled bacon
- 3 slices avocado
- crushed red pepper to taste
Cottage Cheese with Pineapple & Macadamia Nuts:
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup diced pineapple
- 1 Tablespoon chopped macadamia nuts
Cottage Cheese with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil & Black Pepper:
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon chopped basil
- Ground pepper to taste
Protein-rich Greek yogurt and sweet strawberries make for a super-simple and satisfying meal. This recipe was originally made as a snack, so double the quantities to make it filling enough for a breakfast.
Crumbled extra-firm tofu is a great stand-in for ground beef for a meatless meal. We boost the flavor with garlic powder, paprika and tamari, but feel free to add your own flavorings. Serve this topped with pico de gallo, shredded cheese, diced avocado and hot sauce for a breakfast burrito bowl.
Meal-Prep This Recipe: Make ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
The Bottom Line
Starting the day off right with a balanced and nutritious breakfast is key, especially when following a special diet, like a low-carb diet for weight loss. These high-protein, low-carb breakfasts set you up for healthy eating success and will keep you feeling full and satisfied all day long. Browse our other healthy low-carb recipes for additional lunch and dinner ideas!