You wake up and start your morning with a bowl of sugary cereal or a stack of pancakes only to find yourself lethargic and hungry an hour later. Sound familiar?
Eating balanced meals — especially your first one of the day — is important for maintaining steady energy and staying satiated during the hours that follow. And that's where protein comes into play.
"Getting an adequate amount of protein first thing in the morning can help you get the energy you need to power through the day," Andrea Mathis, RDN, says. "Eating more protein helps to keep you full and satisfied, which helps prevent excessive snacking in between meals." Protein can also aid in glucose regulation and improved muscle recovery, she adds.
To help you avoid the mid-morning carb slump, we've rounded up easy and delicious high-protein, low-carb breakfast recipes that will actually keep you full until lunchtime.
1. Meat Lovers' Breakfast Pizza
- 28 grams of protein
- 4 grams of carbs
Pizza isn't the first thing that comes to mind when considering a nutritious breakfast — especially one that's low in carbs — but this protein-rich recipe uses low-carb almond flour for the crust and is full of breakfast favorites, such as eggs and cheese.
"In addition to containing a great source of high-quality protein, almond flour is rich in vitamin E, which helps to protect the body from free radicals," Mathis says. And even though this pizza is low in carbs, she does warn that the fat, cholesterol and sodium content is rather high, so be mindful of portion sizes when preparing this recipe.
Get the Meat Lovers' Breakfast Pizza recipe and nutrition info from That Low Carb Life.
2. Kale and Chorizo Frittata
- 22.8 grams of protein
- 5.65 grams of carbs
Kale is the nutritional superstar of this egg dish. "It's packed with many vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium," Mathis says. "It's also loaded with antioxidants, which have been shown to help reduce oxidative damage caused by free radicals." To make this recipe lighter in fat and sodium, consider swapping chorizo for turkey sausage and using reduced-fat milk.
Get the Kale and Chorizo Frittata recipe and nutrition info from Budget Bytes.
3. Matchaccino Yogurt Shake
- 25 grams of protein
- 10 grams of carbs
Breakfast shakes come in handy when you're running short on time or you need a healthy breakfast on-the-go. This recipe contains two superstar ingredients: Matcha and Greek yogurt.
"Matcha contains a significant amount of antioxidants, which may help prevent chronic disease," Mathis suggests. "And Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics, which helps keep your gut healthy." This low-calorie, fat-free shake is a great option for those looking to lose weight or limit their fat intake.
Get the Matchaccino Yogurt Shake recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Sunny-Side-Up Breakfast Sausage
- 24 grams of protein
- 3 grams of carbs
Swapping traditional pork sausage for the turkey variety is a great way to keep fat and calories low in this recipe. "Ground turkey provides you with a source of B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus, which helps to support bone and muscle health," Mathis says.
To make this meal even more well-rounded, consider serving alongside your favorite veggies like peppers, onions, mushrooms or spinach.
Get the Sunny-Side-Up Breakfast Sausage recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Loaded Scrambled Eggs
- 19 grams of protein
- 7 grams of carbs
It's no surprise that eggs have appeared multiple times on this low-carb, high-protein breakfast list. They're inexpensive, easy to make and nutritious. "One large egg contains approximately 13 essential vitamins and minerals and it's a great source of high-quality protein," Mathis says.
"You can add in more veggies, such as kale or spinach, or replace the bacon with a lean protein of your choice."
Get the Loaded Scrambled Eggs recipe and nutrition info from Easy Chicken Recipes.
6. Sweet Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- 35 grams of protein
- 13 grams of carbs
We'll never say no to a dump-and-go slow cooker meal, especially if it makes hectic mornings a bit easier. "This recipe contains few hearty ingredients like sweet potatoes and eggs, which provide the body with many nutrients," Mathis says.
"Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and help make this recipe more satisfying." If you're looking to make this dish dairy-free, leave out the cheddar cheese or swap for a vegan cheese substitute.
Get the Sweet Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole recipe and nutrition info here.