Eating out and working on weight loss might seem like an oxymoron at first, but there are many chain restaurants that focus on healthy options that incorporate balanced options.
No matter where you end up for breakfast, focus on a few key cornerstones of balanced meals to make healthy choices:
- High volume, low-calorie foods: Fruit is your friend here. Order a dish that incorporates fruit for more volume, or add a fruit cup on the side to keep you full after your meal.
- Protein: Starting your day with protein keeps you full longer, balances blood sugars after meals, and burns more calories during digestion than other macronutrients.
- Swap out extras: Order your sauce on the side, focus on lighter fare options that are baked or grilled, and make an effort to choose dressings that are vinaigrette-based.
Here are the breakfasts to order, and for more healthy eating tips, check out these 45+ Best Healthy Copycat Restaurant Recipes to Try Tonight.
If you’re grabbing coffee, but planning on skipping breakfast, do yourself a favor and make it a properly balanced meal with one of their breakfast options.
Starbucks’ Turkey Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg White Sandwich is just 230 calories and super savory. You could order two and still have breakfast under 500 calories!
Choose a coffee option that is also lower in calories like an Americano or low-fat latte to pair with this option.
While Panera Bread is known for baked goods, its breakfast menu is pretty robust if you know what you’re looking for when you order.
Mix up your breakfast choices with their Greek Yogurt and Mixed Berries Parfait! This choice is great in the warm months, offers a hearty serving of protein and fiber, and will keep you more full than some of the higher-carb menu choices.
First Watch offers west coast brunch vibes that everyone will love. Many of its breakfast combos are served with mixed greens tossed in a house-made vinaigrette.
It’s a sit-down casual restaurant, but its attention to balanced meals will make your trip worth it!
I recommend the Tri-Athlete Meal, as it comes with a sautéed veggie egg white omelet and whole-grain toast. The entire meal is 500 calories for a high-volume, high-protein brunch.
One of America’s favorites doesn’t disappoint at breakfast time. Chick-fil-A has high-protein breakfast sandwiches that will keep you full for longer.
Its Egg White Grill Sandwich has grilled chicken, egg whites, and cheese on an English muffin for just 290 calories and 26 grams of protein!
Order their fruit cup on the side if you’re looking for more color to begin your day.
Tropical Smoothie has a super creative Flatbread option with banana, honey, peanut butter, and granola!
This option is a great way to mix it up if you are tired of eggs, turkey bacon, and other typical fat loss breakfast foods.
The meal is 590 calories total which is about the same as their traditional breakfast wrap. To make this option lighter, you could ask to leave off the honey and go light on the peanut butter.
Caroline Thomason, RDN