It’s another day on your healthy weight loss plan—so what are you gonna eat? There are tons of healthy breakfast foods, and depending on the diet you’ve chosen, your ideal breakfast might look different from someone else’s. People on a low-carb, high-fat keto diet might reach for a salmon and egg frittata, while those on a high-fiber plan may want to load up on berry-filled oatmeal, for example.
As a nutritionist, I say it’s best to follow the menu-planning guidelines of whatever weight loss plan you’ve chosen. But for a healthy, pro-weight loss breakfast anyone can enjoy, you can’t go wrong with a nutrient-rich breakfast burrito.
I don’t mean any old breakfast burrito! Some can be total calorie bombs, filled with high-fat meats and cheeses (and nary a veggie in sight), then wrapped in a refined flour tortilla. The key to creating a more weight loss-friendly Mexican breakfast is to reimagine it with healthier ingredients, such as a low-carb, whole wheat tortilla, eggs, sauteed spinach, and a sprinkle of cheese. (For more inspiration, check out these 20 easy burrito recipes for weight loss.)
You’ll start with a whole wheat tortilla—which, believe it or not, doesn’t have to mean an inflexible, carboard-like wrap. Many whole wheat flour tortillas actually have plenty of stretch. My personal favorite is the Xtreme Wellness High Fiber tortilla from Olé Mexican Foods. Not only does it have good elasticity for wrapping, but it also contains just 50 calories, 4 grams net carbs, and a whopping 11 grams of fiber. Research shows that diets high in fiber (such as about 30 grams per day) can boost weight loss. Here, a single tortilla can get you more than one-third of the way to that daily goal.
Next, scramble up some eggs. These humble breakfast foods are packed with protein at 6 grams each—so if you decide to scramble three of them for your burrito, you’ll clock in at 18 grams total. Getting plenty of protein keeps you full and helps you build muscle, so it’s a one-two punch for weight loss.
Once your eggs are almost cooked, it’s veggie time! Toss a generous handful of spinach into your pan and cook until wilted. Even if you add two full cups (about 50 grams) of fresh spinach, you’ll only increase your burrito’s calorie count by 14 calories, and will add a smidge of extra protein and fiber, to boot. Plus, cooking spinach allows your body to absorb extra minerals from it, like calcium and iron.
Because weight loss is your goal, your first instinct might be to reach for a low-fat cheese for your burrito’s finishing touch—but the latest research shows you don’t have to sacrifice the tasty goodness of dairy fat to drop pounds. In fact, a 2013 review found that not only were high-fat dairy foods not associated with weight gain, but they were also linked to greater weight loss. A tablespoon or two of shredded cheddar or mozzarella is a great way to get full-fat dairy in your morning meal. (And it tastes delicious, too!) Wrap the whole thing up and pat yourself on the back—you’ve just made a tasty, on-the-go breakfast to fuel your day.