Eating out and working on weight loss may 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 components of balanced meals to make healthy choices:
- High volume, low calorie foods: Fruit is your friend here. Order a dish that incorporates fruit for extra volume, or add a fruit cup on the side to fill you up after your meal.
- Protein: Starting your day with protein helps you stay full longer, balance blood sugar after meals, and burn more calories during digestion than other macronutrients.
- Replace extras: Order your sauce on the side, focus on lighter baked or grilled dishes, and make an effort to choose vinaigrette-based dressings.
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 grab a coffee, but plan to skip breakfast, do yourself a favor and make it a well-balanced meal with one of their breakfast options.
Turkey Bacon, Cheddar and Egg White Sandwich from Starbucks is only 230 calories and super tasty. You can order two and have your breakfast with less than 500 calories!
Choose a coffee option that is also lower in calories, such as an Americano or a low-fat latte, to pair with this option.
While Panera Bread is known for its baked goods, its breakfast menu is quite robust if you know what you’re looking for when ordering.
Mix your breakfast choices with their Greek yogurt and berry parfait! This choice is great in the warmer months, offers a hearty serving of protein and fiber, and will keep you fuller than some of the higher carb menu choices.
First Watch offers West Coast brunch vibes that everyone will love. Many of her breakfast combos are served with mixed greens in a house dressing.
It’s a casual sit-down restaurant, but its attention to balanced meals will make your trip worth it!
I recommend it Tri-Athletes meal, as it comes with a sautéed egg white omelet and whole grain toast. The full meal is 500 calories for a high-protein, high-volume brunch.
One of America’s favorites does not disappoint at breakfast time. Chick-fil-A offers high-protein breakfast sandwiches that will keep you full longer.
His Grilled Egg White Sandwich has grilled chicken, egg whites and cheese on an English muffin for only 290 calories and 26 grams of protein!
Order their fruit cup on the side if you’re looking for more color to start 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’ve had enough of eggs, turkey bacon, and other typical breakfast foods for fat loss.
The meal contains 590 calories in total, which is roughly equivalent to the traditional breakfast wrap. To make this option lighter, you can ask to skip the honey and lighten the peanut butter.
Caroline Thomason, RDN
Caroline is a Women’s Health Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator based in Northern Virginia. Read more