5 Delicious 500 Calorie Breakfast Ideas to Start Your Day Right

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It has been said that “Breakfast is everything…It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day.” Whether that first mouthful is enjoyed in the comfort of home, getting settled at the office, or substituted for coffee in the rush to get out the door, breakfast sets the tone for the day. The full spread of iconic staples from muffins, pancakes, and pastries to bacon and eggs and the dozen iterations of breakfast potatoes is hardly a luxury for everyday enjoyment, especially as we are increasingly looking for quick and nutritious options to start out on the right foot. That doesn’t mean we must dial it down to plain yogurt or a protein shake, settling for a morning devoid of flavor and fun.

Healthy breakfasts can look like grab-and-go options that are prepped ahead of time or have quick items ready to throw together in the morning. They don’t have to weigh you down badly, either. Breakfasts 500 calories or less can be packed with the protein and nutrients you need while avoiding any sugar crashes or discomfort some indulgent breakfast staples can yield. Put your best foot forward by planning a little something special for your breakfasts this week, and see why starting your day with a simple, intentional meal can improve your focus and performance throughout the day.

Can Low-calorie Breakfast be Tasty?

It has to be too good to be true, right? Low-calorie breakfasts can not possibly be both delicious and satisfying? Wrong! Healthy breakfasts don’t have to be bland and bare-bones. In fact, learning to start with nutrient-dense, flavorful ingredients as a solid foundation for your meal can turn into exploring new flavors and cuisines while feeling nourished and satisfied. 

With benefits like increased energy and focus that lasts the rest of the day, you’ll be surprised with how many great breakfast options can be added to your routine without taking up time you don’t have.


5 Low-Calorie Breakfast Ideas for a Great Start of the Day


Veggie Omelet

A classic never goes out of style; the omelet is that breakfast classic. Eggs are packed with protein, which contains many of the essential amino acids we rely on to function, and two eggs make a perfect base for our healthy breakfast. Skip sodium and calorie-dense toppings like sausage and bacon and opt for vegetables instead. 

A cup of bell peppers has more vitamin C than oranges, so adding a few of those into our omelet will be like adding a cup of orange juice but without the added sugar. Spinach and onion are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber while being low in calories and big on flavor. Tie your omelet together with a couple of tablespoons of your preferred cheese, and you have a garden delight to start your day. 

And before you toss this idea aside because mornings are just too hectic in your house, remember that an omelet doesn’t have to be limited to fresh cooked, folded, and flipped. Divide your mixture up in a lined muffin tin, bake, and save for later – a breakfast you can microwave on your way out the door. 

veggie omlette

Greek Yogurt Parfait

An alternative to the protein in eggs, greek yogurt is another protein-packed, blank canvas to build your low-calorie breakfast. You can feel like royalty and layer your parfait like a trifle, or just throw it all in a bowl (or Tupperware, let’s be real) and go. 

On the base of yogurt, whole grain granola can provide many different flavor profiles, from cocoa and coffee to fruit and honey, while also providing a healthy serving of complex carbohydrates and plenty of fiber. Complex carbs from grains are great for energy and keep you going without the crashes often associated with simple carbs. 

Fruit like banana and a drizzle of honey for sweetness will bring your bowl together with balanced flavors and extra potential for variety. Make your parfait ahead of time, but leave your granola in a bag or container on the side to add in the morning—it will keep it from getting soft overnight. 

greek yogurth

Avocado Toast with Poached Egg

In its lifetime, avocado toast has become a cultural icon of our shifting breakfast preferences. And while some iterations are wholly indulgent, most are exactly what you need to build a balanced, low-calorie meal. 

A good whole-grain bread will have plenty of complex carbs and fiber, and the seeded varieties provide extra texture to your finished toast. Top with mashed avocado with a bit of salt and pepper, taking advantage of the healthy fats and delicious richness the avocado brings to the table. Finish with a poached egg for added protein and a filling fork-and-knife toast. 

Poaching the egg doesn’t have to be a whole-morning affair either; you can fill a mug with hot water, crack an egg into it (make sure to poke the yolk with a toothpick), and microwave for the same runny-yolk effect without all the headache. 

avocado toast

Smoothie Bowl

Greek yogurt is back, and this time, it’s providing its blank canvas of protein-packed goodness to a 500-calorie smoothie that feels almost too indulgent for this early in the morning. Build your smoothie ahead of time by chopping a banana and adding it to a freezer bag with your favorite berries and a handful of spinach. 

The earthy and neutral spinach will be balanced out (and hidden) by the sweet and tart berries, each with its own nutritional benefits. When you are ready for your smoothie, add your frozen fruit to a blender with Greek yogurt and almond milk, and you have a bowl (or mug) full of vitamins and protein that won’t weigh you down. 


Breakfast Burrito

Put down the hash browns and breakfast sausage. This burrito is getting a makeover. We start with scrambled eggs, but instead of opting for breakfast meat, we can get extra protein, plus healthy fats and fiber, from black beans. 

Add a little smashed avocado and cheese for flavor and luscious richness, and top with diced tomato or pico for a fresh flavor. Wrap in your preferred tortilla and enjoy it at home or on the go.

breakfast burrito

Which Ingredients Should be Avoided in a 500 Calorie Breakfast?

 When searching for options and ingredients for your low-calorie, nutrient-dense breakfast, there are a few things to look for. Fresh is typically best, from fruits and vegetables to eggs, meats, and dairy, with minimal added sugars. There are also a few foods of note to avoid: 

  • Breakfast Cereals: Traditional breakfast cereals are loaded with excess sugar, meaning they are less nutrient-dense, calorie for calorie. Not only will they not provide the vitamins and minerals found in fresh fruits and vegetables, but they are made primarily from simple carbohydrates, which lead to a sugar crash later in the day. 
  • Pastries: while handy for on-the-go eaters, pastries are nutrient-dense and contain the wrong nutrients, making them a poor choice for prolonged energy. Unhealthy fats like butter and plenty of added sugar are better replaced with whole-grain toast or oatmeal with fresh toppings. 
  • Processed Foods: Processed meats like bacon and sausage contain excessive sodium and unhealthy fats, leading to calorie-dense, less optimal protein options. Lean protein, like eggs and Greek yogurt, is a lower-calorie choice for a balanced breakfast. 
  • Fried Goods: Fried foods are filled with calories from the oil they are fried in, making them a heavy breakfast choice more likely to weigh you down than keep you going. Grilled or baked breakfast potatoes instead of fried potatoes are a simple swap to stay on the right track.


Is it Possible to Lose Weight with a 500 Calorie Breakfast?

If weight loss is your end goal, a 500-calorie breakfast is a great way to start. Balancing healthy proteins and complex carbs will keep you fuller for longer, lowering the tendency to snack throughout the day. 

A balanced breakfast can also help regulate blood sugar throughout the day, preventing mid-day crashes and improving mental clarity and focus. As part of a healthy lifestyle, eating an intentional, low-calorie meal to start the day can help set the tone for portion control and mindful eating habits for the remainder of the day.

Bottom Line

Breakfast is the beginning of the commitment to a new day. A low-calorie, balanced breakfast sets the tone for a commitment to a healthy lifestyle for the day to come. Learning to build a flavorful, mindful breakfast is the first step to taking charge of your dietary goals. 

Starting with a basis of healthy protein, complex carbs, and a variety of nutrients creates the building block to eating mindfully and staying engaged and focused throughout the day. Try a few of these meals and feel the difference for yourself!

About the author


Related FAQ’s

Start with a healthy protein like Greek yogurt or eggs, then choose a handful (3-4) of items to accompany it. Remember to choose no more than one cheese or grain product and up to 4 fruits or vegetables. The more colors, the wider the array of nutrients your food will provide!

Fruits, vegetables, yogurt, whole-grain toast, eggs, granola, and nuts are all great low-calorie breakfast options.

Tofu eggs, black beans, and non-dairy yogurt are all great bases for building a low-calorie vegan or vegetarian breakfast. Focus on getting your protein from low-calorie, nutrient-dense options.

Absolutely. Many of these recipes can be made ahead of time and reheated or blended when needed. Freezer ziplock bags are a great way to make ahead smoothie blends and egg muffins for busy mornings.

Seasoning blends and low-calorie sauces are great ways to play with flavors in your breakfast. Adding flavored honey instead of regular, putting Italian seasoning in the omelet vegetables, or finding a fun hot sauce are all ways to add some flair to your meal.

Food journals are a great way to track what you eat, and there are plenty of free apps that let you input the ingredients you are using. When reading nutrition labels, make sure you stick to the recommended serving sizes and opt for ingredients that have the most bang for your buck—i.e., not filled with sugar and other empty calories.

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