Breakfast has long been considered to be the most important meal of the day. While breakfast may be important, many people just take that to mean that as long as you’re eating breakfast; you’ll get in great shape.
Truthfully, breakfast can be very important but only if it provides you with the results you’re hoping for.
Additionally, healthy ingredients can often be quite expensive, which is a deal breaker for many. Fortunately, there are some great options out there for healthy breakfast options that don’t have to cost you a fortune.
In this article, I’ll touch on how to build the perfect breakfast, while doing it without breaking the bank.
The Importance Of Breakfast
The fact of the matter is, breakfast is really only important if it actually helps you achieve whichever goal you’re working towards. If you’re hoping to lose weight, breakfast will only be beneficial if it allows you to control calorie intake throughout the whole day.
Alternatively, if your goal is to pack on muscle mass, breakfast is important if it helps you successfully hit your calorie and macronutrient goals.
Realistically, breakfast is far more important than simply eating a meal. It’s an opportunity to consume the healthy nutrients you need for progress, while also giving you an opportunity to influence factors like hunger and muscle building.
As I mentioned earlier, breakfast can be integral to your training and diet plan as long as it pushes you towards the goal you’re working towards. If you’re eating a subpar breakfast, then you’re just increasing calories, rather than either reducing calories for weight loss or stimulating muscle-building processes for muscle growth.
That’s why I suggest you have a breakfast that is high in protein, healthy fats and fiber.
Protein especially is the most important ingredient mentioned here. Unfortunately, the most common breakfasts often include ingredients like cereal or bagels, even though they don’t really provide benefit other than more calories.
Protein on the other hand first provides the amino acids that are need to actually build new muscle. Not to mention, protein has been shown to be somewhat appetite suppressing, since it’s difficult to digest (1, 2, 3).
Thus, by consuming large amounts of protein at breakfast, you can initiate muscle growth while also having better control over calorie intake the rest of the day.
Fiber, such as from oatmeal or vegetables is very beneficial for helping you moderate your intake of food. Fiber actually absorbs water once ingested, which forms a gel-like substance in the stomach and intestines.
When this occurs, the speed that nutrients travel through the digestive tract are slowed, meaning that you feel a bit less hungry and more able to control your appetite and cravings (4, 5).
Together, protein and fiber rich foods combine to make a muscle building meal that will help you stay on track without even trying.
Healthy, Cheap Breakfast Options
Just because you’re starting to eat better breakfasts for your health and physique doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank. Over the years, I’ve compiled some of my favorite breakfast ideas that often come in under $5.
Breakfast #1: The Omelet
- 2 Whole Eggs
- ½ Cup Egg Whites
- ¼ Cup Shredded Cheese
- 4 Oz. Ground Turkey, Seasoned
- 1 Cup Broccoli
- 1 Cup Tomato
- Calories: 533
- Fat: 27g
- Carbs: 14g
- Protein: 57g
- Heat skillet to medium temperature
- Brown/drain ground turkey
- Crack whole eggs, whisk with egg whites
- Cook eggs on skillet
- Add all ingredients to skillet, atop eggs
- Once complete, fold and enjoy after cooling.
While this breakfast option is extremely cheap (eggs are usually around $1 per dozen), it’s also a fantastic combination of protein, healthy fats and of course some fiber from the vegetables.
Truth be told, this sort of meal is acceptable at just about any time of the day.
Breakfast #2: The Casserole
- 1 Cup Diced Ham
- ½ Cup Shredded Cheddar
- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
- ¼ Cup Crushed Saltines (around 6)
- 3 Links Breakfast Sausage
- Calories: 802
- Fat: 42g
- Carbs: 27g
- Protein: 77g
Note: Can be multiple servings
- Cook Ham & Sausage. Chop
- In a bowl, mix shredded cheddar, eggs and yogurt
- Mix rest of ingredients
- Pour into baking pan
- Cook on 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes
- Periodically insert toothpick. Once pick is removed clean, the casserole is done.
- Let cool and enjoy
One of my personal favorites, this ham, and sausage and egg casserole is a knockout of a recipe providing high amounts of protein and healthy fats. Fortunately, you’ll have to make a fairly large portion to get it right so you’ll at least have some leftovers for lunch!
Breakfast #3: Back to Basics
- 2 Whole Eggs
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1 Slice Ezekiel Bread
- ½ Avocado
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt
- Calories: 447
- Fat: 22g
- Carbs: 27g
- Protein: 40g
- Cook eggs and whites as desired
- Toast Ezekiel bread
- Spread Avocado onto Ezekiel bread
- Scoop Greek yogurt into side bowl or dish
Over the years, I’ve found that sometimes, breakfast just needs to be simple and healthy. With a combination of amazing proteins from the eggs and Greek yogurt in addition to healthy fats and fiber from the avocado and Ezekiel bread, you can’t go wrong with this healthy and cheap option.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas On A Budget
Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day, but that’s really only true if consuming it actually helps you reach your goals.
If you’re dieting, a high protein diet can help you control your appetite and if you’re looking to pack on mass, it can act as an additional opportunity to increase precious protein.
Unfortunately, healthy food options can sometimes be expensive but it doesn’t need to be that way. With the healthy and cheap options I provided, you’ll be consuming an optimal breakfast each morning, for less than the price of your morning coffee.
- Tipton, K. D., Elliott, T. A., Cree, M. G., Wolf, S. E., Sanford, A. P., & Wolfe, R. R. (2004). Ingestion of casein and whey proteins result in muscle anabolism after resistance exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36, 2073-2081.
- Hulmi, J. J., Lockwood, C. M., & Stout, J. R. (2010). Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutrition & metabolism, 7(1), 51.
- Veldhorst, M., Smeets, A. J. P. G., Soenen, S., Hochstenbach-Waelen, A., Hursel, R., Diepvens, K., … & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. (2008). Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiology & behavior, 94(2), 300-307.
- Cho, S. S., Case, I. L., & Nishi, S. (2009). Fiber and Satiety. Weight Control and Slimming Ingredients in Food Technology, 227.
- Lefranc-Millot, C., Macioce, V., Guérin-Deremaux, L., Lee, A. W., & Cho, S. S. (2012). Fiber and Satiety. Dietary Fiber and Health, 83.