Breakfast Meal Prep: The Best Way To Start Your Day

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

breakfast meal prep
Whether you’re trying to drop weight, maintain a healthy weight, or achieve better nutrition, breakfast meal prep can be the key to meeting your health goals.

While skipping breakfast is one weight loss strategy, simply ‘delaying' it, is a better one.

Studies show that eating breakfast every day helps prevent obesity because skipping breakfast entirely can lower your metabolism, decrease energy expenditure from physical activity, result in muscle tissue breakdown, and reduce physical strength.

Delaying breakfast simply shortens your eating window to around 8 hours and gives you all the benefits of intermittent fasting, without the negative side effects highlighted above.

In this article, we do a deep dive into breakfast, showing you:

    • How to plan a well-balanced breakfast.
    • Calorie requirements for breakfast meal prep.
    • Quick breakfast ideas when you’re tight on time.
    • Nutritious breakfast meal ideas for men (recipes included).
    • And more!

Learn more about the best breakfast ideas and the benefits of intermittent fasting.

How to Plan a Well-Balanced Breakfast

Before you begin breakfast meal prep, it’s important to know how to properly plan each meal plate. You might not think about vegetables when planning breakfast, but the Perfect Plate, especially for weight loss, consists of the following:
perfect plate 3 day meal plan

  • 1/2 plate of non-starchy vegetables
  • 1/4 plate of protein foods
  • 1/4 plate of fiber-rich starches
  • A small portion of healthy fats

For breakfast, you can use dairy foods as your protein source or substitute fruit for fiber-rich starches or non-starchy vegetables. The following breakfast foods are part of each food group:

Non-starchy vegetables: spinach, kale, tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, eggplant, and low-sodium vegetable juice.

Protein foods: uncured turkey bacon, meatless bacon, meatless breakfast patties, chicken, turkey, eggs, and egg whites.

Dairy foods: low-fat milk, plant milk, Greek yogurt, plant-based yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, kefir, reduced-fat cheese, and whey protein shakes.

Fiber-rich starches: oatmeal, whole-grain cereals (without added sugar), quinoa, whole-grain bread, whole-grain English muffins, potatoes, corn, and black beans.

Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, kiwi fruit, apples, pears, plums, peaches, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, mangoes, and pineapple.

Healthy fats: avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butter, olives, olive oil, whole eggs.

Breakfast drinks: coffee, unsweetened tea, water, low-sodium vegetable juice, diluted fruit juice, milk, plant milk, and protein shakes.

Calorie Requirements for Breakfast Meal Prep

Your breakfast calorie requirements vary based on your weight management goals. Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommendations, daily calorie estimates for men are:

breakfast meal prep

  • 1,500-1,800 calories for weight loss
  • 2,000-2,200 calories for sedentary men over 40
  • 2,200-2,600 calories for moderately active men over 40
  • 2,400-2,800 calories for active men over 40
  • Add 300-500 calories to weight maintenance estimates for weight/muscle gains

Studies show that eating three meals plus two snacks daily helps you maintain a healthy weight. Add an extra snack if you feel hungry before bed. Based on these meal/snack recommendations, aim for the following calorie allotments at breakfast:

  • 300-400 calories for weight loss
  • 400-450 calories for weight maintenance
  • 500-550 calories for weight/muscle gains
1 day meal plan

Here’s A Free Weight Loss Meal Plan For Busy Men 40+

1 day meal plan
Discover exactly what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to lose belly fat & feel energized 24/7 without hard dieting...

Quick Breakfast Ideas When You’re Tight on Time

Just because you’re in a hurry in the morning doesn't mean you have to skip breakfast. Try these quick, easy breakfast ideas:

Protein Shakes

breakfast meal prep - protein shakeTry a protein shake in the morning on your way out the door to fill you up, keep your metabolism going strong, and give you the energy needed to stay active or focus at work.

Use a weight-loss protein shake recipe for men, or try the following guidelines to create your own homemade protein shake:

  • 1 1/2 cups of water, low-fat milk, plant milk, or milk plus yogurt: 140 calories
  • 1 scoop of protein powder: 110 calories
  • 2 teaspoons of nut butter: 64 calories
  • 1/2 cup of fruit: 30-70 calories
  • Ice: optional

Total: 344-384 calories

Protein Bars

Protein bars make the perfect breakfast when you’re on the go, as you can eat them while driving to work or when you're getting ready in the morning.

Choose protein bars containing whey or plant-based protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats with little or no added sugar.

Commercial weight loss protein bars for men work well as breakfast (or lunch) meal replacements for busy dads seeking weight loss or healthy weight management.

Or, try a homemade no-bake protein bar recipe that contains the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of milk or plant milk
  • 1 cup of natural peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cups of whey protein powder
  • 2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2-3 tablespoons of honey

In a medium-sized pot, combine the milk, honey, and peanut butter and place it over low heat. Stir the ingredients until well-blended and add in the oats and protein powder.

Place the mixture in an 8×8 pan and allow it to cool. Cut your bars into squares, place them in an air-tight container, store them at room temperature, and enjoy!

Hard-Boiled Eggs

When choosing hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, you don’t have to spend time cooking in the morning but will still reap the nutritional benefits of eggs.

They are loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals and keep you full for long time periods. Pair hard-boiled eggs with one of the following:

breakfast meal prep - eggs

  • Whole grain toast
  • Fruit
  • A protein bar
  • Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Low-sodium vegetable juice

The number of eggs you should eat for breakfast is based on your weight management goals and calorie allotment.

One large hard-boiled egg contains about 78 calories.

Uncured Turkey Bacon

Regular bacon isn’t the best choice for staying healthy. Lower-sodium, uncured turkey bacon is the better option – especially if you have or are at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Try pre-cooked (uncured) turkey bacon to save you time in the morning. Pair it with:

  • Whole-grain toast or a whole-grain English muffin
  • Avocado slices
  • Tomato slices or low-sodium vegetable juice

Yogurt or Cottage Cheese

breakfast meal prep - yogurtWhen you’re in a hurry in the morning and don’t have time for meal prep, grab low-fat cottage cheese (163 calories per cup) or plain Greek yogurt (146 calories per container).

If you follow a vegan diet, choose plant-based yogurt instead. Pair protein-rich dairy foods (or calcium-rich equivalents) with one of the foods below:

  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Bananas
  • Low-sugar granola
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Oatmeal

Top low-fat cottage cheese with walnuts or sunflower seeds, or sprinkle fruit chunks or granola plus nuts on top of Greek yogurt. Choose granola containing little to no added sugar.

Cereal with Milk

You can’t go wrong when choosing a whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk (or plant milk) for breakfast.

Make sure to pick breakfast cereals rich in fiber and low in added sugar, such as Fiber One, Cheerios, Kashi whole-grain flakes, or Grape Nuts.

Pair whole-grain cereal and milk with one of the following:

  • Fruit
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Lower-sodium, uncured turkey bacon

Iced Coffee with Milk

Try iced coffee combined with milk (or plant milk) for a quick boost of energy when you don’t have time for breakfast meal prep.

Add protein powder if you’d like and pair it with one of the choices below:

  • Nut or seeds
  • Fruit
  • A protein bar

Breakfast Meal Prep Principals

When you’re in the mood for a home-cooked breakfast but don’t have time in the morning to prepare the healthy meals you crave, try breakfast meal prep at night or on the weekends.

breakfast meal prep Simply reheat your meal after cooking it ahead of time, and enjoy!

For breakfast meal prep, cook your meal (use the recipes below if you’d like), let it cool entirely, and place it in an airtight container in your refrigerator or freezer.

Based on food safety guidelines, keep pre-cooked foods in the freezer for up to 2-6 months or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Nutritious Breakfast Meal Ideas for Men

Using the Perfect Plate method as a guideline, consider the nutritious breakfast meal ideas for men below if you’re trying to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or improve your overall health:

Breakfast 1

  • Fill three-fourths of your plate with an omelet containing mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with cooked oatmeal
  • Top the oatmeal with walnuts, or use olive oil when preparing your omelet
  • Drink coffee or unsweetened tea

Breakfast 2

  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with whole-grain toast
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with asparagus
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with low-sodium vegetable juice
  • Top your toast with avocado slices
  • Drink coffee or unsweetened tea

Breakfast 3

  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with low-sodium, uncured turkey bacon
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with cooked quinoa or oatmeal
  • Fill one-half of your plate with sautéed mushrooms and zucchini
  • Use olive oil for sautéing
  • Drink coffee or unsweetened tea

Breakfast 4

  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with cottage cheese
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with a whole-grain English muffin
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with low-sodium vegetable juice
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with berries or melons
  • Top cottage cheese with pistachios, or top the English muffin with avocados
  • Drink coffee or unsweetened tea

Breakfast 5

  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with hard-boiled eggs
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with roasted potatoes
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with oranges slices
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with sautéed spinach
  • Use olive oil for roasting and sautéing
  • Drink coffee or unsweetened tea

Here’s a FREE Meal Plan & Workout For Busy Men 40+

We’ll show you exactly what to eat & how to exercise to reignite your metabolism in your 40’s, 50’s & 60’s.

Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Men

When you have extra time at night or on the weekend, try breakfast meal prep using the following nutritious recipes:

Curry Avocado Egg Toast

You don’t have to slave in the kitchen for hours when making this delicious curry avocado egg toast recipe.

The ingredients include eggs, olive oil, whole-grain bread, curry powder, lime juice, salt, curry powder, and cilantro for a garnish (optional).

Simply cook the eggs with olive oil according to the recipe instructions, mix curry powder with olive oil, and mash avocados with salt and lime juice.

Toast the bread, top it with the eggs and the avocado mixture, drizzle it with curry oil, and enjoy!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bites

If you need quick energy before a morning workout, try this no-bake peanut butter bites recipe containing just five ingredients: peanut butter, oats, ground flax seeds, honey, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Add protein powder if you'd like!

Mix all five ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl, place the mixture in a refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes, roll it into bite-sized balls, and enjoy!

Store the peanut butter bites in your refrigerator and eat them throughout the week.

Easy Egg Wraps

Making egg wraps has never been easier with this simple egg wrap recipe.

The ingredients include eggs, vegetable oil, your choice of filling (turkey, chicken, reduced-fat cheese, vegetables, or avocados), and your favorite seasonings.

Simply heat up a skillet over medium heat, grease it with oil, and cooked the eggs according to recipe instructions.

Let the egg wraps cool, top them with your filling and seasonings of choice, and enjoy!

Veggie Breakfast Frittatas

Try this flavorful veggie egg frittata recipe that’s sure to be a hit with your entire family.

The ingredients in it are green and red bell peppers, olive oil, onions, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

Cook all of the ingredients in a nonstick skillet according to recipe instructions, and bake the mixture at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 13-15 minutes until the eggs are set.

Let the frittata cool, and serve it with hot sauce if you desire!

Paleo Collard Burritos

This nutrient-dense, paleo collard burrito recipe is loaded with flavor.

The ingredients include collard leaves, uncured turkey bacon, eggs, lime juice, avocados, red bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, salt, and pepper.

Steam the collard leaves and cook the bacon and eggs according to recipe instructions. Mix the veggies and avocados with salt, pepper, and lime juice and set aside.

Assemble the burritos by wrapping eggs, bacon, and the veggie mixture in collard leaves. Cut the wraps in half and enjoy!

Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on breakfast meal prep.


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Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.


Join the #1 Health & Fitness Program
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