The Most Ideal Breakfast for Weight Loss, According to New Research

Camille Styles

We don't need to be convinced that our first meal of the day is the most important one—aside from the obvious superiority of breakfast foods over all others taste-wise, we also know that making nutritionally sound choices can set the tone for the next several hours. (Just ask any one of these models.)

But it's tricky to find the right balance—picking foods that keep you full and focused until lunch without overdoing it. And it looks as though scientists have pinned down the ideal protein to nosh on first thing if you're hoping to stay craving-free until your next meal. Here's the kicker: It's vegetarian-friendly to boot (and no, it's not eggs).

According to new research, beans and peas are the ideal breakfast food for weight loss and maintenance. It turns out these plant-based proteins have the edge over animal sources thanks to the added bonus of fiber. After serving a group of men different breakfasts over the course of several weeks, scientists at the University of Copenhagen found that after eating a patty made with high-protein legumes, the participants ate 12% fewer calories at lunchtime than they did after eating a meat patty with the same amount of protein.

Beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas all fall under this category of high-protein legumes, marking a huge win for vegetarians. Another bonus is that with these plant-based proteins, you'll also avoid some of the less-than-healthy fats found in say, bacon.

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