Supercharge your weight loss efforts by combining two foods with their own fat-burning powers. Here are 5 delicious and healthy breakfast pairings that can double weight loss.
So you want to lose weight, huh? No problem. Grab your grocery list. Whatever the length of your go-to list, we’re about to double it. That’s because when you pair certain foods together at the right time and during the right meals, you can supercharge your weight loss efforts more than simply eating one food alone.
The secret lies in making sure your meals contain satisfying nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This one rule will set you up for success, preventing you from noshing on empty calories that do nothing to nourish your body (and which may even leave you hungrier than you were before eating).
And there’s no better time to double your weight loss efforts than during the first meal of the day: breakfast. Even better, it also happens to be the easiest. With so many healthy breakfast foods to choose from, we’re about to show you exactly which foods pair together perfectly to optimize your fat loss results.
1. Salmon + Avocado
Salmon Nutrition Facts
Salmon is a delicious fish that is versatile and easy to find in most markets. With salmon’s heart-healthy omega-3s, high-quality protein, and rich micronutrient content, it’s worth adding to your meal plan. A higher intake of omega-3s is associated with a reduced risk of certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions.
Many people are concerned about mercury and other contaminants in fish. However, salmon is a nutrient-dense fish that can be found with minimal toxins regardless of whether you choose to buy it farmed or wild.
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 3 ounces (85g) of raw, wild Atlantic salmon.
Salmon is naturally free of carbohydrates, including fiber and sugar.
A 3-ounce serving of raw salmon has 5.4 grams of fat. Of this, about 1.5 grams are from beneficial omega-3 fatty acids including EPA and DHA. Less than 1 gram comes from saturated fat.
The fatty acid profile of salmon varies depending on whether it is farm-raised or wild-caught. Farmed salmon is higher in fat content overall, including saturated fat. Wild salmon is leaner.
There are 17 grams of protein in a 3-ounce fillet of raw, wild-caught salmon. Because farm-raised salmon has more fat, it contains slightly less protein by weight. Regardless, salmon is an excellent source of high-quality complete protein that provides all of the essential amino acids our bodies require.
Vitamins and Minerals
Salmon provides vitamin A and multiple B vitamins. It is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D (wild salmon is a particularly good source). Salmon is also rich in several minerals, including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. Additionally, canned salmon contains lots of calcium (due to the edible bones).
A three-ounce serving of salmon provides 121 calories, most of which come from protein. Some calories also come from healthy fat.
Avocado Nutrition Facts
Some nutrition experts call the avocado a superfood.1 This flavorful fruit provides health benefits, such as cholesterol and blood sugar management, because it is a good source of fiber. But when you look at avocado nutrition, you might be surprised.
Not only are avocado calories high, but most of the calories come from fat. So should you include this fruit in a healthy, balanced diet? Many people do, but if you’re watching your calorie and fat intake, you may decide to consume avocados in moderation.
One-half of an avocado (100g) provides 160 calories, 2g of protein, 8.5g of carbohydrates, and 14.7g of fat. Avocados are an excellent nutritional source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. The following nutrition information is for half of an avocado and is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin C: 10mg
Vitamin E: 2.1mg
Vitamin K: 21mcg
Most of the carbohydrates in an avocado come from fiber. A whole avocado provides about 17 grams of carbohydrate and 13.4 grams of fiber. There is very little sugar in an avocado (less than one gram) and the rest of the carbohydrate in the fruit comes from starch. The glycemic index for avocado is estimated to be around zero, making it a low-glycemic food.
A whole avocado provides roughly 30 grams of fat, 4.2 grams of saturated fat, almost 20 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 3.6 grams of polyunsaturated fat.2 So, while most of the calories in an avocado come from fat, they are mostly in the form of healthier monounsaturated fat.
Monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs come from plant sources and may be helpful in lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol. For this reason, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that choosing foods with monounsaturated fats instead of saturated fat.
Half an avocado provides about 2 grams of protein. While it’s not a high-protein food, it can still help you meet your desired protein intake.
Vitamins and Minerals
If you consume a few slices of avocado, it won’t provide substantial vitamins or minerals because the serving size is so small. But a whole avocado is a good source of vitamins K, E, and C.
Avocado also contains folate, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Minerals in avocado include magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
The number of calories in an avocado will depend on its size. The avocado nutrition facts shown are for half of a medium-sized avocado, but many avocados are smaller and some can be much larger (up to 300 grams or more).
According to the USDA Nutrient Database, there are 322 calories in a larger (200 gram) avocado. In general, an average avocado ranges from 200 to 300 calories, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
If you spread a thin layer of avocado on your sandwich or add a small amount to your healthy taco, you are probably consuming roughly 30 grams or about two tablespoons of fruit.
Salmon + Avocado
Avocados are famous for their healthy fat content, but did you know that this fruit is also an excellent source of fiber? Half an avocado contains 7 grams of fiber or 25% of your recommended daily value of the nutrient! That might be why a Nutrition Journal study found that when people added half an avocado to their lunch, it decreased their desire to eat by 40% in the three-hour period following the meal compared to people who didn’t have avocados with lunch. Pair it with salmon, a fish that’s rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier weight.
2. Oats + Nut Butter
Oatmeal Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1/2 cup dry (39g) rolled oats with no sugar or salt added. This serving is equivalent to 1 cup of cooked oatmeal (cooked in water).
One of the 7 Amazing Benefits of Eating Oatmeal? It can help you lose weight. A Journal of the American College of Nutrition study found that when participants ate oatmeal for breakfast, they reported feeling more full, less hungry, had a lower desire to eat, and actually ate fewer calories at the next meal than those who ate cereal. Experts believe oatmeal’s hunger-busting properties are due in part to its high fiber levels, and a soluble fiber known as β-glucan, which has been found to slow the body’s digestion, helping you stay fuller longer. Add a couple of tablespoons of nut butter like peanut butter and you’ll add 8 grams of protein and healthy fats to double down on oatmeal’s satiating properties.
3. Yogurt + Berries
Greek Yogurt Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition information is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for one container (156 g or 5.5 oz) of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.
Fat: 0.265 g
Sodium: 56.2 mg
Carbohydrates: 5.68 g
Sugars: 5.1 g
Choline: 23.6 mg
Protein: 16.1 g
Calcium: 111 mg
Grab yourself a container of a high-protein yogurt like Greek yogurt or Icelandic yogurt and a container of berries to help lower the number on the scale. Yogurt consumption is associated with lower body mass index, lower body weight/weight gain, smaller waist circumference, and lower body fat, according to a comprehensive review published in the International Journal of Obesity. Berries are the perfect complement to this high-protein food. That’s because blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are all rich in a class of antioxidants known as flavonoids, which studies have connected to weight maintenance. A BMJ study found that a higher intake of foods rich in these antioxidants may contribute to weight maintenance and the prevention of obesity.
4. Eggs + Hot Sauce
Egg Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one large hard-boiled hen’s egg (50g).
Dump that bowl of cereal and crack a couple of eggs. Egg breakfasts have been shown to enhance weight loss when eaten in place of high-carb breakfasts like bagels, according to an International Journal of Obesity study. Season up your eggs with a few splashes of hot sauce. Researchers at Purdue University found that just half a teaspoon of red pepper was enough to reduce appetite and burn more calories after a meal. Scientists think capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers that gives them their heat, stimulates weight loss at a molecular level by altering key proteins found in fat.
5. Chia Seeds + Leafy Greens
Chia Seed Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 ounce (28g) of dry chia seeds.
Increasing your fiber intake will do wonders for your weight loss goals. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that when participants increased their fiber by 4 grams per day over what they consumed before the study, on average, they saw an additional 3 ¼ pounds of weight loss over the course of six months. Perhaps the most incredible part of the study was that participants weren’t instructed to change anything else about their diets—just to increase fiber by 4 grams per day. One easy way to do that is by tossing a tablespoon of chia seeds into your morning smoothie. That’s right—a single tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber, exceeding the amount of fiber the researchers found to be associated with an increase in weight loss. In addition to fruit, make sure to add leafy greens to your smoothies. Greens like spinach and kale are incredibly nutrient-dense and high in many essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals necessary to keep your body functioning at its best.