What’s for breakfast?
If you don’t already have that figured out, you’re putting your progress at risk.
Seriously. You’re in rush to get to work, drop kids off, go to school, make an appointment, whatever. And when you take a look at the clock, you realize there’s no time left to make breakfast.
So what do most people do? You might have the self-discipline to skip breakfast, and make smart food choices the rest of the day.
But if you don’t, the default often ends up being something like a sugar-laden coffee drink, donuts, or grab-and-go sugary cereal.
And none of that is really going to help you hit your protein goals for the day, ward off hunger, or more importantly, give you the nutrition you need for energy and muscle growth.
So what could you eat for breakfast that’s quick and easy, and puts some protein in your tank?
Cereal. But probably not the kind of cereal you’re thinking about.
The Problem with Most Breakfast Cereals
Eat breakfast. You’ve probably heard the advice before. So you head to the grocery store, grab a shopping cart and head to the cereal aisle.
Now what? If the cereal aisle at your grocery store looks anything like mine, there’s literally dozens of different cereals to choose from.
There’s the obvious cereals you want to stay away from. You know, the ones with cartoon characters on the packages and prizes in the box.
In a recent study, researchers looked at the nutrition profile for 161 brands of cereal. And they found that 66 percent of those cereals didn’t meet base-level nutritional guidelines recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The primary reason: too much sugar. Most of these cereals contain 10 grams of sugar or more per serving. And the worst offenders contain 20 grams of sugar per serving. FYI – a small soda contains the same amount of sugar. Read the food labels and see for yourself.
Plus, most breakfast cereals only contain trace amounts of protein.
And if you’re aiming to shred fat, build muscle, or transform your body, you need a solid protein source at every meal.
A Better Cereal for Breakfast: Protein-Packed Oats
So if the typical cereal doesn’t make the cut to help you hit your calorie goal and get enough protein, what cereal can you eat for breakfast.
But don’t reach for the pre-packaged oats loaded with sugary blends like maple syrup, brown sugar, or strawberries and cream, just yet.
Go with steel cut oats or plain quick oats.
If you’re in the habit of reading food labels, or tracking calories and macros, you’ll see that a typical serving of oats only contains about 5 to 6 grams of protein.
And you’ll probably want more than that for breakfast. If you’re aiming to consume about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, you’ll need to eat protein-rich meals and snacks throughout the day to reach your goal.
But don’t worry. There’s a lot of different ways you can turn a typical bowl of oatmeal into a protein-packed breakfast cereal.
My Personal Favorite: Pro Oats
It’s a pretty simple recipe.
- Measure out a scoop of oats by raw weight. (e.g. 50 grams) and put it in a bowl.
- Add water.
- Microwave the oats for about 90 seconds.
- Add a small amount of cold water to cool.
- Mix in a scoop of 1 UP Nutrition Whey Protein (Use code RYAN20 for 20 percent off). Flavors include: White Chocolate Mint, Coconut Ice Cream, Cinnamon French Toast, Banana Caramel, Pumpkin Spice Cake, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Blast.
More Ways to Turn Oats Into a Protein-Packed Breakfast
Not everybody likes the consistency of my Pro Oats recipe. And that’s OK. When someone in my private Facebook group said they were having a hard time eating it this way, members of Team RSF served up a lot of different ways make oats with protein taste better:
- Use sugar-free sweetener
- Add cinnamon
- Mix with fruit
- Blend oats with milk and protein powder
- Add peanut butter
- Mix in sugar-free maple syrup
- Sweeten with honey
- Make with almond milk instead of water
- Add a little vanilla extract
- Sprinkle with nutmeg
- Use Crystal Light flavor boosters
- Season with a little salt
- Mix in low-sugar Greek yogurt
- Blend oats into powder first
- Add Myprotein Flavdrops
And if you still don’t like my Pro Oats recipes made with one of these suggestions, try these recipes:
- Dessert Oatmeal
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Banana Oats
- Coconut Almond Butter Crunch
- Brownie Batter Overnight Oats
If you want to shred fat, build muscle, or transform your body, going to the gym is only half the battle. You’ll also need to dial in your diet, eat the right amount of calories and macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) to reach your goal. Do it right, and you can eat a lot of great food, including oats for breakfast.
Have other ideas for turning cereal into a tasty, protein-packed breakfast? Let’s discuss on Facebook.
- Schwartz, M., et al. (2008). Examining the nutritional quality of breakfast cereals marketed to children. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. From: jandonline.org/article/S0002-8223%2808%2900004-7/abstract
- Phillips, S.M., et al. (2011). Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. Journal of Sports Sciences. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150425