What Should I Eat for Breakfast if I Have PCOS?
Are you wondering what to eat for breakfast if you have PCOS? Women with PCOS have unique nutrient needs and it is important to plan your PCOS breakfast ideas out accordingly.
Breakfast is one of the most-skipped meals of the day. Many of my PCOS clients come to me at first and admit they aren’t eating breakfast.
I hear lots of excuses for why they are skipping breakfast. Whether it is because you don’t have time, aren’t sure what to eat, or trying to limit your calorie intake, skipping breakfast is actually doing you more harm than good!
A balanced breakfast full of lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats, can boost your energy levels, stabilize blood sugar levels, and keep you satisfied until lunchtime. No more feeling “hangry” when 10 am rolls around.
Keep reading to learn why eating breakfast is important for PCOS, as well as six PCOS-friendly breakfast ideas from a specialized women’s health dietitian. Let’s get into it.
Need more PCOS-friendly meal ideas? Make sure you check out my high-protein meal ideas blog next!
Why is Eating Breakfast Important for PCOS?
When they say, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, there is some truth to that statement. Breakfast is essential, especially for women with PCOS, because it starts your day off on the right foot.
It is easy to want to reach for a coffee first thing in the morning and push off eating until later. However, this can cause a dip in blood sugar levels and an increase in cortisol spikes (your stress hormone).
Since women with PCOS are prone to hormonal imbalances, neither of those is ideal for optimal hormone health. Instead, you can support your body to take on the day by giving it the nutrients it needs.
Even further, eating a nutritious breakfast can help prevent reactive hypoglycemia, a sudden dip in blood sugar that occurs after not eating consistently. It can also help improve your insulin resistance, which is a hallmark characteristic of PCOS.
Components of a PCOS-Friendly Breakfast
If you aren’t new to my blog, then you know that I consistently talk about the importance of balancing out your meals. This means trying to have a component from each food group at as many meals as possible. Doing so can help ensure you are hitting all of your nutrient needs!
When it comes to creating a PCOS-friendly breakfast, it’s important to include a balance of lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs (preferably high-fiber). These components work together to help stabilize blood sugar levels, promote satiety, and provide sustained energy throughout the morning.
- Some great protein sources for breakfast include eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, and lean meats such as turkey or chicken sausage.
- Healthy fats can be found in foods like avocado, nuts, olive oil, seeds, and nut butter.
- Complex, high-fiber carbs can come from options such as fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, quinoa, or sweet potatoes.
By incorporating these into your breakfast routine, you can help manage your PCOS symptoms and set yourself up for a successful day.
Importance of Eating Breakfast for Weight Loss
As a PCOS dietitian, I often highlight that women with PCOS who want to lose weight should eat breakfast as part of their daily routine.
Eating a balanced breakfast can help reduce cravings and prevent overeating later in the day. Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, can lead to overeating and poor food choices throughout the day, as well as a sluggish metabolism.
When combined, this can cause unwanted weight gain and make it more challenging to reach your ideal weight.
In fact, research has shown that people who eat breakfast are more likely to lose weight and keep it off compared to those who skip it.
So, if you’re looking to lose weight and improve your PCOS symptoms, make sure to prioritize a healthy breakfast each day!
6 Healthy PCOS Breakfast Ideas
Curious about what a healthy breakfast looks like? Below I will be sharing six healthy breakfast ideas for PCOS. Try these out next time you need some inspiration on how to make your breakfast both delicious and nutritious.
Remember that these are simply ideas and feel free to modify them based on your food preferences.
Mexicali Breakfast Burritos
Breakfast burritos are a great balanced breakfast option because you can add whatever you’d like to the inside! These Mexicali-inspired burritos combine eggs with black beans, for an extra protein and fiber boost.
Make a couple of extra burritos, wrap in foil, and freeze them for the days when you are in a time crunch. Simply toss them in the microwave or reheat using an air fryer.
- Whisk together your eggs, add a splash of milk of your choice, and set aside. Saute diced onions and peppers in a large skillet on medium heat.
- Add black beans and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Next, pour your eggs over top of the vegetables. Cook until the eggs are cooked through.
- Warm whole-grain tortillas in a pan. Assemble your burritos using the toppings of your choice.
- Great options include avocado, salsa, pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro.
Mango Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding is an underrated breakfast choice. If you are wanting a break from Greek yogurt or can’t stomach dairy, chia seed pudding is a great alternative.
Chia seeds are high in both protein and fiber, making them perfect for a nutrient-dense breakfast. Add your favorite fruits and whole-grain granola on top to complete the meal. Chia seed pudding is also ideal for on-the-go because there is no reheating required!
- Combine chia seeds, milk of choice, honey, and vanilla extract in a bowl or mason jar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to eat, pour chia seed pudding out. Dice up your fresh mango and put it on top.
- For additional crunch, add whole grain granola, coconut flakes, and/or mixed nuts.
Breakfast Sandwich with Sweet Potatoes
Nothing is better than a good breakfast sandwich, right? The key is to use high-quality, PCOS-friendly ingredients such as lean protein sources and whole-grain bread.
Making your breakfast sandwiches at home can lower saturated fat and sodium content. Add a serving of diced sweet potatoes on the side to keep you satisfied until lunchtime.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss diced sweet potatoes with olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Spread the potatoes out on the baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and golden brown.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the eggs. Slice and toast whole-grain English muffins until golden brown.
- To assemble the sandwiches, place a handful of baby spinach on the bottom half of each English muffin. Top with sliced avocado, and a fried egg. Place the top half of the English muffin on the egg to finish the sandwich.
- Throw your diced sweet potatoes on the side for a complete meal!
Tofu Scramble on Toast
Tofu scramble is a common plant-based alternative to scrambled eggs. So if you don’t eat eggs, or are feeling like changing it up, try this scramble instead.
The secret ingredient is ground turmeric which turns the tofu a familiar yellow color. Turmeric is also said to be anti-inflammatory, making it beneficial for women with PCOS.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Saute onions and diced peppers.
- Grab your extra firm tofu and crumble it into the pan. Add turmeric, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, and sea salt. Coat until tofu is cooked through and slightly crispy.
- Toast 2 pieces of whole grain toast. Add fresh arugula and tomato slices to the bottom. Top with your tofu scramble mixture.
Green Protein Smoothie Bowl
While regular smoothies are great, they can sometimes lack sufficient calories and protein to keep you from getting hungry right after.
To combat this, you can create a protein smoothie bowl. By adding in a high-quality protein powder, you are contributing towards hitting your protein goals for the day.
This smoothie bowl is also very nutrient-dense since it is filled with dark leafy greens and healthy fats from the avocado. Avocado in smoothies? Yes, that’s right! It can give your smoothie a more thick consistency and you don’t even taste the flavor.
- Combine banana, frozen mango chunks, milk of choice, spinach, avocado, and vanilla protein powder in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the smoothie into a bowl.
- Add your desired toppings, such as extra sliced banana, fresh berries, whole-grain granola, unsweetened shredded coconut, or chopped nuts.
Smoked Salmon Sandwich
The last breakfast idea I have for you all is perhaps the easiest to make. Smoked salmon bagels are extremely simple and quick to whip together in the morning, with no pots or pans required.
Salmon is a PCOS-friendly food because it is high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. You can find sliced smoked salmon at most grocery stores.
- Toast your favorite whole-grain bagel. Spread low-fat cream cheese on top.
- Add your smoked salmon, fresh dill, cucumbers, and avocado slices.
- Enjoy on its own or with roasted potatoes on the side!
PCOS Breakfast Ideas: The Takeaway
What if you are feeling tight on time in the morning? Don’t worry, this happens to the best of us. Make sure you have easy PCOS breakfast ideas on hand as well for the days you are in a time pinch.
You can also batch-prep many of these meals ahead of time to have over a few days. This can save tons of time in the long run!
Overall, the most important thing is that you are taking the time to fuel your body in some way in the morning. Not only can this promote weight loss, but it can help balance out your hormone levels as well.
Want to take the guesswork out of meal planning? Our customized PCOS meal plans and programs help women with PCOS:
- Improve fertility, lose weight, increase energy levels, improve mood, and more!
Don’t wait another minute frustrated with your PCOS symptoms. Together we can help you lose weight, get healthy AF, and find your happiness again.
Read through my list of comprehensive, effective nutrition programs to find the perfect fit for you. Can’t wait to hear from you!