What a Nutritious Breakfast Looks Like at 300, 400 & 500 Calories [Infographic]

What a Nutritious Breakfast Looks Like at 300, 400 & 500 Calories [Infographic]

Elle Penner, MPH, RD
by Elle Penner, MPH, RD
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What a Nutritious Breakfast Looks Like at 300, 400 & 500 Calories [Infographic]

No matter what your calorie goal is, making a nutritious breakfast should be a regular part of your morning: It gives you a boost of energy after a long night’s sleep and helps keep those mid-morning hungries at bay. Here’s what a nutritious breakfast might look like at three different calorie targets: 300, 400 and 500.


Keep in mind you can have Options 2 and 3 for 300 calories or less with minor modifications. For the breakfast sandwich, simply omit the cheese. Eyeing the egg scramble? Just skip the toast and cheese. Scroll to the bottom for more information on how to make both.


About the Author

Elle Penner, MPH, RD
Elle Penner, MPH, RD

Elle is a nutrition and wellness writer, recipe developer, blogger and nutrition consultant whose favorite things include her camera, carbs and quality time with her toddler. For more from this busy mama, check out Elle’s lifestyle blog or connect with her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


65 responses to “What a Nutritious Breakfast Looks Like at 300, 400 & 500 Calories [Infographic]”

  1. Avatar Amanda Jayne Fuller says:

    My breakfast is around 520 calories. I have 50g porridge oats, 200ml milk, 100ml water. Then I add 15 almonds, omega seeds and chia seeds. I add honey and cinnamon for sweetness. Sets me up for the morning and the gym .

  2. Avatar Mellatrixa says:


    • Avatar Jan says:

      I love me some peanut butter and banana on toast but my smoothies have more protein and are quicker to gulp down before work.

  3. Avatar Steve Martinson says:

    And the comedy of carb errors continues in the MyFitnessPal blog posts. SMH.

    • Avatar Amanda Jayne Fuller says:

      What do you mean?

      • Avatar Edival says:

        He means MFP pushes excessive carbs which hinder weight loss in the name of “health”.

        • Avatar Amanda Jayne Fuller says:

          I must admit I thought 50% of carbs sounded a lot. But I guess it works for some .

        • where in the article do they talk about weight loss? This is a fine diet for anyone training. Want to lose weight? burn more calories when you exercise and reduce carbs. Cardio. Cross train. Repeat.

          • Avatar karinagw says:

            Not in the article, but it is tagged as a weight loss article not a training article. But, it is a fairly useless infographic without amounts. Me, I have no problem with carbs even on weight loss, but that’s because I know me and what works.

    • Avatar John P. Muller says:

      Depends on what you’re doing, right? Some people will need more carbs than others.

      • Avatar Jim Herring says:

        Maybe the biggest issue above with the carbs is they are bread, more highly processed than fruit, which will cause a blood sugar spike. But the amount above is not bad. And bread is better than sugar. The Fruit is the better carb. It takes a couple hours to process Fructose.
        I find the fat a little heavy and protein low. From a holistic Dr. I learned this approach.
        Use this: 1 serving each = 9-13g carb, 7g Protein, 3.5g fat.
        So, 4 servings each = 40g carb, 28g Protein and 14g fat. Would be close to 400 calories.
        You convert carbs, proteins and fat at different rates so this balanced meal should keep your blood sugar level, and keep you satiated 5-6 hours.

      • Avatar Katie says:

        Exactly – I’m 5’8 & 115 pounds – my PT told me to eat a lot & he’s tracking it through this app, cuz the only way I’m not gna b a stick figure is by repairing my muscles by eating, so they can grow – so what works for you, may not work for others — everybody has a different plan, point blank – & if you really want to know portions, get a nutritionist or a personal trainer so they can tell you what YOU need for your personal goals

    • Weight loss and training for races are 2 different approaches. This article is fine for someone who still eats carbs and is training. For people like myself who are athletes training and need to maintain fitness.

      Carbs aren’t evil, just like anything. use in moderation.

      SMH @ you.

    • Avatar Xeos says:

      MFP ignores the science behind lowering carb intake. I have no idea why. They even cast doubt on net carbs… it’s disappointing. We need a modern authority on diet and fitness that understands the modern science behind macros

  4. Avatar Amanda Jayne Fuller says:

    Sounds nice, never tried protein powders. Thankyou

  5. Avatar CVG says:

    So… this post means nothing without saying how MUCH peanut butter, or avocado, or banana… come on. You’re a FOOD LOGGING company. This picture is meaningless without listing quantities.

    • Avatar Mark Cheplowitz says:


    • Avatar Amy says:

      I was thinking the same thing!

    • Avatar patsy says:

      Me too – very irritating!

    • Avatar Gary says:

      Well, one piece of bread with peanut butter on it and one full banana is roughly going to come to about 300 calories.

    • Avatar Alexa_Ness says:

      Good point – My slice of peanut butter banana chia seed toast looks way more substantial than what’s pictured here.

    • Avatar Paul Boisvert says:

      1 toast is 90 cal,
      1 tab sp peanut butter is 100 cal
      1 small banana is 90 cal .
      1 tsp chia 20 cal
      total 300 cal

    • Avatar josephz2va says:

      Most of us aren’t really good at measuring tablespoons or teaspoons, so I’m going to say a thin layer of PB is 100 calories. You know how mom usually spreads regular butter on toast and the knife scrapes on the toasted slice of bread? It’s a thin layer of butter versus a very big slab of butter.

    • Avatar Oli says:

      You could also just log the food individually on the calorie counter. There, it will tell you how much calories a tbsp worth of peanut butter is a long with the toast and banana then adjust til you get the calorie count you want….

  6. Avatar starsandspice says:

    Black coffee?? Never!!! Black coffee would do me in, a splash of milk never hurt anybody.

    • Avatar Jan says:

      Ditto. People act like it’s a choice between espresso forever and a Frappuccino™ every morning. Sorry I’m not going to drink garbage-water just to save that 25cal in a splash of almond milk.

      • Avatar Lee Mac says:

        Nobody is forcing you to watch your calories. No need for a scene. I’m with Gary I like my coffee black.

    • Avatar CalgaryAnimal says:

      Black coffee is never ever going to happen ever!!!

      • Avatar Liza says:

        Love drinking my coffee black no cream or sugar. I use to be a big equal fan and creamer and one day I stop using them and could taste the coffee verses the add on’s.

        • Avatar CalgaryAnimal says:

          My mom went black a few years ago, I might give it a go for a week and see. Guess it’s much easier to taste differences in the beans flavour…

    • Avatar Gary says:

      Because you don’t like the taste of black coffee? Drinking it black is the only way I like it, I love the full flavour of coffee.

    • Avatar Lynnette Scales says:

      Coffee, I know, Right !!! One packet of Truvia or half packet will not kill anyone either.

  7. Avatar Mark Cheplowitz says:

    I just don’t understand why these nutritionists that are proposing caloric meal recipes/guidelines can’t seem to provide at least 1 recipe without bread!! (or without carbs!!) And ditto on CVG’s comments!!

    • Avatar Mario says:

      even in a balanced diet you need carbs, good carbs… and of course in the right amounts

      • Avatar Jayne Daley says:

        Yes and if you have Brocken your leg you can’t eat hardly anything ☹️

      • Avatar Honest Avy says:

        But you don’t need bread for carbs. So it would be nice to have some breadless options.

      • Avatar roadsplat says:

        you don’t need carbs at all.

        • Avatar Michelle Kelsen says:

          Ummmm i’d be very careful of a carb free diet when you are exercising. If you are exercising regularly and quite heavily never cut out carbs completely. It is very dangerous and can impact on the qaulity of your workout.

        • Avatar Charles says:

          You’re kidding right? What kind of healthy meal plan would exclude all fruits and vegetables!

    • Avatar oldk says:

      Robert Horne said the biggest error in the Pritkikin diet was its over reliance on grains. Seems like they cause joint pain to me and also cause me to want to eat more and more of it.

  8. Avatar Jasmine Buescher Clemmons says:

    My low carb breakfast of choice is Egg Beaters with Morningstar Crumbles, Onions (if I have some) and a small sprinkle of cheddar cheese (1/8 cup). 220 cal, 9 carbs, 8 fat, 29 protein. I do generally have to add some SF Creamer to my coffee, but this breakfast sticks with me all morning and takes only a few minutes to cook. Now if I could only find a portable lunch besides a salad that would work as well. 🙁

    • Avatar Christina Tarnate says:

      Jasmine I have an amazing solution that has worked for many of my clients I work with as a health and wellness coach. 🙂 The hardest is when we are away from home and in a hurry!

  9. Avatar Sharong says:

    Am I the only one looking at this and saying “what do I do at 10am when I’m starving”?

  10. Avatar RW Young says:

    What exactly is a “simple egg sandwich”?

    • Avatar Gary says:

      The picture looks like an english muffin with egg, cheese and avocado. Which off the top of my head would indeed be about 400 calories on average.

  11. Avatar Jan Hogle says:

    And the war on fat continues. This is an example of the kind of diet that has been promoted for decades now, and it is upside down. Fat is not the enemy (well, except for trans fat) and carbs are not your friend. It is certainly true that “your mileage may vary” but modern nutritional research indicates that carbs should be the small top of the food pyramid and fats should be on the wide base for at least half the population.

  12. Avatar Janet says:

    Hi, it all boils down to, no sugar, no bread, no butter, no cake, no fat. No sitting all day.

  13. Avatar Steve Rollin says:

    Thankfully I have watched BBC videos showing one on Tour de France cyclists’ breakfasts and another on a Welsh Rugby Player’s breakfasts. None of these examples would have been suitable for these athletes.

    Also no surprise Poliquin recommends differently for fat loss, weight training and strength gains than any of these poorly selected breakfast examples.
    Useless article stuck in backward thinking about what a breakfast should be. Each to their own, but I suggest much wider reading than this article to understand what to have as a breakfast to suit the way and reason you train.

  14. Avatar Rolf says:

    and worse: the white bread > bad fast carbs = refined sugar. replace that with rye bread, take eggs and spinach and you have an awesome breakfast for 230 cal

  15. Avatar Ai Van Hoe says:

    So hapy to see that so many people understand the way off advertising … They use oure mind, everyday!

  16. Avatar Gary says:

    I like to have 2 breakfasts. Breakfast one is overnight oats with chia seeds, raisins and blueberries. Breakfast two is two thick slices of back bacon and 3 eggs.

  17. Avatar ron bates says:

    have done this and to the black coffee tea/ water with fine metabolism excellent purring / now in tough with basic wear and tear/

  18. Avatar Rolf says:

    Welcome to the future and check that the competion is miles ahead (and slim lol)

    Eat this breakfast for 4 weeks and step on the scale…..good luck

  19. Avatar NateHiggers says:

    i somewhat doubt that you get 19 grams of proteins from the 400 kal breakfast, sammich with egg and avocado + strawberries? The egg is about 8-9 grams of proteins (large one), some little protein in the bread and nearly none in the rest, how to you get to 19 grams?

  20. Avatar Adam85 says:

    This looks like it’s just for ladies who want to be slim? What about say plans MMA style physiques which need to talk into account energy to burn + not losing strength??

  21. Avatar Gordon Paulsen says:

    I prefer a breakfast with high protein (at least 25 grams) to maintain muscle mass and stave off hunger till lunchtime.
    1 grass fed burger pattie 125g
    1 slice wholewheat toast
    teaspoon of butter
    Rooibos tea with 100ml skim or low fat milk
    Protein 29g
    Carbs 27g
    Fat 14g
    370 calories.

  22. Avatar Honest Avy says:

    I’m definitely going to try this, so thanks for sharing.

  23. Avatar Tina Louden Teel says:

    I find 300 calories in the am won’t hold me until lunch. But I love a tbsp if peanut butter and banana right after early morning workout (my pb is 85 cal per tbsp, and 100 for a med banana). Then I eat 2 hard boiled eggs with siracha about 10 am! Mmmmm….. so my total is about 350. Works great! If you’re logging you only need to look at the calories and portions to get the meal in whatever range you want for your individual needs. I think this is an article to give you ideas, and a ballpark of caloric impact. The rest is up to you!

  24. Avatar David says:

    Peanut butter is not something I would contemplate whilst on a calorie controlled diet ?? But I’m English and peanut butter is not as popular here…

  25. Avatar Grneyez62 says:

    What is the lowest about of calories you should eat without body going into starvation mode? I was considering a plan that is 30% deficit from my BRM…enough calories?

  26. Avatar Chris Jones says:

    I don’t see any infographic . . .

  27. Avatar oldk says:

    Banana, bread and P. butter.Lots of sugars. GI poor.

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