Maintain your weight-loss momentum by eating a healthy, balanced breakfast every morning

Updated: August 30, 2011

If you think skipping breakfast will boost your diet plan strategy, think again.

"I just don't feel like eating first thing" is the most common reason women give for skipping their a.m. meal. Sound familiar? You're probably getting the bulk of your calories later in the day and your body has gotten used to it.

To break this pattern, while still maintaining a balanced diet, trim a few hundred calories from your dinner by making healthy substitutions, like having:

If you think skipping breakfast will boost your diet plan strategy, think again.

"I just don't feel like eating first thing" is the most common reason women give for skipping their a.m. meal. Sound familiar? You're probably getting the bulk of your calories later in the day and your body has gotten used to it.

To break this pattern, while still maintaining a balanced diet, trim a few hundred calories from your dinner by making healthy substitutions, like having:

  • carrot sticks instead of french fries
  • water in place of soda
  • fruit sorbet for dessert rather than ice cream

"After a few days, you should have an appetite within an hour of rising," says Brenda Malinauskas, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor of nutrition at East Carolina University.

The change will be worth it. Research shows that skipping breakfast may cause increased binge eating later in the day, even if you aren't truly hungry when you jump out of bed. In fact, just 27 percent of normal-weight people reported ditching breakfast, compared with 40 percent of overweight women and 48 percent of obese women, according to Malinauskas' research.

Other evidence suggests that calories consumed early in the day are more satisfying than those you take in during the evening, so breakfast eaters have an easier time controlling binge eating and staying at a healthy weight.

Pick up Shape's special Make Over Your Body issue for complete details about this 21-day diet plan. On newsstands now!

Need healthy breakfast ideas for recipes that can help you can add tasty, delicious morning meals to your diet plan? Check out our recipe finder!

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