By Laura Flynn McCarthy
Skipping breakfast to save your calories for later? Bad idea. A hearty breakfast may be the best way to control your appetite and your weight. Consider what happened when researchers in Venezuela and at Virginia Commonwealth University compared women who skimped on breakfast with those who ate almost half their calories then. The first group ate a low-carb diet of only 1,085 calories a day (breakfast ration: 290 calories). The second group actually got to eat more (1,240 calories), including a 610-calorie high-protein and high-carbohydrate breakfast. After eight months, the big-breakfast eaters lost and kept off 40 pounds on average -- compared with only seven pounds for those on the more stringent diet. One reason is that eating protein in the morning helps people control their cravings for sweets and starches later in the day. And a high carb count allows breakfast to include plenty of fiber-rich fruit.
"Fiber and protein are the nutrients that take the longest to digest and have the fewest calories," says Zuckerbrot. Fiber also slows the body's absorption of sugar, helping to control blood-sugar levels and limit food cravings.