When you're on a diet, skipping meals seems like a quick and easy fix, and all too often it's breakfast that bites the dust. But the truth is, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day - and without it, you'll only end up reaching for the unhealthy snacks come mid morning. So why not try one of these healthy, diet-friendly starts to the day?
A 2013 study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia revealed that a protein-packed breakfast helped to keep cravings at bay by producing a satiety signaller known as peptide YY. The result of the study found that those who stocked up on protein early in the day felt less hungry and indulged less after dinner. Instead of a greasy fry-up though, try scrambled eggs (made with semi-skimmed milk, not cream!) on wholegrain toast for an added slow-release energy boost and full feeling. With two eggs and two slices of toast, you'll only be taking 190 calories on board.
One of the best brekkies for dieters, porridge oats fill you up, and because of their slow-release energy, you won't get that mid-morning slump and are therefore far less likely to reach for a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar. Add cinnamon rather than refined white sugar if your bowl lacks flavour, and throw in some fresh apple to get one of your five-a-day into the bargain. A hearty, healthy 345-calorie start to the day. Alternatively, low-fat yoghurt (watch out for added sugar), muesli and fresh fruit will do if you can't face a bowl of warm porridge.
On the go
Many people find they're simply in too much of a rush first thing to sit down for a healthy breakfast, but it's still possible get a decent, fill-you-up start even when you're on the go. By all means rush into your local coffee house for a muffin - just make it the bran variety. The key difference between this and your usual muffin choice is the fibre. It helps to keep you fuller for longer, and avoid those cravings during the day, with only 178 calories.
A smooth move
Some people just aren't too keen on eating first thing in the morning, but it's important not to start skipping meals, which only encourages your body to store fat. So if you're not the type to tuck in when you're fresh out of bed, why not try a smoothie for breakfast? You can used tinned or fresh fruit, vegetables, a banana or yoghurt to add body, and water as required. Simply whizz up your ideal mix or vitamin-loaded fruit and veg, and away you go with only around 150 calories.
The weekend is when you want a break from the norm, and possibly a slightly more luxurious breakfast, but you don't need to ruin your diet. A wholemeal English muffin topped with low-fat spread, lean roast ham and reduced-fat cheese comes in at 309 calories, so you won't have to calorie-count throughout the day. You could even feast on a wholewheat pancake topped with two tablespoons of energy-boosting peanut butter and a handful of blueberries and still only take on around 340 calories, so you can allow yourself a little weekend treat without feeling guilty.
Have you got any healthy breakfast tips or ideas for dieters? Leave your comments below...