You’ve heard that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day,” but not all of us enjoy eating it. Some folks simply can’t stomach a meal after they’ve just rolled out of bed, while others are sick of the foods deemed acceptable to eat before 11 a.m. But here’s the thing: A healthy morning meal can do a great deal of good when it comes to helping you reach your flat belly goals.
“Several scientific studies suggest people who eat a nutrient-packed breakfast have more slim-down success,” says Chicago-based dietitian Christine M. Palumbo, RDN, FAND. “One school of thought is that breakfast jumpstarts the metabolism, and that effect continues throughout the day.”
In one Obesity Society study, research participants who consumed the bulk of the day’s calories at breakfast lost more weight and more fat around their midsection than folks who ate small breakfasts and large dinners. (Just be sure to avoid foods that slow down your metabolism.)
Eating breakfast can also improve your overall health. Research in The Journal of Physiology suggests that regularly eating a morning meal may lower diabetes and cardiovascular risk, whereas skipping breakfast has been associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that can cause kidney and coronary heart disease.