A healthy diet begins with a healthy breakfast. Even better, most studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight and keep it off.

What’s for breakfast – coffee? Most mornings, we barely glance at the kitchen. Fixing breakfast takes up precious time that’s in short supply. But there’s ample evidence that the simple act of eating breakfast — every day — is a big part of losing weight, lots of weight.

Milton Stokes, RD, MPH, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City says that “People skip breakfast thinking they’re cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved.  Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, bingeing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure.”

A Healthy Diet Starts with Breakfast

If you want to eat a healthy diet, lose weight and keep it off, most nutritionists agree that you should start with a healthy breakfast.

Eating breakfast is a daily habit for the “successful losers” who belong to The National Weight Control Registry.

  • These people have maintained a 30-pound or more weight loss for at least a year, and some as long as six years.
  • 78% reported eating breakfast every day, and almost 90% reported eating breakfast at least five days a week.
  • According to James O. Hill, PhD, the Registry’s co-founder and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, “that suggests that starting the day with breakfast is an important strategy to lose weight and keep it off.”  

Two studies in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association back up this finding:

  • Though they were funded by cereal companies, they underscore the message that eating a healthy breakfast is important to weight loss.
  • A group of researchers analyzed data from a government-funded study that followed more than 2,000 young girls from ages 9 to 19.
  • They found that regular cereal eaters had fewer weight problems than infrequent cereal eaters.
  • Those who ate cereal occasionally had a 13% higher risk of being overweight compared to the regular cereal eaters.
  • Another research group analyzed government data on 4,200 adults.
  • They found that regular breakfast eaters were more likely to exercise regularly. And women who ate breakfast regularly tended to eat fewer calories overall during the day.
  • Those men and women who ate breakfast cereal had lower overall fat intake – compared to those who ate other breakfast foods.

Here’s a healthy diet recipe for a nutritious breakfast:

BREAKFAST BURRITO BOWL WITH SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Try this healthy diet Mexican-inspired breakfast burrito bowl made with roasted butternut squash, pico de gallo, egg and avocado. It’s a light healthy breakfast that’s under 250 calories.

For convenience you can make the butternut squash and pico de gallo ahead of time. In the morning just heat up the squash, fry a quick egg and slice up the avocado. It’s also a great way to use up leftover roasted butternut squash.

INGREDIENTS: (makes 4 servings)

  • cooking spray
  • 20-ounces butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • Olive oil spray
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 ounces Hass avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray a large nonstick baking sheet with oil. In a medium bowl, combine squash, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Toss well to coat.  Spread squash evenly onto a sheet pan and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until browned and tender, tossing once halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. Heat a small skillet over medium heat, lightly spray with olive oil spray, add eggs, season with salt, cover and cook to your desired doneness.
  4. To assemble bowls: Layer 2/3 cup squash, 1/2 cup pico, 1 oz avocado, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon cheese. Repeat for remaining bowls.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: (per one bowl serving)

Calories:             227

Fat:                      11g

Carbs:                 21g

Fiber:                  5g

Protein:               9g

Click here for a healthy diet breakfast recipe