Use these simple strategies to make your first meal of the day even healthier.

By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD
May 24, 2016

This article originally appeared on Health.

You’ve heard the old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But if you’ve been paying attention to some recent headlines, that age-old diet advice may now seem debatable. For example, a brand new UK study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at obese adults who ate the a.m. meal and those who skipped it, and found no differences between the two groups in weight change, or most health outcomes.

But despite this latest research, I’m still a breakfast believer. In my practice, I find that clients who skip their morning meal tend to overeat in the evening, when they’re less active and less likely to burn off the extra food. In fact, that recent UK study backed up my observations: It found that breakfast skippers had higher calorie intakes later in the day, while breakfast eaters were more physically active in the morning. That research didn't observe any weight loss, but it was only a six-week trial. Over longer periods of time, these habit shifts could have a major impact on weight and body composition.

Also among my clients, I’ve noticed that breakfast skippers tend to fall short of their recommended servings of important foods like veggies, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fat. That's because a quality breakfast is a prime opportunity to fit in key nutrients. To make the most of your first meal, check out my three fundamental breakfast rules.

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