1. Front-load your calories
Aim to consume 20 percent to 25 percent of your total daily calories at breakfast (up to 400 calories for women, up to 500 for men, and a bit more for vigorous exercisers). Research shows that it increases levels of the satiety hormone PYY, helping you to feel full, and may reduce the number of calories you consume at lunch, according to Heather Leidy, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri, Columbia. It may also help you avoid overeating later in the day, which may lead to weight gain.
2. Think protein
The latest research suggests that eating protein first thing in the morning is crucial. Having 24 to 35 grams may help prevent weight gain and promote weight loss by stabilizing your blood sugar, decreasing your appetite, and making you feel full. Morning protein also helps limit high-fat evening snacking. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate a protein-rich breakfast consumed 200 fewer calories at night.
3. Time it right
“In general, researchers agree that you should have a meal within 2 hours of getting up,” said Rania Mekary, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in Boston. “If you eat later, you may be fasting too long.”
4. Pump up your cereal
Ready-to-eat cereal on its own isn’t the healthiest of breakfasts. That’s because it’s primarily carbohydrates, with little fat or protein to help control blood sugar levels and keep you full. A cereal can be considered "good for you" if it has few ingredients, 5 grams or more of fiber, and no more than 3 grams of fat, 8 grams of sugar, and 140 milligrams of sodium.
Milk adds protein, but not enough. Topping cereal with 1 cup (8 ounces) of Greek yogurt and a quarter-cup of almonds will supply 33 grams of protein. (Add fresh fruit for extra fiber and sweetness.) If only milk will do, supplement your cereal with an egg or a slice of whole-wheat toast with nut butter.