How skipping breakfast makes you fat

When people go on a diet, the first thing they do is look for easy places to cut calories. That daily mochaccino is a good place to start... but most people will give up eating breakfast before they give up their Starbucks.

And that's a huge mistake -- because mom was right when she said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and not just because eating breakfast gives you the energy you need for the morning.

A good breakfast can also help make sure you stay on track through lunch.

In one new study, volunteers were asked to skip breakfast one day, and then were given a normal breakfast on another day. Not surprisingly, they were much hungrier on days they skipped breakfast -- and it showed when they reached the cafeteria for lunch.

On average, the volunteers ate 20 percent more at lunch on days they skipped breakfast than they did on days when they ate a morning meal.

And you know how it is when you're hungry. You start daydreaming about all the "comfort" foods you shouldn't eat -- and sure enough, the volunteers in the study were more likely to be tempted by high-calorie junk foods such as pizza and chocolate.

This wasn't just an informal survey, either. They were shown pictures of these foods as their brains were scanned -- and on the no-breakfast days, the part of the brain known as the orbitofrontal cortex lit up like a neon sign when they were shown pictures of junk foods.

So the lesson here is you need to keep eating breakfast -- but make sure it's a healthy breakfast, like a protein shake low in sugar or even some eggs. As I told you over the summer, eggs in the morning can help control hunger through lunchtime better than a high-carb meal with the same number of calories.

And while you're making healthy changes, skip the mochaccino.