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"I skipped breakfast"
Maybe you were in a hurry. Maybe you thought you could cut some calories. But now it's 11 a.m., and you haven't eaten anything for 15 hours straight. You're so famished, you can't decide whether to buy a bear claw at the bakery, steal candy from your coworker's stash, or wait until lunch so you can pig out at your favorite Chinese restaurant. "Breakfast is a must," says Dr. Wyatt. "Otherwise, you'll end up wanting to eat everything you see." A survey from NWCR, which tracks more than 5,000 people who have kept off at least 30 pounds for a year or longer, found that 78 percent of participants have a meal every single morning.
Eat something, but resist the junk food. You'll stay fuller longer if you have fruit, low-fat yogurt, or string cheese. An energy bar will also do the trick. But make sure you find one that has staying power that means at least 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and less than 250 calories. Two of our favorites: Clif's Mojo Fruit Nut Crunch Bar and PowerBar Nut Naturals.
Make breakfast simple. To guarantee you never skip this meal again, keep a week's worth of easy eats in the house. A few good picks (which you can also stash at the office for midday munchies): Single-serve instant oatmeal (McCanns Instant Irish Oatmeal has three sugar-free varieties apple and cinnamon, maple and brown sugar, and cinnamon roll); low-fat granola, which you can mix with plain yogurt; and single-serving cans of light fruit (like Del Monte's no-sugar-added pear chunks, only 40 calories). But beware of so-called breakfast bars, which are often packed with sugar. Make sure you read the labels carefully before you buy.
Eat every four hours during the day.
That's about how much time it takes for hunger to return after a meal, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. You'll do far less damage if you have a small snack mid-morning and in the afternoon than if you try to assuage your gnawing hunger at mealtimes, when the plates, portions, and your appetite are all bigger.