Q: I’ve been battling a weight problem for years. I do alright in the morning, but by mid-afternoon my willpower fails and I cave in to temptation, which I know is why I can’t lose the weight. Any suggestions?
– Laura in Dallas, Texas

A: I’ll bet you’re skipping breakfast in an effort to cut calories. Big mistake. Study after study shows that people who regularly eat breakfast – particularly cereal and milk – tend to be leaner compared to those who miss out on the morning meal or eat other options. They also tend to side step cravings later in the day and have an easier time maintaining a lower body weight compared to breakfast skippers. Milk gives breakfast a one-two punch. Not only is it an excellent source of nutrients, such as protein, calcium, and vitamin D, but research also shows that when overweight adults who typically don’t drink milk begin to include 24 ounces of low-fat or fat free milk in their reduced-calorie diets, they’re able to lose more weight and more body fat, possibly because the calcium or other compounds in milk aid in body fat regulation. So take five minutes in the morning to have a bowl of cereal and milk with a piece of fruit. Then, bring nutritious foods with you, such as fresh fruit, a carton of low-fat milk, and a small bagel with peanut butter, so you’re not caught starving with only the vending machine or a drive-through window as a food source. Of course, you must exercise every day for at least 30 to 60 minutes, too! – Elizabeth Somer