02/27/2012 08:22 am ET Updated Apr 28, 2012

Taking Breakfast Back (... And Keeping The Weight Off)

Have you, like 56 percent of Americans, been skipping out on the most important meal of the day? We'd like to ask you to have a seat right over there--at the breakfast table, that is.

We get it: Early-risers and non-morning folk alike have enough excuses to bother with prepping a breakfast when they could instead make a fast break out the door. But what of those avoiding that all-important meal in order to manage their weight? Perhaps even more excuses--and misguided ones, at that.

The problem is, although they feel that skipping breakfast can help eliminate some calories, it can actually become a barrier toward achieving a healthy weight. Needless to say, eating a healthful breakfast each morning plays an essential role in helping keep you feeling full, but what some may not realize is that it also sets you up for success in proper weight control. In fact, regular breakfast consumption is a common characteristic among people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off.

If you're ready to wake up to a better you, here's some food for thought on how to go from breakfast newbie to enjoying the breakfasts of champions, and sticking with a routine that begins with a morning meal that'll stick to your ribs.

  • Set up your shopping list thinking about foods you need for every meal, starting with whole grains like Quaker Oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Set your alarm clock, then set the stage for breakfast by laying out bowls, spoons, juice cups and breakfast items from the pantry the night before.
  • Keep breakfast items in the kitchen at eye-level for little ones so they can help themselves, which gets everyone out the door faster.
  • As with any meal or snack, eat when you're hungry - if you have breakfast a few hours after waking up, that's just fine; there's nothing wrong with a granola bar at 10 a.m.
  • Dedicate refrigerator space just for breakfast items, like hardboiled eggs, fruit, orange juice, yogurt and other items to grab and go.
  • Try simple breakfast combinations, such as a banana dipped in low-fat yogurt and rolled in granola, oatmeal topped with berries and walnuts, a mix of Quaker Oatmeal Squares and dried fruit with a bottled yogurt drink, or whole grain toast with nut butter and orange juice.