Starting the day with a big breakfast full of healthy carbohydrates and protein—including breads, cereals, fish and eggs—and following it with a low-carb, low-calorie diet for the remainder of the day can help you lose weight and keep it off, according to a new study.

Scientists compared women who ate high-carbohydrate and high-protein breakfasts (the women had a 97g limit on carbs and a 93g limit on protein) with women who ate strictly low-carb diets all day. The women who ate a big breakfast lost more weight and were better able to keep it off than women on the low-carbohydrate diet. According to the researchers, eating a substantial and nutritious breakfast helps control appetite and satisfy cravings for starches and sweets throughout the rest of the day.

Eating a healthy breakfast can do more than just help you lose weight—starting your day with a nutritious meal has also been shown to reduce the risk of major illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease. Click here to read, “Building a Better Breakfast” from the spring 2008 issue of Real Health.