TIME

8 weight-loss strategies that actually work

Ask anyone who’s tried to lose weight: it can be a challenge. (Making the resolution is the easy part.) But new science reveals that some surprising habit changes, from getting more sleep to letting go of diet soda, can inch you toward your weight-loss goal

1 Eat a big breakfast

There’s more proof that breakfast may be the healthiest meal of the day. A recent study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that people who skip it are more likely to be overweight and to have dangerous plaque buildup in their arteries, which puts them at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers analyzed the breakfast habits of more than 4,000 people in their 40s and 50s who lived in Spain. Some people skipped the morning meal entirely, but most ate low-calorie fare, like toast or small pastries. Others ate a heartier breakfast that comprised more than 20% of their daily calories.

People who skipped or skimped on breakfast were more likely to have signs of plaque in their arteries than those who ate the most substantial breakfasts. They were also more likely to be overweight or obese, to have the largest waists and to have the highest body mass indexes, blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose levels. Skipping breakfast, the authors say, may lead to hormonal imbalances and can contribute to people eating more calories—and more unhealthy foods—later in the day. —Amanda MacMillan

2 Drink

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