By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D. , December 12, 2011 - 11:32am
During the holidays it’s easy to let our healthy-eating habits fall by the wayside. But there’s one habit you absolutely shouldn’t ditch: eating breakfast.
Related: 4 Bad Holiday Eating Habits To Break Right Now 
Here’s why: science shows that regular breakfast eaters tend to be leaner and dieters are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—when they eat breakfast. (OK, so I’m not advocating that you diet this time of year, but not gaining during the holiday season is a reasonable goal.)
Another breakfast boon: research has found that eating a breakfast that contains slower-burning carbohydrates (also called low-glycemic-index foods) like oatmeal, bran cereal or whole-wheat bagels, instead of faster-burning, or high-glycemic-index, breakfast foods (sugary cereals) helps maintain concentration and attention throughout the morning. Although this particular research was done in kids, I don’t see why it couldn’t apply to adults too.
Build a better breakfast with these 3 essential ingredients:
1) Lean protein—gram for gram, protein will help to keep you feeling fuller longer compared to carbohydrates and fat.
Related: Protein-Packed Breakfast Recipes 
2) Whole grains—to help you stay sharp and focused throughout the morning since they’re slower-burning carbs, plus you’ll get some essential vitamins and minerals.
Related: Healthy Whole-Grain Breakfast Recipes 
3) Fruit (or vegetables)—for more vitamins, minerals and feel-full fiber and to help you knock off at least one of your daily recommended produce servings.
What are your favorite healthy breakfast ingredients? Tell us what you think below.