I eat breakfast. Do you? I mean real breakfast. Not coffee and…more coffee, and that’s it. Actual food.

I think we’ve all heard of the studies that show eating breakfast every day can help you lose weight and keep it off. But what you eat matters, too. Ever had a doughnut for breakfast? You know you were hungry three minutes later…and reaching for another doughnut.

I was in the grocery store over the weekend and they were having a deal on blueberries and blackberries. Me and another woman were piling containers of berries in our carts. “I’m buying these for my oatmeal,” she volunteered. I laughed. “Me, too!”

I love my morning oatmeal. It’s not fancy, but it’s so good. I actually look forward to it. It’s easy to make, too – I even make it at work! Both my husband and my 3-year-old son love it. And there are so many combinations.

Here’s what I do:
Put ½ cup microwaveable oats in a microwave-safe bowl. Chop up an apple (or peach or pear), or a ¼ cup of blueberries or blackberries (or strawberries!). Then add ¾-cup water, and place your bowl in the microwave. Two to 2-and-a-half minutes is enough to cook the oats and berries, or steam the apple or pear (you can leave the skin on, the steaming process softens it).

To my apple oatmeal, I add: 1 Tablespoon brown sugar and a few dashes of cinnamon. It’s like eating apple pie for breakfast! Other options I’ve added to this combination are 1 Tablespoon sliced almonds, 1 Tablespoon golden raisins and/or 2 Tablespoons of whipped cream. Note: Careful with the almonds and raisins – they are high in calories for the amount you get, but sometimes it’s just worth it.
To my berry oatmeal, I add: 1 Tablespoon brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons of whipped cream.

You can also make banana oatmeal. I cook the oats plain and add a chopped banana afterward. The hot oats warm up the fruit. To this, I add 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar and/or 1 Tablespoon of sliced almonds. Or, I skip the sugar and the almonds and add 1 Tablespoon of natural peanut butter. Yum!

Most of my oatmeal combinations are about 300-350 calories (peanut butter, of course, makes it more). If you want to cut out about 50 calories from most of these combinations, leave out the brown sugar. You don’t really need it; it’s my own little indulgence.

Another nice thing about oatmeal: Oats are cheap! But the best thing about oatmeal is that it is very filling. I never get hungry between breakfast and lunch when I eat oatmeal. Never!

So, if you want to kick-start your day, and your weight loss goals, try oatmeal for breakfast!

Do you already make oatmeal for breakfast? What do you put in yours?