Want to guarantee you’ll blow your diet today? All you have to do is skip breakfast!

Volunteers were divided into two groups: Those who’d eaten breakfast and those who hadn’t. And they were given MRI brain scans while being tempted by a variety of healthy and unhealthy foods.

The result? The scans of those who skipped breakfast showed more activity in the area of the brain that controls food choices. That wasn’t surprising because, after all, they were hungry. But researchers were surprised to see that activity spiked significantly when the volunteers eyeballed high-fat, high-calorie goodies, like snacks and candy. And much less activity when they were considering healthy foods, like apples and vegetables.

In other words, skipping breakfast makes us prefer the foods we should avoid.

And get this: When the researchers gave the volunteers lunch, the people who’d eaten breakfast consumed an average of 20% less than those who skipped breakfast. And that can translate into more than a pound a month!