The old maxim says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, most folks do this essential meal completely wrong with sugary donuts, eggs and bacon, starchy cereal, and baked goods. And the result is our growing problem with obesity. It may not be as bad as the people on TLC's "My 600-lb Life," but weight gain sneaks up fast. Here are diet breakfast recipes and food hacks inspired by the weight loss surgery Reality Tv Show.

Rethinking breakfast

"My 600-lb Life" is an extreme example of weight problems gone haywire. It might be tempting to think that these morbidly obese folks are "freaks of nature," and the exception, not the rule.

However, all health organizations warn that obesity and related diseases such as hypertension and Type 2 diabetes are growing concerns. Over 70% of Americans are overweight to obese with more kids getting dangerously fat at younger ages. Watching TLC reality TV show participants eat, it's easy to see why. If breakfast is critical, then it's the place to start making changes.

Do the math

Reality television patients are show eating giant amounts of food on "My 600-lb Life." That mindless stuffing of huge mouthfuls shows clearly how people get to be 500 pounds overweight. It's the reason they need bariatric surgery to seal off 80% of their stomachs and plastic surgery to cut off pounds of skin. One essential "recipe" for weight loss is portion control.

Get an accurate food scale. Weigh servings. Know your recommended daily amounts and nutrition data. Start counting calories, sugar, sodium, fiber, protein and fat content (especially saturated and transfats).

Protein and fiber vs. fat and sugar

Dr. Younan Nowzaradan of "My 600-lb Life" puts gastric bypass surgery patients on a strict low calorie diet.

He makes them cut carbs, swap out bad carbs and boost protein and fiber. One of the best breakfast recipes to do that is oatmeal, but not the buttery, sugary stuff. Make whole grain oatmeal with a dash of Himalayan pink salt, spray butter (or none), a little raw honey, fresh chopped apples instead of raisins, chia and pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed milk (for low sugar, high fiber and protein).

Eggs and bacon done better

The "My 600-lb Life" diet nixes most breakfast staples: eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, potatoes, pancakes, and even turkey bacon. But these can be made better with some simple food swaps. Use egg whites for eggs, light yogurt butter, whole grain flaxseed wraps (Joseph's or Flatout) instead of toast and Greek yogurt for cream cheese. Make ketogenic omelets with spinach, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, feta or Parmesan, and fresh sage and oregano. Boneless, skinless chicken breast, Al Fresco fresh chicken sausage, ahi tuna, salmon, or swordfish steaks make great paleo meat swaps.