Being a reality star and working mom keeps Jill Zarin very busy. Although every minute counts, the Real Housewives of NYC star, 46, always makes time for the first meal of the day. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Always eat breakfast,” she tells me. “Eat something. Start your engine. It doesn’t have to be a full breakfast – it could be an orange. If you don’t start your engine, your body thinks it’s starving itself, and it won’t let you burn calories. Your body is tricked into thinking it’s going to be starved and it’s saved as fat. That’s what I think. Once you start eating, your body’s like ‘OK, store’s open.’ [laughs] Business is open. “

But that’s not her only food rule.

“Try not to eat past 7:00 at night,” she says. “That’s when people tend to put on weight, because they eat at night and you’re not moving around enough to burn anything if you’re laying around. Try to eat within working hours. I say eat within working hours, 8-6, and don’t eat after those working hours. Don’t eat after 6 or 7.”

There’s a bonus.

“You feel skinny in the morning,” she says. “Your stomach’s going to be flat.”

Final tip?

“Make sure you’re hydrated. It’s going to be a hot summer. Drink, drink, drink. And if you don’t like water, then drink lemonade, drink iced tea. Drink!”

Pick up the OK! on newsstands now for Jill’s Diet Confessions interview. The cover line is “Reese Looks Pregnant.”

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