The Importance of Eating Breakfast

You hear it all the time. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…but many of us often skip breakfast. With busy work schedules, getting the kids to school on time or just not being hungry, we don’t place an importance on it.

Breakfast…and the right breakfast foods, can help you concentrate, keep you focused, give you energy and help boost your metabolism for the day.  According to WebMD, a healthy breakfast refuels your body, jump-starts your day and may even benefit your overall health, and studies show that eating a healthy breakfast (as opposed to the kind containing doughnuts) can help give you:

  • A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
  • Improved concentration, performance, and productivity
  • The ability to stabilize hunger and cravings later in the day, preventing binging and eating high-fat, high-sugar snacks
  • More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
  • Lower cholesterol levels

So what does this all mean for your health and your waistline? According to Lauren Conrad, your metabolic rate slows to its lowest levels when you are sleeping, then rises as you get up in the morning. Since your metabolism is directly related to your energy levels, the higher your metabolic rate, the more energy you have and the more calories you burn. Eating breakfast will control your appetite while also revving up your metabolism, which will help burn more calories throughout the day. In addition, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that those in the study who ate breakfast had a lower body mass index and ate more micronutrients than those who didn’t eat breakfast.

“People skip breakfast thinking they’re cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved,” says Milton Stokes, RD, MPH, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. “Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, bingeing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure.”

The Research Shows

There’s evidence that eating breakfast is a big part of losing weight. According to The Mayo Clinic, eating breakfast is a daily habit for the “successful losers” who belong to The National Weight Control Registry. These people have maintained a 30-pound (or more) weight loss for at least a year, and some as long as six years.

“Most — 78% — reported eating breakfast every day, and almost 90% reported eating breakfast at least five days a week – which suggests that starting the day with breakfast is an important strategy to lose weight and keep it off,” says James O. Hill, PhD, the Registry’s co-founder and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Sources: WebMD, Mayo Clinic, Lauren Conrad