Likely everyone—from your mother to your doctor has told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it’s one thing to say it and another thing to actually understand the reasoning behind it, and even provide a little incentive. Certainly, if your goal is weight loss or healthy weight maintenance, breakfast should be tops on your morning to-do list for these reasons…
You can think of your body as a furnace that requires regular fuel to function effectively. Breakfast would be the first fill up of your day, essentially “breaking the fast” you’ve held all night during rest.
Breakfast is vital to kick start the metabolic rate of the body, controlling the burning of calories, or energy, all day long. In fact, dietitians at Edith Cowan University found through observational studies that individuals who start the day with breakfast eat a healthier diet overall.
Again, equating your body to a furnace or even a well-oiled machine that’s essentially powered by breakfast first—skipping breakfast leaves your body, and all of its essential functions in a state of dormancy.
Harvard studies show that those who skip breakfast not only miss out on a ton of vital vitamins and nutrients (i.e., fiber), it also means the metabolism of breakfast skippers remains dormant (not used for energy), and forces the body to stay in a fasting state for a lengthier duration of time.
Skipping breakfast is also closely tied to appetite. In essence, missing breakfast drastically lowers blood sugar levels in the body, making you crave sweets and robbing you of vital energy in the process.
This is why research from the University of Nottingham shows that breakfast skippers are more prone to sugar, starch, and fat cravings throughout the day that do nothing for your lagging energy levels. The same research points out that those who miss breakfast also reach for unhealthy food choices and larger meals at lunch compared to breakfast eaters.
Research likewise shows us that those who ignore breakfast also tend to weigh more. Research from the Mayo Clinic finds that skipping breakfast leads to overeating high-caloric meals throughout the day and also makes weight loss even more difficult.
The research shows that when it comes to weight loss, breakfast skippers are prone to binge eating foods higher in calorie, trans fat, and sugar content as a quick fix—and frequent fast food restaurants, candy, vending machines, and baked goods as a result, increasing the body’s insulin response and intensifying overall fat storage.
According to research conducted by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), breakfast is important for adults, but especially important for growing children. The ADA points out that kids who start the day with breakfast perform better in the classroom.
They also found that breakfast eating kids have more energy for play, are better able to concentrate, solve problems, and perform tasks that require eye-hand coordination.
So maybe you took mom’s notion that, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” for granted. That’s ok, you can always start now. Research from WebMD shows that there are so many reasons why you should make time for breakfast.
For instance, folks who eat breakfast tend to live healthier, longer lives. They also cut the risk of many weight-related chronic conditions (i.e., diabetes), fall sick less (because they tend to eat more nutritionally complete diet), and also report lower, overall cholesterol levels.