The old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day rings true for nutrition and weight loss reasons. Breakfast jump-starts your metabolism for the day as well as making you less likely to binge during lunch or dinner to satiate your hunger. Eating a nutritious breakfast also helps you get a head start on consuming the nutrients your body needs each day.
Breakfast and Metabolism
When you wake up in the morning, your body has been fasting for 8 to 12 hours, and your metabolism has slowed down during rest. By eating breakfast, you jump-start your metabolism and refuel your body, according to Kids Health. Eating breakfast gives your body the energy it needs to perform your daily tasks, and helps keep basic body functions running smoothly. Breakfast also offers a chance to start filling your body up with nutritious foods from all of the food groups, including grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein products.
Nutritious Breakfast Foods
It is important to choose healthy, high-nutrient foods for breakfast to give your body essential vitamins and nutrients. Aim to include foods from all or most of the food groups in your breakfast each day. Some healthy breakfast options include whole-grain toast, fruit, 100-percent juice with no added sugars, eggs, milk, whole-grain cereal, oatmeal, nuts, meat, beans, fish, vegetables and yogurt. Think outside the box and get some vegetables for breakfast by eating a whole-wheat breakfast burrito with cheese, tomatoes, Southwest-seasoned dressing and vegetables such as peppers, spinach and diced, sauteed onion. Veggie omelets are also good ways to fill up on vegetables at breakfast. Blend a packet of seasoning mix into the omelet eggs, or top your omelet with creamy dressing.
Breakfast and Weight Loss
Eating breakfast is a common practice for people who successfully lose weight and keep it off, according to The National Weight Control Registry. According to the registry, 78 percent of those members who successfully lost weight eat breakfast every day. Eating breakfast helps you feel full so you are less likely to overeat later in the day, during lunch or dinner, or by snacking all day, according to Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky.
People who eat cereal for breakfast every day -- as opposed to people who do not eat breakfast -- are more likely to have a lower BMI, or Body Mass Index, according to a study on breakfast cereal and weight published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. High BMI numbers indicate obesity and are associated with health risks such as diabetes and high cholesterol. Eating cereal for breakfast also boosted the subjects' intake of essential vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, fiber and zinc.
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- MayoClinic.com: Breakfast: How Does it Help Weight Control?; Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.; July 2011
- Kids Health: Ready, Set, Breakfast!; Mary L. Gavin, M.D.; September 2010
- The National Weight Control Registry: NWCR Facts
- "Journal of the American Dietetic Association"; The Relationship of Breakfast and Cereal Consumption to Nutrient Intake and Body Mass Index; Bruce A. Barton, et al.; September 2005
- Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images