10 Science-Backed Reasons Why Breakfast is BestBy Elisa - Jenny Craig Expert Reviewed
If you had to choose your favorite meal of the day, which one would it be? If you answered ‘breakfast,’ you may be onto something good. Not only is your morning meal a great way to start the day, but it can also help support your health and weight loss goals. Mounting research also indicates that skipping breakfast may contribute to weight gain as well as other health complications, such as heart disease, high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure levels and diabetes.1
So grab a cup of coffee and whip up some scrambled eggs — here are ten science-backed reasons why breakfast is best.
1. Your Waistline Will Benefit
One of the simplest ways your weight loss efforts can benefit is by eating breakfast! Studies have found that by eating a substantial meal in the morning and reducing your caloric intake at night (also known as front-loading), you may be able to lose more weight than by doing the reverse.2 This is because your body follows a daily cycle, typically divided into two 12-hour periods, that are dictated by daytime and nighttime. Known as your circadian rhythm, or “internal clock,” your body naturally uses fuel more efficiently in the morning than it does in the evening. So, by eating breakfast, you’ll be working with your body’s natural rhythm — which in turn may support your weight loss goals.
2. Feel More Satiated Throughout the Day
We’ve all been there: you’re in a rush to get out the door in the morning and before you know it, it’s almost noon — and you haven’t had anything to eat. Ravenous, you scarf down anything you can get your hands on (like the donuts in the breakroom). Between work, family and other obligations, breakfast can often take a backseat, especially if it adds another item to your to-do list. But there’s a reason you should have something convenient and healthy to eat in the a.m.: studies show that people who tend to eat a hearty breakfast are more likely to feel satiated throughout the day (so you won’t even look twice at that pastry).3 Start your day off right and enjoy a morning meal — if you’re in a pinch for time, try prepping something the night before, or have a ready-made, pre-prepared meal on hand to take with you on-the-go.
3. Avoid Overeating Later in the Day
While you may think passing up breakfast will reduce your caloric intake, research says otherwise. Why? Because when you skip your morning meal, you’re more prone to overeat later in the day — which can lead to weight gain.4 Experts agree that eating breakfast is a valuable strategy to help avoid overcompensating with high-calorie, less-than-stellar options late at night.5
4. Have More Energy
After sleeping for 7-9 hours at night, your body needs fuel to power its daily functions. Skip breakfast, and your body may start to use other energy sources (like your muscles).6 For sustained energy, aim for a mix of protein and healthy carbohydrates that your body will digest slower than refined carbohydrates (like pastries or sugary cereal). A few excellent choices include a veggie and egg scramble, a nonfat plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with fresh berries and a few almonds, or a piece of toast with a teaspoon of nut butter and a small piece of fruit.
5. Kickstart Your Metabolism
Research supports the theory that eating breakfast may help your metabolism.7 A recent study found that even if breakfast increased a person’s overall daily caloric intake, the additional calories were offset by other energy-burning benefits.8 Since your metabolism is most efficient in the morning, you’ll be fueling your body at a time when it’s primed to digest food.
6. Potentially Lower Your Levels of “LDL” or “Bad” Cholesterol
Yet another reason to eat breakfast — your cholesterol levels may improve. Research indicates that individuals who regularly skip their morning meal tend to have higher levels of “LDL” or “bad” cholesterol — which can eventually lead to heart disease.9-10
7. You May Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
Starting your day with a healthy meal can also help to control your blood sugar — as people who eat breakfast tend to have steadier levels throughout the day.11 If you have Type 2 diabetes, experts recommend eating breakfast as well — as skipping it has been shown to spike blood sugar levels for the remainder of the day.12
8. You’ll Get More Nutrients
You’re likely to consume more vitamins and minerals if your day includes breakfast.13 So go ahead and grab a piece of vitamin-rich fruit, protein-packed eggs or a fiber-filled bowl of oatmeal — you’ll be providing your body with essential nutrients!
9. Improve Your Focus at Work
Feel like you’re easily distracted on the job? Breakfast can help with that, too. Without sufficient fuel in the morning, your body can go into ‘conservation mode’ — and your brain may start to slow all your bodily processes to conserve energy, which may interfere with your performance.14 Research has also found a strong correlation between children who eat breakfast and higher academic results — so breakfast is a good idea for the entire family.15
10. Keep Your BMI in a Healthy Range
Before you forgo a bowl of oatmeal, consider this: breakfast skippers tend to have higher BMI’s than breakfast eaters.16 It makes sense, considering you’re more likely to avoid late-night snacks and feel more satiated throughout the day when you have a morning meal.
Ready to start your day right with a well-balanced breakfast? Jenny Craig has a wide variety of chef-crafted, nutritious options that can help you reach your weight loss goals. Contact us today to book your free appointment!
Elisa is a content marketing manager for Jenny Craig with over ten years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She loves sharing her passion for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. A San Diego native and an endurance sports enthusiast, you can usually find her swimming, biking along the coast highway or running by the beach in her free time. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Chico.
Favorite healthy snack: mozzarella string cheese with a Pink Lady apple.
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