How Your Breakfast Affects Your Body

If you skip breakfast in the morning, you are not alone. In fact, according to a study by the NPD market research group, you are one among 31 million Americans who do not eat breakfast every day. How can this be when you grew up hearing, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?" Health experts tend to vary their opinion on the importance of breakfast, but there is scientific evidence about how eating breakfast or not eating breakfast can affect your body.

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"When your body is at rest during the night you are essentially fasting," said Leah Kaufman, MS, RD, CDN. "The first meal of the day is breaking the fast after a period of 12 hours or so, assuming you have not eaten since dinner. When your body goes a long time without eating it slows down your metabolism as your body holds on to those nutrients because it believes it's in starvation mode. When you consume breakfast in the morning you are essentially jump starting your metabolism for the day, making it easier to burn the calories later in the day."

What you eat first thing in the morning should not be the first food in sight. Eating something nutritious that will keep you full for the rest of the day could help balance your blood sugar levels and hunger pangs throughout the day. "Starting our day with a healthy breakfast should be a priority 100 percent of the time," said Heather Mangieri, MD, RD. "If you're not a breakfast eater, start small.  A glass of skim or low-fat milk or an apple with peanut butter both include a variety of nutrients to get you started on the right foot. The first goal should be to have something for breakfast.  When starting out the goal should be progress not perfection."

If you are not convinced yet, we came up with a list from expert nutritionists about the effects that eating breakfast has on your body.