4 Reasons Breakfast Is Important

How many times has our doctor, parent, or nutritionist say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? If you are like me, the answer to that question would be more times than you can even count.  

All of my life I heard that statement, but for some reason I just did not believe it. My belief led to my action which was to not eat breakfast 90% of the time, and those times I did eat breakfast I would eat eggs, hash browns, waffles or Frosted Flakes which furthered my obesity struggles. Did you know that the term breakfast literally means “breaking the fast” from the evening before (usually an 8 hour time period)? 


4 reasons breakfast is important: 


1. Breakfast kick starts your body into action. 

When we eat breakfast within the first our of the morning, our body comprehends that we have fuel to burn. When we fail to eat breakfast our body slows down. Most of us have experience on computers, and we are familiar that when we allow our computers to sit idle the screen will dim itself to “save energy”. This is exactly what our bodies do when the signal is sent that fuel is unavailable. Our metabolism slows down or dims.  

When we eat a healthy breakfast and start the day with fuel, we encourage our body to burn more calories throughout the day. Just this step can help us begin to control our weight.  

2.  Breakfast increases memory and focus. 

Studies demonstrate that people who fail to eat breakfast underperform on simple short-term memory tests compared to those who do eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast also perform better on these tests than those who just drink coffee. So ... coffee with cream and sugar does not equal breakfast.  

When we haven’t had food for hours, our brains start to store the fuel we have left. This is when we start to lose focus, our energy fades, and we can be susceptible to headaches.  

3.  Breakfast enriches heart health. 

The May 2008 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter states that eating a healthy breakfast helps heart health. Years of skipping breakfast leads to higher LDL cholesterol and higher insulin levels which increases diabetes and heart disease. 

4.  Breakfast decreases impulsive eating. 

If you are like me it is easiest to grab what is most convenient when I am rushing through the morning and heading from appointment to appointment. By the time I realize that I am famished, I reach for high calorie, carbohydrate intensive food (examples would be 99% of fast food). Researchers believe this is because these are quickly turned to energy and are digested rapidly, and our bodies crave that fast energy.  

BONUS: What to eat for breakfast? 

While eating Fruit Loops or Captain Crunch for breakfast is better than nothing, (not our suggestion!) we must realize that our taste buds love them, but our body from the neck down doesn’t. Eating a balanced breakfast is important so that our bodies get both fast energy as well as something that keeps us for a few hours.  That includes some carbohydrates along with protein and healthy fats. Egg whites are a great source of morning protein!  

Check out the Fit.Church eating plan here.

So do yourself a favor and set your body up for success by eating a good, healthy breakfast! You will not only feel better but you’ll even have a better attitude and more energy!

Harvard Health Publications: A Healthy Breakfast May Protect. Retrieved from breakfast-may- protect-against-heart-disease (accessed October 3, 2014).

Breakfast: More research to start your day!

  You have probably heard about the importance of breakfast since your earliest years. One thing we know from research is not just any breakfast is a good start to the day.  Our bodies need a balanced breakfast. You know what I mean? As a pre-teen I had no problem sitting down to a bowl of Lucky Charms or Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries. As a matter of fact, I had a party in the early 1970’s when they finally came up with the Crunch Berries only cereal!

   In The Men’s Health Big Book of Food and Nutrition (Weber & Zimmerman) we are told to “think of your first meal of the day as the foundation of your dietary success.” All my life I heard that breakfast was the most important meal of the day and a whole slew of other statements that I was just supposed to accept and believe. One of the best parts of being on Biggest Loser was that we were told the why’s of nutrition and healthy habits. 

  The nutrition manager for the Duke Diet & Fitness Center at Duke University Medical School, Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, states, “When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re actually fasting for 15-20 hours, so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight” (Davis).

One of the facts that I came across is that women who do not eat breakfast are almost five times more likely to be obese than women who do (Michaels). On Biggest Loser I was told by my trainer, Brett Hoebel, that in order to jump-start my metabolism I needed to have breakfast within the first 45 to 60 minutes of waking. To put it quite simply, when we do not eat, it signals our body that we are in energy saving mode and our metabolism slows. This is like when a computer screen dims when not in use. Our bodies don’t “dim” when we eat breakfast, thus we will burn more calories through the day. Eating breakfast is like stoking a steam engine: we are adding fuel to the fire, and it burns more calories the rest of the day. 

  One other article (Zerasky) states that eating a health breakfast regularly helps us to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight by 1) reducing hunger, 2) starting the day with healthy choices and 3) providing energy. The ideas here are that eating a healthy breakfast allows us to get started in a healthy way which sets the tone for the rest of the day. We move through the day and we are not starving and have the energy we need to work, play, and think clearly.                

  Click here for another article on breakfast.                            

 Joel Weber and Mike Zimmerman, The Men’s Health Big Book of Food & Nutrition (New York, NY: Rodale Inc., 2011) p. 14. 

Jeanie Lerche Davis, reviewed by Louise Change, MD. Lose Weight: Eat Breakfast,, August 31, 2010. Retrieved from 

Jillian Michaels, Master Your Metabolism (New York: Three Rivers Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., 2009) p. 154. 

Katherine Zerasky, RD, LD. Does Eating a Healthy Breakfast Help Control?,, January 30, 2015. Retrieved from