I’m pretty sure that at some point in your life you’ve heard the age old mantra that goes “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.  While there has been some controversy over how true this really is, recent studies have really shown that everyone should adhere to it.

I won’t bore you with the actual science a lot, so just consider this:

Your body is a complex, active and efficient machine that requires energy to operate and to keep you alive. It burns up energy every second of your life, even while you’re asleep.

Your brain, for example, while taking up only 2% of your total body weight is an extremely energy-intensive organ that uses up to 20% of your total energy.  Now, human beings get energy from the food that we eat. That food is broken down into a coenzyme called ATP.  ATP acts as a fuel carrier for our cells and enables them to pull off all the complex chemical processes going on inside of them.

The moment that you wake up, you need to realize that your body hasn’t had anything to eat in about 8 to 10 hours, and it’s in desperate need of a refill. If you don’t give it this refill in time, a number of things can happen.

Heart Disease

Recent studies on a group of men aged 45 to 82 have shown that skipping breakfast is potentially related to an increased risk of cardiac arrest and other heart problems. According to the study, men who reported skipping breakfast had a whopping 27 percent higher risk of dying from a heart attack than those who were consistent with their first daily meal.

If you’re genetically predisposed to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, it’s a really good idea to eat a balanced breakfast every day.

Decreased Efficiency

If you work at a job that requires you to be completely focused on what you’re doing, skipping breakfast is a pretty bad idea. Without fresh glucose to keep the brain functioning properly, it can be really difficult to focus on anything mentally challenging.  Of course, if this is the case, you might compensate by having an extra cup of coffee. Or maybe you’ll reach for a sugar-packed breakfast treat like a muffin or donut.

This isn’t particularly healthy, however, and you can avoid it by getting up a tad earlier. Having a protein-heavy breakfast will help you control your morning cravings and provide you with all the energy you need.  Hard boiled eggs can make a great grab and go breakfast that you can make ahead for those busy mornings.

Weight Gain

Skipping breakfast can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts as well.  Because it throws your entire metabolism out of whack, you can actually gain weight. Like I already mentioned, the moment that you wake up your body has basically been fasting for about 10 hours. If it doesn’t stop fasting your body will go into starvation mode.  To prevent starvation, your body  will desperately try to hold on to the fat.

Not only that, but sooner or later when you get really hungry, the chances that you’ll overeat are significantly higher.  And as we know, overeating is a big no-no when it comes to losing weight.  The key to losing weight is to have balanced, sensible, and regular meals throughout the day.

Mood Swings

Your mood is directly connected to your current level of energy.  Skipping breakfast is a sure-fire way to make sure your energy levels are kept as low as possible. In other words, when you’re hungry you’re irritable. Some people even feel nauseous or get headaches. And you really don’t feel like doing anything remotely taxing.

When you do have a big, balanced breakfast however, you’ll feel that your mood is much more mellow and stable, especially if you managed to stay away from the sugar.

If you’re looking for some delicious breakfast ideas, be sure to check out these recipes.

Banana Bread Muffins

Easy Overnight Oats

Veggie Egg Muffins

Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for www.diet.st. in her free time. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.

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