One of my clients needs for information regarding the nutritional benefits of eating breakfast each morning and the importance of the meal. He would also like to know what the outcome is of missing breakfast each morning in order to lose bodyfat.
We knew "mom" was right when she said we should start the day with breakfast; however, now we have a bit more to go on physiologically. When we wake up in the morning, most of us experience our lowest levels of blood sugar. Having a meal/breakfast helps do exactly that -"break the fast" and helps to set the metabolic "temperature" for the day.
In studies of folks that do NOT eat breakfast vs. ones that do, it is shown the latter group has an easier time losing weight and maintaining good energy and good cognition throughout the entire day. Yes, it appears that breakfast truly sets the stage and "stokes" the fire for the metabolism to remain at a level that is consistent with good calorie burn throughout the day. In folks that skip, studies have shown that they actually do consume breakfast calories...just probably the night before OR midafternoon....both more likely to be choices higher in fat/sugar that allows for the glycemic index to have a play in storing them as fat.
Our bodies are truly geared for activity and burning calories throughout the entire day. This is why a variation from this sets the system up for a blunted metabolism. In some folks, this is significant and dramatic. In others, it is much more subtle and only OVER time do you see it affect weight loss (usually over 40 years of age). ALso in men, breakfast helps to set into rythm key hormones that facilitate lean body mass preservation, etc. Interestingly for women, it helps set the hormones most associated with stress, so that they in fact handle stress better with breakfast on board.
Having said all this, caution must be given to the one that has not consumed breakfast for years and then starts. It takes up to two weeks for the body to re-calibrate its' blood sugar when breakfast is reintroduced and then physiologically things will be well tuned. During those first two weeks, the body prior had been used to running on a LOW blood sugar. It can get excited when blood sugar goes up and can work hard to bring it down (sometimes further down than necessary - to the point where this person is HUNGRIER than ever before in the AM). Hang in there, though. Have clients plan a snack for this until the body gets reset. Then they will experience better alertness and weight management.
Breakfast calories usually clear the body within three to four hours - of course, that depends on how much fat, carbohydrate and protein is consumed. A proper ratio of all three is ideal.