The benefits of starting the day with a healthy breakfast include jump starting one's metabolism, boosting energy levels and maintaining a healthful weight, says Milton Stokes, chief clinical nutrition manager at St. Barnabus Hospital & Nursing Home (Sodexho) in Bronx, NY.
Food replenishes the body glucose (blood sugar) levels after six, eight or more hours without a meal or snack. "This refueling is essential for the brain and also helps fuel the muscles for physical activity throughout the day."
Breakfast is also very important for weight loss and weight management. "Many people mistakenly think that they save calories and lose weight by skipping breakfast," says Stokes, "but more often than not, they compensate for those lost calories (and energy) at lunch and dinner (and after!) by eating more food at each meal period or by binge eating," he says.
Stokes explains that eating at night is not necessarily "bad." However many people who do eat at night (after typical dinner times) are not active and therefore not burning up those calories. "Plus many night eaters are noshing due to boredom—eating in front of the TV or computer without noticing how much they are actually consuming," he says.
"I counsel people to eat at least three meals a day and to divide calories as evenly as possible. (It's even better for some people to eat 4 or 5 times a day while dividing their daily calorie allotment, he believes.) Breakfast is important weight management. It helps you to eat fewer calories throughout the rest of the day."