If you break down the word breakfast itself into break and fast, the answer is much clearer. You are breaking the fast you were on while sleeping (unless you are one of those munchers that get up during the night to eat something).
When you get up, your metabolism has already processed all the food you had in your system when you went to bed. Because there isn’t much work to do at the moment, it is kind of napping itself and not really working much at all beyond the bare minimums it needs to do to keep your body going.
Unless you give it a reason to wake up, it will keep more or less at its “vegetative” pace. That is where breakfast comes in. When you eat, all of a sudden you are flooding your digestive system with food and your metabolism jumps into action at a high rate in its endless pursuit to process the incoming food.
What does a good breakfast look like?
A healthy first meal of the day should include protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats are all good choices along with eggs.
A two-egg omelet with spinach is my favorite. Scrambled eggs with diced bacon is another favorite. Use a little olive oil to make the eggs; it is much better for you than using butter.
Complement your omelet with a piece of whole grain toast topped with some peanut butter. You could even add in a meat, such as bacon or sausage, both made from turkey.
Other breakfast choices could include oatmeal with cinnamon and banana slices, yogurt with granola or a smoothie made with protein powder, almond milk and your favorite fruit. Stay away from the unhealthy saturated fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar.
If you need something on the go, choose a couple of hard-boiled eggs, or some trail mix or apple slices with some peanut butter. For a beverage, choose black coffee or tea; the caffeine in either will help speed up your metabolism.
As far as how fast your body processes food, about 75 percent of the calories processed is dependent on your age, gender, weight, body composition and genetics. The other 25% is processed by the physical activity you do during the day.
Speaking of physical activity, try to work in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Cardio is good for burning calories and will keep your metabolism elevated long after you quit your workout.
Mix in a couple days per week of strength training to build more muscle. The more muscle you have, the harder your metabolism has to work to keep feeding all that muscle mass.