We’ve all heard it said many times that breakfast is the most important meal of any day. It’s become a such a cliché that we don’t even think about the reasons behind the statement. Why is breakfast considered the most important meal of the day, and should you eat it whenever you can? Here are four of the top reasons to start the day with a healthy breakfast.

Helps start your metabolism

After sleeping for eight hours, your body is slow to awaken and start burning fat. Eating breakfast alerts the body’s systems to start working and begin burning fat to process energy. Without anything to eat, there is nothing to alert the body to start working, so your metabolism stays slow for a longer time. Instead, when you eat a healthy breakfast, the body starts metabolizing that food into energy right away instead of storing the fat to use later.

Keeps you from overeating at lunch

Some people skip breakfast in order to lose weight, thinking this will help them consume less calories in the space of a day. But in fact the opposite can end up happening. When you don’t eat breakfast, your body has no fuel to run on from the start of the day until you eat lunch later on in the day. When you do finally get a chance to eat, you’re more likely to overeat to compensate for the hunger you felt all morning. This can leave you feeling sluggish, uncomfortable and slow in the afternoon. Worst of all, skipping meals and then binge eating can create unhealthy patterns and habits that lead to weight gain.

Improves your concentration

Hunger takes your focus away from the important things you need to accomplish and makes it harder to concentrate on the task at hand. Eating a healthy breakfast that includes protein, fat and carbohydrates will help you focus and stay on task throughout the morning. Increased concentration helps you complete tasks faster and reduces the chance of making errors as you work.

Helps sustain your strength throughout the day

Food is not just something to enjoy for the taste and flavors, it also serves a larger purpose. As it fuels your body, energy created from the food you eat also helps to keep you strong. Without a proper breakfast, you can end up fainting or feeling other symptoms of weakness, including dizziness, stomach pain and headaches. It can also be hard to do physical tasks at your job or n your home.

These are just a few of the reasons that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you should try to eat it whenever you can. Even a small breakfast, like a fruit, granola bar or cup of cereal, can make a big difference in the way you feel and how productive you are.