2 Breakfast Habits That Slow Your Metabolism Over Time, According to a Registered Dietitian

2 Breakfast Habits That Slow Your Metabolism Over Time, According to a Registered Dietitian

a woman is holding a plate of toast and looking at the clock

a woman is holding a plate of toast and looking at the clock

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of a healthy breakfast when it comes to weight loss. The right breakfast will give you the energy you need for the day, kick your workouts and burn calories to kick those extra pounds to the curb. However, “right” is the operative word here; not all breakfasts are created equal, and there are several bad breakfast habits that could slow down your metabolism and prevent you from reaching your goal weight.

To learn more about why breakfast is essential to your overall health and uncover some of the worst, metabolism-slowing down breakfast mistakes, we talked to a nutrition expert Anastasia Gialouris, MS, RD, CDN. She told us you should never skip breakfast—or protein. Find all her insight below!

1. Skipping breakfast

While you may think so eat as little as possible is the best way to lose weight, Gialouris tells us that’s far from the truth. As it turns out, one of the worst things you can do for your metabolism is to skip breakfast altogether. Your body goes without food for a long time when you sleep at night, which means you should feed it when you wake up.

“Your metabolism rested throughout the night and is already at a low level after waking up because of the lack of work it had to do in the previous hours, when it didn’t have to digest new food,” Gialouris explains. “Breakfast can therefore jumpstart your metabolism and kick it back into gear. On the other hand, if you skip breakfast, your body remains in this ‘fair’ state, causing your metabolism to slow down due to the lack of stimulus (aka food).” Yikes! This is just one of the many reasons why starting your morning with a nutritious, filling meal that can keep you full and energized throughout the day is a key healthy habit, especially when it comes to weight loss.

2. You’re not eating enough protein

Okay, so you’ve committed to eating breakfast every morning. It’s a great start, but it’s only half the battle. It is vital that you choose the foods you eat wisely; well-balanced meals are key to your weight loss journey. “Another habit that can affect your metabolism is an unbalanced breakfast, especially one that is low in protein,” Gialouris tells us. In fact, eating a protein-Eating breakfast is one of the best things you can do to boost your metabolism. “Not only does protein contribute to satiety (it also makes you feel satisfied after a meal), but it can also increase your body’s ability to burn more calories than carbs and fat,” she says. “This is due to something called the ‘thermic effect of food’ or TEF, which is a slight increase in metabolic rate after eating food.”

How exactly does it work? Gialouris gives us a summary: “When you eat, your body actually has to expend some energy (also burning calories) to digest, absorb and store the nutrients in the food you just consumed.” And when it comes to high TEF foods, protein is the best. For this reason, Gialouris says that “including protein sources in your breakfast, such as eggs, yogurt, nuts, to name a few, can help boost your metabolism. Perfect!


Whether or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day, there’s no denying that it’s extremely important, especially if you’re trying to keep your metabolism up and shed a few pounds. So, make sure you’re always giving your body the nutrients it needs in the morning, and always add some protein to the mix!

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