Your alarm goes off. You roll out of bed in preparation for a big day. With so much on your mind, the last thing that you think about is what you’ll eat throughout the day. However, an unhealthy diet can negatively affect your metabolism, performance, and overall health. Each meal throughout the day is crucial to the structure of a healthy diet.

Many people find it difficult to eat in the morning because they are not hungry upon waking. However, you should eat breakfast because of its numerous benefits to your health. By starting your day off with a healthy meal, you instill a positive mindset that influences your eating for the rest of the day.

The Department of Health and Human Services has research that emphasizes the importance of breakfast. Studies show that your body’s metabolism slows while you sleep. Just as your alarm clock wakes up your body, a good healthy breakfast awakens your metabolism. By skipping breakfast, your metabolism remains at a slow pace—storing the food last given to your body. This mistake often results in lethargy and could even be the cause of weight gain. Please speak with your doctor or dietician before implementing any changes in your diet.

In addition to breakfast, nutritional advice suggests that the average adult eat six smaller meals spread throughout the day. This style of healthy, consistent eating keeps your metabolism running at a steady rate and provides long-lasting energy throughout the day. This also disperses your caloric intake throughout the day.

It is important to keep a healthy balance between protein, carbohydrates, and fats according to your suggested dietary intake.

Protein will keep you satisfied for a longer period of time, and it helps strengthen your bones and muscles.

When choosing carbohydrates, try to incorporate complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice or whole wheat bread. Because it takes your body longer to break down, complex carbohydrates provide you with energy for longer periods of time. While simple carbohydrates, like fruit, have many health benefits, they contain more sugar and are metabolized too quickly to provide sustainable energy.

Healthy fats such as olive oil also act as a source of energy for your body.

Combining protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats into your meals throughout the day will maximize your energy levels while improving your overall health.