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I have mixed emotions when it comes to cereal. While it's a quick and easy breakfast solution, I have several issues with this meal-in-a-box.
First, a lot of cereals pack a pretty heavy caloric punch with at least 200 calories per serving and are high in sugar. Second, you don't get much for a serving. Most bowls can hold much more than a single serving of cereal. If you are someone who fills your bowl with these yummy grains, you could be consuming 2-4 servings and increasing the calories significantly. Finally, I don't find cereal to be filling for a prolonged period of time, leaving you hungry long before it's lunch time.
On the other hand, it is a very convenient breakfast option, and when chosen and consumed smartly, it can be a good source of fiber and whole grain.
Here are a few tips for keeping cereal as part of your weight loss diet.
1. Limit a serving of any cereal to 1 cup. I strongly recommend using a measuring cup. It's very easy to overestimate what a cup of cereal actually looks like.
2. Use a smaller bowl to trick your mind into thinking you're consuming more than you are.
3. Choose cereals with 150 calories or less per serving. This will weed out a lot of high calorie and high sugar cereals out there.
4. Use skim milk or a low calorie, dairy free option such as light soy milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and keep milk to a half cup serving.
5. Try to choose cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving
6. Include protein. This will help you stay fuller longer. Some examples include egg whites or egg substitute, 1 tbsp nuts or peanut butter, 1 slice low fat cheese.
Here's a list of some of my favorite low calorie cereal options (note, not all of these contain at least 3 grams of fiber, but they are low in calories):
Cheerios (plain or any other flavor)
Chex Cereal (any flavor)
Special K Cereals (any flavor)
Trader Joe's High Fiber Fruit and Nut Multi-grain Medley
Puffed wheat cereal
Original Fiber One Cereal
Fiber One 80 Calorie Honey Squares
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