How to Lose Weight on a Cereal Diet
Losing weight is the focus of many individuals who are usually seeking the easiest diet possible, such as the cereal diet. The majority of people cringe at the thought of counting calories, keeping track of fat grams or carbohydrate counts, making this diet a perfect choice for them.
Few people do not enjoy eating cereal. In fact, cereal is actually a huge business, with over 10 billion dollars worth of various flakes, puffs, crisps or pebbles sold to US consumers just last year alone. The invention of cereal occurred in the 1860’s, and were not met with the greatest of enthusiasm by a population that was accustomed to sitting down each morning to a hearty breakfast of meat, potatoes, bread and eggs. As health concerns over such heavy breakfasts arose, the need for a healthier and more grain based morning meal grew. Two gentlemen who names are still on the lips of consumers today began the cereal movement; C.W. Post and W.K. Kellogg. These first cereals were simple, consisting mainly of cereal grains, and presented a healthier alternative to Americans. How odd, that after more than one hundred years, cereal is once more becoming a beneficial means to lose weight and maintain a healthy diet!
Cereal as diet food
Since those early days when choices for cereal were limited to a few, today’s grocery shelves are overrun by a multitude of breakfast cereals. Not all of these cereals would be considered as beneficial to a diet, however. When cereal manufacturers realized many years ago that children would be the prime target for their products, great strides were taken to make the cereals more enticing to young people. Sugar, colorings and flavorings were added to the basic grain ingredients; forever changing the simple presentation of cereal.
Needless to say, cereals in which sugars, salts and numerous flavorings have been added would not help an individual to lose weight. In addition, whole grains were dismissed and processed white flours and minimal grains were formed into whimsical shapes for greater visual appeal. While all cereals have additives to give them greater shelf life and to enhance flavors, there are cereals that still cling to the base ingredients as much as possible, shrugging off the need for unnecessary ingredients that prove to be unhealthy. Those which are made from whole grains, minimal sugars and sodium and fewer additives are the best bets to utilize on a cereal diet.
How the diet works
The basis of this diet is simple.
- Breakfast: Have of one serving of a healthy cereal (usually ¾ cup), 1 cup of 1% or skim milk and one serving of a fruit.
- Morning snack: A small piece of fruit, crunchy vegetables or a serving of raw nuts such as almonds.
- Lunch: Another serving of cereal with milk and fruit.
- Afternoon snack: Crunchy vegetables, an apple, a pear or a ½ cup serving of blueberries or cherries.
- Dinner: 1 serving (3 or 4 ounces) lean meat, such as chicken breast or fish and two cups of fresh vegetables or salad.
- Evening snack: 1 cup of air-popped popcorn, fruit, crunchy vegetables or a 100-calorie snack of your choosing.
Throughout the day, drink a minimum of 8 glass of water, either plain or enhanced with lemon slices. Also, integrate 30 minutes of exercise each day; walking, bicycling, aerobics or dancing. A 15 minute interval of weight lifting will help to tone the muscles that will become more visible as the weight falls off.
It is generally recommended to follow the cereal diet for a maximum of two weeks. It is said that up to 10 pounds can be lost during the two weeks if followed precisely. This type of weight loss, along with the easy nature of the diet, makes this one a popular choice for many people.