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MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,452
2/26/13 11:00 P

I do eat cereal from time to time. But I only have a serving per day. Whatever the label says is a serving. I have some granola and a serving is half a cup.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,139)
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2/26/13 9:28 P

I would replace it with something healthy.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 2/26/2013 (21:55)
BERRY4 SparkPoints: (264,394)
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2/26/13 9:13 P

I guess the bigger question I would have is, "How nutrient dense is cereal?"

When I look at how much quality nutrition I get from veggies & fruit, I lean a LOT harder in that direction rather than "empty" nutrition fillers like cereal. Personally, I don't think you are doing your body much good...!?!

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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2/26/13 5:05 P

That 2/3 cup thing rings a bell; I think it might be the default serving size for cereal these days (which doesn't necessarily mean you should only eat one serving at a time of a thing -- it's just a standard guide).

Granola has a lot of calories per cup compared to most cereals because it is so full of high-calorie things like nuts and dates and raisins and honey and so on. That said, a good granola could hypothetically also be a lot more healthy than generic cereals exactly because it has all those things in it, most of which are good for you in one way or another. Portion size is the key. A "big bowl" of granola likely has far more calories in it than you'd be willing to put into a breakfast, but there's nothing wrong with eating granola as such. I eat cereal most days for breakfast myself and my weight loss is going great. I just limit my portion size (about two handfuls, whatever that is -- probably about a serving and a half) instead of eating the "big bowl" myself anymore.

Snacking on ANYTHING straight out of the box/bag/container is a bad idea for weight loss, IMO. You just have no control over how much is going into your body and it is almost inevitable you'll over-eat. These days even things like unsalted peanuts that aren't so much "munchy" foods for me, if they're brought into the sunroom as an evening snack, my husband holds onto the container. That way if I want a handful, I have to actually stop what I'm doing and ask for it.

CHRISTINA791 SparkPoints: (70,782)
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2/26/13 4:58 P

The cereal itself won't make you gain weight - no single type of food will - but the portions might. The best thing you can do is track it as accurately as possible - and that includes the snacks (I do that too - I actually had to stop buying boxed cereal, because I'd eat it straight out of the box). Cereal is tricky, because it can be very calorie dense and the portions we're used to eating are waaaay beyond what we should be eating.

For your breakfast, weigh your portion. If you don't already have a food scale, pick one up for $20... it'll be your new best friend for weight loss.The nutrition label should give you two measurements - volume and weight (so it'll say something like "1 Serving = 1 cup (56g)". The reason it's better to go by weight is because cereal can get crushed when it's not at the top of the box, which means you'll be able to fit a lot more in a cup than the serving size says (to take it to an extreme, imagine a cup of perfect, unbroken corn flakes. No imagine how much more you could fit in the same cup if you crushed those flakes up. The volume wouldn't change, but the amount you were consuming sure would). As an experiment, I weighed two cups of kashi cereal. One was the proper 56g, and the other cup (from the bottom of the box) weighed 90g. That's almost twice as much, and double the calories! So I always measure my cereal portions by weight.

Copy the nutrition label on your cereal (using weight for the serving size), put your bowl on your food scale, and pour a normal portion. See how many servings you're eating, and track it appropriately. If an 80 cloarie serving is 50g, but you're eating a 250g bowl, that's 400 calories right there. You can see how something like that can add up if you're not aware of it. If you're used to a big bowl, it might help to use smaller dishes. I know that the first time I poured myself a proper single serving of cereal, it looked TINY. Now if I eat cereal, I use a one cup rice bowl, and it's the perfect size.

For the snacks, I love granola as a quick pre-workout snack. I make my own, and it's pretty calorie dense (about 180 calories per serving). I measure it out into 1/4 cup servings in little zip-lock snack bags so that I instantly know how much I'm eating and can track it that way. If I just had it in one big container, I could easily nibble on 4-5 servings at a time, which would mean a 900 calorie 'snack'.

You don't have to keep yourself to single portions only, but track accurately and be aware of how much of your daily range is taken up by this one food item.

Edited by: CHRISTINA791 at: 2/26/2013 (16:59)
BECKYYYYYY SparkPoints: (52)
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2/26/13 4:49 P

thanks for the advice! might have to try that

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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2/26/13 4:06 P

No one food will make you put on weight. What makes you put on weight is consuming too many calories. So, if your cereal is putting you over your calorie range for the day, then yes, you will eventually gain weight. A sensible portion size usually coincides with what the box gives as a serving. I know the granola I have says 2/3 of a cup is a serving.

You could try making your own granola.

BECKYYYYYY SparkPoints: (52)
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2/26/13 3:51 P

I usually have a big bowl of cereal for breakfast and usually snack on it during the day as well, but I was wondering, will this make me put on weight? I usually have granola and it is quite high calorie and fatty but I don't know how much is a sensible portion size

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