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The Devil is in the Cereal???

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I saw a fellow today that I used to see often when I first joined the YMCA. Now that I'm running I don't take near as many exercise classes, so I hadn't seen him for a while. Right off I could tell he had lost a significant amount of weight, complimented him, and asked him how he had done it. His answer really surprised me.

He said that the biggest change he had made was to quit eating Cheerios. I like Cheerios. I still occasionally eat Cheerios. I don't have trouble including a reasonable portion of Cheerios in a day of healthy eating.

It occurred to me that maybe that was it -- the reasonable portion part. I remember a friend of mine who lost a lot of weight on a specific program. Her mother tried the same program, but gained weight. When my friend went to visit her mom, she discovered that her mom had given up her breakfasts of fried eggs, bacon and biscuits all right. However, the "one ounce" of cereal that she had substituted turned out to be 8 ounces when my friend weighed it! I wonder what this fellow's portion size was.

I mentioned the Cheerios puzzle to my daughter. She pointed out that there are several new varieties of Cheerios that are much higher in sugar than the original one I eat. That might have something to do with it, too.

I asked the fellow if his exercise wasn't at least somewhat responsible for his success. He said no, that he had been working out regularly for several years without losing weight. He insisted it was the Cheerios. I didn't question him any further; I just wanted to give him support. Obviously, what he is doing is working for him.

A couple years ago I asked a friend who had lost 100 pounds how she had done it, and she said she simply gave up peanut butter. She had eaten it in the evenings by the jar. Now that made sense to me. But Cheerios?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My guess is that he was eating them right out of the box. Many people who give up snacking on cereal do just that - eat it out of the box. Eating cereal is only healthy when it is measured out, otherwise it is as unhealthy as any other snack that is eaten without moderation.
    2957 days ago
  • _LINDA
    That is really interesting. My favorite cereal used to be Shreddies, but while it was whole wheat, it was highly sweetened. Now I like Frosted Mini-Wheats and Kashi, but in small servings. My brother has been a big Cheerios fan his whole life, and that is still true for today. The only beverage he drinks is diet coke, by the 2L bottle full. Interesting how you can keep the same habits right from a kid. He is obese, but that is because he like McDonalds a lot.
    It really boils down to watching the portions and careful weighing and measuring and tracking..
    2958 days ago
    reminds me of granola - most people aren't aware that a portion is 1/4 cup emoticon

    my DH takes a full bowl of cereal thinking that is a portion - the average cereal/soup bowl holds 2 cups.
    2958 days ago
    He probably had problems with the number of times he ate cheerios a day... or the portion sizes he was doling out... or the toppings he was adding (spoonful of sugar etc).

    Interesting concept though.
    2958 days ago
    It's amazing how many "formerly healthful" cereals (in their original formats) have been glitzed up with added calories/sugars etc.

    Plus -- as you say -- portion control is key.

    But as you say, if it worked for him then so be it! (And YOU don't need to give up your more moderate serving of plain Cheerios any time soon because that's working for you.)
    2958 days ago
    Some of the sweetened types of cheerios are really a bad deal, esp. if someone eats a lot. I have gone to eating rolled grains raw (oats, rye, kamut, barley). I know it sounds extreme when you first hear it but it's fast and tasty and millions of Europeans eat it every day under the name Muesli. You simply add some raw nuts and dried or fresh fruit and pour it over some plain yoghurt. Plain Cheerios may not be bad for you but once you get used to whole rolled grains you might not like the Cheerios any more and you won't think of cereal as something that is processed and comes out of a box. ;)

    2959 days ago
  • MONTY68
    Hi Marsha
    I am with you, I would have to question the Cherrios. A portion of cereal is usually a 1/2 cup. That isn't very much when you look at it a bowl. I look at some of the commercials and it seems like the cereal is ready to float out of the bowl. I never ate cereal before I went on my journey, but if I had, I know I would have had several portions. If that is all he did, I guess we would have to compliment him.
    I will say that the title of your blog is accurate. Some of the so called healthy cereals are so loaded with sugar and calories.
    Thanks for sharing

    Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2959 days ago
    It's got to be portion size! But I remember how disappointed I was when the added sugar to the traditional cheerios! They were fine, one of the best cereals out there, before they did that; still better than most. My snack tonight too. :)
    2959 days ago
    Don't you know what a coincidence it is that I am munching on a cup of dry Cheerios as I type this. It's my evening snack today. Maybe that guy just ate several sugary bowls of it daily. Sure would like to be a fly on his kitchen wall!
    2959 days ago
    Well he probably had a large soup bowl, put in whole mile till they were floating and then added spoonful's of sugar. He could have also had them for a snack/s. At least he found out what worked, sure wish my issue was that simple. ..LOL
    2959 days ago
    Go figure? I have cereal of some type or another just about every morning. One cup with 1/2 cup of milk. Low sugar, low sodium... Sometimes Cheerios and I've lost 50+ lbs this year. I guess it depends on the person. Maybe its a metabolism thing. Very odd either way. Definitely something to think about.

    2959 days ago
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