Does It Really Work?
Most people on the cereal diet claim that the diet has worked wonders for them. So what’s the magic behind it? Well, there is no magic. The cereal diet works on a simple principle, i.e. reduced calorie intake. When on this diet, the dieters are supposed to substitute their breakfast and lunch with a bowl of cereal each, and have dinner as they normally would. Now, it’s not rocket science that if people who had been eating bacon for breakfast and half a chicken for lunch (500-700 calories), switch to two bowls of cereal (150-200 calories) instead, will be consuming way less calories as compared to what they were earlier.
Plus, all they are allowed for snacks is fresh fruits, raw vegetables and cereal bars. These are high in protein and fiber, which keeps you fuller for a long time, thereby keeping the hunger pangs away. This is what the secret behind the cereal diet is. As far as actual users are concerned, the diet has got mixed reviews.
Among the celebrities who tried the diet were Abbey Clancy (British lingerie model and TV presenter) and Kimberley Walsh (from Girls Aloud). While Abbey claims to have lost all her post-baby weight thanks to the diet, Kimberley said that although she lost up to 8 pounds after following the diet, she gained it back almost immediately after that.
As Healthy As They Claim?
The cereals aren’t as healthy as they claim to be. A 2006 report by Which Magazine states that more than half of the cereals available in the market were high in sugar, salt, as well as saturated fat; after which the manufacturers were asked to lower the contents of the same. A study was again carried out in 2009 to see what progress had been made. The cereals were also analyzed to see how many of them were meeting the standards set by the Food Standard Agency. The results showed that even though the salt levels had been reduced and there was no saturated fat in the cereals, the sugar content in most cereals were still high, and only a few qualified as healthy options.
Choosing the Right Cereal
After considering the above factors, if you still wish to follow the cereal diet, you’ll have to make sure that you buy the right one. There is a lot of variety available when it comes to choosing a cereal. But if you are trying to lose weight, they’ll probably be short-listed to just a few. If you check out the labels carefully, you’ll notice that most cereals are sugar-coated and highly processed, which makes them anything but beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight. If you choose a sugar-coated cereal, for example a kids’ cereal, it will do anything but keep the hunger pangs off. In fact, within no time of eating your cereal, you’ll be starving and craving for more. When following a cereal diet, you should always go in for cereals which are extremely low in sugar and trans-fats, and high in protein and carbohydrate content. These are some of the best cereals that are available in markets:
- Nature’s Path: Synergy 8 Whole Grains
- Uncle Sam: Uncle Sam
- Fiber One: Nutty Clusters & Almonds
- Kashi: Shredded Wheat – Autumn Wheat
- Post: Grape-Nuts Fit Cranberry Vanilla
- Post: Shredded Wheat – Spoon Size Wheat ‘n Bran
- Post: Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Original
- Three Sisters: Multigrain Cinnamon
- Barbara’s Bakery: Shredded Wheat
- Van’s Natural Foods: Cinnamon Heaven
- Kashi: Blackberry Hills
- Use low-fat or fat-free milk instead of whole-milk.
- Exercise, at least a little bit.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Keeping your body dehydrated is never a good idea.
- Chances are, you might deprive yourself of important nutrients while on the diet. So, consider eating a multivitamin tablet, after consulting your doctor, that is.
- Keep the portions small.
- Don’t go back to your bad eating habits.
Who Should Not Follow the Diet
- Pregnant women.
- Lactating women.
- Individuals suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other major health conditions.
- Lack of nutrients and vitamins, due to which an individual can feel weak and lethargic.
- The diet plan fails to cater to the body’s requirements.
- Results only in short-term weight loss.
- Can cause bloating in some people.
Although a cereal diet can definitely help in losing weight, it is only a short-term solution. So why not opt for something that will show you lasting effects? After all, that’s what we all want, right? Any individual who wants to lose weight, can successfully do so by eating 5-6 small servings of home-cooked food everyday. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet, along with a correct exercise regimen as advised by a professional dietitian/nutritionist and gym trainer, is the only way to lose weight in a healthy, long-lasting approach.