Weight loss efforts can begin at breakfast time. There are numerous healthy foods available, from eggs to porridge – but if cereal is what you fancy then knowing this handy trick can help you shed the pounds.
Anyone who’s followed a diet plan knows that helping to fool your brain into thinking it’s eating more is a pretty effective technique.
And now researchers have proved that this is precisely what you can do with your breakfast cereal.
A study at Penn State showed that by opting for cereals with a larger flake size you will consume fewer calories and are thereby more likely to lose weight.
Researchers found that people eat more breakfast cereal by weight, when flake size is reduced.
They observed that when flakes are reduced by crushing, people pour a smaller volume of cereal into their bowls, but still take a greater amount by weight and calories.
In short, it’s easy to underestimate how many calories you are eating when you pour a smaller-flake cereal into a bowl.
However, if you eat a cereal with bigger flakes you’ll eat less cereal by weight and consume fewer calories without even noticing.
By reducing your calorie intake in this nifty way you’ll be off to a healthy, weight-loss-promoting start before the day even really begins.
Struggling with portion size can be particularly tricky when it comes to cereal.
“People have a really hard time judging appropriate portions,” said Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional sciences and Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition at Penn State.
“On top of that, you have these huge variations in volume that are due to the physical characteristics of foods, such as the size of individual pieces, aeration and how things pile up in a bowl.
“That adds another dimension to the difficulty of knowing how much to take and eat.”
According to cereal brand Nestle, adults should be eating between 30 and 45 grams of cereal.
Nestle suggests getting the suitable serving size by weighing it, but there are two other techniques too if you don’t have any weighing scales handy.
One way is to measure the cereal by spoonfuls. For instance, you should be looking to eat five to eight spoonfuls of Shreddies, but nine to 13 spoonfuls of Cheerios, Nestle recommends.
If you have lots of time to spare you could even go so far as to count the pieces of cereal.
For instance, adults should eat between 48 to 72 pieces of Shreddies but between 163 and 245 pieces of Cheerios.
If cereals aren’t for you, and you’ve had enough of traditional breakfasts on your diet, you could consider a breakfast tortilla.
WebMD advises eating: “A banana wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with a couple tablespoons of peanut butter.”
This is a healthy breakfast which can be eaten on-the-go if you are pressed for time.