The cereal diet: how to lose weight quickly by replacing two meals a day with grains and dairy


Tamara Villa

diet of the cereal It’s very simple: you replace two meals a day with cereals and milk. Although this eating plan is not exactly new, it has recently gained popularity. It can be effective for
lose weight in short termand is rich in fiber and whole grains. However, it can also be high in sugar and overly restrictive.

On this diet,
you replace your breakfast and lunch with a serving of whole grain cereal and skim milk or low fat. Dinner and snacks should be small, low in calories, and contain lean protein, as well as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Some dietary challenges involve eating nothing but cereal with milk for an entire week. However, it is best to avoid it, as it can be
extremely low in calories and protein and cause fatiguedecreased concentration and mood disturbances.

How to follow the cereal diet

The cereal diet is relatively easy to follow. You simply have to replace both breakfast and lunch with a serving of cereal and between 120 to 180 ml of skim or low-fat milk. Preferably,
the cereal must be low in added sugars and be made from whole grains or plain cornflakes.

For dinner, it is recommended to choose a
food that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as low in fat and calories, ideally 450 calories or less. Examples include a grilled chicken salad with vinaigrette dressing and fresh fruit, or brown rice with salmon and seasoned vegetables. Two snacks per day are also allowed, each with 100 calories or less.

Woman with bowl of cereals/PEXELS

If you follow this diet, you are likely to consume
between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day, which should result in a more or less rapid weight loss. The calories will depend on the cereal you choose and how much you eat. It is recommended
have a serving of your chosen cereal at breakfast and lunch. The serving size is defined on the Nutrition Facts label on the box and is typically 2/3 to 1 cup (28 to 42 grams).

Most people follow the cereal diet
between five days and two weeks. You shouldn’t follow the diet for longer than that, as it’s difficult to stick to, can be low in calories and protein, and could lead to food cravings. It is not an eating plan designed for the long term.

Does it help to lose weight?

Many people have lost weight on the grain diet due to the caloric restriction involved. But
weight loss may not be sustainable. Significantly decreasing calorie intake by following a restrictive diet such as the cereal diet has been shown to make it more difficult to lose weight and keep it off in the long term.

For example, levels of leptin, a hormone that tells your body when you’ve eaten enough, drop when you restrict calories. Decreasing these leptin levels can lead to a
increased hunger and food cravings. Also, when you suddenly decrease the number of calories you eat, your body compensates by also lowering your metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn.

Cereal and fruit bowl/PEXELS

If you choose whole grains, following the grain diet is a
great way to increase fiber intake. A higher intake of whole grains is associated with better health outcomes and a lower risk of death from all causes. Fiber in whole grains too
promotes healthy digestion and can help you manage weight.

Potential Disadvantages

In addition to being a restrictive diet plan that may not help you maintain weight in the long run, the grain diet has other drawbacks to consider. Thus, added dietary sugars
are related to various health problems and should be limited to less than 5% of total calorie intake.

The cereal diet can be
very high in sugar. Even if you choose a cereal that doesn’t taste sweet, most products contain added sugar in some form. In addition, cereals and milk have a
high carbohydratewhich are broken down into sugars that provide your body with energy.

These natural sugars are not necessarily unhealthy, but they can
hinder weight loss and cause sugar fluctuations in the blood in some people. Choosing low-sugar cereals is a better option than the more commonly consumed sugary cereals.

The cereal diet can be
low in protein, healthy fats and overall caloriesunless very carefully planned. Your body needs protein to build and maintain its muscles, tissues, and enzymes, protein-based compounds that direct various bodily functions. Like fiber, protein also helps keep you feeling full.