Cereal Diet Killer

I used to eat cereal.  It tastes good, it is fast and easy.  It can sit in your closet forever.  The labels say that they are good for you.  I never lost weight eating it, in fact, I gained.  So, is Cereal good for a diet?


No.  They are a killer. You are eating plenty of carbs and then, don’t forget that milk is also added and that adds even more calories and carbs.

Look at this label for Cheerios, one of the least offensive carb and calorie wise of the cereals. (NOT Honey Nut Cheerios, which is much higher because there is much more sugar added!)

P.S.–Cheerios are genetically modified in the United States and they are not natural and not good for you!  Many of these cereals are GM.  Look for organic or go to a store with more organic choices.

Nutrition-facts-for-CheeriosThe ingredients are mostly oat, CORN starch, sugar and salt.  Notice very little is good!  There are 22g of carbs PER cup.  Have you ever looked at the size of a measuring cup?  Most people would pour way more than a CUP of cereal into their bowl.  So, if they have two cups, that is 44g of carbs (Honey Nut would be about 60g).  It is made from stripped wheat (which has very little nutritional benefit), sugar and salt and then they spray some chemicals and some vitamins on it.  It has a little bit of fiber and a little bit of protein.  For the same amount of protein, you could have an egg or two and there is less than one carb per egg.  You are better off with just about any protein than cereal.

You are adding milk too.  And if you don’t use skimmed milk, you are getting a lot of sugar once again and carbs.  A cup, or 8 oz., of skim milk is packed with 8.7 g of protein, 12.3 g of carbohydrates and 349 mg of calcium. Skim milk also has 419 mg of potassium, only 5 mg of cholesterol, 130 mg of sodium, 80 calories, and 0 g of fat.

So, if you just have to have cereal, then have only one cup of cereal (doubt you can just eat one cup) and then you add milk, you are looking at about 30-40g of carbs just for your breakfast.  If you switch to Almond Milk, Unsweetened, that is only 2g of carbs per cup.  So, if you MUST have cereal, then make sure you use a measuring cup and try almond milk.  My husband loves Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. And then count your carbs the rest of the day and be mindful of keeping them in the range of 50 to 100g of carbs in order to stay thin and lose weight.

P.S. Oatmeal can be very carby too and has the same effect with added milk, so be mindful of having it rarely in the week and be mindful of serving size.  Also, if you are going to have cereal or oatmeal in the day, make sure it is ORGANIC and HEALTHY, and have it only in the AM, so that it fills you up enough not to be too hungry at lunch and overeat and so you have time to burn it off.  Eating it at night is NOT a good idea for a diet.  No time to burn it off and your feeling of fullness is not as necessary as at lunch and dinner time.

Misleading Labels and Food Trends Can Make You Fat

The claim of ‘Fat-Free’ is actually the truth in products such as Mike and Ike and Good & Plenty candies, where you’ll find the claim: “fat-free.” They’re not lying—these empty-calorie junk foods are almost 100 percent sugar and processed carbs. But the makers of such junk, calorific “food” don’t tell you that their product is loaded with sugar and are digested rapidly, sending your blood sugar soaring; as soon as it drops again, you’ll crave more “fat-free” empty calories. In fact, skimmed milk has additives that aren’t even healthy and it has carbs, which will add weight on you, if you don’t count your carbs daily and keep them at a minimum.

skimmed milk story

There are many products that claim to be fat-free, but that means little in the weight loss realm.

If you want to lose weight or maintain weight, you have to carefully read labels and consider sugar and carb content. If you have a product that has little to no fat, but is high in carbs, your weight loss will be taking a huge hit. You do want to aim at low-fat products, like low-fat cheese, but you MUST look at carb content and also look at how what is showing on the label and notice the portion size of your food product.

Misleading Labels

For example, let’s say that you are looking at a jar of peanut butter, and the label says “8g of carbs.” Sounds good, but 8g of carbs per what? Usually that covers 2 tablespoons. To says so at the top of the label.


Here is an example label, let’s say it is for cereal in a small box. Oh, the box is only “22g of carbs?” No!! Look again. It says per “cup” and there are TWO servings in the box. So, if you eat the whole thing, then it is 44g of carbs.

I see misleading labels like this all of the time. I see it on sugary drinks- even energy drinks. The bottle might say, “12g of carbs,” but two servings might be in one bottle…so double those carbs if you drink the whole thing. I am pretty wise to this trick, but every now and then a small item, which shows two portions and then the numbers gets me because the product was so small, I forgot to notice the portion size. They tricked me I to thinking the product was low on sugar and carbs.

Remember, I have between 50 and 100g of carbs per day to maintain my weight and the closer to 50g, the more I will lose. Some people can easily go over 100g, but you have to weigh daily and when you see the numbers going up, adjust accordingly on your carb intake and/or increase exercise output.

Read carefully or you won’t lose weight and you will wonder why!

How to Count Calories

I prefer to count carbs and watch my portion control.  I eat 50-100g of carbs per day, have 6 small portions of proteins a day, four small servings of veggies and two small servings of fruit each day, two small salads per day, watching what choices I make on all of them.  However, some people want to know how to count calories.  Here is how:

    1. Determine How Many Calories You Should EatHow many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight depends on factors such as your gender, age, height, weight, and activity level. Your body uses about two-thirds of the calories you consume each day just to keep its systems functioning — your heart beating, your muscles moving. The rest of your calorie intake, according to My Calorie Counter, fuels everyday activities.To find out your ideal caloric intake, start by calculating what’s known as your base metabolic rate (BMR):
      • Women: Multiply your weight by 10. Men: Multiply by 11. This is your BMR.
      • Now add to that 20 percent of your BMR if you have a sedentary lifestyle; 30 percent if you are somewhat active; 40 percent if you are moderately active; or 50 percent if you are very active.
      • The number you get is how many calories you need to maintain your weight.

1.  Count How Many Calories You Actually Eat and Burn

You can track your calories online at MyCalorieCounter.com or their app.  Also, you can list how many calories you burned.

You can easily cut 500 calories by making small diet and exercise changes throughout your day. Here’s one approach:

      • Breakfast: Drink water instead of orange juice (calories saved: 117)
      • Snack: Have sliced cucumber and a tablespoon of hummus instead of a bag of chips (calories saved: 119)
      • Lunch: Swap out your salad’s creamy ranch dressing for fat-free Italian (calories saved: 66)
      • Dessert: Eat half of a cup of strawberries instead of a half of a cup of chocolate ice cream (calories saved: 118).
      • Exercise: Stroll at a moderate pace for 30 minutes (calories burned: 125 for a woman weighing 145)

2.  Get Portion Saavy.

In a world where SUPERSIZED is the new normal, these tips can help you recognize what a healthy portion looks like, which can help you keep calories in check:

    • Think of a tennis ball. It’s the equivalent of one cup of food, which is the recommended portion for such foods as pasta, cereal, and yogurt.
    • Don’t eat straight out of the container or bag. It’s a recipe for mindlessly overeating. Instead, measure a serving size of whatever you’re noshing on — almonds, soy chips, or other snacks — and put it on a plate or in a bowl.
    • Use smaller plates. Trick your mind into thinking that you have more food by downsizing your large dinner plate for a smaller salad-sized one. A healthy portion can look teeny on a huge plate but will seem more normal when you shrink its surroundings.
    • Spoil your appetite with nutritious food. Try eating celery sticks with peanut butter an hour before mealtime.

Remember to keep portion size in control and count calories and/or carbs!  Read labels!


How to Determine How Many Calories to Eat to Lose Weight and What Exercises Burn More Calories Overall

You burn most of your daily calories with little to no conscious effort.  The calories used to maintain basic bodily functions throughout your day add up to your basal metabolic rate, or BMR.

“These are couch-potato calories.  Your body uses amounts to 60 to 75 percent of the total calories you use daily, and there’s no physical activity required for this.  In other words, this is what you burn without lifting a finger. That’s why BMR is also is called the resting metabolic rate.

Knowing your BMR can help you create a more effective strategy for weight loss, allowing you to better keep your track of your calories and better understand the effect exercise will have on your waistline.

Calculating Your BMR  (get out the calculator)

The easiest way to measure your BMR is to use an online calculator, like the one at My Calorie Counter. This calculator factors in your height, weight, gender, and age, and activity level, then assesses how many calories you need to eat daily just to maintain your current weight.

You can do the math yourself, using the appropriate equation:• If you’re a man, your BMR is equal to: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years). For example, if you’re 170 pounds, 5’11”, and 43, your BMR is 66 + (6.23 x 170) + (12.7 x 71) – (6.8 x 43) = 1734.4 calories.

• If you’re a woman, your BMR is equal to: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years). For example, if you’re 130 pounds, 5’3”, and 36, your BMR is 665 + (4.35 x 130) + (4.7 x 63) – (4.7 x 36) = 1357.4 calories.Next figure out your total daily calorie requirement by multiplying your BMR by your level of activity: • If you rarely exercise, multiply your BMR by 1.2.
• If you exercise on 1 to 3 days per week, doing light activity, multiply your BMR by 1.375.
• If you exercise on 3 to 5 days per week, doing moderate activity, multiply your BMR by 1.55.
• If you exercise 6 to 7 days per week, doing vigorous activity, multiply your BMR by 1.725.
• If you exercise every day and have a physical job or if you often exercise twice a day, multiply your BMR by 1.9.z

This calculation gives you the number of calories you burn in one day at your current level of activity; in other words, this is the number of calories it takes to stay at the weight you are if you don’t change anything.

Applying Your BMR Calculation to Weight Loss

Once you know your BMR and the number of calories you burn for your activity level, you can improve your weight-loss efforts by setting a lower daily calorie-intake limit and crafting a plan for increasing your physical activity:

Set your daily calorie limit. To lose weight, you need to reduce your caloric intake below your total daily calorie requirement indicated by your BMR + activity level.

Putting yourself in a 500-calorie deficit every day should result in the loss of one pound per week (since there are 3,500 calories in a pound)

Adjust your exercise output. Our BMR calculator asks you for your level of physical activity for a very good reason. You can influence your BMR through exercise, spurring your body to burn more calories even after you’ve finished and are just lounging about.

• Aerobic exercise provides a temporary boost to your BMR, an effect sometimes referred to as after-burn or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  Your BMR will return back to its normal level anywhere between 15 minutes and 48 hours.

 Strength training provides a more-lasting boost to BMR by altering your body’s composition. Muscle at rest burns more calories than fat at rest. That’s why men enjoy a naturally higher BMR than women, as they tend to have more muscle mass.

• If you cut calories and increase your BMR by exercising, you’ll see results even faster. Increase the amount of calories you burn by 250 each day, and you’ll lose a half-pound more on top of the calorie cuts made in your diet. You could exercise longer or you could increase the intensity of your workouts to burn more calories — either way will increase the calorie deficit.

The advantage of knowing your BMR is that you can learn the number of calories you need to consume and expend to meet your personal goal for weight.

New AMA Medical Study: Low Carb Diet Increases Metabolism and Helps Burn an Extra 300 Calories a Day!


An article just came out (see the link) about a study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was done with participants in a weight loss study over a 12 week period. Three groups: the low-fat group, low-glycemic index group and the low-carbohydrate group.

You can read the study for yourself, but basically your body metabolism burns faster on certain diets. The slowest metabolism was the low-fat group. However, the next group was the low-glycemic group, which does still involve still eating whole grains. That group burned about an extra 200 calories a day over the low-fat group. However, the winner–the low-carb group, burned 300 more calories a day over the low-fat group, merely because of the type of foods consumed and less whole grains and starchy vegetables.

So, if you are trying to lose weight and not following a low-carb diet, you are throwing away the opportunity to burn an extra free 300 calories a day with no physical labor involved. 300 calories is equivalent to a vigorous one hour exercise class.


Can a Plate Help You Lose Weight or Stay Skinny?

You can gain weight eating healthy foods!  Why is that?  Because if you look at our mothers or grandmothers, their average calorific content a day was about 1800 calories a day on average.  Today, woman are eating about 2200 calories a day.  Since the 1950s, portion sizes have increased for women and men.

plate sizes

Portion size is key to staying slim.

Six things you can do to eat the right portion size.

1.  Don’t use the regular sized meal plates.  If you use a smaller one or use older ones from an antique store, you will fill your plates and subconsciously think that it is a lot because your (smaller) plate is full.


2.  Use a plate that doesn’t match the color of your food.  You are more likely to eat less asparagus (for example) on a white plate vs. a green plate.

3.  Don’t go to buffets.  Very dangerous and filling up those large plates again and again is going to make you gain weight.


4.  When you fill your plate, the right way to do it for your diet, your body and your health and nutrients is to fill half of the plate up with vegetables, then the other half is divided into two parts–one part starchy vegetable and one part meat.  And you can foresake the starchy vegetable because most of us get enough carbs in other foods, so just get more vegetables.


5.  Don’t fill your plate with pasta or rice.  If you must have those things (hopefully, not often), use the whole-wheat version (not white) and put it in the quarter where your starchy vegetable would go.  But, a whole plate of pasta is not the right portion size and this is why you are having weight issues.

6.  Eat slowly and chew well.  Give your body time to get the signal to your brain that you are full.

Try these ideas and see how well it works for you!