There is no question that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s crucial that in order to reap the outstanding health benefits, you need to choose your go-to foods wisely when it comes to this morning meal. Cereal—definitely a popular choice for breakfast—may be incredibly quick, easy, and long-lasting in your pantry, but it could be responsible for one serious drawback—weight gain.
Here’s what you need to know about cereal and weight gain, and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
Cereal could be responsible for your weight gain.
Many cereal options are packed with an absurd amount of sugar, which is the leading culprit for weight gain. On many cereal boxes, it’s often the second or third ingredient listed. Consuming that much sugar first thing in the morning will likely cause a significant blood sugar spike, and then ultimately a quick fall. It’s that drop in blood sugar that leads you to crave more food almost immediately after finishing the bowl, particularly something high in carbs or sugar. Once this hunger hits, you’ll likely opt for an extra snack or two to hold you over until your next meal, but more food and calories, especially if they’re high in carbs or sugar, can quickly lead to weight gain.
Another reason you could gain weight from your cereal intake is because of the lack of fiber and protein—which can lead you to overeat later on in the day. Even though eggs, Greek yogurt, turkey bacon, and nut butters are all breakfast foods that will keep you full, unfortunately, cereal doesn’t make that list. So, sticking with cereal every day could be the reason you’re reaching for that mid-morning snack, rather than remaining full until lunchtime rolls around. And maybe try one of these nutritionist-approved healthy breakfast foods instead.
Not only does cereal lead you to eat more later in the day, but if you’re not paying close attention to the serving size on the box, you could even be overdoing it on the cereal itself before you even take a bite. Consumer Reports found that many of the participants who completed their survey poured their cereal with a bit of a heavy hand—and we’re shocked to see how small the serving size actually was. More cereal means more calories and more calories mean ultimately you’re looking at more weight gain, especially if you’re eating cereal every day.
To not fall prey to this major side effect of eating cereal, it may be time to switch up your routine. By picking a breakfast option that works with your routine, you’ll be more likely to stick to it, rather than falling back into the trap of cereal for breakfast.