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Cereal for breakfast and lunch or dinner causes a weight loss of 3-4 lbs in six weeks
Thursday, July 08, 2004 12:00 pm Email this article
"Ready-to-eat cereals may be used to promote weight loss when consumed as a portion-controlled, meal replacement," concludes a recent study. Group 1: Single brand of cereals for breakfast and lunch/dinner lost 4.2 lbs
One group of people lost 4.2 pounds in six weeks by eating a single brand of ready-to-eat cereal with 2/3 of a cup of skim milk and a 100 calorie portion of fruit for breakfast, and also as a meal replacement for either lunch or dinner for the first two weeks followed by instructions for the next four weeks to eat a high-fiber, high-volume diet (sometimes refered to as foods with low calorie density, that is foods that have a lot of volume, but not a lot of calories) that was 500 calories below their needs.
People in group one reduced their calorie intake by an average of 640 calories per day.
This first group involved 6 men and 22 women with an average age of 43-years and average BMI of 28.9.
Group 2: Variety of cereals for breakfast and lunch/dinner lost 3 lbs
A second group of people lost 3 pounds in six weeks by following the same protocol as group one except that they were permitted to select from a variety of ready-to-eat cereals.
People in group two reduced their calorie intake by an average of 617 calories per day.
Note that people lost less weight by eating a variety of cereals, however, they still lost weight.
On this point the author of the study noted that “Provision of a variety of brands does not compromise efficacy.”
This second group involved 3 men and 19 women with an average age of 42-years and average BMI of 29.4.
Group 3: Dietary instructions only cause weight loss of only 0.2 lbs
A third group of people lost only 0.2 pounds in six weeks. This group were not given any instructions about diet during the first two weeks, but for the last 4 weeks were instructed to follow a high-fiber, high-volume diet that was 500 calories below their needs, just like the first two groups were instructed to do.
It is interesting that these instructions basically caused no weight loss. In other words, the weight loss in the first two groups was basically due entirely to eating cereal for breakfast and using it as a meal replacement for lunch or dinner.
This third group involved 7 men and 19 women with an average age of 42-years and average BMI of 29.3.
Mostly fat loss
The weight losses were primarily fat mass according to the paper.
Several other studies have found that people have lost weight eating ready-to-eat cereals.
One study found that children who consume ready-to-eat cereals weigh less than children who do not .
Another study found that people who eat cereal for breakfast tend to have a lower body weight than people who do not.
Other researchers note the importance of distinguishing between whole grains and refined grains, noting that refined grains are associated with weight gain, but whole grains are associated with weight loss.
Research has also found that whole grain cereals reduce the risk of death from all causes by 17 percent, and from cardiovascular causes by 20 percent.
Therefore, it would seem that eating whole-grain cereals would be best of all.
Mattes R. Ready-to-eat cereal used as a meal replacement promotes weight loss in humans. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Dec, 21(6):570-77.
Department of Foods and Nutrition
W. Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1264, USA
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