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Hot Cereal for Low-Cal Diets
About the Author
Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan, one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)
3 Low Calorie Breakfast Cereals
"Cereal. It's what's for breakfast." That seems to be the motto for western societies. Commercial cereal is a staple for most Americans. Certain brands will try to persuade you through advertisements in magazines, on billboards, and through television and radio to buy their cereals. Some have even campaigned their brands to be great for weight loss diets. Most cereals can be eaten right away after being poured straight from a box into a bowl. Simplicity seems to be the key.
Hot cereal seems to take a bit longer to cook, so they're not advertised as well as cold cereal. Hot cereal also has a high carbohydrate and calorie count. Finding a healthy cereal that can be incorporated into a low-cal diet is like searching for a water in a hot dessert. However, you can satisfy your cravings and still stick to your diet. Know what the healthiest cereals are that will give your tummy the warmth it needs as well as satisfy your cravings. Enjoy 3 low calorie breakfast cereals that are not only healthy but quick to prepare and yummy to the tummy.
Balance is important in all diets. Remember to include your proteins with your hot cereal.
Important Notes on Hot Cereals
When choosing a hot cereal for your low-cal diet, you want to make sure you choose one that includes the following:
- natural grain
- no additives
- all vitamins preserved (some commercial cereals are stripped and then fortified)
- gluten-free (if you have sensitivities to gluten or have Celiac's disease)
It's also important to note that a healthy and balanced cereal will be high in protein. Some grains do have protein; however, they are usually low for the amount you will need while dieting. Therefore, added protein such as egg whites, turkey bacon, chicken sausage, or even protein powder can be added for balance. All hot cereal ideas below will provide you with balanced nutrition. They are also gluten-free.
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Hot Cereal #1: Chocolate Peanut Oats
If you love Reese's cups, you'll love this Chocolate Peanut Oats hot cereal recipe. Oatmeal can be a nutritious as it high in thiamine, maganese, and selenium which are all known to boost metabolism. Though it has a modest amount of protein with one half cup containing 5 grams, more should be added. In this Chocolate Peanut Oats recipe, you'll be adding a few egg whites as well as some chocolate protein powder (low-carb preferred) to increase your protein intake. Protein is the greatest building block for your body, so you don't want to skimp on it. While dieting, it preserves muscle and boosts metabolism. Its thermogenic effect is at least double that of carbohydrates and dietary fats. To balance the meal, you'll add a bit of dietary fat in the way of natural peanut butter. Mmmmm!
- 1/2 cup dry Old fashioned oats
- 1-1/2 cup water
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder (low-carb preferred, approximately 10-12 grams)
- 1 tsp. natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp. Stevia (optional, depending on your likeness for sweets)
- Mix oats and water together. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove.
- Add egg whites, protein powder, and peanut butter. Stir thoroughly. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove.
- Calories: 296
- Proteins: 30 grams
- Carbs: 31 grams
- Fats: 6 grams
Hot Cereal #2: Quinoa with Apples and Walnuts
Quinoa (pronouned KEEN-wah) is a grain that may be new to you. However, it's actually an ancient food that has been around for thousands of years and began with the Andean culture. Quinoa is now more readily available to consumers, and is a very healthy grain that is used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. In fact, it is one of the healthiest cereals to be found. It is high in all B vitamins, especially folate. B vitamins are especially beneficial for weight loss. Quinoa is also loaded with minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and maganese which are all beneficial for weight loss, energy, and immunity. Protein is atypical compared to other grains as quinoa has a higher ratio than most. To round out quinoa as a low calorie breakfast that is also balanced, add some apples and walnuts. Apples are a great source of fiber and vitamin C, while walnuts are a great source of B vitamins, minerals, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has many wonderful benefits from keeping inflammation and disease at bay, but it also helps with weight loss. Below is a hot cereal recipe for Quinoa with Apples and Walnuts. Add a couple slices of low-sodium turkey bacon for added protein. This would be approximately 50 to 60 calories and 5 to 8 grams of protein.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 small apple, cubed
- 7 walnut halves
- 1/2 tsp. Stevia (for sweetness but optional)
- splash of almond or coconut milk
- Put 1 cup of cooked quinoa and a little water in a pan over medium heat on stove top to warm up. Quinoa should be the consistency of porridge. You may also warm it up in the microwave. After warm, remove from stove.
- Add apple, walnuts, Stevia, and milk. Stir.
- Calories: 345
- Protein: 10 grams
- Carbohydrates: 49 grams
- Fats: 13 grams
Quinoa is one of the healthiest cereals you can make as it is naturally nutritious with B vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Amaranth contains more minerals than any other grain:
* These figures are based off the standard 2,000 calorie diet.
Hot Cereal #3: Cream of Amaranth and Almond Berries
Like Quinoa, amaranth is an ancient grain cultivated by the Aztec indians in Mexico. This high quality grain is also full of proteins, B vitamins, and minerals. In fact, one cup of cooked amaranth contains more minerals than any other grain. Try the following Cream of Amaranth recipe with added berries and almond butter for a well-balanced meal. If you would like more protein, you can add scrambled eggs or egg whites on the side.
- 1/2 cup amaranth
- 1-1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries
- 1 tsp. almond butter
- Add amaranth and water to a pan and cook with medium high heat on a stove top. Stir frequently for about 20 minutes. Remove from stove and place amaranth porridge into a bowl.
- Add berries and almond butter
- Calories: 326
- Proteins: 11 grams
- Carbohydrates: 68 grams
- Fats: 7 grams
Make sure all your meals are well balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fats. Use your imagination when it comes to putting foods together. Just be careful on incorporating too many grains and seeds into your low-cal diet as the calories are usually high for a small amount. If you plan them correctly, you should be able to obtain your weight loss goals. Grains and seeds are always best eaten early in the morning, and especially around workout times. The best recommendation is to save your hot cereal meals after a strenuous workout, and limit it to twice per week when on a low-cal diet.
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About the author
Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author. For the past 10 years, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Her clients have lost thousands of pounds, reclaimed health, and call her “Coach No Gimmick.” She is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. Abby has been married for 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 19 year cancer survivor.
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