6 ways this morning meal makes you gain weight

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A bowl of cereal makes the perfect breakfast. It's fast, easy, andinexpensive, and the right bowl of cereal is a good source of fiber,calcium, and protein. But if you make the wrong choices, your cereal mayactually be contributing to weight gain. Avoid these mistakes when itcomes to your morning bowl of cereal.

  • Your bowl is too big: Depending on the box of cereal youchoose, a serving size is about three-quarters to one-and-a-quarter cups.If you use the biggest bowl you have and just mindlessly pour, you couldbe devouring over 400 calories instead of the usual 120 to 200 and thisis just the cereal alone!
  • You're a little nuts: Sliced almonds, pecans, and walnuts offerhealthy fats and protein, but they're also pretty high in calories. Twotablespoons of walnuts is almost 100, so be mindful about how nutty youget.
  • You're using a bottomless bowl: You measure out a servingof cereal, pour in the milk, and spoon away. But when you get to thebottom of the bowl, you have so much milk left, you have to add a littlemore cereal. But you add too much, so you need to pour in a little moremilk. It's a vicious cycle. Just drink the last of the milk and call it aday.
  • You load up on dried fruit to up the fiber: Raisins, dates,banana chips, and dried cherries do offer a little bit of fiber, butbecause they contain hardly any water, dried fruits are super caloriedense. A quarter cup of dried cranberries is over 100 calories. You'rebetter off using fresh fruit since it's lower in calories and higher infiber, and the high water content will fill your belly up, so you actuallyend up eating less.
  • You're in love with low-fat milk: The more fat in your milk,the more calories. One cup of whole milk contains 150 calories, and twopercent has 130. If you go for nonfatskim milk, it's only 90 calories. It may not seem like a bigdifference, but over time, those calories really add up.
  • You're still into kids cereal: Lucky Charms, Cocoa Pebbles,Apple Jacks, Froot Loops ‹ they might be sweet and tasty, but they containtons of sugar and hardly any nutrition. That means you'll polish off yourbowl and an hour later, hunger will have you reaching for more food, whichwill end up packing on the pounds. Choose healthycereals like these that are high in both fiber and protein to keep youfeeling satisfied for hours.

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