Most common and popular breakfast foods are not good for you. In particular, cold cereal with skim milk is not a good choice to start the day. I know it is frustrating when you’ve given up the bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches or corn muffins for cold cereal and still aren’t losing weight or feeling well.

There is a big misconception in America about what is healthy to eat for breakfast. The food companies have created this association that cold cereal that is low in fat and cholesterol is really good for you. They even put skim milk on the box to suggest that that is the best choice for the cereal.

Let me explain why most common breakfast cereals are just empty calories, full of sugar and sodium, with a multivitamin sprinkled on top. Even the ones you think are healthy, most likely are not.

Without mentioning names, let’s look at one serving size of a popular and considered healthy brand of cereal (it’s name starts with a C).  One cup has 100 calories, 15 calories from fat, and 190 mg of sodium, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrates. Let’s assume you eat this with the suggested ½ cup of skim milk, which has 40 calories, 60 mg of sodium, 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates and no fat.

Total- 140 calories

104 calories of carbohydrates – 74%

28 calories of protein- 20%

15 calories of fat – 10%

250 mg sodium

3 grams fiber

First of all, the calories are too low. One hundred and forty calories is good for a small child. Let’s assume a woman will double the serving to 240 calories and a man will triple it to 420 calories. The best thing about this cereal is the fiber, 3 grams per 140 calories. This quantity of fiber is ok but not great. My recommendation for cereal is at least 4 grams of fiber per 100 calories. One of the worst parts of this breakfast is that the sodium is way too high. I recommend limiting your sodium intake to no more then 1500 mg  (1.5 grams) per day. Eating this cereal a man would be consuming ½ his sodium allowance in this one meal. Another problem with this breakfast is that the carbohydrates are mostly empty calories. The vitamins that are listed on the box mostly come from a multivitamin sprinkled on top of the cereal. In addition, this cereal is too low in protein and healthy fats. Most people would get a sugar rush and then crash with low blood sugar and be hungry shortly after.  A better ratio for breakfast would be 50% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 25% healthy fat. That would make a lot more sense for holding off hunger, promoting protein synthesis and reducing body fat.

Keep in mind I picked one of the better cereals to evaluate. If I had picked one of the sweeter varieties that are popular with children, the numbers and adverse effects would be much worse.

Here’s an example of a healthy breakfast meal that I recommend to my clients.

–       ½ cup 5 grain slow cook oatmeal

–       1 to 1.5 cups water

–       1 cup blue berries

–       1 scoop whey protein powder (not just for body builders)

–       2 table spoons ground flaxseeds

–       ½ oz pumpkin seeds

Total – 444 calories

–       26% protein

–       23% healthy fats

–       48% carbohydrates

–       14 grams fiber

–       70 mg sodium

Don’t do what everyone else is doing if it is not working for you. Try this approach to breakfast. I know it will work for you. Good luck and stay healthy.

Best – Mike Cola

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My name is Mike Cola (yeah that is me in the pic @ 54 years old). I’ve been called a “Contrarian” since I believe that most mainstream fitness approaches are extremely inefficient.

I achieved the look in that photo just training 3 times per week. My specialty is helping people reach peak condition without having to hit the gym 6-7 times per week.

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