Never Do This First Thing In the Morning

If you want to lose weight or be healthy.

While on this journey to better health and fitness (because this is a journey and not a destination), there are some things that can help your journey and some things that will side-track it completely.

Today we are going reveal one of the biggest impersonators in the weight loss world. This one food pretends to be healthy, fortified and full of nutrients. It has also been known to toot its’ own horn because it is a “delicious, wholesome beginning that fills bellies and fuels bodies and minds”.

However, once the fanfare has stopped and you delve a little deeper you will soon see that this breakfast favourite will instead:

Stall weight loss
Increase our appetite for more food (and the wrong kind)
Raise our blood sugar levels
Leave us feeling tired, sluggish and brain-dead by mid-morning

Cereal and Kim Kardashian
That innocent box of cereal in your cupboard, impersonating as a healthy start to your day, is about as innocent as Kim Kardashian is at being camera-shy.

While we understand the draw to cereal, heck’s let’s face it is an easy-to-prepare breakfast option, it’s high carbohydrate and sugar content makes it a very unhealthy (and fattening) way to start your day.

First, the process of how cereal is made is very unhealthy for the body – no matter what organic, expensive, from the health food store brand you buy. All cold breakfast cereals are made by a process called extrusion (Weston-Price).

The extrusion process is roughly 5 steps of hell for an innocent piece of grain. Here is an exclusive peek of a recently overheard conversation from an innocent piece of grain at a Kellogg’s manufacturing plant:

Grain: I was just minding my own business when all of sudden I was sucked into this vortex and stripped of everything that makes me – me! “.

The Terminator of the Cereal World
In the first part of the extrusion process the grains are mixed with water in a slurry and then processed in a machine called an “extruder” (sounds like a character in the “Terminator” movie, doesn’t it?).

Once the grains and water have fought with the extruder/Terminator (“I’ll be back” – they say), the grains/sludge are then pumped out of tiny holes using high temperatures and pressure. These holes are what creates those cute little O’s, flakes and other shapes that we find in our cereal box.

Certain grains from the above process will then be passed through the extruder/Terminator again to produce puffed wheat, oats and rice. Afterwards all of these little O’s and flakes are then sprayed  with a coating of oil and sugar to seal the deal.

This sealing is crucial to a cereal’s success, because it must stay crunchy while floating in a bowl full of milk.

Unfortunately they don’t stop there. Due to the high heat and pressure used (during the processing) this pretty much destroys most of the grains’ nutrients (Fighting the Food Giants Paul Stitt), and since you have to sell Mom and the rest of us that this particular box is breakfast-gold, the food manufacturers take the cereal through one more process. This time adding back the vitamins and minerals synthetically that their processing stripped of the grain that it had naturally in the first place.

How Sweet It Is
Most of us know that cereals like “Lucky Charms” and “Count Chocu-la” (sorry, I’m not even sure I spelled this one right, but we all know what cereal I mean and I really don’t feel like Googling it) have a ton of sugar in them.

But, what if I were to tell you that even the most “healthiest” cereals have an unnecessary amount of sugar in them?

Sugar that will raise our blood sugar levels too quickly.
Sugar that does not satisfy the body, instead leaving it craving more, and more often.
Sugar, that will add girth to our waistlines.
Sugar that increases inflammation in our bodies – leading to such diseases as cancer and metabolic syndrome.
And sugar, that the World Health Organization (WHO) is advising us to half our daily consumption of.

Sugar. It ain’t a great way to start your day.
Let’s take a look at some the “healthiest” cereals on the market today and see how they measure up for sugar grams.

Kashi GoLean (1 C) 9 grams (just over 2 tsp)

Kashi GoLean – Crunch (3/4 C) 13 grams  (3 tsp)

Barbara’s Original Puffins (3/4 C) 5 grams (just over 1 tsp)

Bob’s Red Mill Granola (1/4 C) 8 grams (2 tsp)

Cheerios (1 C) 1 gram – while this is a low amount of sugar, don’t allow that to lull you in a false sense of security that you are eating healthy. Not only are the ingredients full of GMOs, the FDA even agreed  that Cheerios did not live up to the hype that General Mills was pumping out, and issued the company to change their marketing and box wording.

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (1 C) 13 grams (3 tsp)

Raisin Bran (1 C) 19 grams (over 4 tsp)

Grape Nuts (1 C) 10 grams (over 2 tsp)

Kellogg’s Just Right Fruit & Nuts (1 C) 15 grams (4 tsp)

Quaker Natural Granola with Raisins (1 C) 30 grams (almost 7 tsp)

 What Should You Eat For Breakfast
At Go Fit Gals we believe that the only cereal you should eat is large-flake or steel-cut oats. (Try these awesome oatmeal recipes.)

In our 6-Week Shape Up plan we do have allow “Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes” for the first 2 weeks, but only because this plan is about slowly getting people off of the bad and onto the good.

We knew that if we dropped the hammer, right out of the gate, people would not be able to sustain their new lifestyle.

Breakfasts that we recommend are: Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, “Wasa” Crisp bread with almond butter, scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado, Easy-Egg-Scramble, and I (PJ) even eat cold salmon with a side of mixed nuts.

Our Apple Oatmeal Bake is also a great high-protein, healthy breakfast and a great breakfast item to prep on Sunday because it will carry you through the rest week.