04 January, 2012
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- Harvard Health Publications: Making One Change -- Getting More Fiber -- Can Help With Weight Loss
- MedlinePlus: Lactose Intolerance
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The Best Cereals for a Flat Stomach
Losing the belly bulge may seem like the hardest part of your weight-loss diet. While choosing a healthy cereal may aid in your weight-loss efforts or prevent belly bloat, no one cereal will give you a flat stomach. However, making smart dietary choices -- including in the cereal aisle -- can help you get the physique you crave.
Choosing a Cereal
With so many breakfast cereal options, making the right choice when you're trying to lose weight can be daunting. Use the food label to help you narrow down your choices.
A good cereal for a flatter belly should be low in sugar, less than 8 grams per serving, and low in fat, less than 3 grams per serving, and it should have about 100 calories to 120 calories per serving.
It should also be a good source of fiber, with at least 3 grams per serving. Getting more fiber in your diet can help you lose weight, according to Harvard Health Publications.
If you're looking for a quick meal for breakfast or a snack, ready-to-eat whole-grain flake cereals without any added sugar and unsweetened circle-oat cereals make good choices. These types of cereals are low in calories and a good source of fiber. Granola cereals are promoted as healthy options, but they can be high in calories, fat and sugar, which is why it's always a good idea to read the food label when making your cereal selection.
Use fruit, such as bananas or strawberries, to add natural sweetness and more fiber to your cereal without adding too many extra calories.
Hot cereals take a little more time to prepare, but they make good options when trying to whittle your middle because you have more control over what goes in them. Healthy options include oats, cream of wheat and couscous.
To prevent unnecessary bloat from fluid retention, stick with the regular hot cereals instead of the instant, which sometimes have added sodium. Add sweetness and flavor to your hot cereal with fresh fruit.
Other Factors to Consider
Certain conditions can cause bloating and make it harder for you to get a flat belly, including lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity. Lactose is found in milk, and gluten is found in foods made from wheat, barley or rye, which you may be getting in your cereal. Only a doctor can diagnose these conditions. If you're lactose-intolerant, you can use a plant-based milk such as soy or almond milk, and if you're gluten-sensitive, try whole-grain gluten-free cereals such as a corn- or oat-based cereal,
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