Can you eat cereal on a diet?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat cereal on a diet?” with a thorough analysis of the cereal diet, how to lose weight using a cereal diet, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of eating a cereal diet.

Can you eat cereal on a diet?

Yes, you can eat cereal on a diet. However, you should not continue eating cereal for more than 14 days as it has its own adverse effects.

What is a cereal diet?

A cereal diet involves replacing two meals of the day, preferably lunch and breakfast, with a serving of whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk, while having a healthy meal at dinner time. 

The cereal diet is simple to follow.

Simply substitute both breakfast and lunch with a portion of cereal and 120 to 180 millilitres of skim milk. The cereal should have low levels of sugars and consist of whole grains.

For dinner, you should take a meal that has abundant fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as low fats and calories, ideally 450 calories or less. For instance, you can have brown rice with salmon and seasoned vegetables or a grilled chicken salad made with vinaigrette dressing and fresh fruit.

You can also have two snacks per day, each providing 100 calories or less.

If you stick to this diet, you will consume about 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, which should result in weight loss in most cases. However, the number of calories depends on the cereal you choose and how much of it you consume.

It is suggested to eat one serving of your preferred cereal at breakfast and lunch. The serving size is determined by the nutrition label on the package and is typically between 28 to 42 grams.

It is recommended to continue the cereal diet for almost five to 14 days and not longer than that, as it is difficult to stick to, may also be low in calories and protein, and lead to food cravings

Benefits of a cereal diet

Reduced calorie intake

Cereals are low in calories. A low-calorie diet is quite effective in reducing weight. Healthy cereals having good amounts of whole grains and fibres with low sugar content are excellent for this.

Reduce stress

A cereal diet is quite a simple diet. It implies that you do not have to constantly worry about what meal to have during the day or the next morning. The ease of just having your favourite brand of healthful cereals assures that you only have to think about one meal a day.

Increased consumption of protein, fibre and whole grains

Healthy cereal helps us in our busy routines by providing us with good amounts of proteins and fibre. They also help to maintain the amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol eaten throughout the day.

Reduced hunger during the day

Cereals are high in proteins and fibre thus, helps to greatly reduce the desire to eat. They also make you feel full for longer thus reducing your hunger throughout the day. 

Drawbacks of a cereal diet

Not a sustainable long-term solution

You can not maintain a cereal diet in the long term as it will get boring, and your body will start to crave other foods. Since you have restricted yourself from other foods for very long, you are most likely to overeat, consequently adding all the lost weight back.

Additionally, this diet does not provide you with sufficient nutrients, making it potentially harmful over the long term. We need to eat different healthy foods to ensure we consume all the essential nutrients our bodies demand. Consuming cereal two times per day may not provide you with enough variety of beneficial nutrients.

Weakness, reduced focus, and mood fluctuations

A diet low in calories can affect people negatively. When you start this diet, you might feel fine, and even energized at the likelihood of losing weight. However, as the days pass, the low-calorie diet affects you in some adverse ways. Some of these include mood swings, depression, anxiety, anger issues, fatigue, and confusion.

Slow metabolic rate

Apart from food and activity, our metabolism rate plays an important role in gaining, losing or maintaining weight. A person with a fast metabolism rate burns higher calories at rest and while active, as opposed to someone with a low metabolic rate.

Excessive restriction of calories can cause permanent metabolic changes that make it difficult to lose weight.

Healthy breakfast cereal

For better consumption, choose cereals that include whole grains and contains less sugar, fat and salt, for instance:

  • porridge oats
  • wholewheat cereal biscuits
  • shredded wholegrain pillows

Whole grains comprise vitamin B and fibre, along with other nutrients. 

Fibre helps to maintain a healthy digestive system and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat cereal on a diet?” with a thorough analysis of the cereal diet, how to lose weight using a cereal diet, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of eating a cereal diet.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.