On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing a shocking example of the difference between portion size and serving size for cereal.
Yes, we’re talking about something sweet and seductive, but no, we’re not talking about my girl Jess.
We’re talking about the amount of carbohydrates and calories you’re actually eating for breakfast vs. what the nutrition label serving size on the cereal box says.
Let’s get into it.
When most people go grocery shopping, they try to buy healthy.
But they don’t always succeed.
Most people are busy, which means most of their meals have to be quick.
And of course you always need to keep your kids happy.
This means most of the food is processed, even though the marketing on the box says it’s “healthy”.
Due to portion sizes, even a somewhat healthier breakfast cereal option can turn into a full blown carbohydrate and calorie nightmare.
Let’s take a closer look at what I mean.
Now before we get started, in the comment section below, tell me how many calories and carbohydrates do you think is in a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal?
The serving size listed on the nutrition label of this box of Raisin Bran is 1 cup.
Based on this 1 cup serving size, Raisin Bran contains:
But let me ask you this.
Do you think your actual portion size for a bowl of cereal equals the 1 cup serving size listed on the nutrition facts label?
Look at how small an actual cup is.
How many cups of cereal do you actually pour into your cereal bowl?
Here’s a cereal bowl from my kitchen.
As you can see, this cereal bowl is quite a bit smaller than what’s probably in your kitchen.
But even with a small bowl like this, here’s how much cereal it takes to actually fill the bowl.
It takes approximately 2 cups of cereal to fill this small cereal bowl.
That portion size is double the actual serving size mentioned on the cereal box.
But wait, we’re not done.
Since you’re on a diet, you’re probably using dairy skim milk.
The serving size on the nutrition facts label for dairy skim milk is 1 cup.
1 cup of dairy skim milk doesn’t even come close to covering the portion size of cereal.
We need to add more.
Alright, 2 cups of dairy skim milk should be enough to properly cover the cereal.
2 cups of dairy skim milk contains:
So let’s add this up to compare the difference between portion size and serving size in terms of total calories and carbohydrates.
In your “healthy” breakfast, the actual amount of calories and carbohydrates is:
The most shocking thing is these 520 calories are primarily comprised of 110g of higher glycemic carbohydrates.
But since there’s 12g of fiber in this portion of Raisin Bran, let’s remove that from the calculation and just call it an even 98g of digestible carbohydrates.
As you can tell, most traditional boxed cereal has a very bad macronutrient breakdown as well since 85% of the 520 calories comes from carbohydrates.
That’s a lot of carbohydrates.
Look at all of this sugar.
As you know, carbohydrates are broken down in the body into a form of sugar called glucose.
24.5 teaspoons of sugar is going into your bloodstream after eating one true portion of this “healthy” cereal,
Depending on how active you are, some of this sugar will be burned for energy, but whatever is not burned for energy, it can be stored as fat.
If you must eat processed and packaged food, know your portion sizes.
Or just eat real food.
If you want to learn how to eat real food, go check out our Team Live Lean Inner Circle site where you’ll get access to our quick and healthy cooking videos.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.