By Leigh Reeve AdvAPD AFAIM Director, Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum.

Want to stop the winter weight creeping on? Did you know that people who eat breakfast, especially a breakfast cereal, tend to be slimmer and less likely to gain weight?


As winter begins to set in, extra kilograms can quickly show on the scales. Our instincts seem to tell us to eat more as the temperature drops and we often choose much heavier foods with loads more kilojoules than we do in summer. Come Spring, we are left trying to move those extra kilograms off as quickly as we can! The best way to ward off winter weight gain is to think about Spring now and plan ahead with sustainable healthy eating habits.

Starting the day with a nutritional breakfast can take the edge off winter comfort eating and breakfast cereal is one of the best ‘weapons’ of choice.

Beat it with Breakfast

cerealWinter is a key time to remember the importance of breakfast in your daily routine. It is well known that people who eat breakfast regularly tend to be slimmer than those who skip breakfast.1

The first meal of the day is the most important meal because it supplies the body and brain with the necessary nutrients after a night’s sleep. Nutritional experts recommend eating 20-25% of your daily kilojoule needs at breakfast.1

How does breakfast help battle winter weight?

  1. Appetite Control: Eating breakfast helps to stabilise blood glucose levels, which regulates appetite and energy. People who eat breakfast are less likely to be hungry and overeat during the day. This means less cravings for high kilojoule winter comfort foods and snacks!1
  2. Lower BMI: Breakfast consumption, especially eating breakfast cereals regularly, is associated with lower incidence of being overweight and obese. Overall breakfast and breakfast cereal eaters tend to be slimmer and have a lower BMI.1

Be the Best Breakfaster

To get the very most out of your breakfast it is important to make sure you choose wisely. Breakfast cereal is a nutritious, quick and delicious way to make the most of your first meal of the day and make it easier to eat well over the entire day.

How is breakfast cereal your ‘weapon’ against winter weight?


  1. Fibre for fullness: Breakfast is an essential time to fill up on fiber to help keep you feeling fuller. Top your favourite breakfast cereal with a winter coat of bran cereal, or choose wholegrain or high fibre breakfast cereals, and breakfast cereals with oats, barley, psyllium and bran.
  2. Hot options: Warm up your breakfast by serving hot milk on your favourite breakfast cereal or choosing hot cooked breakfast cereals like porridge. Remember milk adds protein to help manage your appetite too! Top your breakfast cereal with warm fruit. Fresh seasonal fruit, frozen or canned fruit take no time to heat up in the microwave.
  3. Healthy snacking: For a nutritious, low fat snack, try a bowl of breakfast cereal and add hot milk. If you always eat snacks after dinner and have tried unsuccessfully to give them up, try 1 cup of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal and 2/3 cup (170ml) of low fat milk instead of your usual snacks. This snacking plan reduced kilojoule intake and promoted weight loss for both men and women in a one month research study.2
  4. Low Glycaemic Index: To watch winter weight try to eat at least one low GI carbohydrate containing food at each meal and base snacks on low GI foods. Contact the manufacturer to check the GI of your favourite breakfast cereal as it’s not always listed on the package. Breakfast cereals based on traditional oats, psyllium or bran are usually low GI. For all types of breakfast cereals, you will lower the GI of your breakfast meal by eating breakfast cereal along with low GI foods like milk, yoghurt, and low GI fruit.3

‘Don’t make winter harder than it needs to be. Prepare yourself for the battle against cold weather cravings and extra kilograms with breakfast every day, and adopt your favourite breakfast cereals as your ‘weapon’ of choice,’ says Leigh Reeve, Director, Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum.

For more information:

Leigh Reeve, Director ABCMF,


    2. Waller SM et al. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2004; 23(4):316-321.
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