One of the hardest things to learn to do when you start eating clean foods on the Ultimate Portion Fix/1 Day Fix nutrition programs is to learn how to shop. There are very few prepackaged foods on the container list and when there is one there is very little information to go by when you go shopping for them. I hope to help with that!
Learning how to read labels for information pertinent to the Fix is important and a little intimidating.
I have been living the 21 Day Fix lifestyle for 2 years and still learn new things about new products every day.
I have done a couple of other posts about the subject of shopping and different containers. The orange container and salad dressings was one of my 1st.
Today I am going to dive into the realm of “store-bought cereals”. Those boxes of cereal that we can grab out of the cabinet on a rushed up morning or as a late-night “treat”.
Let’s examine exactly what the list says: “Cereal, whole grain, low sugar” is how it is worded.
First we want to look at the yellow container and its criteria. A Fix blogger friend did some extensive research on each one of our containers and found the high and low calorie limits for each one of them. You can find all that information and a handy printable here https://thefoodieandthefix.com/21-day-fix-container-guide-free-printable/
Half a cup is the size of the yellow container. The foods on the yellow list range between 90 – 130 calories per serving. A good average to aim for with cereal is about 100 calories to equal 1Y. I try not to use the very highest number, 130 calories, every time I eat a portion of food off of the yellow list because that is not how the Fix works. Your calories are in a “range” and you are supposed to vary in that range daily. If you ate the maximum calories every time you have the yellow container you might not lose very much weight. Eating from all over the yellow list will make sure that your calories vary enough.
But we are talking about reading labels and need we an “average” to go by when shopping. 100 calories is an important number to remember because you are going to see some 1/2 cup servings of cereal as low as 50 calories. We “experienced Fixer’s” can, and usually do, have a full cup of cereal to equal up to 100 calories in that case. (We often do it with bread products too but that is the subject for a whole other post)
Then the next thing mentioned in the description is the whole grain part. The whole grains on our yellow list are all included in what you can pick as a cereal ingredient. You are looking for corn, buckwheat, wheat, brown rice, and the rest of them to be the 1st ingredient on the ingredient list of any box.
Which brings me to the last criteria I am going to talk about, the amount of sugar that is approved for various store-bought products. This sugar is “added sugar” and can be in the form of honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, molasses, stevia, and sugar. Yes, I said sugar! When Beachbody released the Ultimate Portion Fix they took the word “raw” off of the word sugar and it has opened up the food world a little bit. According to them the amount you are aiming for is “8 grams or below of added sugar” to be considered “low sugar”.
I am going to mention muesli/granola right here because it really does fall into this category of store-bought boxed convenience foods. Oatmeal still has to be treated as dry vs cooked when measured and that is one of the reasons muesli/granola is measured as 1/4 cup for 1Y. The other reason is because of the sugar, nuts, and seeds that can be added to those products. The less than 8grams of added sugar rule applies to the 1/4 cup for 1Y.
As with my other “shopping” posts, I am going to let the pictures speak 1000 words. I included some of the most well-known brands and some of the ones that you can have more of because…MORE!
Old Fashioned Shredded Wheat-1 biscuit = 1Y
Spoon Sized Shredded Wheat-1/2 cup = 1Y
Cheerios-1 cup = 1Y
Corn Flakes-1 cup = 1Y
Kix- 1 cup = 1Y
Whole Grain Total-1/2 cup = 1Y
Wheaties-3/4 cup = 1Y
Bran Flakes-1 cup = 1Y
All Bran-1 cup = 1Y
Are these 9 kinds of cereal the ONLY cereals in the universe that fit the criteria “Cereal, Whole Grain, Low Sugar”? NO, there are 100’s of store brands and organic brands that could be included. There is just no way to list them all. This is just a short list of cereals that are SUPER LOW in sugar, “up to 8 grams of added sugar” is a little too much for me personally. I try for 5 grams or below and so my list reflects that choice.
Also, I want to point out that this information is based on products in the USA, so I want to STRESS if you live in another country please double check your labels for unapproved ingredients.
Again these are just examples of what is out there.
What I hope I have done is to give you the information you need to be able to turn that box over and read the label for yourself!
I plan on working on a “bread product” post soon!