The Best Belly-Flattening Cereals

Get rid of your spare tire one bowl at a time. These 6 high-fiber cereals taste good and trim your tummy

May 27, 2011
woman eating a bowl of cereal
1/7 Thinkstock
Belly Off, Bowl by Bowl

Sure, research shows that eating breakfast in general, and cereal in particular, can help keep your weight down, but don't take that as an excuse to reach for the nearest Lucky Charms. Instead, fight the battle of the bulge by choosing brands that are rich in fiber. Why? Fiber fills you up, blocks calorie absorption, stabilizes your blood sugar, and keeps your digestive system humming. In other words, the stuff helps you eat less and flush out more. These six breakfast starters are high in fiber and low in sugar, so you get the maximum belly-flattening benefits. Now that's some sweet cereal.

Cereals recommended by Lyssie Lakatos, RD, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, "The Nutrition Twins" and authors of The Secret to Skinny.

Barbara's Bakery cereal still
Barbara’s Bakery High Fiber

1 cup (original ), 180 calories, 14 g fiber, 8 g sugar

Just one serving of Barbara's Bakery multigrain and bran flakes will put you over half of your daily recommended fiber intake. While the original blend has the fewest calories per serving, all this brand's varieties keep hidden sugars in check. Words like "clusters" and "granola" are usually code for "high in sugar," but Barbara's Bakery Flax and Granola gives you 10 g of fiber with only 9 g per 200 calories a serving.

Cap'n Crunch might be off the market, but there are tons of other sugary culprits. Check out the best and worst cereals in America.

Fiber One
3/7 Mitch Mandel/Thomas MacDonald
Fiber One

1/2 cup, 60 calories, 14 g fiber, 0 g sugar

Get your system going with a bowl of Fiber One in the morning. Half a cup has zero sugar and contains 56% of your daily dose of belly-busting fiber. If the thought of eating the little sticks plain doesn't sound appealing, use it as a mix-in with another cereal or as a garnish for your yogurt.

Cereal can get from box to bowl in an instant. When it's not on hand, try these other quick and healthy meals.

Kashi Go Lean
Kashi Go Lean Original

1 cup, 140 calories, 10 g fiber, 6 g sugar

Kashi Go Lean tastes delicious, is a great source of satiating protein (it contains 13 g--many cereals lack even 2 g of protein), and it's packed with fiber. The cereal's recipe combines hard red wheat, brown rice, whole grain oats, triticale, barley, rye, and buckwheat to deliver 8 g of whole grains per serving.

Search: How to sneak in whole grains

Nature's Path Organic Heritage Flakes
Nature’s Path Organic Heritage Flakes

3/4 cup, 120 calories, 5 g fiber, 4 g sugar

Fancy restaurants aren't the only ones jumping in on the ancient grain craze. Now you can pour yourself a bowl of wheat, barley, quinoa, millet, and spelt for breakfast and get all the benefits of their slimming fiber content. Nature's Path Organic Heritage Flakes are made with a combination of grains and sweetened with just a touch of honey, so you can happily munch on these in the morning or as a midday snack.

Spot the smartest breakfasts on the menu when you pick up a copy of Eat This, Not That!

Country Choice oatmeal
Country Choice Organic Oatmeal

1 packet, 110 calories, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar

If you're craving hot cereal, there's no discrediting oatmeal's slimming power--so long as you stick to the unsweetened kind. Oatmeal is a whole grain, plus this version by Country Choice is organic, low in sugar, and has no sodium. Belly- flattening bonus: Dress up your oatmeal with berries for extra fiber or tap into the appetite-curbing power of protein by adding a hard-boiled egg or some low-fat yogurt.

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shredded wheat
Post Shredded Wheat

1 cup, 170 calories, 6 g fiber, 0 g sugar

Start your day with this sodium-free, sugar-free breakfast staple and you're at a quarter of your daily recommended intake of fiber. Even the frosted kind isn't terrible for you--a serving contains 12 g of sugar, or 3 teaspoons per serving. (The USDA recommends that you keep your sugar intake under 6 teaspoons a day for a 1,600-calorie per day diet, and under 10 teaspoons if you're eating 2,000 calories a day.)

Want more tasty morning meal ideas? Whether you want to lose weight or train for a half-marathon, we've got the perfect breakfast for any goal.