Oatmeal has a sense of association with wholesome goodness. The imagery is that of a healthy and active person with a hearty bowl of oatmeal. So yes, when one reads about celebrities and magical weight loss stories, the humble oatmeal always plays a significant role. Oatmeal is a nutritious, versatile addition to your breakfast. However, how you serve your oatmeal can influence its effect on weight loss. Avoid sugary toppings that add extra calories to make oatmeal a total game changer.
A dish made of dry oats, be it quick, rolled or steel cut, oatmeal is a good staple food for your diet. With antioxidant properties, oatmeal stems from a nutrient-rich whole grain that remains low-calorie and satiating. So adding oatmeal to your morning breakfast plan is a no-brainer. It’s an easy way to up the fibre intake. Further, not only is it quick and easy to make, but you can customise oatmeal any way you like.
Is Oatmeal Good for Weight Loss?
Oatmeal is full of nutritional and soluble fibre, which helps you feel full after a meal. Essentially, this means that you feel more satiated after having oatmeal than eating a piece of toast. As a result, you feel less inclined to eat something additional to feel full. In addition, a study shows that oatmeal, both old-fashioned and instant oats, is more effective for satiety than ready-to-eat cereals. Therefore, you may be able to resist snacking by starting your day off with a hot bowl of oatmeal.
Oatmeal has several nutritional benefits, but its protein content remains a concern. So, if you’re eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, then incorporating some protein into that meal is a good idea. In addition, it will help those looking to lose weight stay full for even longer, which means that the calories consumed by the end of the day will also reduce.
The HealthifyMe Note
Oats are gluten-free whole grains and contain a host of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. So, besides being an effective weight loss food, it also helps you improve your health. Oatmeal can lead to lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart diseases. However, oatmeal lacks protein. However, you can add any form of protein into your bowl, be it an egg, some yoghurt or even peanut butter.
Ways to Eat Oatmeal for Weight Loss
Oatmeal is as versatile as a dish gets. Steel-cut, crushed, or rolled oats are the way to go if you’re looking for a quick way to fill your stomach. Oat groats, on the other hand, take longer to cook, so don’t put that on the menu if you have a busy schedule. Usually, oats come with instructions on how to cook them, so it is best if you follow the steps on the package. The cooking time can range from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how you like your oatmeal. You can cook your oats with water, milk or a plant-based alternative.
That is the beauty of a good bowl of oatmeal, the ‘anything you like’ part. Yes, you can go for an excellent ol’ plain cup of oatmeal, or you can add whatever you like to it! For example, suppose you’re a vegetarian with fewer protein options. In that case, you can mix a scoop of protein powder into your oatmeal or even a spoonful of your favourite unsweetened nut butter.
As healthy as oatmeal can be, you could unknowingly add hundreds of calories to your breakfast if you add too much brown sugar, maple syrup, or table sugar. If you like to sweeten your oatmeal, choose fresh fruit instead of dry fruit and a pinch of cinnamon. And making your oatmeal with a dairy-free milk substitute could support your weight loss efforts. You also want to avoid fatty toppings next time you mix up a bowl for breakfast.
Protein is always an essential part of the weight loss diet plan. Eat oatmeal with a side of egg whites, nuts, Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese to ensure you get extra protein in addition to the 5 grams in oatmeal.
Delicious Recipes to Make the Best Oatmeal
Banana Almond Flax Oatmeal
Serving Size: 1
Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Steel-cut oats: ½ cup (approx. 125 g)
- Water: 1¼ cup (300 ml)
- Ground flax seed: 1 tsp
- Half semi-ripe banana (Sliced)
- Cinnamon: ¼ teaspoon
- A drizzle of almond milk
Method of Preparation
- Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Add oats, flax, banana, and cinnamon and stir.
- Return to a boil and then turn off the heat. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Scoop into a bowl and add almond milk.
To sweeten and bring texture to the oatmeal, mix a mashed banana in half as soon as you cook it. It adds the perfect sweetness and flavour and improves the food texture!
Overnight Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
Serving Size: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes (Prep time does not include overnight refrigeration.)
- Rolled oats: 1 cup
- Nut Milk: 1 cup
- Pumpkin puree: 3 tbsp
- Ground ginger: ¼ tsp
- Ground cinnamon: ¼ tsp
- Nutmeg: ¼ tsp
- Ground cloves: A pinch
- Sea salt: A pinch
Method of Preparation
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, divide and stir the mixture. Spoon into glasses or bowls.
- Top with additional pumpkin yoghurt or one tablespoon of chia seeds.
Oatmeal Mistakes to Avoid
There are no significant risks to eating oatmeal, but there are some caveats. Firstly, avoid overeating oatmeal in the hope of losing weight quickly. Oatmeal is rich in dietary fibre, and consuming too much of it strains the stomach and intestines, causing constipation and diarrhoea.
Something to also be aware of is that instant oats often come with blended flours, artificial dyes, and added sugars. As a result, it raises the total glycemic index, which can quickly raise blood sugar. High GI foods are not what you want to consume to lose weight. To prevent yourself from falling into the temptation of a quick breakfast, you can prepare your oatmeal overnight. Overdoing it with maple syrup and tossing it in the brown sugar packet transforms oatmeal from a weight loss breakfast to a fattening disaster.
If you are allergic to flour or have celiac disease, it is a good idea to go for gluten-free oatmeal. Pure oats are gluten-free. However, oats often face the risk of gluten contamination when they get processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains. Additionally, prepackaged oatmeal with added sugar can be counterproductive for weight loss.
The HealthifyMe Note
Prepackaged oatmeal sounds like a convenient option. But it does not favour your waistline. In addition, added flavourings and sugars in prepackaged varieties can raise your blood sugar levels and lead to a higher-calorie meal than you intended. Interestingly, on a day you want to slow on dinner, you can make a savoury version with some tofu, egg whites and chicken.
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast choices you can make to lose weight. But only if you prepare it properly and avoid inevitable mistakes. You must buy plain, unflavored oats for healthy weight management. To add a zing to your plain oatmeal, try tossing in some chopped apple slices, a handful of blueberries, or some chia seeds. Oatmeal is rich in high-quality dietary fibre. Add a scoop of protein powder and nuts to enhance your oatmeal for weight loss.