Oats are a healthy diet staple for many good reasons – they’re affordable, endlessly customizable and packed with nutrients like healthy carbs and fiber. They’re also a great option when you’re trying to lose weight, so you should incorporate them into your weight-loss diet at least a few times a week. How you serve your oats can have a big impact on their weight-loss benefits.
There are some big reasons that oatmeal is such a power player: Not only is it packed with fiber, a nutrient that’s been shown to improve health and accelerate weight loss, it’s also one of the very best sources of resistant starch. That’s the kind that digests slowly and triggers the release of digestive acids that suppress appetite and accelerate calorie-burn. Not only does it stop cravings, but it’s also totally delicious.
With oatmeal overflowing with so many health benefits, it seems silly not to think outside the breakfast bowl and add it to more dishes, right?
Ways to Serve Oats to Lose Weight
One of the benefits of oatmeal for weight loss is its adaptability — you can mix and match toppings, textures and cooking techniques to get a different-tasting bowl each time, so you’re less likely to get bored with your diet and quit. Try baking a mixture of steel-cut oats, unsweetened almond milk, banana puree and cinnamon for rich-but-healthy “banana bread” oatmeal. You can bake a big batch on the weekends, then separate it into smaller servings to eat throughout the week. Experiment with different spices to add more flavor — a dash of cardamom perfectly complements fresh chopped cherries, while a touch of cayenne pepper can work well in cacao-flavored oats.
To make your oats even better for weight loss, stir in an egg white or two as the oats cook; then add your favorite toppings. The egg whites won’t significantly affect the flavor of your oatmeal, but they’ll add beneficial protein. That’s key for shedding pounds, it makes you burn more calories during digestion, and it also keeps you full after your meal, which may help you eat less.
A serving of oatmeal has fewer calories than a couple of slices of bread and often has more fiber. One-half cup of dry oatmeal contains 150 calories.
Low in Fat
Eating low-fat foods can help you cut down on the calories you consume, and oatmeal certainly fits the bill. It has only 3 grams of fat per serving, and this fat is primarily polyunsaturated and monounsaturated — the heart-healthy fats that your body needs to function.
Oatmeal is one of the most filling foods that you can eat for breakfast. You can also use oatmeal as a meal replacement. Prepare a bowl of oatmeal, add a quarter-cup of fruit, a tablespoon of protein powder or nut butter and a dash of nonfat milk, and you’ve made a healthy meal.