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The key to good health is maintaining an optimum weight rather than looking thin. It is vital to understand that weight loss is a long-term goal that should be achieved by changing lifestyle and eating habits. Those who lose weight rapidly tend to gain back the pounds.
A well-balanced diet plays an important role in weight loss. Adding oats to your diet can aid weight loss as they are low in calories and high in soluble fiber. The soluble fiber also helps keep you full for longer.
Calorific Value of Oats
A half-cup of dry oats contains around 150 calories when prepared with water. (1)
Consume Oats for Healthier Weight Management
Oats are a great addition to a balanced diet. However, I do not believe that oats lead to weight loss. Oats may aid weight loss when “loaded up” with additional items such as fruits, nut butter, and seeds. (2)
These foods are good for you, but they can be very high in calories and hinder your weight loss. Therefore, portion control is key.
When you add fruit to your oats, it would be considered high-volume eating. This means that you are eating a high volume of food, but the calories are low. Fruits are the best pairing with oats because they will keep you full.
When adding nuts, seeds, and nut butter, ensure that you portion them out because these items are considered calorically dense. For example, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter are 200 calories. (3)
The Role of Fiber in Weight Loss
Oats contain soluble fiber, which is known to create a gel-like substance in the gut. Soluble fiber has been linked to lowering blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. (4)
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, encourages movement in the digestive tract, helping those who may have issues being “regular.” (5)
The combination of both insoluble and soluble fibers leaves lasting benefits, far beyond weight loss. These benefits include controlling blood sugar levels, maintaining healthy bowels, and reducing the risk of many heart conditions.
The Institute of Medicine suggests women should have 25 g of fiber a day and men 38 g of fiber a day. (6) To put the amount of fiber into perspective, one medium apple contains about 4 g of fiber.
Best Variety of Oats for Weight Loss
There is not much of a difference between rolled, steel-cut, and whole oats when looking at the nutrient profile. But that is when talking about plain oats.
Many people use brands that have different flavorings, such as maple or apple. This changes the nutrient profile depending on the ingredients and portion size of the oats.
I would suggest sticking to plain oats and then adding in your preferred toppings. This way, you control what goes into the oatmeal. If you prefer premade oats due to convenience, then I would suggest staying under 5 g of sugar.
Another great option is to meal prep the oats at the beginning of the week and then to make your own bowls from there.
Healthiest Way to Cook Oats
I would suggest that oats should be made with water if the overall goal is weight loss. The reason is the more calories you ingest, the slower your weight loss will be. (7) However, the addition of milk could add protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients that can be beneficial to your overall health.
Can Oats Be Eaten Every Day Without Any Side Effects?
There are no adverse effects of consuming oats every single day, as suggested by research. However, the best way to achieve overall health and wellness is by eating a variety of foods that are different colors.
Oats are a great addition to a healthy diet, but I would advise against having them for multiple meals a day in hopes of achieving weight loss.
The Comparative Benefits of Instant Oats and Cooked Oats
Both instant and cooked oats have the same nutritional value as long as they are both prepared plain. Once milk, nuts, seeds, and other ingredients are added in, the nutrient profile becomes different. Nutrient profile refers to calories, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.
Is Oatmeal Helpful in Reducing Belly Fat?
There is no food that helps reduce fat anywhere, specifically on the body. Every single person has a different body type and a different daily regimen. The combination of diet and exercise can help reduce fat on the body but not just fat around the abdomen. (8)
Many individuals have food intolerances that can cause excess bloating. Even a high-sodium diet can give the abdomen a distended look.
Different Ways to Consume Oats
You can easily include oats in your daily diet by using them in a variety of dishes like smoothies, muffins, energy balls, and acai bowls.
This diversification will allow you to get your daily dose of oats, without getting bored of the taste. Moreover, they are a great snack to keep at work because all you need is a microwave and water. The combination of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates will keep you full while avoiding the crash that is associated with carbohydrates.
I would like to express that carbohydrates are not bad for you; it is just how you eat them. For example, oats paired with chia seeds and strawberries will give you lasting energy due to the combination, while eating plain oats may make you hungry in a few hours.
Weight management is a long-term goal that can be achieved by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is best to consult a doctor or dietitian for your ideal weight and how to achieve it.
No research suggests that oatmeal diets cause weight loss. However, the nutrient profile of oats, especially when coupled with fruits, can constitute a healthy meal full of nutrients and low in calories.
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