If you’re looking for a way to lose weight without sacrificing flavor, oatmeal is a great option. Oatmeal is a whole grain that is packed with fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients. It’s also low in calories and can help you feel full for longer. According to Eat This Not That, a dietitian has identified six oatmeal habits that can help with weight loss. These habits include adding healthy toppings, eating oatmeal for breakfast, and using oatmeal as a snack. Read on to learn more about these oatmeal habits and how they can help you reach your weight loss goals.
6 Oatmeal Habits That Help With Weight Loss, Says Dietitian
If you’re looking to lose weight, oatmeal is a great food to add to your diet. According to dietitian and nutritionist, Dr. Lisa Young, oatmeal is a great source of fiber and protein, which can help you feel fuller for longer and help you lose weight. Here are six oatmeal habits that can help you reach your weight loss goals.
1. Start Your Day with Oatmeal
Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is a great way to get your metabolism going and help you feel full throughout the day. Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate, which means it takes longer to digest and helps you feel fuller for longer. Plus, it’s a great source of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system running smoothly.
2. Add Healthy Toppings
Adding healthy toppings to your oatmeal can help you get more nutrients and make your oatmeal more satisfying. Try adding fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, or nut butter to your oatmeal for added flavor and nutrition. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes, as adding too many toppings can add extra calories.
3. Choose Steel-Cut Oats
Steel-cut oats are a great choice for weight loss because they are higher in fiber and protein than other types of oats. Steel-cut oats also take longer to digest, which helps you feel fuller for longer. Plus, they have a nutty flavor that makes them more satisfying than other types of oats.
4. Avoid Instant Oats
Instant oats are convenient, but they are not the best choice for weight loss. Instant oats are usually made with refined grains, which means they are lower in fiber and protein than other types of oats. Plus, they are often loaded with added sugar, which can add extra calories and make it harder to reach your weight loss goals.
5. Add Protein
Adding protein to your oatmeal can help you feel fuller for longer and help you reach your weight loss goals. Try adding a scoop of protein powder to your oatmeal or topping it with Greek yogurt or nut butter. This will help keep you feeling full and provide you with the nutrients you need to stay energized throughout the day.
6. Don’t Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast can make it harder to reach your weight loss goals. Eating a healthy breakfast, like oatmeal, can help you stay energized throughout the day and help you make healthier food choices. Plus, it can help you avoid overeating later in the day.
By following these oatmeal habits, you can help reach your weight loss goals and stay healthy. Oatmeal is a great source of fiber and protein, which can help you feel fuller for longer and help you reach your weight loss goals. So, start your day with a bowl of oatmeal and add healthy toppings to make it more satisfying.
Microwave ’em, slow cook ’em, or soak ’em overnight—just about any way you prepare oats, they’re a nutritious, weight-loss-friendly breakfast. Not only are oats loaded with fiber and complex carbohydrates that keep you full until lunch, but they’re also 100% whole grain. Research shows that eating whole (instead of refined) grains may increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories—woohoo!
Still, as with any food, letting bad habits creep into your morning routine can take your nutrient-dense, low-calorie breakfast into unhealthy territory. Want to stay the course for weight loss with your morning meal? Stick to these six habits. Then, try making one of these 21 Cozy Oatmeal Recipes Perfect for Weight Loss This Fall.
Cutting back on sugar is a first-things-first principle of weight loss, not to mention general health. There’s strong evidence that excess sugar is a cause of weight gain—and spiking your blood sugar first thing with super-sweet oatmeal could lead to a mid-morning hypoglycemic crash. (Not fun.)
Rather than creating a dessert-level concoction with a mountain of brown sugar, strive for more subtle sweetness. Try a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup for a lower-carb sweetener, or let fruit sweeten your oatmeal naturally.
RELATED: Get even more healthy tips straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter!
Working toward eating five fruits and veggies a day? It’s a worthwhile goal for weight loss. One large study from 2015 found that people who included more fruits and vegetables in their diet were more likely to weigh less. Berries, apples, and pears were especially associated with greater losses.
Getting the recommended five servings of produce per day can be a tall order unless you start early—so let your bowl of oatmeal be the vehicle for a serving of fruit! With a handful of berries, half a diced apple, or a layer of banana slices, you’ll boost the fiber content in your breakfast and load up on important micronutrients like vitamin C and potassium.
Weight loss experts often tout the powers of protein for dropping pounds. This muscle-building macro is extremely satiating, staving off the hunger pangs that might drive you to overeat. Oats are a surprising source of protein all by themselves (a half-cup serving contains an impressive 6 grams—as much as an egg), but adding, even more, is a cinch. A dollop of nut butter, a sprinkle of seeds or nuts, or a scoop of protein powder incorporate beautifully into a hearty morning bowl.
Oats are considered both nutrient-dense and calorie-dense, so although they’re an excellent choice at breakfast, they’re not a low-calorie food. If you’re watching your weight, it’s smart to stick to moderate portions. The official serving size for rolled or instant oats is a half cup. This might not seem like much at first, but don’t forget that, with the addition of liquid, oats expand to about twice their original size.
Here’s a pro tip: make oatmeal in a smaller cereal bowl, not a soup bowl, to create a more satisfying visual.
Forty minutes in front of the stove on a Wednesday morning? Ain’t nobody got time for that! For successful weight loss, choose an oatmeal prep method that fits your lifestyle. If you’re the on-the-go type, reserve a few minutes the night before to toss together a jar of overnight oats. Or, on hectic mornings, microwave a cozy bowl of instant oats in two minutes flat. (Here’s my personal favorite for a simple, healthy recipe.)
That said, while convenience is a top priority, pre-packaged, commercially produced oatmeal packets aren’t always a friend to weight loss efforts. Some are little more than desserts in disguise. Read labels and ingredient lists carefully to spot sneaky sugars and high carb counts. You may be better off DIYing your own oatmeal from simple, whole foods ingredients.
Eating the same old breakfast every single day can get awfully boring (even if it’s something you like). And when you’re bored, it’s all too easy to jump ship from your healthy breakfast.
To keep things interesting—and keep yourself on the right track for weight loss—be sure to occasionally switch things up in your morning oatmeal. Try a new spice blend, match your fruits to the changing seasons, or experiment with different prep, like overnight or slow-cooked oats. The element of variety will keep you coming back morning after morning.
For even more oatmeal tips, read these next: