The cornerstone of any weight loss program begins with a healthy breakfast. Say goodbye to those calorie dense muffins, sugary cereals, and fat dense cream cheese on bagels.
In order to shed off a pound or two a week, your breakfast needs be composed of oatmeal.
Oatmeal is a healthy, affordable and versatile food that can be customized to align with your diet plan and taste buds.
Oatmeal is rich in fiber, antioxidants and complex carbohydrates to provide you with long lasting energy.
In addition, the high fiber content will help you feel fuller so that you eat less during the rest of the day. Here are 4 ways to eat your oatmeal to lose weight.
How To Eat Oats To Lose The Most Weight
1. Don’t Add Sugar or Fat
How many times have you seen your friends order a salad when they are dieting only to drown it with dressing? Adding these extra calories of sugar is counterproductive and prevents your weight loss.
Similarly, when you add sugar to your oatmeal you are hindering your weight loss goals. Instead, I suggest you add some healthy fruit like berries, bananas, or applesauce to sweeten your meal.
Furthermore, avoid adding fat to your oatmeal. Peanut butter is ok to have occasionally while dieting. However, a tablespoon of peanut butter has approximately 100 calories, and quickly turns healthy oatmeal into unhealthy oatmeal.
It is also advised to not make oatmeal with whole milk as that is loaded with calories and fat. Some suggest eating oatmeal with just water to keep the calories down.
Personally, I enjoy my oatmeal with a skim milk and banana. This way I add texture to my oatmeal, but also add protein from the milk and healthy vitamins from the fruit.
2. Add Fiber and Protein
Ever notice how when you eat breakfast you aren’t as hungry throughout the day?
That’s because your body has released hormones that tell your brain you are full and satiated. This in turns releases more hormones that tell your brain to not eat.
Fiber plays a key role in making you full. It is very filling and allows you to feel satisfied.
It is recommended that the average woman eat 25g of fiber a day and the average man eat roughly 35g of fiber a day. A cup of oatmeal provides 4g of fiber.
You can further increase the fiber content of your oatmeal by adding delicious fiber rich foods such as one cup of raspberries (8g of fiber), one cup of blueberries (8g of fiber), a medium sized pear (5.5g of fiber), or a banana (3g of fiber).
Try to add some texture to your oatmeal with flaxseed as a two-tablespoon serving contains 4g of fiber and a dose of omega-3 fatty acids!
And if you don’t have any fiber, you can even add a scoop of protein (approximately 20 grams of protein), or mix our oatmeal with an egg white (1 egg white has 4 grams of protein).
The added protein will build your muscles, and will also make you feel fuller so you eat less during the day.
3. Don’t Buy Oatmeal in Sugar Packets
A packet of Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal has roughly 160 calories. However, a 1/3 cup of dry oatmeal has approximately 100 calories.
Sugar oatmeal packets are full of simple carbohydrate sugars that will burn energy quickly. This will make you feel hungry throughout the day and you will overeat.
Instead, eat the dry oatmeal that is not in sugar packets. Dry oatmeal will provide you with long lasting energy throughout the day because that oatmeal is full of complex carbohydrates.
In addition, by avoiding the sugar packets, you will be able to control the calorie content of your dry oats as you customize your own healthy meal.
4. Eat Slowly And Never Skip Breakfast So That You Don’t Get Mid-Morning Cravings
This is a two parter, and both parts will help you lose weight faster.
First, try to eat slowly during all of your meals. This applies to breakfast, lunch, and dinner – not just when you’re eating oatmeal!
When you eat slowly, you give your body time to send signals to your brain that you’re full. So slow down while you’re eating and you’ll have much more manageable portions.
Second, never skip breakfast so that you don’t get a blood sugar crash in the middle of the morning.
When your blood sugar crashes like that, it makes your body crave unhealthy, processed foods that are packed with added sugar and chemicals.
So avoid the temptation and eat breakfast every day to keep your body powered up and going strong until lunch.
My Favorite Oatmeal Recipe
As a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter, I am constantly watching what I eat to help me win. But as a doctor, my pager goes off non-stop so I don’t get the luxury to prepare an elegant breakfast.
This inspired me to create my own oatmeal recipe to fit my dieting needs while I am on go!
Each morning I blend together one cup of dry oats, two cups of skim milk, a scoop of protein, and a banana. I blend it together for 10 seconds and drink it down in 20 seconds.
Fast. Easy. Delicious.
Best of all, I still get long lasting energy and fiber to satiate my appetite from the oatmeal, amino acids to rebuild my muscles from the protein powder and skim milk, and healthy vitamins and antioxidants from the fruit.
When I get bored, sometimes I add some frozen fruit to make it into a cold smoothie. And when I need a boost in the morning, I add some coffee to the blender for the caffeine kick!
Oatmeal will become the foundation of your breakfast and weight loss goals. Have fun with your recipes and find what is best for you. Just remember to use these three tips to eat right and to keep your abs tight!
How To Eat Oats To Lose Weight
- Don’t add sugar or fat
- Add fiber and protein
- Don’t buy oatmeal in sugar packets
- Eat slowly and never skip breakfast so you’re full throughout the day
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. During medical school he and his classmates co-founded and co-led medfit, which is a health and wellness organization that provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. As a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter he has broken multiple state and national records. He has over a decade of personal training experience of clients at all levels and finds the profession so rewarding because of his ability to help others achieve their fitness goals. He serves as a contributing writer for Vixen Daily.