Oatmeal is a breakfast staple that has stood the test of time and transcended all the crazy food trends of our time. And thanks to the nutrients that oats naturally contain, such as fiber and B vitamins, including oats in a healthy diet can be a delicious and satisfying dish that can help people manage their weight naturally.
Yet, while eating oatmeal is a no-brainer for anyone wanting to shed a few inches or a few pounds, certain oatmeal preparation habits can put the brakes on achieving that ultimate goal. From not having enough time to prep oats on busy mornings to adding calorie-dense ingredients like sugar to the oatmeal dish, certain oatmeal prep practices can thwart the best intentions. to eat oats.
For weight loss seekers who want to reap the benefits of consuming oatmeal, we asked nutrition experts to share with us the best habits for a healthy lifestyle. From choosing the right ingredients to preparing them the right way, here are six oatmeal eating habits that lead to weight loss, according to dietitians.
Then, for more weight loss tips, check out these eating habits to lose belly fat as you age, according to dietitians.
Sometimes it’s not what we add to our rolled oats that’s the problem, but the time it takes to cook the oats that makes it difficult to eat them regularly. When you don’t have your oats ready to go, you may end up grabbing a donut or other less weight-loss-friendly options to start your day.
By cooking your oats in an instant pot and using the delayed start, you’ll have piping hot oats before you even open your eyes to start the day. Justine Chan, MHSc, RD, CDE, says a 1:3 ratio of steel cut oats to water cooked in an instant pot will do the trick, and using the delayed start will help you avoid the “lack of time” excuse to cook your oats on busy mornings.
If you’re an overnight oatmeal fan, consider adding kefir in place of milk for a probiotic boost.
“Kefir contains more gut-friendly probiotics than yogurt, which studies show may promote satiety by increasing nutrient absorption and blood sugar stability, as well as decreasing systemic inflammation. , leading to better weight control and reduced weight gain,” says Caroline Margolis, RDN.
Oatmeal dishes are usually made with sweeter ingredients, such as brown sugar or maple syrup. But a tastier oatmeal dish can be a nice alternative to classic oatmeal combos with no added sugars.
“Consider making a savory oatmeal that’s loaded with roasted vegetables as toppings, such as broccoli, sweet potato, and mushrooms,” says Andrew Akhaphong, MS, RD, LD. “Not only will you increase fiber to support satiety, but you’ll also help support insulin regulation, healthy cholesterol levels, and increase nutrients in your oatmeal routine.” »
Baking oats in the oven is not on everyone’s mind when it comes to cooking their oats. Still, cooking oatmeal in a casserole dish makes for an enjoyable, nutrient-dense meal that promotes weight loss.
Christa Brown, MS, RDN, suggests making baked oats with eggs for a rich source of protein.
“The protein in eggs and the fiber in oatmeal help with satiety and reduce cravings,” says Brown.
Just adding healthy fats to your oatmeal can have a big impact on your weight loss goals. From nut butter to chia seeds, there are plenty of healthy fat options to add a dose of that macro satiety to your breakfast.
According to Anya Rosen, MS, RD, LD, healthy fats “help lower blood sugar spikes and keep you feeling full for a longer period of time,” which may help you eat less during the day.
There’s no denying that the spoonfuls of brown sugar on your rolled oats taste delicious. But too much added sugar can add way too many empty calories, contributing to weight gain.
“Unsweetened rolled oats can be flavored with cinnamon, cayenne, and ginger,” says Colleen Wysocki, MS, RDN, CLC.
These tasty, sugar-free spices can be a great substitute for high-calorie additions and, in some cases, they may also have an anti-inflammatory effect.