Are Oats A Good Breakfast For Weight Loss


Are oats a good breakfast for weight loss? It’s a question many people have asked, especially those seeking the healthiest way to lose the excess weight. If you’re curious about oats to help you lose weight, there are a few things you should know. Do you think that oats are a good breakfast choice for weight loss? Research is finding good news for people who like to eat oats for breakfast. Oats are not the lowest calorie food, but if you eat enough low-calorie, low-fat foods the day before, it can help control appetite and calories at breakfast. When eating oats for breakfast, make sure that you stay away from instant oatmeal and instead look for slow cooking steel cut oats or other types of longer cooking oats. These will give you more fiber. If your diet doesn’t include enough fiber, then try adding a supplement as this will help you feel full faster and allow you to stay on track with your weight loss goals.

Are Oats A Good Breakfast For Weight Loss

oatmeal fruit nuts

Oatmeal with fruit and nuts can be a healthy breakfast if you’re trying to lose weight.

  • Oatmeal can help with weight loss because it contains soluble fiber, which can keep you feeling full.
  • Steel-cut or rolled oats are the most nutritious and filling form of oatmeal to add to your diet.
  • Avoid processed or instant oatmeal and don’t add too much sugar to your oats for the most health benefits.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Oat-based meals are a popular breakfast food in many countries around the world, including the US, Switzerland, and Finland, which are touted as beneficial for weight loss due to a healthy mix of fiber, complex carbs, and protein.  Oatmeal is rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and lead to better gut health.

“Oats help people feel full, decrease sugar spikes, and decrease insulin. Those are the properties that make you feel full so you stop eating,” says Chaim Ross, MD, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone at Great Neck Medical.

However, not all oatmeals are equal. The difference is in the oats used to make the oatmeal.

There are several types of oatmeal, including steel-cut or Irish oats, Scottish oats, rolled or old-fashioned oats, and quick or instant oats. However, if you’re looking for the least processed forms then steel-cut and rolled oats are your ticket and also deemed healthiest.

Here are the advantages of eating oatmeal in relation to weight maintenance, along with some potential drawbacks.

Weight Loss Benefits Of Oatmeal 

Oatmeal contains a healthy mixture of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and plant-based protein that makes it beneficial for weight loss. A half-cup of dry Old Fashioned Quaker Oats contains 150 calories, three grams of fat, 27 grams of carbohydrates, five grams of protein, and one gram of naturally occurring sugar. It contains four grams of dietary fiber with two grams of soluble fiber.

Here are some health and weight loss-related benefits of this nutritious meal:

Oatmeal keeps you feeling full and helps regulate bowel movements: Dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, softens stool, making it easier to pass. It also regulates hunger by creating a feeling of fullness. “Oats have soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like formula that can leave people feeling full,” Ross says.

Oatmeal helps to keep blood sugar from spiking: Another perk of eating oatmeal is that the rolled oats version qualifies as a  low glycemic index food. The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of foods based on how much they raise blood sugar. Therefore, a low GI means that oatmeal keeps your blood sugar from spiking too high during and after meals, which may help fend off hunger longer, Ross says. Spikes in blood sugar can also cause fatigue and headaches.

Keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range, particularly for people with diabetes, may prevent long-term health complications such as heart disease. The GI of rolled oats is about 55, which, for comparison, is about 25 points lower than whole wheat bread.

Oatmeal helps control insulin: As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose, aka blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index, like oats, are digested more slowly which causes a more gradual rise in blood sugar. Because insulin allows cells to absorb blood sugar which the body converts to fat if there is too much of it, low insulin levels are associated with weight loss.

Oatmeal may help boost the immune system: One type of soluble fiber, beta-glucan, is found in oats and helps activate your infection-fighting blood cells. Staying healthy means you can be active, keep a regular exercise schedule, and either lose or maintain weight.

How To Eat Oatmeal For Weight Loss 

Though oatmeal has several health benefits, people should be mindful of the potential drawbacks, Ross says. Here’s what to avoid or stay mindful of when incorporating oatmeal into your diet:

Don’t add too much sugar and mix-ins: It may be tempting to add some sweetness and fat to oatmeal, which by itself is generally very bland. But calories from brown sugar, butter, and syrup add up quickly, Ross says. Instead, opt for fruit. “Throwing a couple of blueberries on it is a great idea,” he says. “Throwing sugar on it, not a great idea.”

Pay attention to portion size: While the recommended portion size of half a cup of dry oats is healthy, oatmeal can be very caloric and too carb-heavy in high amounts, Ross says. That could interfere with weight-loss goals. However, depending on your age, height, weight and physical activity level one cup or more of oats may be ok.

Stay away from instant or flavored oats: Although the calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein content in various oats are similar, their effects on blood sugar are not. Because instant oats are more highly processed, they have less fiber and therefore a higher glycemic index.

A well-balanced, low-fat, healthy diet should include more minimally processed foods, such as whole grains, which have low-GI values. Similarly, flavored oats should also be avoided, as they are frequently full of processed sugar that the fiber doesn’t offset.

Avoid eating too much too soon: “When I recommend fiber, I tell people to start slow, ease into it,” Ross says. Otherwise, your body may have a hard time processing all the fiber, which can cause bloating, constipation, and stomach pain.

People should start with oatmeal two to four times a week and work their way up to daily servings, he says. It may be beneficial to have a large glass of water with oatmeal to help move the fiber through the GI tract to reduce bloating and stomach pain.

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.

In fact, one Nutrition & Metabolism study found that swapping just 5 percent of daily carbohydrates for resistant starch could boost your fat-burning metabolism by a whopping 23 percent!

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? All of our creative uses for the superfood are sure to excite your taste buds and turbocharge your trim down efforts. Read on to find out what they are! Plus, read our list of the The 100 Healthiest Foods on the Planet.

Use Them In Place Of Breadcrumbs

oatmeal crusted chicken nuggets

Did you know that rolled oats can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs in recipes like meatballs, chicken nuggets, and meatloaf? It may not be conventional but it works like a charm and it’s an easy way to sneak some extra nutrition into family meals. Oatmeal-crusted chicken tenders, anyone?! No kiddo (or adult) would say no to that!

Eat This! Tip

Depending on the type of dish you’re preparing, you may want to throw the oats into a blender to create a texture that’s more similar to that of breadcrumbs.

Make Cheap Snack Bars

Sick of shelling out cash each week on granola and snack bars? Extend your grocery budget and keep hunger at bay by making a homemade oat-based batch instead. We love these 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars from The Kitchn. Each serving has just 130 calories and 7 grams of sugar, and, better yet, they’re beyond easy to make.

Add Them To Pancakes

Traditionally, homemade pancakes are filled with nutrient-void calories and carbs—which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to lose belly fat. But that’s no reason kick your beloved breakfast cake to the curb. Make the dish weight loss friendly by swapping out the flour, white sugar, milk and butter for bananas, eggs, oats, baking powder and salt. The result is a fluffy hotcake packed with satiating fiber and muscle-building protein. And if breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, be sure to read up on these best breakfast foods for weight loss.

Fix A Batch Of Oat Flour

oatmeal oat flour

If you typically make homemade bread, waffles, and desserts with conventional four, you’re missing a major opportunity to add waist-whittling, healthy nutrients to your diet. Although store-bought oat flour is better for you than the white variety, it can be pretty costly. To reap the benefits without going broke, toss some old fashion oats in a food processor and let ‘er rip! The resulting mixture can be used exactly how you’d use white flour in all of your favorite recipes.

Make Healthier Muffins

oatmeal muffins

Not only are traditional muffins sweetened with sugar, they’re also made with flour, a refined carbohydrate that the body converts to into sugar and then glucose, which is stored as body fat if it’s not used for fuel. Although a muffin isn’t exactly the healthiest breakfast choice, if you’re not willing to give them up at least make them a healthier treat by swapping flour for rolled oats. We also love the idea of cutting out refined sugar and replacing it with ripe bananas. Follow our lead by making our go-to recipe below:


2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed


STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

STEP 2: Combine and mix dry ingredients. Then, add the coconut oil, mashed bananas, and eggs. Mix well.

STEP 3: Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the muffins feel firm.

Cook Up A Stealthy Brinner

Nothing in your kitchen but oatmeal, eggs, and some basic odds and ends? There’s no need to resort to a classic brinner again, you can have a comforting risotto-inspired dinner on your table in 30 minutes flat. Seriously! While you’re preparing your oats on the stove as you usually do, crack an egg in a pan and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Then, once it’s fully cooked, transfer the oatmeal to a bowl, and top it with the egg, some cheese, and some chopped onion. The result is a healthy, waist-trimming meal totally worth Instagramming

Throw Them In A Mason Jar

overnight oats

They may be called overnight oats, but making them doesn’t actually require PJs or twilight. The dish serves as a great dinner alternative, too! Before you head to work for the day, throw oats, your liquid, and toppings of choice into a mason jar and the flavors fuse together in the refrigerator while you’re at work. With just a few minutes of prep work, you’ll have a homemade, healthy meal ready to eat the minute you walk back in the door. Rather follow a recipe than mix and match your own add-ins? Check out these overnight oats recipes!

Bulk up a smoothie

oatmeal smoothie

If your morning smoothie typically leaves your stomach growling you may want to consider adding some ground oats to your glass. After grinding up a handful of raw oatmeal in the blender, add the rest of your smoothie ingredients and blend until well combined. The result is a thicker, more fiber-filled smoothie, that’s sure to keep you feeling full well until lunchtime.

Set It And Forget It

slow cooker oats

Stressful holiday brunches, meet your match! Thanks to your trusty slow cooker, making a healthy a.m. meal for the masses has never been easier. To whip up a batch of slow cooker oatmeal, just throw oats, milk, and cinnamon into the machine then set it and forget it. The next morning set up a do-it-yourself topping bar so your guests can customize their own bowl. Fruit, nuts, unsweetened coconut, and cacao nibs are all tasty options, as are these best toppings for overnight oats.

Thicken Things Up

mushroom gravy

Whether you want to boost the thickness or the health factor of a soup, sauce, or stew, oats are the answer. But before you toss the grain into your dish, pulverize it into a fine powder so you don’t wind up with a lumpy consistency.

Insider’s Takeaway

Oatmeal can be a nutritious and filling addition to a healthy diet.  Its low glycemic index combined with soluble fiber can help with both constipation and weight loss.

Although no research directly links eating oatmeal with weight loss, studies have found it to be effective for appetite control. Its ingredients and nutritional content make it an ideal addition to a weight-loss regimen.

Those introducing oatmeal to their diet should start slowly and avoid instant and flavored oats.

“I recommend that people eat the most natural oat they can find,” Ross says. “If eaten in the right portions, it can help with GI issues and weight loss. Everything in moderation.”

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