Oats are a basic healthy diet for many good reasons – they are affordable, infinitely customizable and full of nutrients such as healthy carbohydrates and fiber.
They are also a great option when you are trying to lose weight, so you should incorporate it into your diet to lose weight at least a couple of times a week.
How you serve your oats can have a big impact on your weight loss benefits, yet adhere to the scents that add nutritional value and promote fat loss, it is important to avoid additional sugary or greasy ingredients that add many calories.
HOW TO SERVE OATS TO LOSE WEIGHT
To make your oatmeal a superfood for weight loss, add one or two egg whites when you are cooking your oats; then add your favorite ingredients. Egg whites will not significantly affect the taste of your oats but will add beneficial proteins. That’s key to losing weight, according to the Harvard School of Public Health – it makes you burn more calories during digestion, and also keeps you full for longer after the meal, which can help you eat less.
One of the benefits of oats for weight loss is its adaptability – you can mix and match with many other healthy foods, textures and cooking techniques to get a different tasting food every time, so you are less likely to get bored with their diet.
Experiment with different spices to add more flavor: a dash of cardamom perfectly complements the fresh chopped cherries, while a touch of cayenne pepper can work well on cocoa-flavored oats.
AVOID INSTANT OATS WITH SUGAR
Regardless of the texture of the oats you choose – be it whole or instant oats – remember to buy oats without adding flavorings. Flavored oatmeal is often loaded with sugar, which adds calories without increasing the nutritional value of oats. For example, a packet of commercially available maple and brown sugar oatmeal has 158 calories and 13 grams of sugar, while a serving of the third cup of plain rolled oats – enough to make half a cup of cooked oats – has only 102 calories and less than one gram of sugar. Switching from a serving of plain oatmeal each morning saves you over 20,000 calories over the course of a year.
EAT OATMEAL WITH HIGH-FIBER INGREDIENTS
Instead of seasoning your oatmeal with sugar, cover your oats with healthy blends that will help you lose weight. A key nutrient for weight loss is fiber, according to research conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Fiber helps keep it full, making it less likely to overeat, and simply adding more fiber to your diet is one of the simplest ways to lose pounds, according to UMass.
Increase the fiber content of your oats by adding a handful of berries – raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries – for only 25 to 40 calories per half cup.
AVOID FATTY AND SUGARY SUPPLEMENTS
While you may be tempted to sweeten your oatmeal with “healthy” sugars like maple syrup, honey or agave, these sweeteners count as added sugar and offer little nutritional value. Instead, add sweetness with a tablespoon of unsweetened apple compote or banana puree. Or mix one drop of stevia – a natural, calorie-free sweetener – into your oats.
You also want to avoid fat coverings in order to promote weight loss. Peanut butter, for example, offers some nutritional benefits but is also full of fat and has 188 calories per serving of 2 tbsp, so you could potentially add hundreds of calories to your breakfast if you do not look at the portion size.
Making your oatmeal with whole milk could thwart your weight loss efforts – one cup has 149 calories and 8 grams of fat. Make your oats with water to keep your calorie intake low.