Oatmeal is considered a healthy breakfast option worldwide. Moreover, oats offer versatility and flexibility with their recipe, which makes oats an excellent choice for athletes and bodybuilders.
But, besides athletes, obese people could also consider oatmeal to shred a few pounds quickly. This article covers brief information about the oatmeal diet and its role in weight loss.
What Is An Oatmeal Diet?
As the name suggests, an oatmeal diet is a restrictive diet that specifically centers around oats. In an oatmeal diet, an individual is asked to consume one or two meals, including oats, each day.
The diet is considered cheap and effective by people trying to lose weight. The oatmeal diet has been divided into three phases which are as follows-
In this phase, an individual must consume oats for three meals in the first week. In the first week, the person is allowed to eat whole oats.
People should avoid instant oatmeal as it contains added flavor and sweeteners. Moreover, you may include sliced fruits with your oatmeal for added nutrition and taste.
In the second phase, an individual should consume oats for three meals daily. But, you are allowed to add a half bowl of sliced fruit salad with each meal.
The third phase is less restrictive and focuses on an individual’s regular diet. In this phase, you may resume your standard diet plan with optimum nutrients.
But, one meal of the day, especially breakfast, must contain oats. You may add fruits, nuts, or natural flavorings to enhance the taste of the oatmeal.
Nutritional Values Of An Oatmeal
A cup of raw oats (81 grams) contains the following nutrients-
Water: 8.7 grams
Carbohydrate: 54.8 grams
Protein: 10.7 grams
Fiber: 8.1 grams
Sugar: 0.8 grams
Fat: 5.3 grams
Besides these nutrients, oats also contain vitamins and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin B1.
Benefits Of Oatmeal For Weight Loss
The following are the benefits of consuming oatmeal for weight loss-
Keeps You Full And Improves Bowel Movement
Oatmeal is an excellent breakfast option with sufficient dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber, essential for good gut health.
The high fiber content may help regulate hunger and keep you full for an extended period. The soluble fibers form a gel-like formula during digestion that gives you a feeling of fullness.
Oats also contain a compound called beta-glucan that releases peptide YY, a hormone linked with satiety.
Besides fullness, oatmeal could benefit people suffering from digestive issues like constipation. The dietary fiber softens the stool; thus, it could improve the bowel movement and passage of stool.
May Control Insulin Levels
Low insulin levels have been considered healthy and effective for losing weight. High blood sugar levels stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin that helps absorb the blood sugar or glucose.
Hence, higher insulin concentration would allow the cells to absorb blood sugar and convert them into fat.
Food items like oats have a low glycemic index, i.e., these food items are slowly digested, causing a gradual spike in blood sugar levels. Thus, consuming oatmeal in your diet would keep the insulin levels under control.
May Improve Blood Sugar Levels
Oatmeal could benefit people who have Type 2 diabetes. It is believed that consuming oatmeal regularly slows digestion, resulting in a slower increase in blood sugar levels.
Oats are a low glycemic index food that prevents after-meal blood sugar spikes. Moreover, controlled blood sugar levels would help reduce fatigue and headaches caused due to unusual changes in glucose levels.
May Boost The Immune System
A healthy immune system is essential to maintain an active and fit body. Generally, high beta-glucan concentration helps activate the infection-fighting blood cells, i.e., WBCs.
Thus, by keeping the immune system active, people consuming oatmeal could efficiently perform regular workouts to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
May Boost Gut Microbiome
The gut microbiome plays a significant role in improving an individual’s digestion and preventing digestive issues.
Oats are a prebiotic food that acts as potential food for good or friendly gut bacteria. Moreover, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is essential to improve an individual’s immune system and mood.
May Help Build Muscle And Boost Metabolism
Besides healthy fiber, oats also contain a significant portion of the protein that is essential to build muscles and reducing fat loss.
People consuming oatmeal with regular workouts could easily retain muscle mass and boost metabolism to initiate weight loss.
Moreover, an excellent protein-rich meal would help regulate ghrelin, the hunger hormone, to lower food cravings.
Things To Avoid During Oatmeal Diet
People following an oatmeal diet to lose weight fail to achieve their goals due to some common mistakes. Hence, here are a few things that you should avoid to get the desired results-
Avoid Adding Sugar
Flavored or added sugar oats aren’t an excellent choice for people losing weight. Consuming flavored oats may increase your sugar intake resulting in an unusual spike in blood sugar levels.
Moreover, some people prefer adding choco chips, sweeteners, etc., to enhance the flavor. But, adding sugar would decrease the overall nutritional value and increase your carbohydrate, fat, and calorie intake.
Consume Limited Portions
The oatmeal diet is a fad diet; thus, you are allowed to consume oats in all your meals. But, excessive oats consumption may lead to malnutrition and muscle mass shredding.
Generally, oats contain a high amount of fiber; thus, consuming excessive oats would keep you full for an extended period.
High fiber intake like beta-glucan could make an individual deprived of hunger throughout the day, resulting in a lack of eating desire. Moreover, people suffering from gastric issues should consider small-sized oatmeal to avoid gas and bloating.
Risks Of The Oatmeal Diet
The oatmeal diet is a fad diet that includes a single source of nutrition. It may benefit people to lose weight quickly, but it could harm their health.
Hence, it would be best to consult a dietitian or a doctor before following the oatmeal diet. Generally, oatmeal offers minimum calories to an individual for the day.
Moreover, oatmeal is a restrictive diet; thus, regularly consuming the same food once or twice a day could be challenging. Hence, sustaining such a diet for an extended period would be difficult that may affect the weight loss process.
Besides sustainability issues, following an oatmeal diet may increase the risk of several diseases, including gout, kidney stones, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancers, etc.
Hence, considering all the possible risks of an oatmeal diet, you could include vegetables, fruits, a variety of lean proteins, etc., in your diet to meet the daily calorie count. Moreover, following a healthy and less restrictive diet would keep the weight off for an extended period.
Is An Oatmeal Diet Effective For Losing Weight?
Oatmeal could be effective for the duration of the diet. But, keeping the weight off after leaving the diet plan could be challenging for an individual. Most individuals regain weight depending on the type of diet they follow after the oatmeal diet.
Generally, oatmeal offers fewer calories than an individual needs for the day. Thus, the person would feel less energetic and may feel ill, tired, and nauseous.
Oatmeal is a delicious food widely consumed for its healthy and weight-shredding abilities. But, besides the nutritional benefits, the diet comes with a few risks and disadvantages.
Hence, it is advised to consult a dietitian to get a well-curated oatmeal diet plan for long-term effects. Moreover, custom designed oatmeal diet plan would be easy to adapt and sustain.