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A friend told me that if I eat nothing but oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week, it makes me lose weight really quickly. Is this true? I thought oats make you gain weight. Can I lose weight by eating oatmeal? If oatmeal is good for weight loss, how much oatmeal should I eat to lose weight? Thanks. – Ruth, Oregon.

 

Is Eating Oatmeal Good for Losing Weight?

 

Hi Ruth,

A diet based on oat has been a much talked about weight loss topic for quite some time. It is believed that eating oatmeal not only helps to lose weight safely and naturally, but also lower bad cholesterol levels, and protect against certain types of cancer.

So how does oatmeal help you lose weight? Oatmeal is a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber that makes you feel full faster and for a longer period of time so you will eat less – calories and fats – and less likely to overeat or snack later in the day.

According to a study done at St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital at the New York Obesity Research Center, dieters who ate oatmeal for breakfast were less hungry at lunch time because fiber leaves the stomach more slowly than many other foods.

In addition to that, oats also contain resistant starch, a special form of carbohydrates which helps weight loss and suppress appetite when consumed in quantity. In another study, it was found that resistant starch increases the activity of fat-burning enzymes (particularly around the abdominal area) and decreases the activity of fat-storage enzyme. Simply put, resistant starch helps you burn more calories and store less fat.
 

What foods are high in resistant starch? Bananas (green), beans (cannellini beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas and lentils), pearl barley, millet, polenta, and potato.

To my best knowledge, there is no specific oatmeal diet for weight loss to follow but one of the most popular oatmeal diet plan recommends you add varying quantities of oatmeal into your daily diet as a main meal for the first week and then use oats as an addition to your regular diet.

 

How to Do the Oatmeal Diet?

The first week of the oatmeal diet consists of eating ½ cup of oatmeal (old fashioned) for each meal, which may be combined with equal amount of skim milk if you want it to taste better. It is very important that you should avoid instant oatmeal (quick-cooking) and granola bars, and also limit your calorie intake to between 900-1200 calories a day.

After the first week, continue to add ½ cup of oatmeal three times a day to your regular diet for the next 30 days. You are allowed to consume granola bars and instant oatmeal, or other forms of oats during this period and increase calorie intake to 1000-1300 daily.

If you want a snack to eat in between meals, opt for ½ cup of uncooked vegetables and ½ cup of fresh fruit instead of unhealthy snacks that are high in fat, calories, salt (sodium) and sugar, and low in nutrition.

After you have completed the 30 day meal plan, you can return to normal diet but continue with one meal and one snack of oatmeal every single day. Remember to eat healthy well balanced meals and limit the amount of fat you consume.

 

To help you get an idea of what I'm talking about, please take a look at the oatmeal diet plan sample below:

 

Oatmeal Diet Plan Sample

Breakfast

½ cup oatmeal

½ cup skim milk

1 tablespoon raisins, or sunflower seeds

½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

coffee or tea

 

Mid Morning Snack

1 small apple

 

Lunch

½ cup oatmeal

½ cup low fat unflavored yogurt

1 orange, or banana

 

Afternoon Snack

½ cup raw vegetable sticks such as celery or carrot

 

Dinner

4 oz grilled chicken breast (skinned), or fish
Large green salad
½ cup oatmeal

 

Dessert

1 serving fat-free, sugar-free jello pudding

 

 

 

With that said, keep in mind that any diet which is based on a single food source and eliminates all other healthy foods can be extremely dangerous. Such diet (fad) lacks essential vitamins and important nutrients that your body needs to function properly. If you follow a fad diet to lose weight fast, it may cause serious health problems, like malnutrition. Therefore, seek advice from your doctor before undertaking the oatmeal diet. And, if you have IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome), ask your doctor if oatmeal might be good for you. Some people with IBS may experience diarrhea, bloating and gas after taking too much fiber.

 

My best advice for losing weight safely and keeping it off for good is to consume a wide range of foods – fresh and full of nutrients – in moderate amounts and stay active to expend more calories.

 

 

 

By Diane Hanson

can i lose weight by eating oatmeal

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