if you are not eating oatmeal for breakfast, now would be a good time to start. This easy meal is served lots of health benefits ranging from weight management and improved gut health to lower cholesterol levels and decreased risk of heart disease. And those are just from the oatmeal!
The best part about oatmeal is that you can enhance this popular breakfast with even more healthy ingredients that not only support overall health, but can also speed up weight loss efforts. The only drawback is that you have to be picky about the add-ins you use exactly because filling your bowl with spoonfuls of brown sugar isn’t going to do your body any favors.
If you’re looking to accelerate your weight loss goals, lauren managerMS, RDNa registered dietitian nutritionist with our board of medical experts and author of The new mom’s pregnancy cookbook Y Feeding Male Fertility shares her recommended combination of oatmeal ingredients:
“The best combination of oatmeal for weight loss is one that allows for a balance of healthy fats, protein, and high-fiber carbohydrates,” she says.
Read on to discover their specific food picks and for more information on eating healthy, don’t miss out. Eating Habits to Lose Belly Fat as You Age, Dietitians Say.
The best combination of oats to lose weight faster contains protein, healthy fats and fiber.
There are countless ways to add protein, healthy fats, and fiber to oatmeal, but one of Manaker’s favorite combinations is the one that contains nuts, berries and chia seeds.
“walnuts they contain the best trifecta of nutrients that support weight management: healthy fats, protein, and fiber to promote satiety,” says Manaker.
A ounce of these nuts contains 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 18 grams of heart-healthy fats, some of which are omega-3 fatty acids—anti-inflammatory fats that have been Linked to lower risk of obesity.
Researchers may have discovered at least one way that walnuts can contribute to weight loss; according to a Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism study, after obese participants consumed a shake containing 14 walnuts for two 5-day periods over the course of a month, brain scans showed that the part of their brains responsible for appetite and impulse control lit up more than a control group that drank shakes without nuts
Berries aren’t just a colorful way to add sweetness to your bowl of oatmeal. These fruits also happen to be excellent sources of fiber that also fill your body with powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds.
“Berries are a low-glycemic index carbohydrate source that fuels the body with fiber and even more satiating nutrients that help with weight management,” says Manaker.
When you increase your intake of whole fresh fruit, studies show this improves weight maintenance or modest weight loss over periods of as little as 3 weeks.
As for the berries specifically, one small studio found that adding blackberries, which contain high levels of a type of polyphenol, anthocyanins, which have been inversely linked to obesity risk, to your diet can increase fat burning and improve insulin sensitivity.
Chia seeds arguably pack the most nutritional benefits in the smallest package. a little 1 ounce serving (about 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contain 5 grams of protein, 9 grams of healthy fats, and an incredible 10 grams of fiber! That’s about the same amount of protein as one egg and more fiber than you’d find in two medium apples.
Specifically, these seeds are a good source of a type of fiber called soluble fiber, which absorbs water and expands in the stomach to help you feel full. (Throw a tablespoon of chia seeds in a glass of water and you’ll see what we mean.)
“Chia seeds can help give oatmeal some staying power, thanks to its ability to essentially expand in the stomach and help curb hunger pangs shortly after breakfast time,” says Manaker.
A small studio found that consuming chia seeds along with a calorie-restricted diet helped overweight people with type 2 diabetes lose 3.5 more pounds than those who didn’t consume chia seeds. The chia group also had significantly smaller waist circumferences after the intervention compared to the control group. More research is needed to examine the effects of chia seeds on weight loss, but this study suggests that when consumed with a healthy diet, chia seeds may help achieve faster weight loss.