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Is Oatmeal Good for Weight Loss? Learn From a Dietitian

Anthony Diaz
Published by Anthony Diaz
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 3, 2022

Starting your day off with a healthy breakfast is probably one of the most important steps you can take on a weight loss journey. What you eat first thing in the morning can have a huge impact on your metabolism and also on hunger cravings later in the day.

You don’t have to take things to extremes with an oatmeal diet to lose weight, but it seems like there are some good reasons to make it part of your meal plan.

So, I spent time with my dietitian and nutritionist to research scientific studies on how plain oatmeal can help with losing weight.

Here’s what I found.

Quick Summary

  • Eating oatmeal has long been a top recommendation from dietitians for athletes, especially in a bulking phase.
  • It should also be part of a healthy diet when trying to lose weight, and there are some interesting nutritional impacts that it can have.
  • Going on an oatmeal diet with few other healthy food sources has become a trend, but this could end up being less helpful.

Does Oatmeal Help You Lose Weight?

Top view of an oatmeal in a bowl

Yes, oatmeal can help you lose weight. Having an increased oatmeal diet will ensure that you take in a lot more complex carbs and fiber.

In fact, one cup of rolled oats contains 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and 28 grams of carbs [1].

And because they are whole grains, the carbs are more difficult to digest, and that means they won’t lead to sudden blood glucose fluctuations.

Now, I would say that you still need to avoid those oatmeal cookies that contain a ton of brown sugar or maple syrup.

But if you stick with whole oats at least for your breakfast, then it should have quite an impact on your weight loss success.

Let’s see why they are so good for you.

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How Do Oats Help With Weight Loss?

Oats help with weight loss because they don’t contain simple carbs and are full of protein and fiber [2].

And here’s why that’s such a good thing.

First of all, when you increase your protein intake, it can have a significant impact on your metabolism and lead to better weight management [3].

And that protein will also help athletes with their muscle recovery as well.

Then, when you eat oatmeal for breakfast, you’re not getting a sudden rush of simple carbs.

As a result, you’ll have more stable and lower blood sugar levels with an improved insulin response [4].

And finally, beta glucan fiber in oatmeal can make you feel full for longer and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels [5].

That gives it a perfectly healthy mix of nutritional benefits to help with your weight loss goals.

“Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber. This type of fiber not only keeps hunger pangs away, but the gel formed by the soluble fiber also grabs cholesterol in your digestive tract and drags it out of your body”

- Jill Corleone, Writer at SFGate.com.

Other Health Benefits

A woman eating oatmeal

Other than helping you lose weight, eating oatmeal regularly has many health benefits.

For one, it can help with lowering the bad cholesterol in your blood, which will improve your heart health and blood pressure.

But there is also evidence that it can help with boosting your antioxidants and preventing colon cancer [6].

Those are considerable benefits that you can also take advantage of for preventing such heart disease and bowel issues.

And with such a simple ingredient, it couldn’t be easier to add it to a well-balanced and healthy diet.

Sample Oatmeal Ideas

Here are some ways you can start eating oatmeal more regularly.

For breakfast, mix about a cup of dry oats or instant oatmeal into a bowl, and then add two cups of dairy or plant-based milk.

Cook it in the microwave for about two minutes, and then add some nut butter and half a cup of fresh fruit.

Just avoid using dried fruit as it has too much sugar.

You can mix up a similar amount for lunch and then add it all into a frying pan with onions, pepper, celery, and some chorizo sausage.

This has actually become one of my favorite lunch recipes for an oatmeal diet. It’s incredibly tasty and keeps you going all afternoon without hunger cravings.

FAQs

Does Oatmeal Make You Full For Longer?

Yes, oatmeal can make you full for longer. It contains a good amount of soluble fiber, which swells up in your stomach [7].

And that can make a big difference in weight loss when you’re less tempted to look for snacks.

Can You Have Oatmeal For Every Meal?

Yes, you can have oatmeal every day. And it’s a very good choice to make in order to help you with your weight loss efforts.

The macros and fiber all work together to boost your metabolic processes, making them good for weight loss.

Find Out How Much Better You’ll Feel With Oats

Start by simply switching to a bowl of instant oats for your breakfast and add some fresh fruit and seeds.

This can keep you going for hours without needing any kind of snacks along the way.

And if you want to have even more of an effect on how many calories you burn in a day, then try adding a vegan fat burner. These supplements can boost your metabolism throughout the day.

They won’t get you slim in a matter of days, but the small fat-burning effect will add up over the months ahead.


References:

  1. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/oatmeal-starch-fiber-6494.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-oatmeal#1
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539343/
  4. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/
  5. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408399908500493
  6. https://www.webmd.com/diet/oatmeal-benefits
  7. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19531.htm

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