The phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” has been drilled into our heads by magazines, nutrition articles, and health bloggers. But, very few of them discuss exactly what you should be eating for breakfast.
If you’re looking to lose weight, then the popular options including French toast, waffles, pancakes, and muffins might need to take a backseat. But, that still leaves you with eggs, smoothies, and a host of other options. If you’re looking for something that’s going to optimize your diet, oatmeal might be the way to go.
Why Choose Oatmeal?
A recent study places oatmeal above a few conventional breakfast options. In it, three different breakfast options were tested on 36 participants, 18 lean and 18 overweight, in a randomized sequence. The three options were oatmeal, cornflakes, and water. All participants had the same lunch across all the three options.
Hunger and satiety were measured at the end of each sequence with the help of a blood test that looked at levels of glucose, insulin, glucagon, and leptin (the hunger hormone). Satiety was the highest with the consumption of oatmeal, especially in the overweight participants. This also leads to them losing weight more efficiently.1 Oatmeal owes this to a set of specific benefits that contribute to satiety and hunger-regulation.
1. High Fiber Content
A bowl of oats provides 16.5 grams of fiber.2 Fiber plays an important role in maintaining weight. It does this by promoting satiation, maintaining glucose levels, and preventing overeating.3 Besides this, fiber content in oatmeal aids in healthy bowel movements. So, if you’re looking for a breakfast option that doesn’t leave your stomach growling until you get to lunch, go for a bowl of oatmeal.4
High Protein Content
Most fitness articles and videos use the word “protein” at least once. When it comes to weight loss, high protein diets are linked to improvements in appetite and body weight management. It also has a positive impact on metabolism. One bowl of oats gives you 26.35 grams of protein!5 To add to this, protein is an important macro nutrient if you’re working out. So, skip the eggs and pick up a bowl of oatmeal instead.6
3. Nutrient Content
Just because you’re aiming to lose weight doesn’t mean you miss out on adequate nutrition. In fact, healthy weight loss comes with a reduced calorie, nutritionally-balanced eating plan.7 And, oats make for a great addition to this plan since they are rich in manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. They are also rich in vitamin E.8
In addition to this, oats are rich in phytochemicals which might aid weight loss and control obesity.9
Note: It’s important to opt for instant oatmeal over ready to eat oat breakfast cereal. The latter, including granola and energy bars, might have added sugar that will cause insulin spikes and make you crave more sugary foods. This will eventually disrupt your diet and lead to weight gain.10
If you’re someone who rolls out of bed and zips through the door every morning, then this overnight oats recipe is for you. It’s quick, easy to make, and nutritious.11
- 1/2 cup milk (or substitute with plant-based milk)
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (or substitute with plant-based yogurt)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
- 1/4 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (or substitute with any berries)
- Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar or takeaway box.
- Place in the fridge and eat hot or cold in the morning.
You don’t have to count calories when it comes to breakfast. In fact, research indicates that eating high-calorie breakfasts with reduced caloric intake at dinner promotes weight loss.12 Furthermore, studies state that instant oatmeal is better at increasing satiety than other oat-based cereals.13 The journey to losing weight might be difficult, but incorporating oats in your diet is a good start.
|↑1||Geliebter, Allan, Charlotte L. Grillot, Roni Aviram-Friedman, Sakeena Haq, Eric Yahav, and Sami A. Hashim. “Effects of oatmeal and corn flakes cereal breakfasts on satiety, gastric emptying, glucose, and appetite-related hormones.” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 66, no. 2-3 (2015): 93-103.|
|↑2||Basic Report: 20038, Oats. United States Department of Agriculture .|
|↑3||Slavin, Joanne L. “Dietary fiber and body weight.” Nutrition 21, no. 3 (2005): 411-418.|
|↑4||Rebello, Candida J., Carol E. O’Neil, and Frank L. Greenway. “Dietary fiber and satiety: the effects of oats on satiety.” Nutrition reviews 74, no. 2 (2015): 131-147.|
|↑5, ↑8||Basic Report: 20038, Oats. United States Department of Agriculture .|
|↑6||Pesta, Dominik H., and Varman T. Samuel. “A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats.” Nutrition & metabolism 11, no. 1 (2014): 53.|
|↑7||Interested in Losing Weight? United
|↑9||Rupasinghe, HP Vasantha, Satvir Sekhon-Loodu, Theodora Mantso, and Mihalis I. Panayiotidis. “Phytochemicals in regulating fatty acid β-oxidation: Potential underlying mechanisms and their involvement in obesity and weight loss.” Pharmacology & therapeutics 165 (2016): 153-163.|
|↑10||Yang, Qing. “Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010.” The Yale journal of biology and medicine 83, no. 2 (2010): 101.|
|↑11||Overnight Oatmeal with Berries. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑12||Jakubowicz, Daniela, Maayan Barnea, Julio Wainstein, and Oren Froy. “High caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women.” Obesity 21, no. 12 (2013): 2504-2512.|
|↑13||Rebello, Candida J., William D. Johnson, Corby K. Martin, Hongmei Han, Yi-Fang Chu, Nicolas Bordenave, B. Jan Willem van Klinken, Marianne O’Shea, and Frank L. Greenway. “Instant oatmeal increases satiety and reduces energy intake compared to a ready-to-eat oat-based breakfast cereal: a randomized crossover trial.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 35, no. 1 (2016): 41-49.|