New Delhi: Oatmeal, made from dry oats, is a favourite breakfast for many people, especially those trying to shed a few kilos to slim down. Packed with healthy carbs and fibre, oats are a whole grain food that is claimed to offer many health benefits. Studies have shown that oats and oatmeal can help people lose weight, lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. In fact, supporters of the oatmeal diet plan claim that the popular diet can help people lose up to 4 pounds (1.8 kg)in just one week.
Oats are whole grains and can be part of a healthy diet. They can be made more palatable and nutritious by adding healthy fruits and veggies. But, if you’re looking for a way to jumpstart your weight loss journey, the oatmeal diet might be the perfect eating plan to help you get a flat tummy within a short span of time. But, what exactly is the oatmeal diet? Is it healthy, will it really help you reach your weight loss goals? Read on to find out what the oatmeal diet is and whether or not you should try it for yourself.
What is the oatmeal diet and how does it help with weight loss?
As the name suggests, the oatmeal diet is a weight loss programme that involves replacing your daily meals with oatmeal, which is high in fibre but low in calories. Basically, the oatmeal diet plan is separated into three phases, with the first phase being the most restrictive.
In phase 1, dieters only eat oatmeal for all three meals each day for the first week. They can only eat whole oats and not instant oatmeal. Some people include fruit in this phase.
In phase 2, dieters eat oatmeal for three meals a day and add one-half cup of fruit or raw vegetables to each meal. They can also eat instant oatmeal in this phase.
In phase 3, dieters can resume a regular, healthful diet, but stick to one meal of oatmeal each day. They can also add fruits, nuts, and natural flavourings to the oatmeal to enhance its flavour, but should limit fat intake while on this phase of the diet.
The recommended serving size for oatmeal is ½ cup. Apart from some fruit and veggies, the diet does allow you to add or have a small amount of skim milk as well as low-fat yogurt on the side. You can also flavour your oatmeal with some spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla extract, etc. Advocates of the oatmeal diet claim that the diet has the potential to deliver serious results, while also providing nutrients, such as fibre, vitamins and calories a person needs to maintain energy while losing weight. Dieters claimed losing up to 5 pounds in the first week. Besides helping you lose weight, oatmeal can also help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and aid in digestion.
Tips for optimal weight loss on the oatmeal diet
- For optimal fitness results, follow the diet as outlined or instructed by your dietician.
- Know the right way to prepare and at oatmeal.
- Do not go over the recommended calories or cheat on the diet.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Avoid alcohol or other empty calories.
- Stick to your fitness regime.
- Get adequate sleep each night.
Risks of the oatmeal diet
While oats and oatmeal are very filling and may help you lose weight, it is a very restrictive eating plan and does not provide the nutrients that a person needs on a daily basis. The oatmeal diet is a very low-calorie diet that may not be safe for everyone to maintain a healthy diet.
Like any other fad diets, the oatmeal diet can be dangerously restrictive, mainly because it focuses on a single type of food – oatmeal. Moreover, the tedium of eating oatmeal for one or more meals each day can make it hard for people to stick to the eating plan, which is again another hurdle when it comes to losing weight. Hence, the diet is not recommended for long-term weight loss.
The bottom line
Oats and oatmeal are a healthy diet staple for many good reasons. They can be a part of a healthy diet and can be an effective way to shed the pounds if done properly. But it is not healthful as a sole source of nutrients. For instance, oatmeal can be an ideal option for breakfast that is not only delicious but can help you lose weight by keeping you full for longer. Sticking to a healthy, balanced diet consisting of a variety of fresh and whole foods combined with regular physical activity will help you lose weight and keep it off forever, helping you live a healthier, fitter life.
Disclaimer: All content, including tips and suggestions, is purely for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.