Let’s face it. Oatmeal probably isn’t going to be at the top of your list when it comes to food that you love to eat. We’re almost sure that a good percentage of you probably thought oatmeal was gross while you were growing up. We know that we would hardly touch our bowls when it was placed in front of us in the mornings as children. It’s only in our adulthood that we started developing a new found appreciation for oatmeal (mostly due to the miracle that is overnight oats). One of the things that really led us to appreciate this modest kitchen staple is how much potential it has to help people lose weight. If you’re someone that’s been trying to lose weight and just can’t seem to figure out their nutrition, then we urge you to give oatmeal a good, hard look. Here are a few reasons why (apart from how cost effective it is!).
Reason #1: Oatmeal Takes a Long Time to Digest
Oatmeal takes quite a bit of time to digest and will therefore sit much longer in your gut than other kinds of food would. Because it takes so long to digest, oatmeal triggers the release of specific kinds of digestive acids that help to keep your appetite and all kinds of nasty cravings at bay. Having these kinds of cravings and your appetite under control means that you’re able to burn more calories in the long run as well.
Reason #2: Oatmeal is Low in Calories
If you’re looking for a way to keep your meal low in calories or to lower the calorie intake that you get from other meals as well, oatmeal can definitely help. Though serving sizes do vary, the average bowl of oatmeal will only take out 150 calories of your daily allowable caloric intake. Of course, you’re going to have to be careful about the add-ons you put in your oatmeal if you want to maintain its low calorie nature. It’s also worth mentioning that since oatmeal is so low in calories, it’s a great ingredient to use as a swap for other ingredients that are higher in calories. For example, instead using flour to batter your chicken, you can try using at oatmeal flour batter or an oatmeal coating. It crisps up just as nice and you can throw it in the oven instead of in a fryer to cut even more calories.
Reason #3: Oatmeal Helps Manage Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
Since oatmeal is a food that has a high glycemic index, it helps to keep blood sugar levels in the body regulated and steady. This can be a lifesaver for people who are struggling with Type 2 Diabetes and people who are obese because it assists in reducing high sugar levels in the body. Whole grain oatmeal is also great at lowering cholesterol, which means a lower risk of heart disease. While both of these aspects of oatmeal are absolutely fantastic, it does require that the individual maintains a healthy diet as a whole. It’s also important to note that the only reason oatmeal is capable of this is because it’s rich in beta-glucan, one of the most powerful fibers out there today. It’s this fiber that is largely responsible for combatting cholesterol, sugar, HIV and even cancer.
Reason #4: Oatmeal Keeps You Fuller Longer
Remember how we mentioned that oatmeal stays in your stomach longer since it takes longer to digest? Well apart from triggering a release of healthy stomach acids that keep you full, this characteristic of oatmeal also means that people who eat it will stay fuller for much longer than if they’re eating other kinds of carbs for breakfast. The fuller you are means the less you’ll eat throughout the day. This in turn, of course, means a lower caloric intake and a higher likelihood of weight loss. Aside from the fact that you’ll stay full longer, oatmeal is also one of the most nutrient dense foods that you can eat. It’s high in fiber, high in protein, and is also full of healthy vitamins and minerals that are crucial to keeping your body healthy.
Reason #5: Oatmeal Banishes Diet-Sabotaging Cravings
Riding on the fact that oatmeal keeps you fuller longer and tends to control appetite, it also helps you to crave less of the unhealthy foods that we’ve grown accustomed to eating. For example, if you eat a serving of oatmeal for breakfast alongside a serving of high-fiber fruits, there’s a big chance that your stomach will still be working on digesting your first meal by the time lunch rolls around. This means you’ll more likely to have a smaller lunch and a smaller dinner by extension. When your stomach is full, it also means that you’re less likely to look for sugary food or snacks that are high in fat, which is a natural reaction to our bodies being hungry and craving fuel.
Reason #6: Oatmeal Will Give You an Energy Boost
When you’re walking around with a stomach full of heart healthy and nutrient dense oatmeal, you have access to more energy and you’ll feel more energetic too. Having access to this kind of energy will give you the boost you need to do the things that you ought to be doing such as going out to get some exercise in. It could even be as simple as giving you the motivation to do the things that you love or to finally do that chore or errand that you’ve been procrastinating on for a month or so. No matter what it is, having more energy will give you the ability to keep up with life in general and make more efforts towards greater and more sustainable weight loss in the future. When you’re getting such a great amount of energy from a food that is low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients, then it’s a win-win food situation all around.