Is oatmeal fattening? The recent craze for low-carbohydrate diets has left many people with the false impression that any type of carbohydrate immediately packs on the pounds. However, the reality is that some forms of unprocessed carbohydrates may actually be beneficial. If you are wondering, “Is oatmeal fattening?” then look no further. This article will explain what really happens when you ingest oatmeal and teach you all the pros and cons of using oatmeal for weight loss.

spilled oats

How Does Oatmeal for Weight Loss Work?

Is oatmeal fattening? Most nutrition experts believe that it is not fattening. Oatmeal may be a carbohydrate, but this does not mean it has no place in a weight loss diet. This versatile grain can be served as rolled oats or cut into small pieces for quicker cooking. Almost all forms of oatmeal besides sugary pre-flavored instant oatmeal are excellent for weight loss. Oatmeal benefits weight loss in the following ways:

1. Low in Calories

The most basic way of determining is oatmeal fattening is to look at the calorie content. Calories are a measure of energy used to determine how much energy the human body can get from a food item. If a person eats less calories each day than they burn for energy, they will lose weight. This makes calorie counting one of the most effective ways of losing weight. Oatmeal can be an excellent low-calorie meal. One cup of oatmeal cooked with water just has 158 calories. This is significantly less calories than other popular breakfast foods like a bowl of sugary cereal or a plate of bacon and eggs.

2. Great Fuel For Workouts

Oatmeal consists of 66 percent carbohydrates, 17 percent protein, and 11 percent fat. This high carbohydrate food makes oatmeal the perfect pre-workout snack. The body uses carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel when doing intense exercise. A 2007 study by Edward Coyle found that people who at at least 200 grams of carbohydrates in the four hours before exercise had more endurance and could better cope with intense training.

3. Easy to Make

Another great perk of oatmeal is that it is very fast to make. One of the greatest reasons that people have trouble losing weight is convenience. When you are running late for school or work, it seems easier to grab some fast food or get a cookie from a vending machine. Oatmeal can easily be made in just a couple minutes if you have a microwave, and it is far healthier than most other quick and convenient options. This makes it an excellent option for busy people who still want to lose weight.

4. High in Fiber

One cup of cooked oatmeal contains 15 percent of your daily fiber. Indigestible fiber helps to push food through the gastrointestinal system, and it is linked to a variety of other health benefits like lower blood sugar, reduced chance of heart attacks, and reduced risk of colon cancer. According to some research by Harvard University, a high-fiber diet helps to encourage weight loss while reducing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Oatmeal is a great way to get enough fiber each day.

5. Keeps You Feeling Full

Because it is so full of fiber, oatmeal has a unique effect on satiety. In 2015, researchers from the New York Nutrition Obesity Research Center wanted to figure out “Is oatmeal fattening?” They did a study where participants ate the same amount of oatmeal or corn flakes for breakfast each morning. Oatmeal was not emptied from the stomach as quickly as cornflakes, so subjects stayed full for longer. They actually ended up eating 50% less at lunch after a breakfast of cornflakes.

Oatmeal can, therefore, help weight loss by encouraging you to eat less without feeling starved. Furthermore, did you know that oatmeal is a thermogenic food? You literally burn fat as you’re eating it.

oatmeal with fruits and cinnamon

How to Use Oatmeal for Weight Loss

Because it is so filling, many people find that oatmeal is a great way to start their day. Eating it as a hot cereal keeps people feeling full for hours, so they do not snack on junk food between meals. To make oatmeal into a hot cereal, all you need to do is mix it with water and heat it. Rolled oats use a ratio of two parts water to one part oats while steel-cut oats use a ratio of four parts water to one part oats. Rolled oats are done in just five to ten minutes while steel-cut oats are done in about a half hour.

Cereal is the most common method of eating oats, but it can also be an excellent substitute for unhealthy grains. You will not need to worry whether is oatmeal fattening when you use it as a crunchy breading on top of a casserole or a filler in a meatloaf. One cup of dry oatmeal contains 100 fewer calories than a cup of flour, so it can be an excellent low-calorie substitute.

woman showing how much weight she's lost

A Word of Caution About Oatmeal

Oatmeal might have many benefits for weight loss, but keep in mind that improper usage may make a person gain weight. You do need to keep general calorie counts in mind. If you are eating more calories than your body burns, you will gain weight, even if the calories come from something healthy like oatmeal. Oatmeal may also stall weight loss progress if you top it with a lot of sugar, cream, or other fattening foods.

The truth is that oatmeal is not fattening, but too much can upset your stomach. Because oatmeal contains so much fiber, it is also wise to remember that excessive fiber may cause gastrointestinal upset. Until your gastrointestinal system gets used to processing more fiber, you may have some bloating and gas. You also need to remember to drink enough water because excessive fiber may otherwise result in constipation.

The answer to “Is oatmeal fattening” is a resounding “no.” Oatmeal is a valuable weight loss tool because it is very filling and nutrient rich. It can keep you from craving unhealthy foods and ensure that your body is digesting other foods correctly. To get the weight loss benefits of oatmeal, enjoy it as a plain bowl of hot cereal or add it to baked goods and casseroles.