You may find it hard to make a healthy breakfast, especially if you are too busy to prepare one every morning. But, preparing a healthy breakfast for you and your family to lose or maintain weight is not that fancy as you think. You can actually make a healthy and delicious breakfast that is easier and faster to prepare. Overnight oats or oatmeal can be prepared in just a few minutes.
Plain overnight oats are high in fiber and low in calories- just perfect for you to shed pounds (1). Well, there are many ways to be creative in making your own oatmeal breakfast without compromising all the nutrients your body needs. Let us, later on, understand how this can help you lose weight, how you can make it, and some sample recipes for you to have a wonderful meal every morning.
What Are Overnight Oats?
Oats are whole grain products that provide various nutrients needed by our body. Oatmeal contains dry oats that are usually a favorite breakfast of most people, especially during the cold weather. A basic recipe of oatmeal may not be that attractive, but adding fruits and other items can actually improve its flavor as well as its nutritional benefits.
It is called overnight oats because these kinds of oats are actually not cooked, unlike your typical oatmeal that is cooked on the stove or zapped in the microwave. Instead, these are raw oats that are soaked in liquid and placed in the fridge overnight. And yes, leaving them overnight is actually enough for the grains to soften, just like when you cook them.
How Can Overnight Oats Help You Lose Weight?
Fiber and Oats
Oats have various possible benefits as it is a whole grain food. Its major weight loss effect is due to its fiber content. Indeed, fiber is also a carbohydrate, but it is not like any other carbohydrates which are broken down into sugar. Instead, it gets space in your stomach to absorb water, which is also an excellent choice to combat you from constipation.
The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine published a paper in 2008, which concluded that eating foods that contain whole oats provide soluble fibers that reduce the risk of coronary artery diseases. The consumption of oats can actually reduce the cholesterol level without detrimental effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (2).
Losing weight is not all about your physical looks, but it is also about staying healthy to prevent you from the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other severe health issues. In fact, you are suggested to eat foods containing 30 grams of fiber every day. It will help you lose weight as well as improve your body’s insulin sensitivity, lower your blood pressure, and lose weight (3).
A cup of oatmeal actually contains 4 grams of fiber, and that is 13 percent of your daily fiber goals. Some of these are soluble fiber, which is a natural appetite suppressant. It is said that eating foods with soluble fiber can reduce your hunger level (4). Since overnight oats contain soluble fiber, it can lower your risk of belly fat.
Calories in Oatmeal
According to the Department of Agriculture in the US, one cup of cooked oatmeal provides 166 calories (5). It comes from carbs, protein, and fats. These nutrients will not only give you sufficient energy needed for your daily activities, but it also helps maintain your cell structure, muscle mass, tissues, body fluids as well aids in signaling your cells and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
Oats are low in calories; that is why you feel satiated when you eat them. You are less likely to eat a lot if you feel full a little longer. In fact, a study found out that oatmeal, whether in old-fashioned form or instant, is found out to be effective in increasing your satiety level compared to cereals. By having a bowl of oatmeal, you can be able to resist eating a lot, so you can consume food within your daily calorie intake (6).
Other Weight Loss Benefits of Overnight Oats
And yes, eating oatmeal during breakfast for weight loss is not just a myth. There are pieces of evidence showing that it can help you lose weight. A 2015 study shows the difference between eating oatmeal and corn flakes. It was found out that people who ate oatmeal have longer satiety compared to those who ate corn flakes. In fact, the former ate lesser during lunch because they tend to feel fuller longer (7).
Another study shows the weight management benefits of oatmeal for children. Such a study was published in Food & Nutrition Research, concluding that children who are fond of eating oatmeal are most likely to have a healthy weight compared to those who don’t. Although this study is not intended to convey that oatmeal alone can combat childhood obesity, it highlights that oatmeal should be part of the diet to become healthy (8).
Risk of Oatmeal Diet
Indeed, oats offer a lot of benefits when it comes to your health, but it also comes with a number of risks. So, before you start an oatmeal diet, it is best to consult your doctor. As the name suggests, the oatmeal diet means that your diet focuses on oatmeal. But, it doesn’t mean that you eat oatmeal alone.
Anyway, inform your doctor regarding your medical history as well as other medical conditions. Remember that such a diet is actually a low-calorie diet, so it might not be that healthy for you. Probably that is the reason why you still need to boost the calories you consume by adding more fruits or other items on your oatmeal diet plan (9).
How to Make Overnight Oats
If you don’t want to cook breakfast, then you should try making overnight oats. They are not just easy to prepare, but they are also delicious and healthy, just perfect if you want to lose weight. And yes, they are perfect, especially if you have a busy schedule and you don’t have time to cook anymore.
You just need to place oats in a glass container, a mason jar, or a small plastic with a 2:1 ratio of liquid and oats respectively. The liquid does not necessarily mean water. You can even add milk or any other liquid you think is appropriate for the oats.
If such a ratio is not applicable to you, then you can try other techniques such as pouring your favorite milk until the oats are fully covered. You can also add seeds, yogurt, fruits, flavorings, or other ingredients. Actually, there are endless possibilities when mixing oatmeal with your favorites. Later on, we will share some ideas regarding various recipes of overnight oats for you to lose weight.
After preparing your favorite oatmeal, you can store it in a fridge and let it stay overnight (usually from 7 to 8 hours. Anyway, overnight oats can be prepared in 4 to 5 hours, so it is also an excellent choice of diet if you are in a rush. While you sleep, all the ingredients you place in the container are fused together. All you need to do is to eat in the morning, without requiring you to cook your oats. But, if you want hot oatmeal, you can always pop them in the microwave (10).
Overnight Oat Recipes for Weight Loss
- Carrot cake protein overnight oats
This overnight oat recipe is easy and fast to prepare. It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to prepare this overnight oat. You only need carrots, almond milk, low-fat Greek yogurt, cinnamon, and toppings of your choice. Mix them all, and you have carrot cake protein overnight oats. This contains 265 calories per 1.5 cup serving. It also has 6 grams of fiber, 5 grams of fats, 23 grams of protein, and 6 grams of sugar.
- Chocolate covered overnight strawberry oats
This is more than your ordinary breakfast. This is not only easy to prepare, but it is also delicious and healthy plant-based overnight oats. Its prep time is only 5 minutes, so it’s perfect if you are busy with your errands. You only need unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cacao powder, sliced strawberries, chia seeds, and dark chocolate chips.
You just have to combine all the ingredients in your container and leave them in the fridge for 3 to 5 hours. You can even store these in your fridge for 3 to 5 days. Well, this only contains 464 calories, plus 13 grams of fiber, 3 grams of saturated fats, 17 grams of protein, and 5.5 grams of sugar.
- Strawberry chia overnight oats
From the name itself, this breakfast is sweet and satisfying. And yes, you don’t need to compromise your sweet tooth while losing weight. You only need chia seeds, fresh strawberries, walnuts or almonds, milk beverage, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. If you mix them all and keep it in the fridge overnight, you will have your strawberry chia overnight oats.
Chia seeds are plant-based products rich in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and various kinds of minerals. The nuts are filled with magnesium and protein, just perfect in regulating your blood sugar. Remember, if your blood sugar level is stable, you will be able to control your cravings. That only means that you will reduce your risk of gaining weight as well as overeating. Well, this only contains 339 calories, plus 12.7 grams of fiber, 15.6 grams of fats, 11 grams of protein, and 11.6 grams of sugar.
- Chocolate peanut butter fudge overnight oats
These gluten-free and vegan overnight oats taste decadent, but they are healthy than you think. Although this looks and tastes unhealthy, it’s actually not because it is filled with protein, fiber, vitamin A, antioxidants, and potassium.
You just need a ripe banana, pumpkin puree, dark chocolate, peanut butter, chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup, and chocolate chips. This kind of dish is surely satisfying, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Well, this only contains 308 calories per 1.1 cup serving, plus 10 grams of fiber, 11.3 grams of fats, 9.9 grams of protein, and 15.5 grams of sugar.
- Blueberry-cashew cream overnight oats
With two nutritional superstars- chia and flax seeds, this overnight oat is perfect for you to lose weight. This is a good source of selenium and fiber that helps lower the risk of various diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
You just need a mashed banana, cup oats, almond milk, chia seeds, flaxseeds, blueberries, cashew nuts, and dairy-free milk. All you need to do is to mix them all and keep them in a fridge overnight. Well, this only contains 270 calories per 3/4 cup serving, plus 7.9 grams of fiber, 11.3 grams of fats, 6.7 grams of protein, and 19.5 grams of sugar.
It may be hard for you to prepare your breakfast every day. The good news is that oatmeal can be prepared a night before so it can be readily eaten in the morning. Well, oatmeal can be found in your favorite supermarket shelves, so it’s not hard for you to find them. It is even affordable. You no longer need to buy expensive supplements or undergo medical procedures to lose weight.
It is even a great option compared to cereals, especially if you want to lose weight. In fact, those who eat oatmeal for breakfast, such as overnight oats, are found to consume fewer calories at lunch and feel full for a longer period. It will probably make you lose weight effectively.
Not just that, oatmeal is made of whole grain; that is why it is perfect for your diet. There are many ways on how to make your oatmeal recipe not plain and boring. You can add different ingredients, such as fruits, milk, seeds, and many more. Plus, it’s easy to prepare. You don’t even need to cook them because storing it in the fridge overnight can soften the grains. Indeed, overnight oats are great for you to lose weight, given its fiber and calorie-contents.