You have probably heard that oatmeal is healthy and nutritious, but did you know that overnight oats are good for weight loss? Offering a host of health benefits, this low calorie food is a popular breakfast choice.
Overnight oats can be prepared with low calorie and low fat recipes. The fiber rich meal prep will fill you up and keep you satiated for longer periods of time. Enjoy the soaked oats as a healthy breakfast or midday snack, eat at any time of day to be honest.
What if you don’t want to cook in the morning? Then you should try overnight oats, the no-cook oatmeal option.
What are overnight oats?
First, you need to know what overnight oats are. Overnight oats are not a specific type of oats processed in a specific way; overnight oats are a recipe, a way to prepare oats.
Essentially, overnight oats are a way to avoid actually cooking oats. They save time in the mornings and are easy to make.
When you make overnight oats, you take raw oats, mix them with some type of liquid, usually milk, juice or water, and any other ingredients you would like, and let them absorb the liquid.
Overnight oats are a quick, easy no-cook method for preparing oatmeal. They are easily thrown together right before bed, no boiling required, and are ready to eat as soon as you get up the very next day.
Are overnight oats safe?
Generally, a two hour soak in the refrigerator is long enough, but as you can probably infer from their name, they can be and often are soaked through the night. A twelve hour soak helps to reduce phytic acid that naturally occurs in raw oats.
Yes, overnight oats are safe to eat so long as they are prepared and stored following the USDA temperature danger zone guidelines. Soaked oats should be stored at temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit and eaten within 4 hours of removing from refrigeration.
Overnight Oats For Weight Loss
Oats are known as a low fat, low calorie food. However, there is no correlation between what time is best to eat oatmeal for weight loss.
In reality, whole grain oats are a fiber rich food that helps you feel full and reduce hunger cravings. So, are overnight oats as good for dieters as oatmeal cooked in a regular manner?
Are overnight oats fattening?
Since overnight oats are made with the whole grain food, the oats themselves remain low fat and low calorie. However, overnight oats can be fattening due to other influential factors.
The type of liquid you use to soak the oats and any sweeteners or toppings you add to your no cook oats can add on calories that turn overnight oats fattening.
For example, choosing sweetened milks or sugary yogurt filled with artificial preservatives as the liquid for your overnight oats will considerably increase the amount of calories you are consuming. So will adding too many sweeteners such as sugar and honey.
Toppings like dried fruit and nuts, while delicious and not fattening in moderation, also can make you fatter and cause you to gain weight instead of losing it if used too liberally.
Is eating overnight oats good for weight loss?
Oats, in general, are good for weight loss, imparting numerous health benefits upon their consumer. This is a well-known fact, and there is even a special diet called the oatmeal diet, which is largely based around eating oatmeal for each meal.
Overnight oats are no exception, regardless of the fact that they are prepared in a different manner than oats are usually cooked.
Overnight oats can help you lose weight just like oats boiled in the regular way. As mentioned earlier, it is the ingredients added to overnight oats that make them fattening or not.
Eaten in reasonable portion sizes, with low fat, low sugar toppings and sweeteners in moderation, overnight oats can help you lose weight just like regularly cooked oats.
Their excellent source of fiber and protein content and their ability to fill you up in smaller portion sizes and keep you full longer does not disappear simply because they are not boiled.
Does overnight oats help lose belly fat?
Overnight oats may help reduce belly fat in the context of helping you lose weight. However, they are not a miracle cure that will instantly melt away belly fat; belly fat will begin to disappear as your whole body loses weight.
They may, however, help you gain a flatter stomach if you are bloated. Due to their high protein content, oats require a lot of energy and more time than many other foods to digest, which means the body burns calories while processing them.
When combined with plain, no-sugar, low-fat yogurt, overnight oats can aid digestion with their healthy gut microbes. Using healthy nut milks like almond milk and small amounts of healthy toppings like fruits, nuts and seeds that are known to aid in belly fat reduction, can also help overall.
To emphasize it again, it is your choice of toppings and liquid that really determines how effective overnight oats are at helping you lose weight, or if they even help at all.
How many calories are in oats overnight?
Now we have come full circle and it’s time to talk numbers. If you are on a weight loss journey, chances are you are closely monitoring and counting your calories, so of course you need to know how many calories are in overnight oats.
Not to beat a dead horse, but again, your choice of soaking liquid, sweeteners, and toppings really comes into play here.
Are overnight oats high in calories? Oats by themselves in water are not a high calorie food. Forty grams, for half a cup serving of raw oats cooked in water with no extra toppings or sugar added comes to a grand total of 150 calories.
Adding half a cup of plain, unsweetened milk to half a cup of oats instead of water raises the calorie content by approximately 55 calories, the amount of calories in 2% milk. If the milk is sweetened, that of course adds more calories, as does the addition of fruits or nuts, or sweeteners like sugar or honey.
As you can see, the grand total of the caloric intake is highly affected by the mix-ins and toppings that you select. Keep the addition in moderation, and your overnight oats will be a low-cal meal prep.
Tips for Overnight Oats Weight Loss
Let’s not beat around the bush, overnight oats soaked in water are a low calorie, low fat food staple that are good for weight loss. In reality, the liquids, mix-ins, sweeteners and toppings are the primary factors that can ultimately affect the overall calorie count of the no cook oats.
To help you get started, here are some quick tips:
Liquids: Using liquids such as milk or sugary yogurt will make your overnight oatmeal much more flavorful and delicious. However, if your goal is to lose weight, it is best to use water or skim milk, as they have less calories, though the flavor will be slightly blander.
Type of Oats: It is best to use old-fashioned rolled oats when making overnight oats. This does not mean other forms of oats cannot be used, and some people do enjoy the chewy texture of steel cut oats. Steel cut oats and rolled oats provide the best texture; instant oats, or quick oats can become too mushy after soaking for such a long period of time. Steel cut oats and rolled oats also keep you full for longer because they are less refined than instant oats, this is a definite bonus because it will help you avoid the inevitable hunger pains experienced along the path to weight loss.
Additions: Avoiding an excess of unhealthy sugary toppings is also recommended as they can greatly increase caloric intake. Sweeteners, fruits, and nuts are ingredients that will impact the overall calorie count thereby influencing the ultimate goal of weight loss.