I’m not a big fan of restricted diets—the diets that allow you to eat just certain foods. In the long run, these diets do more harm than good. However, the oatmeal diet is something you should follow for just 30 days. And I guarantee you will lose a significant amount of weight during those 30 days. Even more important, oatmeal has certain benefits for your overall health.
I don’t want you to just take my word for it, so I want to show you the nutritional value of one cup of oatmeal. This will help you understand just how healthy oatmeal is for you. One cup of cooked oatmeal is approximately 234g. In that, you get
- 3.2g fat (0.5g saturated)
- 0% cholesterol
- 115mg sodium
- 143mg potassium (4% of daily value)
- 27g carbs
- 4g dietary fiber (16% of daily value)
- 1.1g sugar
- 6g protein
- 20% daily value of vitamin A
- 18% daily value of calcium
- 77% daily value of iron
- 15% daily value of magnesium
- 35% daily value of vitamin B6
Five reasons to eat oatmeal every day
Speaking of those healthy benefits, I want to share with you why it’s good to eat oatmeal every day. Even if you aren’t following the strict oatmeal diet, you should still consume this food. And just a reminder, October 29 is National Oatmeal day.
- Oatmeal contains soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps your body lower cholesterol and stabilize your blood sugar levels. Fiber also improves your intestinal health and helps you have a healthy bowel movement.
- Oatmeal is a very easy breakfast, containing just 150 calories and a moderate amount of protein. We all know you need protein to start the day, and you can even improve the protein intake by adding some almonds, nuts, or bananas to your breakfast.
- As we can see from the nutrition facts sheet, oatmeal provides you with important minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium as well as small amounts of selenium, thiamin, zinc, and manganese.
- Oatmeal is gluten-free, which makes it perfect for people allergic to gluten. However, make sure to check the label, as there are some manufacturers that add gluten.
- Oats help you lose and control your weight. Being rich in fiber helps oatmeal keep you feeling full for a long period of time.
Basic oatmeal diet
The basic method for the oatmeal diet is to consume oatmeal for 30 days. The diet plan is separated into three phases. And during each phase, you need to consume a minimum of two servings of oatmeal per day. During this time, it’s important to consume whole oatmeal. Avoid instant oatmeal, at least during the first seven days.
During this phase, you eat nothing but oatmeal for seven days. The best way to survive these seven days is to consume ½ cup of oatmeal for each meal and add ½ cup of skim milk.
During this phase, you consume between 900 and 1,200 calories per day. Since your calorie intake is low, don’t work out during this week. Exercise burns calories, and you just cannot make up for the loss with just oatmeal.
Phase 2 is actually the main oatmeal diet. During this time, you consume ½ cup of oatmeal three times per day. But the good news is that you can have a regular diet as well. And during Phase 2, you can also consume instant oatmeal.
You may include fruit, nuts, and raw vegetables in your oatmeal. Your calorie intake should be between 1,000 and 1,300 calories per day.
After 30 days of the oatmeal diet, you can now fully return to your normal diet. The only recommendation is that you limit your intake of fats in the first week after returning to a normal diet.
Of course, after the 30 days, continue consuming oatmeal so that you can control and balance your weight. You need to have one main oatmeal dish and one snack per day.
One-day diet plan and foods you can add
So that you can get an idea of what the diet looks like, I’ll give you a one-day diet plan. I will also share some foods that you should add to your diet. Just a reminder, you can add these foods in Phase 2.
- Chicken breasts
For breakfast, you can eat ½ cup of oatmeal combined with ½ cup of skim milk. To make things interesting, add a tablespoon of raisins and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to your oatmeal. Also, drink a cup of tea.
For the morning snack, I recommend consuming either ½ cup of blueberries, one medium apple, one orange, or one grapefruit.
For your afternoon snack, you can go with some raw vegetable sticks. Celery and carrots work best here. Nuts, especially almonds, work great for an afternoon snack as well.
And last, but not least, for your evening snack, you can treat yourself to a sugar-free pudding.
For your lunch, you again eat ½ cup of oatmeal. Only this time, combine your oatmeal with ½ cup of yogurt instead of skim milk. Include any fruit, like one banana or a cup of strawberries, as well.
For your dinner, you finally get some meat. You don’t need to consume oatmeal since you’ve had your two servings per day for breakfast and lunch. Your dinner can be a cup of raw vegetables combined with a fish fillet, chicken breasts, or turkey breasts, along with some rice. If you like, you can still consume oatmeal instead of rice.
There are challenges with every diet, the oatmeal diet included. For starters, the main challenge is the first seven days. During these seven days, you consume nothing but oatmeal and skim milk. Some people quit during those seven days.
The oatmeal diet is different than any other diet because it provides a good source of carbs. Other diets that exclude all healthy foods but one in the first days are considered fad diets and not good for the dieter.
Other challenges include the low-calorie intake. The maximum calorie intake is 1,300 calories per day, which is way lower than the standard 2,000 calories for men and 1,600 for women. Lack of variety is another challenge. Oatmeal can become boring, and you need to spice things up. And you might have enough of it after a few days of eating oatmeal.
How to spice your oatmeal
In order to help you cope with the main challenge of variety, I want to share some ideas for how you can spice things up. The big challenge of the oatmeal diet is how to make your oatmeal fun and interesting. Here are five ways to do that:
- Add a tablespoon of flaxseeds, which further boosts the health benefits of your breakfast.
- Add a serving of raw walnuts, one of the most nutrient-dense nuts. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts make a perfect addition to your breakfast.
- Add frozen fruits, which help naturally sweeten your oatmeal breakfast.
- Instead of skim milk, add almond milk. The taste is better, and almond milk is higher in calcium than regular milk.
- Add protein powder to boost your protein intake. And for those of you who exercise in the morning, protein powder is the best thing you can add to your breakfast.
Types of oatmeal
As I mentioned in the beginning, in the first seven days you can’t consume instant oatmeal. But what’s the difference between instant and regular oatmeal? Instant oats are more processed. As a result, you digest them quickly and easily, which leads to a quick rise in blood sugar levels.
To put it simply, instant oatmeal has a higher glycemic index. Regular oats, on the other hand, have a low glycemic index. And if your goal is to lose weight, foods with a low glycemic index help you lose more weight.