Excess weight is a concern for all and there are multiple products available in the market that claim to facilitate weight loss. Many people fall in to such traps and they try out any product that promises to reduce weight but in many cases these products lead to complications and frustration.
If you are one among them, instead of trying whatever is available in the market go for an oatmeal diet which is gaining popularity nowadays due to its weight losing ability and nutritious nature. Oatmeal is very low in fat and it contains good amount of dietary fibers that are soluble in water. The dietary fibers fight with the cholesterol especially the bad cholesterol and protect the heart. They also dilute the carcinogenic substances in the body and hence oatmeal diet is also beneficial to prevent cancer.
High fiber content in oatmeal slow down the digestion and facilitate the collection and expulsion of the toxins from the body. It empties the stomach at a very slower rate when compared with other foods and hence provides a feeling of fullness for longer periods. The low glycemic index of oatmeal helps in keeping the blood sugar level under control and hence is ideal for diabetic patients as well. Above all oatmeal is easy and convenient to cook.
Moreover oatmeal is a good source of complex carbohydrates, proteins, iron, manganese, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus, omega 3 fatty acids antioxidants and phytonutrients like lignans and stanols. Lignans protects the heart and stanols lowers the cholesterol level in the blood. The complex carbohydrate in the oatmeal provides energy for longer period and keeps the person satiate for extended periods and thereby helps to reduce the obesity.
The oatmeal that is used for diet should be the whole oatmeal and should avoid instant as well as granola bars at least for the first week for better results. A bowl of oats provides only two grams of fats and 110 calories and is a very filling food. If the oatmeal diet of consuming three oatmeal meals together with two low fat snacks in between is followed strictly for 30 days one can easily reduce two to five pounds per week. The most popular oatmeal diet involves depending only on oatmeal for the first seven days.
First phase of oatmeal diet last for seven days and during which one should take only oatmeal. The dieter should take half cup of whole oatmeal during each meal and three such meals can be taken during the day and he should not take any processed or fried foods for these seven days. If it’s necessary to include milk in oatmeal then incorporate fat free or skim milk and limit its quantity to half cup. Two low calorie snacks can also be taken at this phase. Care should be taken to limit the calorie intake during the first phase to 900 to 1200 calories for each day.
Sample Menu For The First Phase
Oatmeal- half cup
Skim milk- half cup
Raisins- one tablespoon
Occasionally half teaspoon cinnamon powder can also be sprinkled over the oatmeal to avoid the routine taste.
Snack In The Morning
Take half cup of strawberries, blueberries, apples, seedless grapes, bananas and oranges
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Oatmeal- half cup
Low fat yogurt– half cup
Baked green beans- one serving
Snack In The Afternoon
Half a cup of raw and fresh vegetables like celery sticks, carrots, slices of green pepper etc but ensure that no starchy vegetables and melons are included.
Oatmeal- half cup
Green salad- large plate
Grilled chicken breast- four ounce
Second phase of oatmeal diet last for one month and during which the dieter take half cup of oatmeal thrice a day along with a regular diet. During this phase granola bars or instant oatmeal are allowed but the sugar content and fat in them must be below 60 percent of the total quantity of meal. There are also unsweetened and unflavored instant oatmeal for those who want to lose weight. The total calorie intake during a day must be confined to 1000 to 1300 calories during this period.
After completing the thirty days of diet one can get back to a normal low fat diet and this low fat diet should include at least one meal with oatmeal and one oatmeal snack. Limit oneself to lean meats like grilled fish or chicken breast. Include lot of raw and cooked vegetables and fresh fruits also in the diet. Similarly avoid the use of processed as well as fried foods and concentrate more on nutritious and healthy foods.
Cons of Oatmeal Diet
Oatmeal diet is concentrated more on a single type of food called oatmeal and avoids all unhealthy foods. The first seven days of the oatmeal diet where only oatmeal is taken as the main meal is not supported by the experts because it is not the healthy and safe weight loss method as the calorie intake is far below the safe weight loss levels. According to experts lack of variety in the food during the first phase restrict the dieter from obtaining the adequate nutrients.
But the second and third phase of the oatmeal diet that includes the highly nutritious food and oatmeal is good for weight loss. Hence it will be ideal to consult a physician before opting oatmeal diet and he can suggest whether the person is fit to follow such a diet or follow the oatmeal diet as physician recommends.
During all the three phases give importance to exercise and follow at least thirty minutes of exercise per day for about five days in a week. This is because exercise boosts the weight loss by burning more calories and fats and prevents losing the muscle mass of the body. Also drink one to one and half liters of water a day which helps to easily flush out the toxins extracted by the fibers of the oatmeal. The most attractive part of oatmeal diet is that it does not put a heavy burden on the grocery bill since oatmeal is inexpensive.