The Oatmeal Diet: Can This Popular Breakfast Food Help You Banish Excess Fat?
Weight loss is great, but only when it is healthy. There are hundreds of various diets out there, and each diet claims to be extremely effective at helping you reach your body goals. However, you need to understand that a lot of those diets are dangerous and may disrupt your wellness. That is why, if you want to trim a couple of inches, your number one priority should always be your health.
The safest way to shed pounds is to follow a balanced diet that would create an adequate caloric deficit and result in a gradual and successful weight loss. So, what about an oatmeal diet? In this article, you will find out whether this wide-known breakfast food can help you slim down a couple of sizes without causing any health issues.
The Concept of an Oatmeal Diet
What is an oatmeal diet? – you may ask. It is a nutritional plan that claims to help you successfully slim down by restricting your menu assortment to one food – oatmeal. So, basically, the oatmeal diet is a mono-diet. As you may already know, experts don’t support weight loss using mono-diets since they are extremely restrictive and often lead to nutrient deficiencies and other health problems. So, do the benefits of this diet prevail over its risks? And can it offer you sustainable and healthy weight loss results? Stick around to find out more.
Benefits of an Oatmeal
This popular high-fiber low-calorie food has been around for centuries. It is known as the ultimate breakfast option and is consumed all around the world. But, have you ever wondered why is that so? Why is eating oatmeal good for you? If you are curious to find out, here are some of the main possible health benefits of the oatmeal:
- It contains beta-glucan, which, according to scientists from the International Life Sciences Institute, can help you reduce cholesterol levels and strengthen the immune system;
- It comprises plant lignans, compounds that prevent heart disease ;
- It prevents constipation and eases bowel movements;
- It helps normalize blood pressure;
- It decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
As you can see, having oatmeal for breakfast may improve your overall wellness. However, keep in mind that the oatmeal diet requires you to focus only on the oatmeal for a certain period. This can lead to various health risks and dangers.
The Oatmeal Diet Plan
As you already know, an oatmeal diet plan requires you to eat oatmeal every day. There are three phases of this nutritional plan:
The first phase lasts for 1 week, and during this phase, you are to have three meals a day, each consisting of oatmeal only. You are allowed to eat only whole oatmeal, so instant oatmeal is banned. You should also avoid granola bars. Your daily caloric intake should be between 900 and 1200 calories. As you can see, this phase is extremely restrictive and difficult to stick to.
The second phase lasts for 2-5 weeks and is a bit less restrictive than the first phase, but it also lasts much longer. During this phase, you may eat oatmeal two times a day, adding one cup of fruit for breakfast and one cup of vegetables for dinner. You are also allowed to have instant oatmeal now. Your daily caloric intake during the second phase should fall between 1000 and 1300 calories. Although this phase allows you to consume some fruits and vegetables, which are filled with nutrients while being low in calories, this doesn’t make the second phase a balanced diet.
This phase has no time restrictions and is basically a transition to your regular diet. You are allowed to eat what you normally consume while having oatmeal once a day. Now, you can add nuts and flavors to your oatmeal. Although you are to return to your regular eating habits, you should still reduce your fat consumption and continue counting calories.
Oatmeal Diet Risks
Although the last, third phase of the oatmeal diet is quite balanced, the first two phases provide you with a low number of calories and fail to offer you enough essential nutrients. This, in turn, can lead to the following possible risks of an oatmeal diet:
- Dizziness, weakness, and muscle loss;
- Kidney stones;
- Increased risk of chronic health problems such as cancer and osteoporosis; and
- Unsustainable weight loss results. While the results of the first week of dieting may be impressive, the following weeks may not be that rewarding since the initial weight loss is mainly due to a dangerously low-calorie intake.
Nobody said that losing weight is easy, but it shouldn’t be unhealthy either. When choosing a diet, focus on its effects on your wellness. If the diet promises you incredible results but bears dozens of health risks, then it is better to put it aside and find a balanced meal plan that would reward you with a gradual but safe weight loss. An oatmeal diet is a mono-diet, and during its first two phases can be quite unhealthy. The third phase of this diet is similar to a regular balanced diet since it provides you with all the essential nutrients, as well as the right amount of calories, which is crucial for a healthy weight loss. But remember that before starting to follow any new nutritional plan, it is required that you consult with a health specialist.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!