Nutrition Experts Say This Is The Worst Ingredient To Add To Your Overnight Oats—It’s So Fattening!

Making overnight oats not only saves you time when preparing breakfast the next morning, but this also means your meal is customizable. If healthy weight loss is your goal, overnight oats (with the right ingredients of course) can help support a swift metabolism, smooth digestion and help you lose a few pounds while providing protein and fiber.

We checked in with registered nutritionists and health experts to learn more about one ingredient you should never add to your oats, as it can off-set the healthier additions you put in. Read on for tips and suggestions from George Yang, RDN, registered dietitian , nutritionist and founder of Yanre Fitness, Rachel MacPherson, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach at Garage Gym Reviews, and Matt Claes, head coach, health expert and founder of Weight Loss Made Practical.

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Tip #1—Skip The Sugar (And Sources of Natural Sugar, Too!)

While adding a dash of syrup, brown sugar or sweetened flavor to your oats might not seem like a big deal, doing this frequently can hinder your weight loss efforts, MacPherson says. Even if you add healthy ingredients like fruit, yogurt, etc., sugary additives can make more of an impact on your meal than you might think. “The worst ingredient to add to overnight oats if your goal is to lose weight is sugar,” she explains. “Sugar contributes no nutrients, and nutrient density is vital for sustainable weight loss and healthy weight balance,” she adds.

Claes agrees, and notes that “any” sugar, even the more “natural ones like maple syrup and honey” will add “a lot of energy yet a relatively high spoke in blood sugar” compared to other possible ingredients. This, he says, will make it “harder to start burning fat” and can leave you “more hungry compared to eating same numbers of calories” from a better option like berries, instead. While Claes notes that many people enjoy these sugars “in moderation,” and while they “can be an option to make your overnight oats tastier,” it’s important to note that there are “much better ingredients” out there, and ones that can greatly aid your weight loss journey.

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Tip #2—Focus On More Satiating (Rather Than Sweet) Ingredients

When whipping up your overnight oats, MacPherson recommends reaching for ingredients that will keep you satiated for longer, as this can help you prevent gaining weight from eating more than you need to. She recommends finding foods that “contribute more to the meal’s flavor, texture , nutrient profile, and satiety, such as fruit, low sugar fruit spread, or flavored yogurt,” if you need something sweet. Nut butters, nuts and seeds also help “boost the filling aspect of oats while proving a savory element,” she says. “Fats help slow digestion and increase meal satiety, contributing to weight loss when portion sizes are taken into account (1 to 2 tbsp).”

Overall, Yang says that eating overnight oats can help you lose weight, particularly if you “pair this food with a calorie-controlled diet.” More valuable, perhaps, is that “eating oatmeal regularly will improve your personal nutrition,” and Yang notes that this breakfast has ample “cholesterol-lowering and heart health potential.” Oatmeal soaked overnight is already “high in fiber and will keep your stomach full for a long time,” with the right ingredients. Overnight oats also help “clear your digestive tract .” Yang concludes that this meal idea is high in starch, which is “guaranteed to burn fat faster and increases the body’s insulin level.” Sounds great to us!

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