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Here’s How Overnight Oats Can Help You Lose Weight

Published | 6 min read

Overnight oats are the perfect weight loss food, but using the wrong oats and additives could sabotage your goals. Learn the best ways to prepare overnight oats here.

Overnight oats with chia min scaled

Are you trying to lose weight? If so, adding overnight oats to your diet can help.

Oats are high in fiber to help stabilize glucose levels, reduce hunger, and improve digestion. They also contain slow-burning carbohydrates to keep you energized throughout the day without crashing.

However, many recipes for overnight oats tend to be high in sugar. This can have the opposite effect on your weight loss goals.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the best overnight oat recipes to use to help you lose weight – and why the type of oats you use matters.

Are Overnight Oats Healthy?

An image of overnight oats in a mason jar with fresh blueberries and bananas
Adding fresh fruit to your overnight oats is a good way to enhance the flavor and fiber content.

Oats are relatively low in calories and high in fiber, which makes them popular among weight watchers. A diet with oats is a great option for people with diabetes.

A 2016 research study found that short and long-term consumption of oats can control blood sugar levels and reduce weight.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees oats as a neutral to warm ingredient with a sweet taste. Oats can tonify qi (vital energy) and blood, circulate qi, and calm the spirit.

All these benefits are good for weight loss because fat accumulation is due to excess phlegm and Dampness, as well as Deficiencies in Qi and Blood.

“Managing these imbalances will allow your body to metabolize food and wastes properly, which enables you to lose excess weight.”

Physician Anita Pee from Eu Yan Sang clinic.

Oats are good for your heart and digestive health, too. In TCM, oats are associated with the Heart, Lungs, SpleenKidneys, stomach, and large intestines.

Since ancient times, TCM practitioners have used oats to help relieve various conditions, including dysentery, diabetes, hepatitis, nervous and sexual debility, indigestion, and high cholesterol.

These benefits of oats are also in line with the Western medicine view. Numerous studies have linked oats intake with a lower risk of coronary artery diseases and an increase in healthy gut bacteria. 

Best Overnight Oats For Weight Loss

Oats can keep you full for longer, which helps control your cravings for junk food. But there’s an exception to this: your preferences for oats.

Ranked here are the healthiest oats for weight loss based on their nutritional value and glycemic index (GI):

Oat groats 

There are three steps in milling oats: hulling, enzyme inactivation treatment, and dicing or cracking. Groats, however, are almost like freshly harvested oats.

They’re only cleaned and hulled to retain the bran and germ, which contain healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Since groats are minimally processed, they’re the healthiest oats for weight loss. Groats have a GI score of 45 (low) per 100-gram serving.

However, it’s not a popular option due to its lengthy preparation time. To eat oat groats, soak them overnight and simmer them on a stove with water for 40 minutes. 

Steel-cut oats 

An image of steel cut oats in a brown wooden bowl
Steel cut oats are a popular choice because they can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.

Slice groats into pieces, and you’ll have some steel-cut oats. After oats are hulled, farmers chop the grains with a steel metal blade.

Just like groats, steel-cut oats still have the bran and germ intact. They have a slightly higher GI score than groats, around 55 (low).

Another difference is the cooking time. Due to their smaller size, you can prepare steel-cut oats in about 20 to 30 minutes. 

Rolled oats 

The third on the list of the healthiest oats for weight loss is rolled oats, with a GI score of 57 (medium). Flat, oval shape rolled oats are hulled, steamed, and then flattened with a roller machine to thin them out.

The rolling process stabilizes the flake’s healthy oils, which keeps them fresh for longer and enables them to cook faster. As for flavor, rolled oats have a mild taste and soft texture. 

Rolled oats can be used to make overnight oats and there’s no cooking required. Just place 1/2 a cup in a bowl or jar, and add an equal amount of water or milk of your choice. Refrigerate overnight and you can add other toppings such as fruit, nuts, and a little honey.

Instant oats 

The quick-cooking oats you’ve seen in stores are pre-cooked and thinner rolled oats with added sugar and preservatives. The grains are steamed for much longer to make the flakes soft enough to get cooked with hot water.

Texture-wise, they can be mushy, which is a drawback for some. They’re also not as healthy as other types of oats. Eating a lot of instant oats in one go can spike your blood sugar levels as it has a GI score of 75 mark (high). 

Tips For Making Overnight Oats Healthier

If you’ve been eating plain oatmeal every morning, try something a little out of the ordinary and add more colors to your breakfast.

Physician Pee encourages people to consume healthy food to restore balance. Instead of reaching for chocolate-flavored instant oatmeal, why not make your own overnight oats with fruits and healthier ingredients?  

Add healthy sweeteners and flavors

You can choose groats, steel-cut oats, or rolled oats – whichever is available.

Physician Pee recommends adding ground flaxseed (ya ma zi) to tonify and replenish qi and hawthorn berry (shan zha) to relieve Stagnation and clear Excess Heat.

For sweeteners, you can drizzle some honey or stevia to nourish the Spleen. You can also add goji berries to your oats for added flavor and fiber.

Pair overnight oats with a cup of tea

Drinking herbal tea can awaken your senses, soothe the body, and aid weight loss efforts. Try some Jiaogulan tea, which works well to eliminate phlegm and restore the balance between yin and yang.

Enjoy overnight oats in the morning before 11 am

A fit woman enjoying a bowl of oats for breakfast after working out
Enjoying overnight oats in the morning before or after your workout is a good way to start your day.

Lastly, Physician Pee advises people to have meals between 7 am to 11 am as this time window is when the Spleen and stomach are at their peak function. Doing this allows your body to optimally burn the food you’ve eaten and use it as energy. 

Add Overnight Oats To Your Weight Loss Plan

After reading about the best oats for weight loss, planning your meals for a healthier and stronger you should be easier.

Incorporating several ingredients into your overnight oats allows you to enjoy yummy and comforting food packed with nutrients your body needs.

Share this article with your friends and family if you think they’ll enjoy overnight oats!

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