Oatmeal Diet – How Oats Help With Weight Loss (With Recipes) August 10, 2016

So you have tried fad diets, but gained the weight back (and some more) as quickly as you lost it? Trust me, girl, this never works! It is time to adopt a healthy diet plan, which is the only way to achieve sustainable weight loss.

This article is not about the conventional oatmeal diet plan, where dieters are only allowed to eat oatmeal (that would be a fad diet in disguise!). This comprises a meal-replacement diet plan, following which you can lose up to 20 pounds over a period of 6 weeks.

Oatmeal, a whole grain, is high in fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals (1). Since it’s a nutritient-dense food, it makes you feel fuller for a longer time. Hence, you tend to eat less (2). Whole grains contain fewer calories, so you can eat a good serving of oats without consuming many calories. Also, the fiber binds to the fat in the intestine and prevents the absorption of fats. The fat bound fiber is finally excreted from your body.

Here we will discuss the oatmeal diet plan in detail and also present a few chosen delicious and out-of-the-box oatmeal recipes to break the monotony.

Oats – All You Need To Know

Know Your Oats Better

First things first. Oats are the whole grains and oatmeal is its rolled or flaked version (similar to rice grains and rice flakes). It is important to know which type of oatmeal will result in optimum weight loss.

  1. Plain oatmeal – You will find a lot of varieties of oatmeal in the market. But make sure you are buying plain oatmeal as it has lesser calories when compared to the other varieties.
  2. Flavored oatmeal – They contain added sugar and more calories. So stay away from flavored ones if you really want to shed those extra pounds.
  3. Larger flakes – People often refer to larger flakes as old-fashioned flakes. These keep you fuller for a longer time and in turn, help to curb your hunger pangs.
  4. Steel-cut flakes – These oats take longer time to cook but they make a deliciously creamy dish. Its texture is delectable, and it is chewy at the same time.

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Oatmeal Diet For Weight Loss

 The oatmeal diet plan has 3 phases:

Phase 1

In this phase, the dieters are allowed to eat 1000-1200 calories per day for two days. Eat six meals per day to keep your metabolism high. To lose weight in a healthy way, you should eat foods other than just oatmeal. Have oatmeal thrice a day and for the other three meals, include fresh fruits and fruit juices, veggies, and a good source of protein.

Phase 2

In the second phase, the dieters are allowed to eat 1200-1400 calories per day for the next two days. Make sure to eat good, nutrition-dense foods that will help you lose fat, build muscle, and increase bone health. Also, start practicing stretching exercises, yoga, or walking.

Phase 3

In the third phase, the dieters are allowed to eat 1500-2000 calories per day for the remaining three days. This is the phase when you come back to your normal eating routine. However, be sure to eat healthy and include oats at least for one meal per day.

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7-Day Oatmeal Diet Plan

This 7-day diet plan is a balanced calorie diet that requires you to replace at least two meals of the day with oatmeal. In phase 1, include oatmeal three times a day in your diet for two days. In phase 2, include oatmeal two times a day for the next two to lose a significant amount of weight. Finally, in phase 3, have oatmeal at least once a day for the remaining 3 days to maintain your new body weight.

This is a sample diet plan. You can change the components of the meals as per your convenience.

Phase 1 (Day 1 & Day 2)

Day 1

BreakfastOatmeal with milk and berries
Before LunchOrange juice or apple juice
LunchOatmeal with vegetables
Post-Lunch1 apple
Evening SnacksGreen tea and 1 multigrain biscuit
DinnerBaked fish with veggies

 Vegetarian Alternative- For dinner, have a bowl of baked beans or a bowl of sprout salad.

Recipe – Oatmeal With Vegetables

Recipe - Oatmeal With Vegetables

Image: Shutterstock

  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 4 cauliflower florets
  • 4 broccoli florets
  • ½ a medium sized carrot
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water
How To Prepare
  1. Boil the oatmeal until soft.
  2. Dice the veggies and saute in a frying pan.
  3. Add the boiled oatmeal, a little water, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix well.

Day 2 

BreakfastOatmeal with apple and cinnamon
Before LunchAny whole fruit
LunchCabbage soup
Post-LunchCucumber slices with a dash of lime and salt
Evening SnacksBlack tea with 1 multigrain biscuit
DinnerOatmeal with lentils and chicken cubes

 Vegetarian Alternative- For dinner, instead of chicken cubes, you can add mushrooms or soy cubes or use mixed lentils.

Recipe – Oatmeal With Lentils And Chicken Cubes

Recipe - Oatmeal With Lentils And Chicken Cubes

Image: Shutterstock

  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ¼ cup yellow/red lentils
  • 1 chicken breast cut into cubes
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green chili
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt and pepper
How To Prepare
  1. Boil the oatmeal and lentils separately. Do not throw away the excess water.
  2. Saute the garlic, onion, tomato, and green chili.
  3. Add the chicken right after you add the chili.
  4. Add the oatmeal and lentils and let it cook until the chicken is soft.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Phase 2 (Day 3 & Day 4)

Day 3

BreakfastFresh fruit juice or smoothie (avoid banana now)
Before Lunch4 almonds
LunchOats pita bread wrap with eggs and veggies
Post-Lunch1 Kiwi or 1 grapefruit
Evening Snacks1 cup green tea
DinnerOatmeal salmon cake with mashed sweet potato

Vegetarian Alternative- For dinner, instead of salmon, use kidney beans.

Recipe – Oats Pita Bread Wrap With Eggs And Veggies

Recipe- Oats Pita Bread Wrap With Eggs And Veggies

Image: Shutterstock

  • 1 Oats pita bread (available in supermarkets)
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ chopped green bell pepper
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
How To Prepare
  1. Sauté the chopped onion and green bell pepper.
  2. Crack open the egg and add to the sautéed veggies.
  3. Lay the lettuce leaf on top of the oats pita bread.
  4. Transfer the fried egg on top of the lettuce leaf.
  5. Add a little Dijon mustard and sprinkle salt and pepper for taste.
  6. Wrap the pita bread and take a generous bite!

 Day 4

BreakfastGreen tea and oats with banana and milk
Before Lunch1 medium sized carrot
LunchLight Italian-style sandwich
Post-LunchSoy milk
Evening SnacksFresh fruit juice
DinnerOatmeal balls in Asian-style gravy (vegetarian)

Recipe – Oatmeal Balls In Asian-Style Gravy

Recipe - Oatmeal Balls In Asian-Style Gravy

Image: Shutterstock

  • 1 cup boiled oatmeal
  • 1/5 thinly sliced cabbage
  • ½ thinly sliced carrot
  • ½ thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced red chili
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • Water
How To Prepare 
  1. Mix the oatmeal, cabbage, carrot, green bell pepper, flour and ½ tablespoon oil and make round medium-sized balls.
  2. Brush a little oil on the balls and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes until they turn golden brown.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a Chinese frying pan and add garlic and red chili to it. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Finally, add the baked oatmeal balls.
  6. Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. 

Phase 3 (Day 5 – Day 7)

Day 5

BreakfastOats and berries smoothie with a dash of melted dark chocolate
Before Lunch1 apple
LunchZoodles with shrimps or spinach
Post-LunchOrange juice
Evening SnacksGreen tea
DinnerOatmeal Rava dosa (oats semolina pancake)

Recipe – Oatmeal Rava Dosa

Recipe - Oatmeal Rava Dosa

Image: Shutterstock

  • 1 cup ground oatmeal
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup Rava (semolina)
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ chopped green chili
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Readymade coconut chutney (available in Indian grocery stores)
How To Prepare
  1. Mix the ground oatmeal, rice flour, rava, chopped onion, green chili and cumin seeds with water.
  2. The consistency should be same as that of regular pancake batter.
  3. Heat the pan and spread the batter to make thin and crisp pancakes.
  4. Serve hot with coconut chutney.

 Day 6

BreakfastOatmeal with milk and honey
Before Lunch4 almonds
LunchChicken clear soup
Post-Lunch1 cup fat-free yogurt
Evening SnacksGreen tea
DinnerTuna-oatmeal lettuce boats

Vegetarian Alternative- For lunch, instead of chicken clear soup, you can have baked veggies or vegetable clear soup.

For dinner, instead of tuna, use soy cubes or soybeans.

Recipe – Tuna-Oatmeal Lettuce Boats

Recipe- Tuna-Oatmeal Lettuce Boats

Image: Shutterstock

  • ½ cup ground oatmeal
  • ½ cup canned tuna
  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • 1 thinly sliced tomato
  • ½ julienned cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fat-free yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
How To Prepare
  1. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the ground oatmeal.
  2. On a baking tray, coat the tuna with the oatmeal, brush a little oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15 minutes.
  3. Lay the lettuce leaf and put in the tomatoes first.
  4. On top of the tomato slices, add the crispy baked tuna.
  5. Add the cucumbers next.
  6. Add a dash of lime and top it with Dijon mustard, fat-free yogurt, and cayenne pepper.

Day 7

BreakfastKale and pomegranate detox drink
Before Lunch1 small bowl of papaya
LunchIndian-style oatmeal kofta
Post-Lunch1 glass buttermilk
Evening SnacksGreen tea
DinnerMexican-style oatmeal with fried egg

Vegetarian Alternative- Instead of eggs, use button mushrooms or kidney bean chili.

Recipe – Mexican-Style Oatmeal With Fried Egg

Recipe - Mexican-Style Oatmeal With Fried Egg

Image: Shutterstock

  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ¼ avocado
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • Pickled jalapeno
  • ½ chopped tomato
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
How To Prepare
  1. Sauté the chopped onion and tomato in a frying pan.
  2. At the same time, cook the oatmeal until soft.
  3. Cut the avocado into medium-sized cubes.
  4. Add the sautéed onion and tomato to the oatmeal.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, cook for 30 seconds and turn off the flame.
  6. Meanwhile, fry an egg.
  7. Transfer the oatmeal to a bowl and top it with avocado.
  8. Add a few pieces of pickled jalapeno, a dash of lime, and Dijon mustard.
  9. Carefully place the fried egg on top of the avocado cubes.
  10. Add a little salt and pepper.
  11. Garnish with cilantro.

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Foods To Eat

Spinach, broccoli, chicken breast, fish, turkey, tea, fat-free yogurt, lettuce, berries, celery, any fruit, carrots, radish, beetroot, sweet potato, beans, lentils, mushrooms, honey, maple syrup, lemon, lime.

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Foods To Avoid

Sweetened or aerated drinks, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, high sodium foods, packaged fruit juices, flavored yogurt, donuts, corn bread.

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Role Of Exercise During The Oatmeal Diet

It is recommended that you do a few stretching exercises while you are in phase 1. When you are in phase 2, you will provide your body with more calories and hence you should start walking/power walking as well as doing free-hand exercises. When you enter phase 3, you will basically have enough energy to go for a full workout and strength training routine. Only losing fat will not get you back in shape, you also need to tone your muscles so that your skin doesn’t look aged and loose.

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Benefits Of The Oatmeal Diet 

  • Prevents abdominal fat accumulation (3)
  • The soluble fiber found in oats is extremely helpful in reducing blood cholesterol (4)
  • Oats help in slowing down the rise of glucose levels in the blood. This way it stops and controls the sudden rise of blood sugar level
  • Due to its high-fiber content, oats are considered excellent for proper bowel functioning and are known as a great remedy for constipation the world over (5)
  • Reduces the risk of cancer as oats contain selenium (6), (7)
  • Curbs cravings
  • Reduces the risk of heart failure
  • Improves cardiovascular health (8)
  • Boosts immunity
  • Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes (9)
  • Protects against asthma
  • Antioxidants slow down aging (10), (11)

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Side Effects Of The Oatmeal Diet

  • May reduce absorption of medicines
  • May cause distention
  • May cause perineal irritation
  • May cause weakness

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  • How many pounds can I lose by following the oatmeal diet?

If you follow the phases strictly and prepare oats without sugar or artificial sweetener, you can lose up to 20 pounds within a period of 6 weeks. You can also speed up the process if you start working out from phase 2 regularly.

  • Is oatmeal good for you on another diet?

Yes. You can have oatmeal even when you are following another weight-loss diet plan. It is high in fiber, which will prevent fat accumulation. It will also help you if you suffer from constipation.

  • I am in phase 2 and have not lost weight. Help.

Weight gain is a result of many factors. It can be uncontrolled eating, slow metabolism, medical conditions, and genes. If you have not lost weight, it can be due to not following the diet guidelines properly or because of your medical condition. Or it is all in your head (that you are over-weight), and you are absolutely perfect righty now. Please consult your doctor or dietitian to get expert opinion.

  • Can breastfeeding moms follow the oatmeal diet?

Just wait a little longer before you start working on losing your pregnancy weight. Consult your doctor to get expert advice.

  • Can I eat mangoes or any other high glycemic index fruits while I am on this diet?

There is nothing wrong in eating local fruits, even when they are on the higher side of the glycemic index. If mangoes grow in your country, enjoy them. However, be sure not to overeat. Fat accumulation takes place when we eat more calories than we burn. Fruits are enriched with nutrients and eating them in limited quantity will not harm you.

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Oatmeal is good for your health whether you are on a weight loss spree or not. If you know of any other exciting oatmeal diet recipes or if you have questions about this diet plan, let us know by commenting in the comments box below.

Cheers to good health!

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