Chia Seeds For Weight Loss: How They Work, Diet, & Recipes

Everything you need to know about these nutritious seeds and their impact on your body weight

Medically Reviewed by Merlin Annie Raj, RD (Registered Dietitian)
By Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

It’s no more a secret that chia seeds are great for weight loss. These small black and white seeds from the mint family are a superfood. But how do you use chia seeds for weight loss, and how do they work? Dr. Shivani Lodha (R.D., Nutritionist) says, “Chia seeds are rich in fiber, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. They offer better satiety, nourish the body, and help improve gut health.” In addition, chia seeds are replete with antioxidants that help reduce fat and improve lipid profile (1), (2). Continue reading to understand how chia seeds aid weight loss. We also have included a weight loss diet plan and 10 yummy ways to add chia seeds to your diet. Swipe up!

What Are Chia Seeds?

What are chia seeds

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“Chia” means strength. These small pseudo-grains are rightly named so as they are rich in dietary fiber, protein, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). They expand and form a thick gel-like outer layer when you put them in water – this way, you can also enjoy the benefits of chia seed water. In fact, they can hold up to 10 times their weight in water or any other liquid. And you must always soak them in water before consuming. The best part about chia seeds is that they do not have a strong flavor or taste and can hence be added to any food and consumed.

Now, let us take a quick look at chia seed nutritional values.

Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts (100g)

NutrientsValue
Energy486kcal
Protein16.5g
Total Lipid30.7g
CHO42.1g
Dietary fiber34.4g
Calcium631mg
Iron7.7mg
Magnesium335mg
Potassium407mg
Sodium16mg
Zinc4.6mg
Folate49µg

Source: USDA

As you can see, these nutrients in chia seeds are closely related to weight loss. Find out more in the next section.

Chia Seeds For Weight Loss – How Do They Work?

How chia seeds aid weight loss

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What are the benefits of chia seeds? Well, the list starts with weight loss. They are rich in antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, and dietary fiber that help flush out toxins, build lean muscle mass, reduce inflammation, and keep you full for a long duration. Let’s take a closer look at how these small seeds can help you tackle a huge problem. Scroll down to further understand the nutritional benefits of chia seeds.

  • Rich In Dietary Fiber

Chia seeds are rich in dietary fiber, which benefits digestive health by promoting regularity and increasing stool frequency to prevent constipation. Moreover, the fiber in chia seeds also absorbs a good amount of water, which keeps you full for longer and suppresses hunger.

Fiber-rich foods can keep your body from absorbing a few calories from the foods you eat. The nutrient binds with the fat and sugar molecules in the food and obstructs their absorption. This reduces the number of calories you consume.

  • Loaded With PUFA

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are categorized as healthy fats. Chia seeds are loaded with alpha linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3-fatty acid. Omega 3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory effects, as well as brain- enhancing and heart health-protecting properties.

  • High In Protein

Chia seeds protein content is quite impressive. One ounce of chia seeds contains 4.4 grams of protein. You need about 0.8 g per kg body weight of protein every day. If you are not a meat eater, it is quite possible that you are not consuming enough protein. And to load up on protein, you need to look at whole foods instead of supplements. The protein in chia seeds helps in building muscle mass and aids muscle recovery.

  • Increase Energy Levels

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the reasons for weight gain. Chia seeds provide energy and make you more active. In fact, when you start building lean muscle, the number of mitochondria (the cell organelles that produce energy in the form of ATP) increases. This, in turn, not only increases your energy levels but also accelerates your metabolic rate.

  • Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants help flush out toxins and lower stress and inflammation in the body. They act by scavenging the harmful free oxygen radicals, which may also lead to DNA mutation, leading to harmful/nonfunctioning protein synthesis. Chia seeds are loaded with various antioxidants – quercetin, caffeic acid, kaempferol, and chlorogenic acid. Hence, consuming these seeds will reduce the toxins in your body, help you lose weight, and reduce the risk of fatal diseases (3).

  • Increase The Production Of Leptin

Leptin is a hunger-inhibiting hormone that is produced by the fat cells (adipose tissue). Scientists have found that the more protein you consume, the more the production of leptin will be (4). Chia seeds are a good source of protein (as mentioned above) and also help kick leptin into action. This, in turn, helps suppress appetite, prevents overeating, and maintains a healthy body composition.

These are the main reasons you must include chia seeds in your diet. But how much should you consume per day? Find out next.

Chia Seeds For Weight Loss – How Much Should You Consume?

You can have 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds per day. Make sure you do not overshoot this recommendation just to lose weight “quickly” as it can turn out to be harmful in higher doses. Also, talk to your doctor/dietitian before consuming chia.

Along with consuming chia seeds, you must also follow a healthy diet. Not sure where to start? Well, check out the diet plan below to get an idea.

Chia Seeds Weight Loss Diet Chart

MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning

(6:00 a.m.)

2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked in 1 cup of water overnight
Breakfast

(6:45 – 7:15 a.m.)

Oatmeal with chia seeds + 1 banana + 4 almonds + 1 cup green tea
Mid Morning

(10:00 – 10:30 a.m.)

1 boiled egg/1 cup freshly pressed juice
Lunch

(12:30 – 1:00 p.m.)

Tuna/tofu salad with light dressing + 1 cup buttermilk
Post Lunch

(3:00 p.m.)

1 cup green tea + 1 multigrain biscuit
Dinner

(6:30 – 7:00 p.m.)

Grilled fish/chicken/mushroom + veggies + 1 tablespoon chia seeds + ½ cup warm milk before going to bed

You get the idea, right? Low-calorie but nutritious food is what you must aim to consume. Also, avoid late night snacking or mid-day junk cravings. You can have a cup of green tea in the morning or a cup of chamomile tea at night to avoid overeating.

Alright. So, is soaking chia seeds the only way to consume them? No. Here are other ways.

Ways To Consume Chia Seeds

According to Dr. Shivani Lodha, “Chia seeds can be taken in various forms. They can be soaked overnight and can be consumed for breakfast with any form of milk of curd and fruits. They can be added with coconut water or lemon water or buttermilk. Sprinkling chia seeds add great texture to salads.”

To reap the health benefits of chia seeds, add them in any form to your food depending on what is convenient and appealing to you. But should you only consider adding these seeds to your oatmeal? Of course not! There are other innovative ways to amp up your daily nutrition with chia seeds. Let me show you a few quick recipes. Scroll down.

Chia Seeds For Weight Loss – 10 Best Recepies

1. Chia Seed Smoothie

Chia seed smoothie for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup full-fat/soy milk
How To Prepare
  1. Peel and toss the banana into a blender.
  2. Add the blueberries, Greek yogurt, full-fat/soy milk, and chia seeds.
  3. Blitz it, pour it into a glass, and drink.

2. Chia Seed Muffin

Chia seed muffin for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup almond milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil/ ghee
  • 2 ½ tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
How To Prepare
  1. Preheat the oven and grease a muffin tray.
  2. Whisk the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and keep aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the mashed banana, both types of sugar, and oil to the apple cider vinegar and milk mixture. Mix well.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients.
  6. Add one to two tablespoons of batter in each muffin mold in the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. And, it’s ready!

3. Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seed pudding for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond milk/ full-fat milk
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
 How To Prepare
  1. Blend all the ingredients except the chia seeds.
  2. Stir in the chia seeds and pour into a glass jar.
  3. Refrigerate it for four hours to let it form a gel-like (pudding) texture.

4. Chia Seeds Iced Tea

Chia seeds iced tea for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon green tea
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
  • Lime slices
  • Ice cubes
How To Prepare
  1. Soak the chia seeds in water.
  2. Bring a cup of water to a boil, and just when it starts boiling, remove from the flame.
  3. Let it cool for 2 minutes.
  4. Add a teaspoon of green tea and steep it for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Strain the tea into a glass.
  6. Let it cool down for 5 more minutes and then refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
  7. Add the lime juice, brown sugar, chia seeds, some ice cubes, and lime slices.
  8. Enjoy your summer fresh chia iced tea.

5. Chia, Fruit, And Yogurt

Chia and yogurt for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • 1 cup blueberry yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 plum, sliced
  • 1 peach sliced
  • ½ orange sliced
  • Mint leaves
How To Prepare
  1. Toss the sliced fruits into a bowl.
  2. Stir in the blueberry yogurt.
  3. Add the chia seeds, combine everything well, and garnish with mint leaves.

6. Quinoa Chia Salad

Quinoa chia salad for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in water
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped kale
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
How To Prepare
  1. Add the quinoa and vegetable stock to a pan. Cover and cook until the quinoa is cooked.
  2. Transfer it to a plate and fluff it with a fork.
  3. In another bowl, add the chopped veggies, chia seeds, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Combine everything well and spread it on top of the quinoa.
  5. Mix lightly and eat it!

7. Homemade Chia Protein Bar

Homemade chia protein bar for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • ½ cup dates
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon melon seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pepita
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
How To Prepare
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a tray. Spread and press it down and cut into squares.
  3. Refrigerate for 2 hours to give it a more chewy texture.

8. Chia Seed Banana Pancake

Chia seed banana pancake for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Berries and maple syrup/honey for topping
How To Prepare
  1. Mash the banana with the back of a fork.
  2. Add the flour and ground oats. Mix well.
  3. Add the milk, cinnamon, and chia seeds. Mix well.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet and add a dollop of the batter.
  5. Cook for two minutes on each side.
  6. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and top it with berries and maple syrup/honey.

[ Read: 10 Best Healthy Protein Pancake Recipes ]

9. Chia Strawberry Shake

Chia strawberry shake for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • ⅔ cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked
  • 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon slivered almonds for garnish
  • 4-5 raspberries for topping
How To Prepare
  1. Toss the Greek yogurt, strawberries, and dark cocoa powder into a blender.
  2. Pour the mixture into a tall glass and stir in the soaked chia seeds.
  3. Add the slivered almonds. Finish by topping it with raspberries.

10. Chia Seed Almond Milk

Chia seed almond milk for weight loss

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Ingredients
  • 10 almonds
  • 500 mL milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • A few strands of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked
  • Ice cubes (optional)
How To Prepare
  1. Soak the almonds for 4 hours.
  2. Peel them and toss them into a blender.
  3. Blend the green cardamom powder and saffron.
  4. Bring the milk to a boil.
  5. While it’s boiling, add the almond mixture.
  6. Simmer for 2 minutes and then take the milk off the heat.
  7. Let it cool down for 10 minutes.
  8. Add chia seeds and ice cubes before serving. 

Infographic: Chia Seeds: Benefits And Side Effects

You can use makeup products to conceal the cold sores and pimples that pop up on your face. Apply an OTC cream to dry out a cold sore before applying makeup. For pimples, apply any water-based moisturizer to prevent breakouts. Additionally, you can try home remedies such as honey, coconut oil, and licorice root for cold sores, and aloe vera, turmeric, and garlic for pimples. Click on the infographic below to learn more about concealing cold sores and pimples with makeup.

health benefits of chia seeds [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Many individuals choose to take chia seeds for weight loss purposes. Chia seeds are a rich source of fiber, which can increase satiety and improve digestion. Being high in essential fatty acids, chia seeds have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. They are also a good source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that helps to nourish the body and aid weight loss by reducing stress, increasing muscle mass, and providing energy to shift out of a sedentary lifestyle. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that these pseudo-grains can increase the production of leptin, a hormone known to suppress hunger. Consume chia seeds by adding them to meals like salads and smoothies, or drink them with water to help out your weight loss journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to drink chia seeds for weight loss?

It is ideal to drink chia seeds in the morning to boost your digestive system and improve your metabolism (1).

Which is better: flax or chia seeds?

Whole both flax and chia seeds are nutritious, chia seeds may be better for you. Chia seeds have fewer calories and a higher content of calcium, iron, and zinc than flax seeds (2), (3). This may aid in weight loss and reduction in waist circumference (1).

Can I eat flaxseed and chia seeds together?

Yes, you can eat flax and chia seeds together in moderation daily.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica L.): An Overview—Phytochemical Profile Isolation Methods and Application
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6994964/
  2. Seeds chia seeds dried
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170554/nutrients
  3. Seeds flaxseed
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169414/nutrients
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author
Charushila is an ISSA certified Fitness Nutritionist and a Physical Exercise Therapist. Over a span of 5 years, she has... more

Merlin Annie Raj

(Registered Dietitian Nutritionist)
Merlin Annie Raj is a Registered Dietitian based out of Hyderabad, India. She has vast experience in Clinical Nutrition as... more

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