How Can Dates Help You Lose Weight?

Understand how the nutrients in dates can help you meet your weight loss goals.

Medically reviewed by Ionut Ignat, RDN Ionut Ignat Ionut IgnatRDN facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years

There are many benefits of consuming dates for weight management. They can be great additions to your daily meal planning as they are rich in nutrients nutrients and offer numerous health benefits (1). Moreover, the fiber and fats in these fruits are ideal for promoting your health. Dates may help you lose weight because they help flush out toxins, keep your blood sugar levels in check, and soothe inflammation (2). If you are craving sweetness, this exotic fruit helps you satisfy your taste buds without loading up on calories. Nevertheless, you should maintain a healthy portion control. This article explains the benefits of dates for weight loss, ways to consume them, and the importance of healthy eating and progress tracking to lose weight. Keep reading.

What Are Dates?

But first, let me tell you a little about dates. Dates or Phoenix dactylifera, are the sweet fruits of palm trees, found mostly in the Middle East, Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. There are different varieties of dates depending on the fructose, glucose, and sucrose content.

A survey based on 4446 participants found that dates are among the top 50 fruits liked by Americans. It was observed that 49% of the survey respondents said they liked having dates. Furthermore, dates were equally popular among men and women and they were popular among 54% of millennials, 48% of baby boomers, and 43% of Gen X.

protip_icon Trivia
The word ‘date’ comes from the Greek word ‘daktylos,’ which means ‘finger.’ This is because a date looks like the tip of a finger.

Dates are rich in carbs (44-88%), dietary fiber (6.4-11.5%). Protein (2.3-5.6 %), fats (0.2-0.5 %), minerals (iron, magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, etc.), salts, vitamins (A, B1, B2, C, niacin) and oils (3).

So, it is clear from the nutrition profile that dates are not only super delicious but also highly nutritious. Now, let us understand how dates aid weight loss.

How Do Dates Aid Weight Loss?

How do dates aid weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Though they are sweet and loaded with carbs, dates can help you lose weight due to the following reasons.

1. High Fiber Content

Dates are rich in dietary fiber. Fiber or good carbs (as I like to call it) cannot be digested by humans. Fiber works in three ways that result in weight loss.

First, fiber helps slow down the absorption of food in the large intestine, thereby making you feel full for a long time. It also prevents a sudden spike in blood glucose.

Second, it helps trap the fats, preventing fat absorption.

And third, fiber helps in the production of short chain fatty acids in the gut, which is basically food for the good gut bacteria. These gut bacteria help in digestion, which ultimately helps boost the metabolism (4).

2. High Unsaturated Fatty Acid Content

Not all fats are bad. Like the unsaturated fatty acids found in dates. These unsaturated fatty acids can help reduce inflammation. Inflammation can occur due to various reasons such as injury, swelling, disease, unhealthy food consumption, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. The bad news is, inflammation is linked to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, liver disease, etc. (5). Since dates have a good amount of unsaturated fatty acids, by consuming them, you can reduce inflammation, thereby lowering your chances of gaining weight.

3. Good Protein Source

Dates are also rich in protein. Proteins are tough to digest, and the transition time in the large intestine is longer, which makes you feel full for a long duration. Moreover, proteins can also help build and repair muscles.

4. Antioxidant Property

Dry fruits are rich in antioxidants (6). Antioxidants help scavenge the harmful free oxygen radicals and reduce stress and inflammation. Fresh dates contain antioxidants such as anthocyaninsi  Natural, water-soluble pigments found in plants, fruits, and vegetables that exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties. , phenolicsi  Compounds found in fruits and vegetables, such as berries and tomatoes that help lower oxidative stress and prevent cell death. , and carotenoidsi  Natural pigments present in fruits and vegetables that help lower the risk of eye diseases and cancer. (7). These help flush out toxins and boost metabolism and digestion. This ultimately leads to weight loss.

5. Anti-Diabetic Activity

This natural candy can actually help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Scientists have found that the flavonoids, saponinsi  Plant-based natural chemicals that work as antioxidants, help lower cholesterol levels and promote dental and kidney health. , and phenolics in dates can help stimulate insulin production. Plus, it was found that feeding dates to laboratory diabetic rats helped improve various biochemical results (8). However, you need to be careful if you are a diabetic. Consult your doctor to know if you can consume dates.

6. Satiates The Sweet Tooth

That sweet tooth! I hate it, I love it, but I can’t lose it! Yes, good news for those of you who feel this way. Dates are sweet, soft, and gooey. They can act as a natural sweetener minus all the ill effects of cane sugar. So, if you feel like having something sweet after a meal, just pop two dates in your mouth, and you are all set. This way, you will be able to provide nutrition to your body without the risk of gaining weight. and messing up your weight tracking.

So, these were the 6 reasons dates can help you lose weight. But can you consume unlimited dates and still hope to lose weight? Let’s find out.

How Many Dates To Consume To Lose Weight?

How many dates to consume to lose weight
Image: Shutterstock

Dates may aid weight loss, but they may also lead to weight gain if you don’t consume them in limited quantities. You can have 4-6 dates per day to satiate your sweet tooth, keep your hunger pangs at bay, or add nutrition and taste to your food.

It is also important to eat these dates at the right time to reap their maximum benefits. Learn when to have them in the following section.

Best Time To Eat Dates For Weight Loss

It is best to incorporate dates into your diet during the earlier part of the day. Dates as a mid-morning or afternoon snack can be beneficial for weight management. This is because they provide a natural source of energy, primarily in the form of natural sugars such as glucose and fructose. 100 g of date flesh can provide an average of 314 kcal, hence consuming them during the day gives you a boost of energy that can sustain you through various activities (9). Further, they are rich in dietary fiber which promotes satiety and helps control overall calorie intake (10). They also help prevent sudden sugar cravings.

Talking about food, let me tell you how to include dates in your daily food menu.

Dates Help In Weight Loss – Ways To Incorporate Dates Into Your Diet

  1. One exciting way to eat dates is to de-seed them and stuff some pieces of walnuts and almonds or any other dry fruit of your choice in them.
  2. Adding chopped dates to a fruit salad or dessert is another great way to enjoy them.
  3. You can also include dates in vegetables, rice dishes, couscous, etc.
  4. A very common method of consuming dates is by adding them to milk.
  5. You can add dates to yogurt, custard, chutney, dips, cakes, etc.

One of the most popular ways to consuming dates is by adding them to a glass of milk. In fact, the dates and milk diet was found to promote rapid weight loss in many dieters. So, if you want to lose 7 kg in 2 weeks, here’s what you must do.

Dates And Milk Diet

Milk diet and dates for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Week 1

Breakfast – 2 dates and a glass of milk

Lunch – 3 oz grilled fish + green leafy veggies + 1 slice of brown bread + 1 cup yogurt + 2 dates

Afternoon Snack – 1 cup green tea + 1 multigrain biscuit

Dinner – 2 dates and a glass of milk + grilled or stewed veggies + boiled beans

Week 2

Breakfast – 2 dates and a glass of milk

Lunch – 3 oz grilled fish + vegetable soup or chicken soup + 1 slice of brown bread + 1 cup buttermilk + 2 dates

Afternoon Snack – 1 cup green tea + 1 multigrain biscuit

Dinner –   2 dates and a glass of milk + sautéed veggies with mushroom/fish/chicken

NOTE: Talk to your dietician or doctor before you follow this diet plan.

Here are a few dates that can help with weight loss:

  1. Medjool dates
  2. Deglet Noor dates
  3. California dates

Dates are not only good for weight loss. They have other health benefits too, which makes them so very special. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of dates.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Dates?

  • Help Boost Immunity

Consuming dates can help boost your immunity as they are a good source of iron, which is essential for blood production (11). They are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and protein.

  • Protect From Allergies

Dates contain organic sulfur that not only helps reduce allergic reactions but also protects you from falling prey to seasonal allergies.

  • Prevent Constipation
Constipated woman may benefit from dates
Image: Shutterstock

Dates are rich in fiber, which helps promote bowel movement. If you are suffering from constipation, drink a cup of milk with dates and mashed banana to get relief within an hour or two.

  • Have No Trans Fats

When you consume dates as a snack, you will not add to the trans fats that are already there in your body. Which is great, as by reducing the amount of trans fats in your body, you will reduce your chances of gaining weight and putting your health and fitness at risk.

  • Keep You Energetic

Dates can provide you with instant energy as they contain good amounts of glucose, fructose, and sucrose. They can keep you energetic for a whole good hour and can be used as meal replacements much like energy bars. So, if you feel lethargic or there’s a drop in your blood glucose levels, have 2-4 dates.

  • Protect The Heart

Dates contain many different minerals that help reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol, thereby making them the ideal heart protectants.

  • Improve Circulation

The iron and sodium in dates help in balancing the fluids in the body. This, in turn, helps improve circulation, which is important when it comes to losing weight and improving health.

So, you see, by consuming dates, you will not only lose weight but also protect your body from various diseases. Great. But how to choose the best dates from the market and how to consume them? Here are a few tips.

Tips To Buy And Consume Dates

Tips to buy and consume dates for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock
  • Look for unbroken and smoothly wrinkled dates.
  • They should not smell bad.
  • Check the expiry date before buying a pack of dates from the supermarket.
  • Wash them thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or bacteria.
  • Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Consume 4-6 dates every day to lose weight.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Dates can last up to 6 months in the refrigerator. However, the longer they sit, the more moisture they lose. Large quantities of dates can also be frozen for up to one year.

Point To Remember

Keep an eye on your dates calorie intake and do not consume too many as that can increase your blood sugar levels and also make you gain weight. Moreover, consult your physician or dietician before consuming dates for weight reduction.

Infographic: Top 4 Ways Dates May Help You In Weight Loss

Dates are high in nutrients and fiber and may help in body composition and weight control by flushing out toxins, keeping your blood glucose in check, and reducing inflammation. Check out the infographic below to learn how dates may aid weight loss.

top 4 ways dates may help you in weight loss (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

While dates are known for their health benefits and high nutrition content, the benefits of dates for weight loss might not be as popular. Rich in dietary fiber, protein, and healthy fats, dates make for a healthy snack that keeps you sweetly satiated. They help flush out the toxic build up in the body and also keep your blood sugar levels in check. An excellent source of nutrition, 4-6 dates per day is all you need to lose that extra weight and reach your health goals without making too many lifestyle changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which time is best for eating dates for weight loss?

You can have dates at any time of the day. Their high fiber content makes them an ideal addition to breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner.

Can dates reduce belly fat?

Dates may contribute to fat loss but may not help with belly fat loss. Their high fiber content helps promote satiety and reduces food consumption, which may trigger weight and fat loss. You should start including dates in your diet and engage in regular exercise and physical activity if you want to reduce your BMI and truly lose belly fat.

What are the side effects of dates?

Overconsumption of dates may cause gastrointestinal discomforti  Abdominal pain incurred as a result of a virus, gas, or indigestion. Its symptoms include bloating, heartburn and constipation. and bloating. Hence, consuming in moderation is advised.

Key Takeaways

  • Dates boost immunity, decrease diabetes, and prevent constipation because of fiber, iron, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Dates protect against allergies because of organic sulfur.
  • Dates improve heart health, increase energy, and reduce cholesterol.
  • Dates increase blood circulation because of iron and sodium.
dates for weight loss

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

This informative YouTube video explores the benefits of dates for weight loss. Learn how incorporating dates into your diet can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Hit the play button to learn more about the advantages of dates!

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Ionut Ignat

Ionut Ignat(RDN, PHD, MD)

Ionut Ignat is a registered nutritionist and dietitian in Romania with 35 years of experience. After graduating from medical school (Nutrition & Dietetics), he followed it up with a Master's Degree in Clinical & Pathological Food Disorders and Addictions and a PhD in Oncology Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read full bio of Ionut Ignat