Oats For Weight Loss – 7-Day Oatmeal Diet Plan With Recipes

Reviewed By Merlin Annie Raj , MSc (Nutrition & Dietetics), RD, Registered Dietitian
Written by Priyanka Sadhukhan , MSc (Nutrition), Certified Diabetes Educator

Oatmeal is prepared from dry rolled oats, which is considered as one of the nutritious whole grains that can aid weight loss. Oats are whole grains and are rich in fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals (1). The soluble fiber in oats makes you feel full for a long time. Hence, you tend to eat less (2).

The oatmeal diet is a fad diet in which your entire meal is replaced with oats to provide satiety and help you shed 15-20 lbs over 6-8 weeks. 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 For Weight Loss

The basic principle behind the oatmeal diet is to replace major meals with oats. This diet plan has three phases:

Phase 1

In this phase, you will have oatmeal three times a day (whole oats, not instant oats). For the other three meals, including fresh fruits and fruit juices, veggies, and a good source of protein.

Phase 2

This phase includes eating whole oats two-three times a day, along with half a cup of fruits or vegetables with each meal. You can also start practicing stretching exercises, yoga, or walking.

Phase 3

This is the phase in which you come back to your normal eating routine. However, be sure to eat healthily and include oats at least for one meal per day.

7-Day Oatmeal Diet Plan (With Recipes For Each Day)

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

Note: 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 oats and veggies

Vegetarian Alternative: For dinner, you can have a bowl of baked beans or a bowl of sprout salad.

Recipe – Oatmeal With Vegetables

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 4 cauliflower florets
  • 4 broccoli florets
  • ½ medium-sized carrot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water
How To Prepare
  1. Boil the oatmeal until it is soft.
  2. Dice the veggies and sauté 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 with whole rolled oats
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

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 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 tablespoons 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. Sauté 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)
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

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 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 it 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

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients 
  • 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 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • Water
How To Prepare 
  1. Mix the oatmeal, cabbage, carrot, green bell pepper, flour, and half a tablespoon of oil and make round, medium-sized balls.
  2. Brush a little oil on the balls and bake them in a preheated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes until they turn golden brown.
  3. Heat three 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. 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

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 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. The consistency should be the same as that of regular pancake batter.
  2. Heat the pan and spread the batter to make thin, crispy pancakes.
  3. 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

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 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 the tomatoes.
  4. Add the crispy baked tuna on top of the tomato slices.
  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

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 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. 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. Place the fried egg on top of the avocado cubes.
  10. Add a little salt and pepper.
  11. Garnish with cilantro.

It is important to know which type of oatmeal should be used for delicious weight loss recipes and result in optimum weight loss.

Know Your Oats Better – What Type Of Oats Is

Good For You?

  1. Plain oatmeal – You will find a lot of varieties of oatmeal on the market. But make sure you are buying plain oatmeal as it has lesser calories when compared to the other varieties.
  2. Flavored oatmeal – It contains added sugar and more calories. Stay away from flavored varieties 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 full for a long time and help to curb your hunger pangs.
  4. Steel-cut flakes – These oats take longer to cook, but they make deliciously creamy dishes. Their texture is delectable, and they are chewy at the same time.

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, and lime.

Foods To Avoid

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

Is The Oatmeal Diet Effective For Weight Loss?

Oatmeal is a healthy option for weight loss. However, the amount of weight loss varies based on body type, lifestyle, and exercise habits. Following the oatmeal diet with regular exercise can help you lose 15-20 lbs in a span of 2 months.
The dietary fiber in whole oats helps to provide satiety and reduces weight and abdominal fat (3), (4).

Since this is a fad diet plan, it is not recommended for long-term results.

Consult your nutritionist for a balanced approach.

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. Hence, you should start walking/power walking as well as doing free-hand exercises.
  • When you enter Phase 3, you will have enough energy to go for a full workout and strength training routine. Merely 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.

Benefits Of The Oatmeal Diet

  • Prevents abdominal fat accumulation (5).
  • The soluble fiber found in oats can help in reducing blood cholesterol (6).
  • Oats help in slowing down the rise of glucose levels in the blood. They can stop and control the sudden rise in blood sugar levels (7).
  • Oatmeal has a high fiber content and is considered excellent for proper bowel functioning and a wonderful remedy for constipation (8).
  • Curbs cravings.
  • Improves cardiovascular health (9).
  • Contains antioxidants that can slow down aging (10).

Side Effects Of The Oatmeal Diet

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

Conclusion

Having oats for weight loss is a good option to kick-start your journey. But this diet plan will not give long-term results. Hence, it is important to consult a dietitian if you need a sustainable approach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is oats with milk good for weight loss?

Oats are rich in fiber and essential nutrients. Fiber offers satiety and makes you feel full for a long time. Oats with milk is a healthy option to make your breakfast nutritious and is also beneficial for weight loss. Make sure to add whole fruits and nuts to make it healthy.

Can I eat oatmeal every day?

Yes, you can include oatmeal every day in your diet plan. Opt for various other recipes with oats along with a bowl of fruits, vegetables, and proteins to create a balanced meal.

Do oats help to reduce belly fat?

There is no specific food that will help reduce your belly fat. You need to opt for a holistic approach, like eating healthy, exercising, and improving lifestyle. Oats are one of the healthiest options to start this journey.

Can we eat oats at night for weight loss?

Yes, you can consume oats at night for weight loss. It is better to make different recipes with oats for your dinner instead of oats with milk.

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 6 weeks. You can also speed up the process if you start working out from Phase 2 regularly.

Is oatmeal good for you if you are on another diet?

Yes. You can have oatmeal even if 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 experience 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. Please consult your doctor or dietitian.

Can breastfeeding moms follow the oatmeal diet?

Wait a little longer before you start working on losing your pregnancy weight. Consult your doctor.

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

There is nothing wrong with eating local fruits, even when they are on the higher end of the glycemic index scale. 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 quantities will not harm you.

Sources

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Merlin Annie Raj

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