Ways Chia Seeds Can Help You Lose Weight, According To Dietitians
Looking to slim down? Consider bolstering your diet with chia seeds for weight loss. These little seeds may very well be the perfect slimming superfood you've been waiting for. They're also quite the chameleon.
Chia seeds don't change the taste of, say, a smoothie or a salad dressing, but they pack an impressive nutritional punch. From making a pudding or jam to creating a fiber-rich dessert or building a better breakfast bar, there are so many amazing ways to eat chia seeds. Best of all, you can lose weight, boost your energy, and keep digestion running smoothly all while enjoying this nutrient-dense superfood. Below, seven ways these tiny-yet-mighty seeds help you shed pounds. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
Chia seeds are high in fiber, which keeps you full.
"Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber packing a whopping 11 grams in a one-ounce serving," says Katie Cavuto MS, RD, Executive Chef for Saladworks and Frutta Bowls. "While the high-fiber content supports healthy digestion it also absorbs a significant amount of water (hello, chia pudding) which promotes early satiety which naturally leads to a decrease in calorie consumption when honored." Speaking of chia pudding, this customizable overnight chia pudding recipe really hits the spot.
Chia seeds are low in calories.
Fewer calories = more weight loss. Considering that these tiny guys are about as low-calorie and nutrient-dense as they come, eating chia seeds for weight loss should be a no-brainer. Registered dietitian Poornima Sharma, PhD, RD, yoga instructor, health coach, and Ayurveda wellness counselor with the Art of Living Retreat Center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina breaks it down: "The best thing about chia seeds is they are low on calories but high on the nutritional input they provide. A tablespoon of chia seeds has about 69 calories, two grams of protein, and five grams of fat," she says (more on their fat content later!). Indulge without the bulge, folks.
They are brimming with protein.
"Chia seeds also contain four grams of protein per one-ounce serving which aid in appetite suppression, reduce levels of ghrelin, a hunger hormone, and support healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss," comments Cavuto. Slip some chia seeds into your next protein shake for weight loss.
Chia seeds may improve insulin sensitivity, which can be helpful in weight loss.
What a testament to just how powerful these little seeds are for our health, so much so that they may even boost glucose metabolism: "A review of 17 studies found that chia seed consumption may improve glucose metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity," shares Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD for Next Luxury. "This is important for weight loss because insulin resistance can lead to weight gain from excess fat storage."
Chia seeds contain healthy fats, and are a boon for your health.
"Nearly 80% of their calories come from healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. There are several studies, each including various amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, that show an increased metabolic rate in relation to the addition of omega-3 fatty acids," says Cavuto. "While more research is needed, this promotes the idea that adding omega-3 rich foods to the diet not only increases satiety but also affects positively metabolism thus aiding in weight loss."
They may reduce junk food cravings.
"Higher fiber intake (such as from eating chia seeds) can promote more steady blood sugar levels, which may reduce cravings," explains Gariglio-Clelland. "Blood sugar spikes and crashes from eating high-sugar and low-fiber foods can sometimes trigger sugar cravings, which may thwart weight loss efforts." We all know how awful we feel after that tub of ice cream—and it's pretty darn different than after a satiating cup of chia pudding.
READ MORE: 13 Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet
They're your breakfast BFF.
Or if they're not, they should be. Research shows that skipping breakfast may make you gain weight, and we'll take a hard pass on that one. Instead, supercharge your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast, and you're setting yourself up for weight loss success. "Blended with oatmeal or into a smoothie, Chia seeds are a nourishing addition to breakfast," shares Cavuto. On that note, we've got some chia pudding to whip up for tomorrow! If you want in, check out these 45 Best-Ever Chia Pudding Recipes for Weight Loss.