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Oatmeal Habits to Help You Shrink Abdominal Fat, Say Dietitians

Try these new tips to optimize the health benefits of your morning oatmeal.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfasts you can eat for weight loss. Its high soluble fiber content helps control your appetite, makes you feel full for longer periods of time, and slows your digestion, which all help with weight regulation.

However, even though oatmeal is a healthy choice, it can easily become unhealthy depending on how you make it. In other words, what you choose to add to your oatmeal will either make or break your weight loss goals.

Here are a few healthy oatmeal habits for losing abdominal fat to try, and for more healthy eating tips make sure to check out Oatmeal Recipes Perfect For Weight Loss.

Avoid toppings with too much added sugar.

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Although oatmeal can help you reach your goals of shrinking abdominal fat, people often derail their goals unknowingly by adding sugary toppings to their favorite oatmeal.

"I recommend avoiding too much regular sugar and additives when trying to eat a healthy bowl of oatmeal, says Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, author at Fit Healthy Momma. "Sugar-free replacements like stevia are a good choice because they still allow you to have a great taste without any of the negative things that come with a high dose of sugary breakfast foods."

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Add nuts or seeds to your oatmeal.

oatmeal with apples and almonds

If you're trying to avoid sugary toppings on your oatmeal, it certainly doesn't mean you have to eat it plain. For example, Ronald Smith, RD recommends adding nuts and seeds for a nutrient boost.

"Nuts and seeds are high in protein and healthy fats," says Smith. "I recommend adding chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans, as well as seeds such as flaxseeds, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds."

This boost in protein can be a helpful tool in weight loss around your stomach area, and according to a study from Nutrition & Metabolism, high-quality protein was associated with a decrease in abdominal fat.

Top your oatmeal with fresh fruit.

Olga Kudriavtseva/ Unsplash

One way to add natural sweetness without added sugar is by including some delicious fresh fruit in your oatmeal.

"Berries are especially good options because they are low in calories and high in fiber, and they help reduce the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers," says Smith.

Medical News Today also notes that apples can be a great aid in weight loss because of their exceptionally high fiber content, so you may enjoy adding some sliced apples and cinnamon to your next bowl of oatmeal.

Add protein and fat.

oatmeal veggies

Grace Hamrick, RD recommends rounding out your oatmeal breakfast with some protein and fat to help you stay full longer.

"My favorite is adding fresh blueberries and chopped walnuts, but another way to enjoy oatmeal while increasing the protein is by adding a runny egg to the bowl and serving with a side of fruit," says Hamrick.

For more oatmeal tips, read these next:

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha