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The #1 Worst Oatmeal Habit for Weight Loss, Says Dietitian

It's important to get enough protein in your daily breakfast.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Oatmeal is not only one of the coziest and most delicious breakfasts you can eat, but it also comes with a ton of health benefits for when you want to lose weight.

Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, which can support your gut health, digestion, and appetite regulation, all of which are important for weight loss. However, there are ways you may be making your oatmeal that can negatively impact your health goals.

According to Laura Burak, MS, RD, author of Slimdown with Smoothies, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition, the worst oatmeal habit for weight loss is not adding enough protein to your oatmeal.

Continue reading to learn about why getting enough protein matters for your weight loss goals, and for more healthy weight loss ideas, make sure to check out 13 Cozy Breakfast Recipes Perfect For Weight Loss.

oatmeal
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"Oatmeal is a carbohydrate and contains little to no protein or fat, so it is digested more quickly than these macronutrients, which can lead to blood sugar swings and increased cravings and hunger pretty soon after you eat it—especially when doused with added sugars like maple syrup and brown sugar," says Burak.

And according to Burak, the solution to this problem is making sure you have plenty of protein along with your carb-heavy oatmeal.

"You can add a significant amount of protein to your oatmeal or on the side like eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters, yogurt, plain protein powder, cottage cheese, or any other protein you enjoy," says Burak "and when you add this protein, it changes the oatmeal ballgame and acts as a complete meal to help stabilize blood sugar and set your day up to stick to your healthy diet."

It's also important to get enough protein when you're trying to lose weight so that you can feel fuller for longer periods of time and experience fewer cravings. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, diets higher in protein were not only associated with more weight loss and fat reduction but more perceived satiety and fullness as well.

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