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The Worst Oatmeal Habits for Weight Loss, Says Dietitian

Although it's one of the healthiest breakfasts to have, it can quickly become unhealthy.

Oatmeal may be one of the healthiest breakfast options for you when you're trying to lose weight. With its high fiber content and potential for protein-heavy toppings, it can be the perfect way to start your day.

Unfortunately, even the healthiest foods have the potential to become unhealthy. Although oatmeal can help you with your weight loss goals, it can interrupt them as well. This is why we talked with Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, author at GoWellness to learn some of the unhealthiest oatmeal habits to have when you're trying to lose weight.

Continue reading to learn more about unhealthy oatmeal habits, and for more healthy breakfast tips make sure to check out 13 Cozy Breakfast Recipes For Weight Loss.

Eating it plain.

steel cut oatmeal

Oatmeal is a healthy carbohydrate with a good amount of fiber, but D'Angelo warns that you won't have much of a balanced meal if you eat the oats plain.

"Oatmeal is low in calories and contains little to no protein or fat, so chances are you're going to be hungry again soon after you eat it, which may lead to you reaching for unhealthy snacks later," says D'Angelo.

Because of this, she suggests "adding more fiber and protein to your oatmeal to maximize satiety and prevent a blood sugar spike."

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Adding too much sugar.

maple syrup oatmeal

Adding sweeteners to your oatmeal, like maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar, might be delicious, but it's important to monitor how much you're consuming because it can add up more quickly than we may realize.

"Adding sugar to your oatmeal can spike your blood sugar levels, which means your body will start relying on more sugar intake throughout the day," says D'Angelo. "Try adding in fresh berries instead, which have natural sugar as well as antioxidants, which have numerous health benefits."

Putting too many toppings into your oatmeal.


A fun aspect of oatmeal is being able to dress it up with your favorite toppings like fruit, nuts, or almond butter. However, D'Angelo mentions that if you're trying to lose weight, you may benefit from limiting your number of toppings.

"Having too many toppings can add up your overall calories, so stick to a few toppings that are proven to help with weight loss, such as protein, fruits, and fiber," she says.

Here's The #1 Worst Oatmeal Habit For Weight Loss.

Not adding enough protein


And finally, one of the worst oatmeal habits to adopt if you're trying to lose weight is not including enough protein in your meal. According to D'Angelo, "increasing your protein intake is key if you're trying to lose weight because protein helps reduce the hunger hormone and boosts several satiety hormones, which results in you feeling fuller longer and a major reduction in hunger."

You can increase your protein intake by adding in some protein-heavy toppings like nuts or protein powder, or you can include a breakfast side item like eggs or turkey sausage.

At the end of the day, oatmeal is still a delicious, easy, healthy way to start your day, especially if you're on the path to weight loss. Now that you are aware of some of the ways your oatmeal has the potential to derail your health goals, you can feel better prepared next time you go to boil your favorite oats.

For even 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