Q: Doc, good morning. Please does eating oats make one to add weight because I have changed from garri to oats but friends say I am getting bigger.
A: I have received a couple of questions on oats since I posted on oats, bloating and weight loss.
Now, remember that even when a particular food is touted to be a healthy option, it still has calories (perhaps, except for water) and so if you take more than what you need, you will certainly add weight.
There’s a funny thing that tends to happen when people start doing ‘healthy stuff’. They, sort of, compensate for their hard work with unhealthy stuff…weird, right? I’ll give you an example. Someone goes to the gym, gets back home and eats a huge plate of white bread (perhaps about 6 slices). About 3 boiled or fried eggs, 2 glasses of sugar-filled juice or any variation of this. Now, the fact that you exercised does not make what you ate any less calorie-filled than if you had not exercised. To put this in perspective, a tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories (and you probably had a couple of tablespoons of oil in your eggs). If you went to the gym and lost, perhaps 300 calories, with just one meal, you’ve gained back the calories you lost and there are still 2 snacks and 2 major meals to get through! 😀
Another thing that I see happening a lot is that people think it’s okay to over-indulge in ‘healthy’ stuff. And so, using the example in the question, perhaps eating oats gave a mistaken impression that it was okay to eat a huge bowl of it…after all, it is a healthier option.
So, what can one do…especially in a place like Nigeria, where the calorie content of foods are not easily determined? Well, watch your portions. So, if you are to eat ground oats with soup, mentally divide your plate into two. One part of the plate should be filled with vegetable soup (fresh vegetable soup, hopefully cooked with ‘invisible’ 😀 or no oil). The remaining half of the plate should be divided into two: one half should have the proteins to be eaten (eg fish) and the last part should be filled with the starch (it’s better to go for complex carbs like oatmeal which are digested slower and do not cause sugar spikes).
Someone jokingly asked me once, whether portions that were piled pretty high were still okay, provided they stayed within ‘allocated’ spaces in the plate as I have advised above. The answer is obviously NO 😀 Flat plates and flat portions are the way to go!
So, if you eat a huge plate of oats daily as opposed to the portion noted above (which should ideally be no bigger than your fist or the measure of your palm), you will certainly be adding more weight, despite your good intentions.
Remember that having your oats the good old-fashioned way with slices of fruits and a sprinkling of nuts, provides you with a ‘filling’ start for the day, full of fibre, vitamins, complex carbs etc
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Have a good night, people 😀