Oatmeal provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs each day to function properly. Oatmeal is also a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron. Another health benefit to eating oatmeal is that the nutrients and fiber it contains can help you fight cancer and lose weight. By following a strict 30-day regimen of eating oatmeal three times a day and a low-fat snack between meals, you could be well on your way to losing as much as 2 to 5 pounds per week. However, be aware that the Oatmeal Diet is a fad diet, which means it contains limited types of foods and therefore is nutritionally incomplete, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Speak to your doctor before going on a diet that consists primarily of oatmeal.
Eat nothing but oatmeal for the first seven days of the diet. Eat only a 1/2 cup of oatmeal per meal. Eat whole oatmeal, not processed or instant, during this initial phase. Do not eat processed oatmeal snacks or granola bars for the first seven days of the diet. If you want to drink milk with your oatmeal, use less than a 1/2 cup. Keep your calorie consumption between 900 and 1,200 calories per day. Record what you eat with a pen and notepad.
Follow the oatmeal diet for the next 30 days by eating three balanced meals a day that include at least 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal. You may eat instant oatmeal now. Keep your calorie consumption between 1,000 and 1,300 calories a day.
Implement healthy snacks between the three meals. Between breakfast and lunch, enjoy a 1/2 cup of fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, oranges and seedless grapes. Between lunch and dinner, allow yourself a 1/2 cup of fresh, raw vegetables such as carrot sticks, celery sticks and green peppers slices. Avoid melons and starchy vegetables such as potatoes.
Exercise up to 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week, and drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Record what you eat and how much you exercise on a notepad.
After 30 days, you may eat a regular, balanced diet including oatmeal. Continue to eat oatmeal as one meal and one snack, but include other whole grains, too. Enjoy lean meats such as chicken and grilled fish. Include fruits and vegetables with every meal. Continue to exercise and drink plenty of water.
Avoid soda and fruit juice while on this diet. Drink water or flavored water. If eating instant oatmeal, check the sugar content, and avoid oatmeal that has a high amount of added sugar to the serving. Watch out for oatmeal snacks that contain artificial sweeteners and added sugars. These can hold hidden calories that may stall your weight loss or make you gain weight. Oatmeal helps lower your cholesterol and helps keep your heart healthy. Keeping a weight loss journal well help track your progress along the way as you lose weight.
Consult with your physician before beginning any diet or exercise. Beware that the caloric requirements of this diet are under what is considered safe and effective for weight loss. Any diet that limits and restricts food intake to certain foods or food groups is a fad diet and may cause malnutrition. The oatmeal diet may lead to yo-yo dieting because of the drastic change in eating patterns.