Oatmeal can help fill you up until lunch.
When you're trying to lose weight, you want a filling but low-calorie breakfast. Old-fashioned oats may be one of the better cereal options, as it is nutritious and fits these requirements, especially if you make it with water or fat-free milk and use fresh fruit to sweeten it instead of sugar.
One cup of old-fashioned oats made with water provides 166 calories, 5.9 grams of protein, 3.6 grams of fat and 28.1 grams of carbohydrates, including 4 grams of fiber, or 16 percent of the daily value for this nutrient. It is also a good source of thiamine, zinc, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium and manganese, with at least 10 percent of the daily value for each of these nutrients. Thiamine helps with metabolism, while zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium are needed for forming DNA. Iron is necessary for forming red blood cells, and manganese is important for processing cholesterol and forming strong bones.
Oatmeal and Satiety
Old-fashioned oats are more filling than ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, according to a study published in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" in 2013. Study participants who ate oatmeal for breakfast had better appetite control and felt fuller than those who ate the same number of calories in the form of ready-to-eat cold breakfast cereals.
Potential Weight-Loss Mechanisms
Old-fashioned oats contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which forms a gel when it comes into contact with liquids and helps slow the emptying of your stomach, potentially helping you feel full for longer. This same effect helps slow the release of glucose into your blood, keeping your blood sugar levels more constant. The protein in old-fashioned oats may also contribute to its effect on satiety, as protein is more filling than carbohydrates or fat.
If you want to get the most health benefits from your oatmeal, including lower cholesterol levels, you'll need to get at least 3 grams of beta-glucan fiber per day. This would mean eating 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal per day, or 3/4 cup of uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal. This is the amount of oatmeal participants in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" study ate paired with 113 calories worth of milk.