Are Oats Good for Weight Loss?

They’re big questions: Are oats good for weight loss? What are the best oats to eat? Find out if oatmeal is good for weight loss, plus answers to your other burning questions. Also get a delicious recipe for a microwave cherry oatmeal bowl.

Do you eat oatmeal on the regular? Do you eat an oatmeal breakfast for weight loss, or the flip side are you a little afraid of the carb count of oats? Whether you’re an oatmeal lover or not, I’m about to share really exciting research on oatmeal with you.

And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom, where I’m sharing a super easy quick oatmeal recipe for a microwave  oatmeal bowl. 

top down view of oatmeal bowl topped with sliced peaches

If you love cooking with oats as much as I do, then this post is for you. One of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal. I often eat the microwaveable, instant kind and add banana slices just after cooking so that the fruit slightly cooks. Then I swirl in peanut butter so it gets all melty and delicious. 

Are oats good for weight loss? The answer is “yes!” Absolutely, oatmeal for weight loss is a real thing. 

You’ve probably heard that a fiber-filled breakfast like oatmeal helps you to feel full and may decrease hunger. Read on to find more about the oatmeal weight loss connection. 

A close up of raspberry parfaits

Eating Oats for Weight Loss

Are oats healthy? Absolutely. There’s lots of research about how oats can help weight loss and health, and I’m going to share a few of them with you here. First up is a small study in Nutrition Journal. 

In the study, 45 people ate the following breakfasts on three different mornings: 

  • 1.4 ounces instant oatmeal, mixed with 8 ounces boiling water, plus 6.5 ounces fat-free milk
  • 1.4 ounces old-fashioned oatmeal, microwaved with 8 ounces water, plus 6.5 ounces fat-free milk
  • 1.3 ounces Honey Nut Cheerios served with 6.5 ounces cold milk, plus 8.5 ounces water

Both types of oatmeal were more filling and satiating than the cold cereal: People eating the instant oatmeal breakfast reported being less hungry, more satiated, and less interested in eating for the following four hours.

Results were similar for people eating the old-fashioned oatmeal, although volunteers eating that breakfast didn’t report less hunger or more fullness. So what are the best oats for weight loss? Sounds like it’s instant oatmeal, in this case a great weight-control oatmeal, for the win!

Why? When it comes to oats and weight loss, the study authors think the thinly cut flakes of instant oatmeal were able to plump up more than those of the old-fashioned oatmeal, making them more voluminous.

Another possible reason: Both hot oatmeal breakfasts were higher in fiber (4 grams) than the cold cereal breakfast (2.7 grams) and contained more beta-glucan, a type of fiber found in certain grains like oats and barley.

Of course, eating any type of breakfast with whole grains and/or fiber may help you feel more satisfied. When shopping for a cold cereal, look for ones with amped-up fiber, like Kashi Cinnamon Harvest (7 grams) All-Bran Original (10 grams per serving), or Fiber One (14 grams).

Plus, when you lose weight, that can help health benefits like reduced blood pressure and lowered risk of heart disease! 

top down view of oatmeal in a bowl

Does Oatmeal Make You Hungry?

It’s quite the opposite, actually. Next up: I’m sharing how eating oatmeal can help keep your appetite at bay. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows a bowl of oatmeal helps control appetite and decrease lunchtime calories. So this is another study that showcases oat benefits. 

In the study, 48 adults ate a 363-calorie breakfast of either oatmeal (Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal Flakes) or an oat-based breakfast cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios), each served with lactose-free, fat-free milk. 

Guess what? People eating the oatmeal breakfast felt fuller and more satiated. They also ate 85 less calories at lunch, which was served four hours after breakfast.

The study authors think that the oatmeal’s beta-glucan helped increase fullness. The oatmeal formed a thick and sticky mixture, likely because the beta-glucan in the oats was hydrated and became more voluminous. So oats and weight loss meet again! 

bowls of oatmeal topped with maple syrup

How Oatmeal Helps People with Diabetes

Now, I’m sharing more research about the benefits of oats. Here’s a study that talks about how oatmeal can help people with type 2 diabetes—it may lower blood sugar levels and decrease hunger.

A review study in the British Journal of Nutrition shows it may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels, important since potential complications of diabetes such as blindness and even limb amputation are less common and less severe in people who manage their blood sugar concentrations.

The study found that oats significantly lowered the level of fasting insulin (the hormone that controls blood sugar) in volunteers with type 2 diabetes—potentially because the beta-glucan in oatmeal can help slow your digestion of oatmeal and keep you feel fuller for longer. So this all has to do with the nutrition in oats.

Of course, oatmeal is a nutritious choice for all of us: It’s a good source of satiating fiber, and eating whole grains such as oats has been connected with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.    

When you’re eating oatmeal, you can of course sweeten with maple and brown sugar. But I recommend adding a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, or even a drizzle of almond extract, to cut down on the need for any added sugar or artificial flavors.

top down view of cherry oatmeal bowl

Oatmeal Recipes for Weight Loss

Now that you’ve read about some oatmeal research, what are your thoughts: Are oats good for weight loss? They absolutely can be, if they’re part of a healthy eating plan. Want a meal plan template for weight loss?

If you’re looking for more oats, give these recipes a try:

And oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast! Get 49 oatmeal recipes for any time of day. Now, onto that cherry breakfast bowl recipe (made with delish frozen cherries) I promised you! It takes just minutes to make. Don’t forget your spoon!

Helpful Kitchen Tools

This post was updated in December 2020. A version of this post originally appeared on 


cherry oatmeal bowl

Microwave Cherry Oatmeal Bowl

Here's a delicious recipe for a microwave cherry oatmeal bowl.
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 8 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1 bowl
Calories 467 kcal


  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened cherries
  • 1 cup dry instant oatmeal
  • 2 tbsp roasted, unsalted almonds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash pumpkin pie spice


  • In a small bowl, microwave cherries for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • Microwave ‪‎ oatmeal with water as desired for about 2-3 minutes; remove from microwave.
  • Combine oatmeal with cherries. Top with ‪‎almonds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and ‪‎cinnamon.


Calories: 467kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 15gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 14mgPotassium: 742mgFiber: 16gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 98IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 186mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Cherries, Oatmeal, Weight loss
Did you make this recipe?Mention @amydgorin and tag #plantbasedwithamy
Are oats recipes healthy? Do they make good weight-loss meals? Are they part of the good diets to lose weight for women? Try these oatmeal recipes today. #oatmeal #oatmealrecipes #weight #oats #breakfast #vegetarian #quaker

Let me know if you make this microwave cherry oatmeal bowl! Do you eat oatmeal in your diet? What are your thoughts on eating oatmeal? Do you prefer quick oats or steel cut oats or slow cooker oats?

Are oats good for weight loss? I’d love to hear if your opinion on the “is oatmeal good for weight loss?” debate has changed! 

Breakfast / Brunch | Dairy Free | Fast / Easy | Low Sodium | Microwave | No Added Sugar | Pescatarian | Plant-Based Eating | Recipes (Organizational) | Snack | Vegan | Vegetarian |

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