The Oatmeal Diet

Oatmeal is a staple for many of us. It makes cold winter mornings easier to take. Those empty Quaker Oats boxes are used by children everywhere to prepare for their future career as a rock star drummer. Plus, oatmeal makes a great cookie, if blended with the proper amount of raisins and cinnamon. But have you considered oatmeal as a diet? Here’s how it works.

Proponents of the oatmeal diet claim that you can lose 2-5 pounds a week. Typically, the diet lasts 30 days, so you could lose up to 20 pounds if the claims come true. As an extra benefit, the oatmeal can also help control your cholesterol. This isn't a long term diet, possibly because of the insanity that could strike after a few months of eating only oatmeal, but as a quick-fix fad diet? This might be contender.

The oatmeal diet has several phases. For the first week, all you eat is oatmeal. Simple, and after a few meals absolutely mind numbing. You get one half of a cup of oatmeal (the real deal, not processed or instant oatmeal), three times a day. You can add a half cup of skim milk, and drink only water. This puts your daily calorie intake around 1,000 calories.

After the first week, you get to add specific snacks between meals. That means low-fat yogurt, oatmeal or granola bars, raw veggies and fruit. Some of that daily fruit budget can be added to your oatmeal bowl to offset some of the boredom of eating oatmeal. You continue to drink only water and are encouraged to exercise at least half an hour every other day.

After a month on the diet, you add in non-oatmeal entrees. Now you can have lean meat and more fruits and vegetables. You continue to limit your sweetened beverage consumption and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

Can the oatmeal diet work for you? This is a particularly good choice if you also have high cholesterol. It is considered a fad or crash diet, because of the low calorie intake and the extremely limited nutrition provided by the oatmeal. For a short-term fix, this might work for you. Certainly gets you past the “what should I make for dinner tonight” problem!

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