Never Add These Ingredients To Your Overnight Oats—They Cause Weight Gain!

Overnight oats are beneficial for weight loss in many ways— they provide ample fiber, are easy to make, and are also customizable. To start your day off with enough fiber, energy and satiety to last until lunch, health experts recommend overnight oats for countless healthy and balanced diets. With that said, there still are several common toppings that can make your overnight oats less healthy and more likely to lead to weight gain.

We checked in with registered dietitians and nutritionists to learn more about those foods and what to add to your oats instead. Read on for tips and suggestions from Trista Best, MPH, RD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements and Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet.

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Tip #1— Skip Dried Fruits, Syrup & Sugary Additives

While it may seem logical to skip sugar when making your overnight oats, what you may not realize is how much sugar is really in dried fruit. Using this as a topping can lead to more snacking, best warns, potentially wreaking havoc on your weight loss progress. “Making overnight oats is a great way to make eating a healthy breakfast easier,” she says.

“Unfortunately, some overnight oat consumers will use ingredients that aren’t necessarily conducive to health or their weight loss goals.” Best explains that “some of the worst ingredients that are mistakenly added to healthy overnight oat recipes include chocolate sauce, sugar, syrup, and dried fruit.”

Dried fruit in part, is “one of those foods that is in the middle of being healthy and unhealthy, depending on the amount that is consumed,” Best continues. Because it is dried, she notes that “this type of fruit is highly concentrated in calories and sugar and it is easy to eat much more than a serving size.”


Tip #2— Add Milled Flaxseed & Ginger Instead

In a pinch, dried fruit and granola are also great go-to convenience snacks, Richards acknowledges, but “dried fruit tends to be higher in sugar” than she prefers to consume. This, Richards says, is “primarily because it’s highly concentrated in nature.” Ultimately, she explains that overnight oats can be a “great food to integrate into a weight loss diet plan because the fiber content will increase satiety and help to prevent overeating and indulging in junk foods.”

The type of fiber in oats also works as a prebiotic, which she says will “feed the good bacteria to improve gut health,” which is beneficial for weight and overall wellness. Milled flaxseed can be easily added to overnight oat recipes to improve its metabolism boosting qualities, and is an ingredient Richards highly recommends.

“The fiber and omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients that are thought to improve metabolism by reducing one’s risk of metabolic syndrome,” she continues. Adding ginger to an overnight oats recipe could also increase metabolism by boosting the body’s internal temperature. “Operating at a higher temperature can increase the amount of calories the body must burn to function optimally,” Richards concludes, dubbing ginger as an ingredient that can also “improve lipid profiles along with glucose.”

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