A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that oatmeal helps prevent gaining weight. The research compared two groups – one eating oatmeal for breakfast and the other eating regular cereals. Both meals had the same total of calories, with the difference being that oatmeal is richer in protein and fiber. After finishing, the test takers were asked to rate their appetite, and those who ate oatmeal were less hungry and satisfied for a longer time (approximately 2 hours more than the regular cereal eaters). When eating oatmeal, you will feel full longer, which will reduce your calorie intake as you will not have the need to eat more. Eating fewer calories directly translates into losing belly fat. Not to mention that these calories you get from oatmeal are of better quality than those from regular cereal, and the same amount of calories as in regular cereal will make you lose instead of gain weight. This is because oatmeal is digested slowly, and it keeps blood sugar steady, while keeping you energized and full.
The best time for eating oatmeal is in the morning, for breakfast. As a famous dietitian Shira Lenchewski explains, morning is the time when carbs are best burned, and then they are well used and not stored in the body as fat. Shira also recommends eating most of your daily carbohydrates for breakfast, and keeping it lighter throughout the rest of the day, sticking mostly to proteins.
You can use ordinary oat bran and boil it in water or milk (around 5 minutes to prepare), or you can buy prepackaged oatmeal that only requires a minute or two of preparation. There are sweet and salty versions of oatmeal, and you can make combinations of tastes to keep things interesting.