How I Lost Twelve Pounds by Eating Oatmeal for Dinner

My ally against midnight munchies and high cholesterol.
My ally against midnight munchies and high cholesterol. | Source

I am over fifty and coping with weight problems that did not plague me when I was younger. Like many American women, I have tried the South Beach Diet, the No Carbs Diet, and a host of fat counting systems that would confuse someone at the IBM Think Tank. While these diets work for those with the time and resources to follow them religiously, I needed something simple that would not complicate my lifestyle with impractical demands.

Years ago I was told that I would have to take thyroid medication, possibly for the rest of my life. I was also told my cholesterol was nearly 300, a highly unacceptable number by any medical standards. Due to a light amount of red wine and cooking with olive oil, my "good" cholesterol was also high, which possibly had saved me from a heart attack or stroke.

I also needed to lose weight. Cutting down calories did not seem to help as much as rigorously counting fat grams and monitoring my evening eating patterns. After weeks of lean cuisine I was still puffy and discouraged. I started keeping a food journal, where I jotted down everything I ate and added it up, calories and fats included. This little device seemed to encourage me to look at my eating patterns. The main issue seemed to be not only what I was eating but when I was gobbling it down. I found out I was a "night eater," which can be disastrous for someone with a slow metabolism.

The Late-Night Snack Habit

I find it almost impossible to sleep with low blood sugar and an empty stomach. I started doing something that ultimately shaved off 12 pounds in about one month. I ate reasonable amounts of fats and calories for lunch and breakfast. I would estimate from my food diary that I was consuming about 1200 calories or less in these two meals. Not a dieters strict regime to say the least. I counted up about 20 or less grams of fats. My body seemed happy with this, but what was I to do when the midnight munchies came calling?

A Healthier Habit

I developed a strange diet that not only worked, but enabled me to keep that 12 pounds off for years and years. Every evening for dinner I would make myself a delicious big bowl of oatmeal, laced with fake sugar (stevia is my favorite) and lowfat soy milk. Sometimes, if I was craving sweets, I would add a chopped apple, figs, or raisins. Oatmeal is extremely filling and has almost no fat, plus it keeps your colon happy with insoluble fiber. Oatmeal also helps the body rid itself of excess cholesterol.

Weight and Health Results

Two good things happened because of my "oatmeal diet:" I felt full and satisfied for mere pennies, and saved money buying lowfat frozen entrees. If I felt really famished, I would add some dry whole wheat or rye toast to my humble meal. The midnight urge to eat high calorie snacks became a passing ghost. I also kept a banana by my bedside, as they are packed with good nutrition, encourage sleep, and take care of 2 a.m. hunger pangs. I found out that my metabolism simply did not burn calories when I loaded up on a hefty dinner, but seemed able to handle a good lunch, complete with a few treats thrown in.

If you simply dislike oatmeal, you can substitute some good hot cereal that you enjoy, provided it is not packed with "corn syrup" sweeteners and other calories to clog your system. Regular cold cereals like Wheeties and Cheerios probably would be a good choice for those of you who associate hot cereals with a dismal childhood breakfast.

After five years of thyroid medicine and tests, I can attest that this strange diet still keeps my weight pretty stable. When I started to eat at night and ignore the lessons of the past, my weight started to creep back and my blood fat levels soared. Late night snacking and heavy dinners became my downfall. A cheap healthy bowl of oatmeal for dinner in place of my usual fare, possibly saved my weight and my life.

Comments 29 comments

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 weeks ago from Northern California Author

Any milk you choose would probably be fine! Thanks for reading.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 7 months ago from Northern California Author

Sounds interesting! Best wishes! Let me know how this works.

Yehudit52 7 months ago

As a child I was very thin, since my lat pregnancy at age 40 am now obese. Remember eating huge amounts of food as a kid but not gaining weight. Mom says I lived on oatmeal, corn and potatoes since I was a super finicky eater. Wondering if fiber starchy foods kept me thin, Dr. McDougal wrote a book The Starch Solution and seems to think so. Have been debating if I should try it. Since I've develop a milk intolerance, and am pre-diabetic make my oatmeal with water, or homemade almond milk and a few raisin or a chopped date. Going to try eating this way for dinner, - praying this works.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 8 months ago from Northern California Author

Sounds great!

Firdose 8 months ago

I have started to eat Oats with milk and sugar, since am a night eater my dietitian has recommended a liquid dinner in case i eat after 8 pm, so am eating oats. I feel very lite in the morning.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 9 months ago from Northern California Author

Thank you!!

carmel 9 months ago

Brillant idea !!! Cheap & affective !!!

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 16 months ago from Northern California Author

Yes, low carb works for me, too!!

vwriter profile image

vwriter 16 months ago from US

I found that the low carb diet by Diane Kress made sense to me. However, it took me a while to understand it. I went off it when I had an esophagus issue and man oh man did my numbers rise. My cholesterol went to over 300. I was a time bomb waiting to happen. I'm back to low-carbing it and getting my numbers back in order. I'm glad your way of eating is helping you keep your numbers and weight in check.

Praveena Veena profile image

Praveena Veena 20 months ago from Hyderabad

eating oats with veggies is best for weight loss.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 20 months ago from Northern California Author

It can be tedious! Thanks for your comment!

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago

I am not about to try to the oatmeal diet but it does make for an interesting story!

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you Linda!!! I had a bowl of oatmeal just a few hours ago and it still keeps me from over stuffing at night..

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 4 years ago from Northern California Author

It really helps!! I am a type 2 diabetic and I feel very hungry at night so I need something to fill me up at night. Try proteins in the morning (I have boiled eggs)and oatmeal at night and see if it helps. Sometimes I have a salad at night, too, or a banana..

lambservant profile image

lambservant 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

This is great news. I am going to try it. I eat oatmeal everyday for breakfast but I can switch to evening. I am a night eater too. Thanks for sharing.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you--I still use this trick and am maintaining a fairly stable weight and blood sugar. it's not for everyone, but it worked for me!!

healthwealthmusic profile image

healthwealthmusic 4 years ago from Everywhere Online ~ Fingerlakes ~ Upstate New York

Thank you for this useful information! I am almost 30, (still young in most people's books!) and have not been happy with how my weight has been creeping up on me lately. I also have low blood sugar problems, and am always hungry. My biggest challenge is finding low-fat foods to eat that keep me full for a while. This might just be the answer! Thank you!

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

I never liked oatmeal when I was a kid but in my adulthood I have found it to be a great cereal and so healthy for me.

shorty72 4 years ago

I really enjoyed this hub I have found oatmeal good as well not for losing weight in general but for lowering my cholestrol I have been enjoying it for breakfast for the last 8 years.


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 4 years ago from Northern California Author

It still works even though I am diabetic (type 2) it does not seem to raise my glucose too much. Thank all of you for your comments!!

Man from Modesto profile image

Man from Modesto 4 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

Yep! Oatmeal and other whole grains burn slowly and provide a steady stream of sugars to fuel the body. They also help to cleanse the g.i. system, scraping off gunk and build-up from intestinal walls.

Brown rice, buckwheat, and nuts help in the same way. The number 1 factor in good overall health is a healthy colon. Oatmeal supports that.

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

That is a great idea. I have eaten oatmeal for breakfast for a while, but hadn't tried it for dinner. I'll have to try it, since I too need to watch my late night snacking.

Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

I could certainly benefit from your suggestions -- except for one thing. It would still take will power and I've never figured out how to develop that. I love porridge, though, and I really should try this whole routine. Voting up and sharing this one.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you, Ethel..I use fake sugar and soy milk..I can have all the cinnamon I want..

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Yes in the UK we are now told that "porridge" is very good for us. As long as you don't add tons of sugar and or treacle :). Great for winter mornings and nighttime hunger pangs.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California Author

I eat off and on all day--I have to write down the calories and fats and track myself. My real downfall was eating at night, so I supplied myself with a bowl of oatmeal instead. haha!

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

This is very interesting. I will try it. I am not a breakfast person at all. I just cannot eat until I have been up for several hours. Do you eat breakfast too? Or are you even hungry in the mornings after your evening oatmeal?

I like "real" oatmeal and we use soy milk so all that is already here along with apples that are a staple. I am going to try this and will let you know after a few weeks if I have lost weight. Thanks so very much.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California Author

It's fine!! I am allergic to milk. You probably could add sugar or honey also (I am a borderline diabetic). I think the full feeling it gives you helps to beat off the urge to eat late at night. I make a BIG bowl of it, and if I'm really famished I add some toast, etc./Thanks for reading!!

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

I,m open to any good ideas that will keep the dreaded pounds at bay, without starvation, and yours seems as good an idea as any I have seen; and oatmeal is very cheap,(one of the very few foods that still is).

Thanks for that really useful article. I have a feeling I will be referring to it in the future.

Would it matter if I used real cows milk? I don't like soya milk.

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