How To Incorporate Chia Seeds Into Your Weight Loss Diet?
Chia seeds offer many potential benefits, including aiding weight loss. They are versatile and can be easily incorporated into a variety of meals, from your favorite cinnamon oatmeal to your go-to lunch salad.
Here are 5 ways you can incorporate chia seeds into your diet.
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Chia seeds smoothie
Smoothies are becoming a staple in many health-conscious households. An excellent way to start your day, smoothies make a perfect breakfast that’s both nutrient-dense and low in calories. Add some chia seeds to the mix, and you have yourself a recipe for a delicious beverage that also boosts your weight loss efforts.
Here’s one of our favorite smoothie recipes—Berry Smoothie with Chia Seeds.
- Almond milk, unsweetened
- ½ a cup of strawberries
- ½ a cup of blueberries
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
- Sprinkle some chia seeds on top, and enjoy
If you want to boost your weight loss efforts even more, consider adding ½ tablespoon of isolated soy protein powder or any other protein powder you have. Adding protein powder to a smoothie will give it more bulk, making you feel satisfied and full for longer. However, if you have it as a refreshing drink or a snack, there’s no need to add protein powder into the mix.
You can find more delicious smoothie recipes on DoFasting, a mobile app designed to make intermittent fasting (IF) easy. IF is a time-restricted eating pattern that can help you lose weight and improve your overall health and well-being. Consider trying intermittent fasting to see better weight loss results—it might surprise you.
Chia seed pudding
Pudding is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about weight loss. However, chia pudding makes an excellent addition to any diet focused on weight loss.
It’s a simple way to eat chia seeds without having to make much of an effort. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also a low-calorie breakfast option that will make you feel full.
Here’s a recipe for Vanilla Chia Pudding we think you’ll enjoy.
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons of chia seeds
- (Optional) 2 drops of stevia liquid or any other sugar-free sweetener
- Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl
- Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 4 hours or leave overnight
Top with fruit or frozen berries before serving, and you have a simple but delicious breakfast or snack.
Chia seeds in yogurt or oatmeal
Yogurt and oatmeal are excellent low-calorie breakfast choices that can help reduce your daily calorie intake and promote weight loss. To enhance their nutritional value, consider topping them with chia seeds.
Eating chia seeds not only provides extra protein but also can help you feel full for a more extended period. They can be used to add a satisfying crunch and texture to your meals, making them more palatable.
To incorporate them into your breakfast, simply sprinkle chia seeds on your yogurt or mix a tablespoon or two into your oatmeal, creating a more filling and nutritious meal.
Chia seeds in salads
Salads have long been a cornerstone of diet culture, and for a good reason—they boast an impressive nutritional profile and exceptional versatility, making them easy to incorporate into various meals. Plus, you can enjoy generous portions without worrying about consuming too many calories.
To further enhance the nutritional value of your favorite salad, consider sprinkling chia seeds on top. This addition will provide multiple nutrients and protein while maintaining the salad’s low-calorie content.
Here’s an example of how you can incorporate chia seeds into your salad—Poached Egg Salad with Chia Seeds.
- 2 eggs
- ½ cucumber
- ½ avocado
- 1 cup of spring salad mix
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- ½ tablespoon of chia seeds
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 pinches of ground black pepper
- 1 pinch of chili flakes
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer
- Crack the eggs into the water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes
- Take the eggs out and drain them on a paper towel
- In a serving bowl, add sliced cucumber, chopped avocado, and salad mix
- Top with poached eggs and chia seeds
- Season with salt, ground pepper, and chili flakes
You can add chia seeds to virtually any salad, savory or sweet, as these seeds blend with almost any meal.
Chia seeds in baked goods
Letting yourself indulge once in a while is key to successful weight loss. Ideally, you should aim for healthy treats, and chia seeds might help you prepare more nutritious versions of your favorite sweet snacks.
There are two ways you can incorporate chia seeds into baked goods:
- Simply add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds to the dough before baking.
- Or use chia seeds as a substitute for eggs by making chia gel. You can make this simply by soaking chia seeds in a bit of water—usually, three parts water per one part chia seeds will get you the right consistency. You can then switch out eggs for chia gel and continue with the recipe as usual.
It’s worth noting that chia seeds absorb a lot of water. Therefore some recipes may need to be adjusted accordingly.
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Ways That Chia Seeds Help With Weight Loss
Chia seeds have become a health trend that’s particularly popular among those who want to lose weight. Why? Despite their small size, chia seeds can deliver many health benefits that aid weight loss.
Here are 4 ways chia seeds can help you lose weight.
High in fiber
Chia seeds are a small yet powerful ingredient that can significantly impact your weight loss efforts, primarily by inducing a feeling of fullness and preventing overeating. This can help you achieve the calorie deficit necessary for weight loss.
So, how do chia seeds make you feel fuller? The key lies in their fiber content. Chia seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, with 2 tablespoons containing around 11 grams of fiber—almost half of the recommended daily intake.
When consumed, chia seeds absorb water (up to 10 times their weight) and expand, which stretches your stomach and creates a feeling of fullness. By prolonging the sensation of satiety, chia seeds can help reduce your calorie intake and support your weight loss journey.
High protein content that is good for satiety
Chia seeds are a plant-based source of protein, with 2 tablespoons containing 4 grams of this macronutrient. While this is not much when compared to the recommended daily intake of protein (around 50 grams on average), it can give you a little boost, especially if you’re not consuming enough of it each day.
Protein, like fiber, has been shown to increase satiety and reduce feelings of hunger, leading you to consume fewer calories on a daily basis, thus promoting weight loss.
Its low glycemic index can prevent overeating
The glycemic index (GI) is a scale used to measure how quickly certain foods raise blood sugar levels. Chia seeds are on the low end of this scale, sitting at a GI of 30, meaning they won’t raise your blood sugar levels as quickly as other foods.
Why is it important to eat foods with a low GI? Eating foods with a high GI can induce or worsen food cravings and increase feelings of hunger.
Opting for foods with a low GI can help with blood sugar control, thus reducing hunger and food cravings.
High in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are good fats essential for human health. Our bodies can’t produce these fats on their own, meaning we need to get them from our diet. However, that seems to be easier said than done. Research shows that almost 70% of Americans aren’t getting enough omega-3 from their diet.
This is where chia seeds come in. 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contain around 5g of omega-3—a number much more significant than the recommended daily intake of 1.1g for women and 1.6g for men.
Chia seeds have higher omega-3 fatty acid levels than any other plant-based food. Their high omega-3 content can aid weight loss by boosting your metabolism. In fact, some studies show that individuals who take fish oil (one of the best sources of omega-3) experienced a significant increase in their metabolic rates.
Other Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
It’s no wonder why chia seeds have become a staple in the diet culture. They increase satiety, reduce hunger, and prevent you from overeating, making them a great addition to any weight loss diet. However, chia seeds are so much more than just a tool for losing weight.
Here are 3 health benefits of chia seeds besides weight loss.
Chia seeds deliver a myriad of nutritional benefits. Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds hold about 140 calories and contain:
- Protein — 4.68g
- Fiber — 9.75g
- Carbohydrates — 11.9g
Their high content of both soluble and insoluble fiber slows digestion and promotes digestive health.
Chia seeds are considered a complete protein, as they contain all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce independently.
Furthermore, they are among the best plant-based sources of omega-3 and contain essential minerals such as:
These minerals are crucial in maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and nerve function.
An excellent source of antioxidants
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants—beneficial compounds including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol that protect your body from free radical damage.
Studies suggest that its antioxidant content protects the heart and liver, and an increasing amount of evidence suggests that antioxidants play a role in cancer prevention.
May reduce the risk of heart disease
Chia seeds have recently gained attention as a superfood that can improve heart health, primarily due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to decrease triglyceride levels, which is essential because high levels of triglycerides can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Moreover, these healthy fats have been shown to reduce the risk of developing arrhythmia—a condition characterized by an irregular heart rhythm.
Some evidence suggests that omega-3 can also lower blood pressure, although the effect may be minimal.
Precautions While Consuming Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are safe to eat in moderation, but it’s important to be mindful of their high fiber content. As a general rule, it’s best not to consume more than 2 tablespoons of chia seeds per day, as this could exceed the recommended fiber intake.
Consuming too much fiber comes with a wide range of uncomfortable side effects, including:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Intestinal blockage
Additionally, chia seeds contain incredibly high levels of omega-3. In some cases, excessive omega-3 fatty acid consumption can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding.
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Chia Seeds for Weight Loss: Key Takeaways
Chia seeds have become popular due to their impressive nutritional profile, versatile culinary uses, and their role in promoting weight loss. Packed with fiber, protein, and omega-3, chia seeds are a nutrient-dense addition to any weight loss diet.
However, chia seeds alone are not a magic solution—adding chia seeds to your diet without making efforts to improve your lifestyle will not lead to weight loss. The key to shedding pounds is a well-balanced diet, regular physical activity, and healthy lifestyle choices. While chia seeds can serve as a tool to increase satiety and help you feel full sooner, they must be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle for optimal results.
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This is an evidence-based article that includes scientific citations. DoFasting’s professional writers and editors prepared the content, which a team of medical experts verified to be accurate.
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