Overnight oats are cheap, delicious, nutritious, and one of the easiest recipes to meal prep for the week. But, did you know they’re great for weight loss too? Yep! Today I’m sharing my best weight loss overnight oats recipes and tips.
I share a lot of overnight oatmeal recipes on my blog. It’s honestly one of my favorite healthy breakfast recipes to meal prep for the week.
Did you know that overnight oats are also a great breakfast recipe to make when trying to lose weight? Yup!
Oatmeal is often overlooked when compiling weight loss recipes. Most people turn to smoothies or low carb recipes instead. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of detox smoothies and egg bakes, but I also love a cold creamy jar of oats too.
Are overnight oats healthy?
There are many health benefits to overnight oats. Each jar is filled with fiber, protein, and wholesome grains making them heart-healthy and perfect for weight loss.
Yes, oatmeal is higher in carbs but if balanced out with other low carb recipes it can be a great solution when trying to eat healthier and lose weight.
So, yes overnight oats are healthy.
But, ultimately, it really depends on the ingredients used.
Of course, if you fill it with processed sugars and unhealthy fats it’s not going to help you lose weight. Actually, it can have the opposite effect and we don’t want that.
But if you’re intentional and add ingredients like fruits and healthy fats then overnight oats can become a regular in your meal plan.
Something else to keep in mind is that overnight oats are higher in carbs and not allowed on keto, paleo, or other lower-carb diets.
However, if you’re not following a low carb eating style then you can enjoy oatmeal as part of a well-balanced diet to lose weight.
6 Reasons Overnight Oats are Great for Weight Loss
- Easy – When trying to eat healthier, the last thing you want to do is to make it complicated. Overnight oats include simple pantry ingredients and can be thrown together in about 2 minutes. Trust me, breakfast doesn’t get easier than that.
- Cheap – A common misconception is that eating healthy costs a lot of money. Of course, some foods are more expensive than others but not oatmeal. A basic jar of overnight oats costs less than 50 cents to make. Even if purchasing all organic ingredients the cost is still less than a sugar-filled donut!
- Portion-control – I use 16-ounce mason jars to prepare overnight oats. This helps to keep breakfast portioned out so I know exactly what I’m eating. Any individual container will work great.
- Filled with fiber and protein – a basic overnight oats recipe includes about 7 grams of heart-healthy fiber and 17 grams of protein. This will help regulate sugar and keep you full between meals.
- Can be made ahead of time – Overnight oats can be made up to 4 days in advance. I’ll give more meal prep tips below.
Can I use instant oats?
I don’t recommend instant oats for overnight oats recipes. Instant oats are processed to cook quickly so they will turn into mush if soaked overnight in milk. Rolled oats work the best to create the creamy, yet still firm, texture that you look forward to with a jar of refrigerator oats.
Weight Loss Overnight Oats Ingredients
The key to creating a jar of overnight oats that’s healthy, and will also help you lose weight, is to use high-quality ingredients, portion-control, and staying intentional with the add-ins.
Staying between 300 – 375 calories is a good range for a breakfast recipe. So, keep that in mind when preparing a jar of overnight oats. The best way to assure you’re not creating a high-calorie jar of oats is to measure everything.
Here are the basic ingredients needed:
Rolled oats – A portion of dry rolled oats is ½ of a cup. Depending on the brand, the calories for this amount can range between 150 – 200 calories.
Chia seeds – Chia seeds aren’t 100% necessary but it’s an ingredient that I like to use in all my overnight oat recipes. It creates a creamy pudding-like texture and adds a punch of protein, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. 1 teaspoon is all that’s needed.
Non-dairy milk – Personally, when I can, I like to keep overnight oats vegan. So, coconut milk or almond milk are the preferred liquids I use in overnight oats. But, dairy milk will work just fine too. Regardless, the basic ratio is 1:1 for oats and liquid.
Pure maple syrup – 1-2 teaspoons is all that’s needed for some sweetness. Honey, or other healthier sweeteners, can be used.
Of course, the flavors and textures can be changed up with other ingredients. So, get creative and stir in fruit, nut butters, extracts, yogurt (regular or non-dairy), or other ingredients.
Pay attention to the calories, and other nutritional information, as you add in other ingredients because it’s very easy to go from a healthy weight loss recipe to a fat bomb with just a few too many extras.
Healthy Add-ins for Overnight Oats
If you’re not careful with add-ins then you can turn a healthy jar of overnight oats into a diet fail pretty quickly. So, when choosing extras definitely pay attention to the additional calories.
Here are my favorite healthy ingredients to add to a jar of oats.
Healthy fats– nut butters are a great way to add in some extra protein. Of course, nut butters are high in fat and calories so keep it to 1 tablespoon when using in overnight oat recipes.
Healthy sweeteners – I don’t recommend using a sweetener like brown sugar or other refined sugars. Instead use natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup, honey, or even coconut palm sugar. 1-2 teaspoons of sweetener is more than enough.
Extracts – vanilla extract or other extracts add a nice flavor to overnight oats. ¼ teaspoon is plenty for most overnight oat recipes.
Additional protein – a couple tablespoons of Greek yogurt adds protein and delicious creamy texture. Use non-dairy yogurt to keep the recipe vegan.
A tablespoon of protein or collagen powder is also a good way to stir in additional protein.
Superfoods – chia seeds are a staple in all the overnight oat recipes I make. They soak up the liquid to create a pudding-like texture and add fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Other superfoods to add are hemp hearts, flaxseeds, and/or matcha.
Antioxidant cacao powder or nibs can also be used to create a rich chocolaty jar of overnight oats. Both have a slightly bitter flavor compared to chocolate chips or cocoa powder but still creates a delicious chocolate flavor.
Thrive Market is an online grocery store that offers natural and organic products at great prices. This is where I purchase all the basic ingredients (besides refrigerated items) and superfoods for overnight oats. See my Thrive Market Review for more information.
Supplies to make overnight oats
- Small Glass jars – 16-ounce mason jars is the size I use the most for overnight oats recipes. It’s the perfect size to fit all the basic ingredients along with fruit and other bulkier ingredients.
- Plastic lids – If you decide to use mason jars that I recommend picking up a pack of plastic lids. The metal lids that come with the jars will eventually rust. Both regular mouth and wide-mouth lids are available.
- Measuring cups and spoons – This is the best way to assure you’re preparing a jar of overnight oats that stays within your calorie range.
How to make weight loss overnight oats?
A jar of overnight oats is so easy to throw together on Sunday for the week or even the night before. Here’s a basic recipe, and some ideas, to add overnight oats to your weight loss meal plan
The basic formula I use is ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup liquid, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, and 1-2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup. Like I said, you want to use a 1:1 ratio for oats and liquid.
These are the steps I use to prepare a jar of overnight oats.
Step 1: Mix together the rolled oats and chia seeds into a 2-3 cup jar. If you’re using cinnamon, cacao powder, or other dry spices/ingredients then stir it in during this first step.
Step 2: Stir in the liquid. If you’re using extracts, nut butters, yogurt, mashed banana, pumpkin puree, or other wet ingredients then add during this step. Stir all the ingredients together until the oats are completely covered.
Step 3. Fruits can be added to this step. Either leave the fruit on top of the mixed oats or mix everything together. Or do a little of both. If you’re using nuts then sprinkle on top of the other ingredients or add in the morning.
Step 4: Place the lid tightly onto the jar of oats and refrigerate overnight. Overnight oats will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator so you can make up to 4 jars at a time.
Step 5: In the morning, stir the oats and add more sweetener if needed or a few splashes of milk to loosen up the consistency. Then, grab a spoon and dig in.
Weight Loss Overnight Oats Recipe
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or coconut milk) dairy milk will work fine too
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- Add to a glass jar the rolled oats and chia seeds.
- Pour in the milk and pure maple syrup. Stir together all of the ingredients until the rolled oats are completely covered with liquid.
- Tightly place the lid on the jar and refrigerator overnight.
- Stir the overnight oats and add in a splash of extra milk or sweetener to loosen up the consistency. Enjoy.
How to meal prep overnight oats
Overnight oats are designed to be made ahead of time making them the ideal meal prep breakfast recipe. Simply, prepare 1-4 jars ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
When you’re ready, grab a jar, mix it up, and eat.
How to freeze overnight oats
Recently, I discovered that ingredients for overnight oats can be prepared and frozen ahead of time.
Take the ingredients and place them into a small freezer bag or mason jar to create a kit of sorts. Everything but the milk can be added to the kit.
Then the night before you plan to eat the overnight oats place the bagged ingredients into a jar, add the liquid, and place the jar in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, add extra liquid or sweetener and enjoy.
Learn more in my overnight oats meal prep freezer kits tutorial.