Oatmeal Diet Basics with 6 Day Meal Plan

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The Oatmeal Diet involves replacing one or two meals a day with oatmeal.

oatmeal diet

This is good since oatmeal has a number of health benefits including

  • healthy weight management
  • reducing cholesterol
  • and potentially lowering the risk of certain types of cancer.

Some have taken this further by eating nothing but oatmeal. This approach is a tad extreme, but most people follow the version listed below.

Oatmeal Diet Basics

One method of doing the oatmeal diet involves varying the amount of oatmeal eaten over three phases.

Phase One

  • Dieters eat nothing but oatmeal for the first week.
  • You can eat ½ cup of oatmeal for each meal, which may be combined with a ½ cup of skim milk if desired.
  • Only whole oatmeal is allowed, not instant oatmeal.
  • Instant oatmeal and granola bars should be avoided for the first seven days.
  • Calorie consumption for the first seven days should be between 900-1200 calories per day.

Phase Two

  • For the next 30 days, dieters continue having ½ cup of oatmeal three times a day in addition to their regular diet.
  • Instant oatmeal is now permitted.
  • Calories may now be increased slightly to 1000-1300 per day.
  • A morning snack of a ½ cup of fruit and an afternoon snack of ½ cup raw vegetables are allowed.

Phase Three

  • After 30 days you may begin to eat your normal diet while continuing with one meal and one snack of oatmeal daily.
  • Dieters are advised to limit their intake of fats when returning to normal eating.

The biggest challenge to eating oatmeal (also known as porridge in the UK) is how to keep adding things to prevent monotony and blandness. See some ideas here.

Oatmeal Diet Alternatives

  1. Medifast– Uses meal replacements like oatmeal and shakes to promote weight loss.
  2. Special K Diet– Replaces 2 meals a day with Special K Cereal.
  3. Cooking with Oats: Oat Bran, Oatmeal, and More

Recommended Foods

Oatmeal, skim milk, berries, bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, carrots, red pepper, celery, lettuce, spinach, chicken breast, fish, coffee, tea, club soda, sugar-free pudding.

6-Day Oatmeal Diet Meal Plan

Feel free to make substitutions to suit your various preferences and tastes. Just make sure the calorie amounts stay about the same.

Day 1

Breakfast

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk
1 tablespoon raisins
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coffee or tea

Morning Snack

½ cup blueberries

Lunch

½ cup oatmeal
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
1 banana

Afternoon Snack

½ cup raw vegetable sticks

Dinner

4 oz grilled chicken breast
Large green salad
½ cup oatmeal

Evening Snack

Sugar-free pudding

Day 2

Breakfast

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk
1 tablespoon raisins
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coffee or tea

Morning Snack

½ cup blueberries

Lunch

½ cup oatmeal
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
1 banana

Afternoon Snack

½ cup raw vegetable sticks

Dinner

4 oz grilled chicken breast
Large green salad
½ cup oatmeal

Evening Snack

Sugar-free pudding

Day 3

Breakfast

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coffee or tea

Morning Snack

1 Medium Apple

Lunch

½ cup oatmeal
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
1 cup strawberries

Afternoon Snack

Handful of almonds

Dinner

4 oz broiled fish fillet
1 cup broccoli
1 cup wild rice pilaf

Evening Snack

1 cup celery sticks

Day 4

Breakfast

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1 banana
½ teaspoon vanilla
coffee or tea

Morning Snack

2 small kiwi fruit

Lunch

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon

Afternoon Snack

1 apple

Dinner

4 oz lean turkey burger
1 whole wheat bun
1 cup baked zucchini fries

Evening Snack

1 cup sugar-free jello

Day 5

Breakfast

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
coffee or tea

Morning Snack

A handful of almonds

Lunch

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp. cinnamon

Afternoon Snack

1 banana

Dinner

4 oz lean sirloin steak
3 cups garden salad
2 Tbsp lite salad dressing

Evening Snack

1 orange

Day 6

Breakfast

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried plums
coffee or tea

Morning Snack

1 apple

Lunch

½ cup oatmeal
½ cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup walnuts

Afternoon Snack

1 Tbsp. peanut butter
4 celery sticks

Dinner

One can light chicken soup
2 cups mixed vegetables

Evening Snack

1/2 cup sugar-free pudding

Exercise Recommendations

30 minutes of exercise is recommended on 3-5 days of the week.

Costs and Expenses

The only cost for this diet is for groceries, which will probably be even less than usual because oatmeal is very inexpensive.

There are also a few, more comprehensive books written on the oatmeal diet. Here’s one that retails for $9.99.

Click here to purchase this book for a discounted price (Amazon).

Pros

  • Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which helps to promote a feeling of fullness after meals.
  • A diet high in oatmeal can reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol without affecting the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and has been demonstrated to be as effective as cholesterol lowering medication.
  • Oatmeal is a good source of low glycemic carbohydrates and can help to promote stable blood sugar levels.
  • Oats contain phytonutrients called lignans, which are beneficial for heart health.
  • Oats are very inexpensive.

Cons

  • Calorie intakes are below that recommended for safe and healthy weight loss.
  • Lack of variety in the diet will limit the ability to obtain adequate nutrition.
  • The oatmeal diet involves a dramatic change in normal eating patterns, especially for the first week, which has the potential to trigger yo-yo dieting for some people.

The First 7 Days May be Difficult

Any diet that is based on a single food while excluding other healthy foods can be regarded as a fad diet that will not be supportive of the health of the dieter. It is not recommended to follow the first seven days of the version of the diet where oatmeal is the only food permitted.

However, the oatmeal diet is based on a nutritious food that can help to reduce appetite, which makes it a good source of carbohydrates for a weight loss diet. If weight loss is to be maintained over the long term it will also be necessary to pay attention to other aspects of nutrition and lifestyle.

Filed in Diet Reviews

57 Comments

  1. Christine

    My cholesterol was 8 which is extremely high after 1 week on 1/2 cup Rolled Oats Raw, with a scoop of protein powder and 2tsp of tin pineapple in juice, my cholesterol went down to 5.7., my target is 3.7, I lost over 2 kilo in one week, my target is to lose 7 kilosmy morning tea, afternoon tea and late afternoon tea consist of either fruit, vegs, nuts and small portions of lean meat and oily fish.

    Rolled oats work better raw if you have high cholesterol.

    Reply
  2. Star

    Hey Ted,

    So I stumbled upon this oatmeal diet idea and I was wondering how well this will work for someone like me who is pescatarian? (eats fish instead of meat) I like to eat tofu here and there, but I just wanna know if you have any other other tips for the dinner portion other than fish and tofu? Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  3. Eve

    Hi Ted,

    Is salt and pepper allowed? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Yes, any seasoning that has no calories is fine.

      Reply
  4. karen

    what size cup should be used. or better still the weight of dried oats please.

    Reply
    • Ted

      It’s an 8 fl oz or 250 ml cup

      Reply
  5. Carole

    On my 2nd day of the oats diet; just had 1/2 cup oats will then have a green salad and i substituted chicken thigh with grilled drumstick trying as much to stick to the original diet and should i twerk it a lil bit then try watch the calories
    Hope i manage to lose some if any little weight
    Also walk for 35 mins (brisk walk) 3 or 4 times a week

    Reply
  6. Chandra

    Can I eat only oats with chicken and egg white for first week ? Will that be helpful for weight loss ?

    Reply
    • Ted

      I wouldn’t recommend it. You’d be missing key vitamins and minerals with that approach.

      Reply
  7. Steve

    I lost a lot of weight on an ‘oat and eggs’ based diet [which was also very cheap, using a method rarely explored on these sort of ‘oat diet’ pages. You see, I take 1 cup of raw un-soaked jumbo oats [the large simply flattened out ones that have other names elsewhere but in the UK they are ‘Jumbo’ and I mix with 4 medium eggs. I add salt and pepper and allow to sit and soak for a while. I then divide it into three portions. The thing with this is that a batter of oat and eggs carries flavour very well so sometimes I add herbs and spices. Sometimes I will add [soaked and pre-cooked] kidney beans or chick pea’s to this. It then becomes a form of ‘meat substitute when cooked [basically dry fried] in a skillet. I take one portion of the batter mixture [the one that needs the least time sitting in your choice of herbs/spices/misc flavourings- and add it to a pre-heated skillet that has had JUST enough fat to ensure the mix does not stick so it’s an almost dry pan. Using a spatula to ‘knock’ it into shape it forms a burger, or as an oval [depending on seasonings etc -like I say it carries flavour excellently] as a steak! Cook it until it’s golden and sliding about freely on it’s own without losing the shape you want with the slightest shake of the pan. Flip it over [it only takes 2 or 3 minutes a side] and cook the other side. I NEVER get bored with this. I then eat it as a ‘meat’ replacement with steamed veggies or a [huge] green leaf salad. Doing this I can do it as a ‘chilli’d meat, as a curried meat, as a cajun flavoured meat. I call it meat because it develops that hardest thing for dieters to replicate as it sets – not only a nice texture [due to the raw unsoaked jumbo oats] but that elusive ‘weight’ of a meat -yet digested as easily as oats normally are! I started out at 18 stone on this, six months later I’m 12 stone. If I was just having my oats in a bowl with occasional fruit I don’t think I’d have stuck with it. My next two meals of the day are essentially sitting ready to simply toss into the pan when needed. I don’t have any form of cravings, I’m not remotely tempted to snack, my energy levels are enormous now. And….I’ve saved a hellish amount of money! Simply by changing meat for an oat and egg mix as my main protein/carb source. Also, all the sugar cravings I used to have are gone too! Feel free to try this. It has worked VERY well for me.

    Reply
    • woodsjeremy

      Wow, I tried this today and it’s fabulous. I can see that it will be versatile.

      Reply
    • Sabrina

      I do eat this when I am flat broke, and yes it’s surprisingly satisfying. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  8. Sherrell McHenry

    Today is my second day on the oatmeal diet. 2weeks ago I was 275lbs now I’m 260lbs

    Reply
  9. Muna

    Hai my age is 20 .. And i am really fat 75 kg.. How can i reduse my weight using this oats nd how long this diet take to reduse my weight

    Reply
    • Aishwarya

      I too had a same problem. …please do gm 7 days diet plan(fruits and vegetable ) ive lost 15 kilos ….. trust me…

      Reply
      • Niharika ramraje

        Omg.. that sounds cool.. you must have followed it strictly?

        Reply
  10. Nancy Brafley

    Do you measure one half cup before or after cooking?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Before cooking

      Reply
  11. Nathalie

    Hi, can I cook my oatm in water , instead of milk ?

    Reply
    • Ted

      yes, you sure can

      Reply
  12. Alyssa

    What can I use to sweeten up the oatmeal besides stevia or any other artificial sweeteners?

    What can I replace dried fruit with? I really don’t eat raisins or dried cranberries. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ted

      You can sweeten it with a little honey and skip the dried fruit. Sprinkle it with cinnamon.

      Reply
  13. Nooha

    Actually I completed the first week of my oats diet…. now I am wondering whether I can include brown bread sandwich in my diet ? Please tell me other healthy and tasty food to eat with oats… it would be very thankful if you do reply me….

    Reply
  14. Kae

    is the 1/2 cup of steel cut oats cooked already or before?

    Reply
    • Ted

      It’s the raw measurement. When cooked will be about a cup depending how much water you use.

      Reply
  15. princess

    can I diet with jungles outs,eggs and skim milk only?

    Reply
    • Ted

      What’s jungles outs?

      Reply
      • Anthony

        I think it’s a brand name sold in South Africa. It’s just raw oats

        Reply
  16. Paula Lawrence

    Do you recommend soy milk? And is stevia an ok sweetener to add to oatmeal? Thank you. Paula

    Reply
    • Ted

      Both are fine.

      Reply
  17. barbara

    I also mix the dinner oatmeal with my pudding for the dessert very filling

    Reply
  18. barbara

    I have been following the above 6 day oatmeal for 3 days I have lost 1.8 lbs I make smoothies out of the lunch oatmeal,meal makes it easier to have oatmeal for lunch

    Reply
    • Annette

      I soak 1/4 cup of Oatmeal in by Blender overnight along with 3 dates unsweetened , cinnamon and and dash of vanilla seeds then in Morning I blend it till smooth and Enjoy

      Reply
  19. ammu

    Am 22 ur old
    Weight 82 kg
    Shall I take milkmaid instead of yogurt and skimmed milk?

    Reply
    • Annette

      Use Flaxseed Milk or unsweetned Almond

      Reply
  20. Pascale Devalet

    Hi, is there any subtitude for the Sugar free jello and the sugar free pudding. HELP thank you.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Choose another low-calorie snack.

      Reply
  21. Amani Kh

    I wonder how I can make the oatmeal, can I cook it like rice budding or soup or eat it without cooking.

    Reply
    • Ted

      The recipes are on the container and you can eat it raw as well.

      Reply
    • Annette

      try this ,,,,toast Oatmeal in Pan on low Heat till it smells nutty add vanilla Almond Milk and for Pudding …or soup take Bone Broth with Collagen Powder add some celery, diced Carrots only takes minutes Enjoy

      Reply
  22. mary grace

    Hi
    Amh I just have a questions what if the oatmeal I eat is instant oatmeal it is okay for my diet?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Yes, it’s fine as long as it isn’t the ones that are loaded with sugar.

      Reply
  23. Pascale Devalet

    I go to the gym everyday, and rest on sunday and saturday, so do you think i can try this oats diet? Thanks to reply.

    Reply
    • mimi

      Yes you can.

      Reply
  24. Hawee

    Hi Ted,
    I weigh about 95 kg and am 20yrs, the thing is that I don’t like exercising. I usually start, and then I stop after 3 days or so. I wanted to know if by eating only oatmeal all day and maybe with some veggies once in a while, it might help me loose some weight without exercising?

    Reply
    • Ted

      It could, you just have to be aware of your estimated calorie needs and stay under that level to lose weight. See here:

      Reply
  25. Tanya

    Hi
    well its Monday and I did not start the diet, I am afraid that I will pick up instead of losing, does this diet really work and how much will I lose in a week (kg). Deep down I feel I must not start the diet.
    what do I do. take a chance or not….????

    Reply
  26. Sarah

    2 years ago, I ate oatmeal everyday, small portions, every 3 hours for 6 months. I also worked out occasionally, which was mainly cardio. I didn’t weigh myself regularly as I didn’t feel like i was dieting in the first place – I just got tired, or should i say sick, or eating unhealthy food. By the 6th month, i realized i had lost 23 pounds but i can’t tell you how long it took to lose this since i wasn’t weighing myself regularly. It’s a super strict diet, yes, but it’s really a matter of how badly do you want it. For me, I was fed with the shape that i was in, so i just cut back on EVERYTHING except fruits and veggies of course – some meat here and there.

    Reply
  27. Tanya

    Hi
    I would like to know if I eat oatmeal in the morning and Herbalife formula 1 shake (meal replacement) afternoon and evening, I am not a veggie eater at all, will this be a problem or not ?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Tanya, That doesn’t seem like a very healthy choice to me. You should have at least one real meal a day that is nutritious. Also for long-term good health, you really need to learn to eat your veggies.

      Reply
      • Tanya

        Hi
        I understand there are a few veggies I will eat, but if I don’t have to then I leave it.
        I am going to try this oatmeal diet as from Monday (SA).
        but thank you for your reply.

        enjoy

        Reply
  28. kay

    Can you substitute some of the food for another kind of food? Example I don’t eat meat so can I substitute it for chicken?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Yes, you could use vegetarian substitutes.

      Reply
      • diane

        hi, it says to eat oatmeal and nothing else aside from maybe some milk for the first week but then the sample menu shows a variety of other foods, fruit, chicken etc??

        Reply
        • Ted

          There are multiple variations of the oatmeal diet. The one you described is unhealthy, the one in the meal plan is healthy and sensible.

          Reply

References

  • Van Horn, L., Emidy, L. A., Liu, K., Liao, Y., Ballew, C., King, J., & Stamler, J. (1988). Serum lipid response to a fat-modified, oatmeal-enhanced diet. Preventive medicine, 17(3), 377-386. Link
  • Lammert, A., Kratzsch, J., Selhorst, J., Humpert, P. M., Bierhaus, A., Birck, R., ... & Hammes, H. P. (2008). Clinical benefit of a short term dietary oatmeal intervention in patients with type 2 diabetes and severe insulin resistance: a pilot study. Experimental and clinical endocrinology & diabetes, 116(02), 132-134. Link
  • Katan, M. B. (2009). Weight-loss diets for the prevention and treatment of obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(9), 923-925. Link
  • Andon, M. B., & Anderson, J. W. (2008). State of the art reviews: the oatmeal-cholesterol connection: 10 years later. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 2(1), 51-57. link
  • McCance, R. A., & Glaser, E. M. (1948). The energy value of oatmeal and the digestibility and absorption of its proteins, fats and calcium. British Journal of Nutrition, 2(03), 221-228. link