Chia seeds, the teeny tiny, black and white seeds, are all over social media for their innumerable benefits. These small seeds, added in everything from puddings to smoothies, come from a flowering plant in the mint family called Salvia Hispanica. Including chia seeds in your diet can be one step toward weight loss. And it’s no secret why they’re so popular for weight loss. Chia seeds’ insoluble fibre and protein keep you feeling satiated and full. But, with nearly 11 grams of fibre per serving, chia seeds might be the missing piece to your weight-loss puzzle.
Can Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight?
Chia seeds can be a great addition to your weight loss diet. With good reason, too. But the question is, how do chia seeds support your weight loss efforts? One, the fibre in chia seeds could undoubtedly help. A study shows that dietary fibre intake, independently of caloric and macronutrient intake, promotes weight loss. In addition, all that fibre in chia seeds, around 34.4 grams per 100-gram serving, can help to increase satiety. Plus, it can prevent hunger because fibre-rich chia seeds take longer to digest.
Two, chia seeds are also a good source of protein. Protein-rich foods like chia seeds undergo slow digestion, keeping you full and may prevent overeating. Therefore, the fibre and protein in chia seeds create a feeling of less hunger, more satiety, and lower cravings for sugary foods. Ultimately, chia seeds help you meet your calorie deficit.
Remember, adding chia seeds to the diet or just eating chia seeds will not result in weight loss. Chia seeds could help you lose weight only when combined with regular exercise and mindful, healthy eating. That also means chia seeds are not a catalyst for dramatic weight loss. Instead of feeling fixated on single foods and ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ eat, improve your overall eating patterns.
The HealthifyMe Note
Chia seeds can assist in reducing cravings or eating more later in the day. Also, fibre and protein promote less hunger and satiety, which can help lower calorie intake. But remember that chia seeds are not a magic bullet for weight loss. You should also pay attention to your overall diet and exercise routine.
Ways to Eat Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
Fitness experts and influencers call chia seed water a magic weight loss potion. For starters, there’s no set ratio for water to chia seeds. If you want to whip up chia seed water, soak one tablespoon of the seeds in a glass of water. Nutritionists suggest soaking chia seeds in water until they reach a tapioca-like gel consistency or for a minimum of 30 minutes. With that in mind, some may not be into the idea of drinking chia seeds. But then, you can also add them to smoothies and on top of salads or whip up a chia seed pudding or pancake.
If not water, then you can make chia seeds drink by mixing the seeds into your favourite type of milk and keeping it overnight. For added weight loss benefits, try to go for non-dairy milk alternatives. However, make sure not to add any high-calorie sweeteners and toppings. So, if you’re eating a bowl of chia seeds for breakfast, mix in some slices of apples and bananas.
Chia seeds have a mild flavour. So you can add them to several preparations without worrying about startling flavour variations. For a low-calorie alternative, swap chia seeds with the flour in your pastry recipes. You can buy pre-ground chia seeds or grind them up in a blender until powdery to use in cake, cookie, or pancake recipes.
The HealthifyMe Note
If you are on a weight loss journey and looking for healthy snacks all the time, chia seeds can be a good addition. You can mix chia seeds in water, salads, smoothie, pudding, milk, pancake mix, and a bowl of oatmeal. Drinking a glass of chia seed water daily, preferably in the morning, can be a healthy supplement to your weight loss diet.
Recipes to Try
Chia Seed Pudding
Preparation time: 10 minutes (Prep time does not include the additional refrigeration time)
- Coconut or almond milk: 2 cups
- Chia seeds: 6 tbsps
- Cinnamon: 1 tsp
- Sea salt: a pinch
- Blueberries or chopped nuts for topping
Method of Preparation
- Pour the milk into a jar. Add the chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt.
- Cover the lid and shake well to combine.
- Refrigerate for a few hours, then give it a good stir to loosen any lumps.
- Refrigerate for 12 to 18 hours for the pudding to set.
- Serve with fruit, nuts, or any preferred toppings.
Berry Chia Seed Smoothie
Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Frozen berries of your choice: 1 cup
- Unsweetened milk of your choice: 1 cup
- Unflavoured yoghurt: 1/4 cup
- Chia seeds: 1 tablespoon
Method of Preparation
- Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour into cups, and enjoy immediately!
Strawberry Chia Seed Popsicles
Serves: 10 popsicles
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Frozen strawberries: 3 cups
- Almond milk: 1/2 cup
- Chia seeds: 1/4 cup
Method of Preparation
- Blend all of the ingredients.
- Pour into a popsicle mould.
- Freeze and enjoy!
With an easy swap of ingredients, chia seed popsicles can be a healthy alternative to store-bought ones. In addition, it has no refined sugars and unhealthy fats, only around 50 calories a piece.
Things to Look Out for
As long as someone is mindful about portions, chia seeds can be a great nutritious addition to the diet. However, consuming too many of them can have counterproductive effects. There is a reason why the serving size of chia seeds has a two tablespoons limit. Overeating chia seeds cause a sudden drastic rise in fibre, leading to gastric issues like bloating and diarrhoea. If your diet is low in fibre, gradually increase your chia seed intake. Check for the possibility of chia seed allergens. Although rare, chia seed allergy can trigger symptoms or cause a reaction.
Eating foods that promote satiety is not an issue, but they should not replace other foods in your diet. For example, when you eat chia seeds, focus on other nutritious mix-ins. Ultimately, though, reach out to your nutritionist if you are concerned about your consumption.
The small but mighty chia seeds offer impressive amounts of dietary fibre and protein, making them a powerful weight loss-friendly food. In addition, Chia seeds’ hunger-crushing nature helps you control cravings and portion sizes. Many have heard the weight loss benefits of chia seeds, tried the recipes, and stopped eating them after a couple of days. However, chia seeds are not limited to a boring glass of bland drink. You can customise it in your salad, puddings, smoothies, and bakes. Moreover, a long-term weight loss plan will require healthier eating and lifestyle habits.