Did you know that you can use chia seeds for weight loss? Though tiny, these seeds are some of the best in terms of health benefits. In our series of discussing best weight loss seeds, today we focus on the benefits of using chia seeds to lose weight, their side effects, how to eat them, testimonials and reviews from those people who have seen results in cutting excess weight with these seeds.
According to Self Nutrition Data (see sources at the end), one serving of chia seeds, (1 ounce or 28 grams) of chia seeds contains 137 calories. The amount of fat in these seeds is just 9 grams, which is a 13 percent. A closer examination of the nutrition facts reveals that dried chia seeds make a very good source of manganese and dietary fiber. Other benefits of chia seeds for weight loss include:
- Very low cholesterol content
- Very low sodium content
So, do these facts and health benefits make chia seeds good for weight loss?
Are chia seeds good for weight loss?
Can chia seeds help you lose weight? Dr. Oz points out that if you are a fan of carb snacking, then the safest way to do so is to go for chia seeds without weight gain problems. This is because these seeds have a high fiber content. In addition to that, the fiber is highly soluble and here’s why the seeds are the best for weight loss:
- The soluble fiber content will fill you up fast and prevent you from feeling hungry and eating a lot
- Chia seed diet has excellent cholesterol lowering properties
- When you eat chia seeds, fat absorption lowers significantly
In ancient Maya, chia is a word that means strength. A meal that includes these seeds can supply you with enough energy for your body while not overloading it with calories that cause weight gain. Today, the tiny black seeds are recognized as a superfood despite being used just as a staple by the ancient Mayans.
Chia Seeds are High in Protein
One of the major reasons why chia seeds are good for weight loss is that they have a high protein content. Normally, if you want to lose weight fast, you reduce the amount of carbs or calories you eat and increase protein intake.
14 percent of chia seeds (by weight) is protein. This is quite high compared to most other plants. This makes the small seeds weight loss friendly because of their nutritional supply. In fact, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points out that a diet that is high in protein content “induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight…” (see further sources at the end).[alert-announce]The major reason why chia seeds are good for losing weight, according to WebMD, is that when you eat these seeds, theoretically, you are likely to feel fuller for longer because they will expand in your belly. This ultimately makes you eat less during the day and eventually shed excess pounds.[/alert-announce]
How to Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
What is the best way to eat chia seeds for weight loss? There are many ways of applying the theory behind these seeds for health benefits especially for overweight people. Let’s find out:
- how to take chia seeds for weight loss
- how to prepare black chia seeds for cutting weight
- the best chia seeds weight loss diet
Dr. Oz advises that you can simply drink down raw chia seeds to help reduce your food cravings. According to him, here’s how to use black chia seeds to lose weight easily.
- Add two tablespoons of raw or whole chia seed grains into a glass of clean water
- Stir them well
- Allow a few minutes to settle
- Drink them down before they become swollen due to rapid water absorption
This will help make you feel full for longer and prevent you from eating a lot of food or taking in a lot of calories. In general theory, this will help you reduce prevent unnecessary calorie intake when you feel hungry, and further your goal of losing weight effectively.
Now, did you know that sleep and weight loss are related? Another explanation on the benefits of chia seeds and their effect on helping obese people or overweight people shed extra pounds is that these seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is known to induce sleep by raising the level of serotonin and melatonin in the body for stable sleep.
How to Eat Chia Seeds and Lose Weight
How do you prepare these small black seeds? Other than putting them in water and drinking them, can you eat them any other way? Well, I found many chia weight loss recipes that you can try at home for your goals. Here are some of the best diet ways to eat chia seeds.
Eat Blueberry Breakfast Pudding: If you have been doing a lot of oatmeal for breakfast, then it is time to try something new. The blueberry pudding is grain-free and contains cashews, chia and dates. The seeds are high in calcium, omega-3s and fiber while the cashews contain protein and the deliciously pleasant creaminess.
Eat Blueberry Chia Muffins: Quite a recipe, touted to have just 100 calories and will keep you full. Yes, and the secret in this recipe is the ingredient in protein-rich chia seeds. What makes them even the best way to eat chia seeds to lose weight is that the muffins are gluten free.
How to Drink Chia Seeds to Reduce Weight (in Water and Juice)
Chia seeds in water? Can they help? Knowing just how much chia seeds to eat is also important because you might end up consuming too much calories if you exceed your serving. LiveStrong have indicated that if you want to boost your metabolism and increase your body’s ability to burn calories, drink a chia seed and juice mixture just before exercising. This will help you last longer during your strenuous workout and translate to better weight reduction exercise. You can also them in water.
The Truth about Chia Seeds and Weight Loss
Although most people include chia seeds in their daily recipes to help them with fat loss, the real truth from studies is not very promising. Results of most studies have come up with disappointing data. Here are some important findings you should know of before getting down with chia seed diets for weight loss.
- A study by a researcher, David Nieman, DrPH says, “Over a 12-week period, we did not see a change in appetite or weight loss” after those who wanted to lose weight consumed the seeds. The same research found that there was no reduction in body weight or body fat. Neither was there any loss of weight of any kind. (Source – WebMD, Truth About Chia)
- A Science Direct Study, the Nutrition Research Volume 29, Issue 6 published on June 2009 notes that chia seed does not promote weight loss or help in altering disease risk factor in adults who are overweight. (Source – Science Direct)
- Chia seeds were found to increase the amount of omega-3 in the body, which is highly associated with helping in losing weight fast.
Chia Seeds Weight Loss Testimonials and Reviews
While almost all the scientific studies show clearly that these seeds do not have any direct effect on how fast you lose weight, some people have testimonials and reviews showing how they lost weight with the help of chia seeds. Here are a few testimonials.
“I had noticed that when I had a meal with a good proportion of chia seeds in it, that is, one to two tablespoons per serve, I did not feel hungry for some time…I was very excited when I weighed myself on the second day and found I had lost one and a half pounds. Overall I lost 6 pounds that week!” Maggie Faye.
“Yes!!! Chia seeds do help you lose weight!!! I’m a proven fact…I am 5’7 tall n started at 163lbs heavy now after taking those seeds for 2 in a half months I dropped to 153.5lbs” JESS0314 on Sparkpeople.com
In most forums and review spots, there are mixed messages and pieces of information. Some people claim that it really works, others think the diet plan does not work directly. All in all, it is an important addition to your diet because of its nutritional benefits such as fiber and omega 3s.
Chia Seeds Side Effects
Even when you want them to help you lose fat and weight, beware of the possible side effects of chia seeds. Here are the listed risks and dangers of eating these black seeds.
- Flatulence, stomach cramps and sometimes loose stool due to the introduction of high fiber content in your diet
- Known ability to lower your blood pressure, which is risky for people who are on aspirins, blood pressure medications and are due to undergo surgery
- Allergic reactions are possible, including rashes, watery eyes and hives
- Increased chances of prostate cancer
It is clear that there is no evidence that chia seeds directly help in losing weight. More study is needed to prove this. However, they have good health benefits even though they are not the magic to losing weigh fast. Follow a healthy diet that is calorie controlled and follow a physical workout routine to lose weight naturally, healthily and fast.
Sources and References
- Self Nutrition Data: Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts
- NCBI: The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men.
- Chia Seed Weight Loss Diet: How I Managed to Lose Weight Fast with Chia Seeds