Since you follow the overnight-oats trend, you're feeling positive that your first meal of the day is always healthy. But your jeans tell a different story. Could your overnight oats be the cause of your weight gain? It's easy to overdo it on these delicious jars of goodness, so if you're watching your waistline, keep these tips in mind.
Portion Size Is Key
You meticulously measure out one cup of oats each day. You get an A+ for trying to keep portions in check, but you're choosing the wrong size measuring cup. The correct serving size of is one-half cup dry oats. It may not seem like a lot of grain when you pour it into your jar, but remember that the liquid helps it double in size.
Many recipes ask you to use the milk of your choice, but choosing higher-calorie options is one reason your jar is over the legal limit. Unsweetened almond, soy, coconut, and nonfat milks are great options, as they all fall below 90 calories per cup.
Not Too Sweet
If you're using unsweetened milk, it's totally understandable that you need a little something to make your jar drool-worthy. A drizzle of maple syrup, agave nectar, or stevia is fine, but make sure it's no more than one teaspoon. Or skip those liquids entirely and sweeten your oats naturally with fresh fruit. Adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg also add flavor without calories.
A Little of This, a Little of That
The toppings are the reason you fell in love with overnight oats. Coconut-almond and chocolate peanut butter concoctions make you feel like you're eating a decadent dessert, not a good-for-you breakfast. Just don't overdo it! Nuts, nut butters, seeds, dried fruits, coconut, chocolate chips, and granola are all pretty calorie-dense, so use a measuring spoon and go for a total of two to three tablespoons of these add-ons.
Don't Grab That Jar!
Twelve or 16-ounce mason jars are a pretty popular kitchen staple for serving beverages or packing salads, but these should not — I repeat not — be used for your overnight oat creations. Stick to eight-ounce jars. They are the perfect size to keep your portions in check because there is only so much extra room for toppings, so you'll have no problem following the tips mentioned above.