Chia seeds are a healthy addition to any diet and may help with weight management due to their high fiber and protein content as well as their ability to absorb large amounts of water. In addition to aiding in weight loss, chia seeds have several other potential health benefits, such as being high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re looking for a healthy way to lose weight, adding chia seeds to your diet is a good place to start.
A growing trend for the past 10-15 years has been the recommendation of eating chia seeds for weight loss.
Chia seeds are one of the most popular weight-loss foods around. They are easy to use, healthy, and have a low calorie content.
But how do you put them to work for your weight loss goals? Read on to find out!
Chia seeds (Salvia Hispanica), believe it or not are the same seeds that are contained in the Chia Pet, a silly clay pottery figure brought to you by the makers of everyone’s favorite- The Clapper.
There’s Chia Pet, the ridiculous looking Chia Head, even a Chia Homer Simpson. DOH!
What Are Chia Seeds?
Well, Chia are edible seeds that look sort of like poppy seeds, only more on the grayish/black side as opposed to blue.
According to several sources, they were a valuable source of nutrition for the Aztec warriors and Mayans thousands of years ago.
Chia seeds are actually packed with fiber (an ounce packs a punch of 11 grams of fiber). As you know, we’re a big fan of getting more fiber in your diet for weight loss.
They are also high in Omega- 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and a host of other valuable micronutrients.
Chia are often promoted as heart-healthy because, that they’re rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids.
However, the majority of the omega-3 fatty acid in chia seeds is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
How You Can Use Chia Seeds For Losing Weight
The first step is figuring out what type of chia seed product you want to use.
Many folks use chia with lemon water. Some of the better brands include:
- Viva Naturals
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Betterbody Foods Organic
- Navitas Organics
You can choose from liquid or dry products that come in packets or jars, whole seeds that you grind yourself, or ground up powder form.
The liquid products are easiest because they require no preparation other than adding water and mixing well before drinking.
If you prefer the taste of ground up chia seeds over whole ones (which take longer to digest), go with the latter option instead.
The first time I had Chia seed was back around 2005 at a health seminar.
At the back of the place they were selling all the well known protein and meal replacement bars but I noticed a new funky looking one I hadn’t tried before- The Coco Chia bar (link to purchase on Amazon, if you so wish).
It had chia seeds and coconut as the main ingredients. I love coconut and never had chia seeds before so I went for it.
The bar was delicious and had a very nice texture from the chia seeds.
I ended up buying a box of 12 and loved them, but I wasn’t thrilled about the miniscule amount of protein in the bar so I didn’t bother ordering more.
Come to think of it, I haven’t really seen the Coco Chia bar in stores often anyway.
How many days?
There’s been one study done on chia seeds for weight loss where researchers split 76 obese men and woman into 2 groups.
How much per day to lose? On the dieting plans, one of the groups was given 50 grams per day, split twice per day- 25 grams before breakfast and 25 grams before dinner.
After 12 weeks there was no significant weight loss found.
While this is an interesting study, I’m not so sure I’d write off chia seeds for weight loss just yet. That’s only one way of using chia seeds.
As you know, to lose weight you need to take in less calories than you burn during the day.
You may be able to experiment with other ways to using the chia seed diets that could possibly help “take in less calories” part of the equation.
Chia seeds are not a magic weight loss food. They do not increase your metabolic rate or get your heart cranking (high intensity cardio does that).
But they do hold some interesting physical characteristics that you may be able to take advantage of.
How to Eat Chia Seeds
They way to use chia seeds for weight loss is to simply add a tablespoon of chia seeds to a glass of water or another beverage and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
The gel-like texture that forms from the seed coats your stomach which can help you feel full longer over time, naturally leading to weight loss.
- The chia seed is hydrophilic, meaning it attracts water. It will also form a gel when left in water for a while.
- Try putting 2 tablespoons of chia into a glass of water and within about 20 minutes, you will have a glass full of what looks like clear hair gel with black dots.
- The benefit of this gel is that when ingested, it can help slow digestion, making you feel fuller longer.
- Now, to put this into action you can add it to foods that have a similar texture- yogurt, Jell- O, jellies, your favorite sauces, protein puddings, anywhere cream is used. (Don’t forget to jot this down in your food journal).
You get the idea. Try some, experiment and tell me how it went.
What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like?
I’ve tasted the dry seeds and it’s faintly nutty. Very faintly. When you make a gel out of it, it tastes like nothing.
Are there any side effects of eating chia?
They get stuck in your teeth sort of like poppy seeds. DOH!
Lets get down to brass tacks- weight loss.
How many hours and days and weeks have you spent trying to flatten your tummy?
No matter what you do you still have that pooch or sag or other unsightly thing where your flat tummy is supposed to be!
Women in particular have the extra challenges associated with losing belly fat.
Part of it is the result of genetics and part of it is well within your control.
If you want the weight loss in this area there are some simple techniques for achieving this goal.
As silly as it sounds for a weight loss suggestion, here goes – chew your food thoroughly!
Chia Decreases Appetite
Studies have shown this helps for several reasons.
It assists your body to digest and extract the necessary nutrients.
It also slows your eating so that you are full more quickly and, therefore, eat less.
The trick here is to stop eating when you feel full.
Chia seeds come in handy here. Mix some chia in water, let them gel, and then drink around 30 minutes before your meal.
It is also a tempting thing to nibble from other people’s plates – stop. You may not remember that bite of cake, but your body does.
One of the keys to maintaining a healthy weight is your metabolism. Metabolism increases the way you burn and use calories.
The faster your metabolism, the faster you burn calories. Obviously, you want a fast metabolism so that your can keep off extra weight.
Are There Antioxidants In Chia Seeds?
Even though chia are tiny seeds, they are actually packed with antioxidants for their size.
Antioxidants can help speed recovery from a tough workout, and they can help quench free radicals from too much stress.
This can have a great impact over time as the antioxidant action can fight off health issues related to aging.
The seeds are also gluten-free, so folks with Celiac or whole grain sensitivity issues shouldn’t have a problem.
Carry healthy snacks suck as chia seed bars with you for those on-the-go times instead of pulling through the drive-through.
Also, drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated and running smoothly.
How much chia seed can I eat per day?
Chia seeds are high in fiber and omega-fatty acids, which can help you to feel full longer.
The recommended amount of chia seed per day is two tablespoons for women or three tablespoons for men.
If you eat more than the recommended serving size your digestive system will not be able to properly break down all of its nutrients
How long should I soak chia seeds?
The way to soak chia seeds is to add them to a glass of water or beverage and let it sit for 15 minutes.
During this time, the seeds will swell up similar to how they would when added into liquid before being eaten.
How much protein is in chia seeds?
The amount of protein in chia seeds is around four grams per one-ounce serving.
This makes them a great addition to any diet that needs more protein or is on the hunt for an easy way to add fiber and omega fats into their daily routine without changing things too much.
How much fiber is in chia seeds?
the amount of fiber is chia seeds is around 11 grams per one-ounce serving. this is good because when you eat fiber, it fills you up and keeps your body in the fasting state.
When this happens, it helps with weight loss because of fat burning.
How many carbs are in chia seeds?
The amount of carbs in chia seeds are very low, so they are great for weight loss.
They contain fiber and protein which makes you feel full longer.
If your goal is to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle, chia seeds should be included in your diet plan.
Chia Seeds can be added to almost anything! Smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt bowls… the possibilities
With these tips, weight loss and flat tummy is in your future.
Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) has an elevated concentration of dietary fiber, it has been used to weight loss and enhance blood glucose and lipid profile.
Published in Nutricion hospitalaria. Luciana Tavares Toscano et al.2015