I used to make oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning. Last summer, when I was in Calgary for a couple of weeks helping my mom, post surgery, I started eating steel cut oats. She had a massive bag of them in her pantry and hadn’t even opened them up. I became an instant convert. They are fantastic! I’ve eaten them virtually every morning since then.
Recently, however, I’ve read Gary Taube’s and Jorge Cruise’s books and have been trying to cut back, substantially, on carbs. In Cruise’s book The 100 he explains how to calculate the number of “sugar calories” in a food item by multiplying the number of carbs X 4. The goal is to limit the number of “sugar calories” you consume in a day to 100. This was never going to work for me – I don’t have much weight to lose and I don’t do deprivation. So I skipped immediately to his less dramatic “The 100 Plus” plan, which limits the number of “sugar calories” to 300. This is more like a maintenance plan and something I could probably do on a regular basis. (You need to read the book. They aren’t literally calories – just a simple way of counting your carbs.)
Anyway, I know from experience and experimenting, that I need to cook 1/2 cup of oatmeal or 1/2 cup of steel cut oats for breakfast. But, it turns out, steel cut oats are significantly more carb dense.
Per the label on my oatmeal, a serving size is 1/2 cup and it has 27 grams of carbs which is 27 x 4 = 108 sugar calories.
Per the label on the steel cut oats, a serving size is 1/4 cup and it has 29 grams of carbs which is 29 x 4 = 116 sugar calories.
I wouldn’t fuss about the difference between 108 and 116 but, the trouble is, 1/4 cup of steel cut oats doesn’t cut it for me at breakfast. I’ve tried and it’s not enough. I eat 1/2 cup or two servings, meaning 2 x 29 x 4 = 232 sugar calories.
So, my breakfast of regular oatmeal has 108 sugar “calories”, while my breakfast of steel cut oats has 232. That’s a BIG difference.
As a result, I’ve switched back to oatmeal. I still have some steel cut oats in my pantry and I’ll allow myself to go through them, maybe by having them once/week. And I may buy more, so I can continue to treat myself from time to time. But, I’ll be sticking to regular oatmeal 80% of the time from now on.
I’m pretty sure I’ve already lost weight since I started counting my sugar calories a couple of weeks ago. My waist definitely looks and feels more defined. In fact, within a week, I lost the “flubby” feel I had due to some extra pounds I’d gained in my stomach. It would drive me nuts at night. Grrr! And that’s gone. I hesitate, though, to weigh myself. I rarely, if ever, do and tend to get disappointed and lose momentum if I expect to see a loss and don’t. Plus I’m terribly suspicious of my scale! 😉