Chia pudding has become quite popular as a fast, delicious and simple breakfast to help achieve weight loss and wellness goals. However, what you add in your chia pudding will determine whether or not it will be useful to your weight loss goals or whether it will work against your weight loss goals. Today we're diving into how to make chia pudding for weight loss and three common chia pudding mistakes that are causing you to gain weight.
Is Chia Pudding Good For Weight Loss?
Chia pudding, when done the right way, can be an excellent tool to achieve a weight loss goal. Chia seeds naturally contain a significant amount of fiber and fat to help keep you satisfied and prevent sugar cravings later in the day. In fact, just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contains around 7 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat.
When chia seeds are combined with high quality sources of protein and fat (like in a properly made chia pudding recipe), this can stimulate your satiety hormones peptide YY and cholecystokinin in order to make you feel full and prevent those 3pm chocolate cravings.
How To Make Chia Pudding For Weight Loss
There are a variety of ways to make chia pudding. If weight loss is your goal, it's important to keep the sugar content low while maximizing the protein and fat in your chia pudding. You can try my super simple chia pudding recipe for weight loss with the recipe and video below.
Chia Pudding For Weight Loss
2-3 tbsp. chia seeds (THIS is the brand I use)
1 cup unsweetened full-fat greek yogurt OR 1 cup low-sugar plant-based yogurt + 1 serving protein powder
1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (From a carton, not a can. Or make your own homemade version with my free recipe HERE.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Low sugar berries (ex: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
Combine all of the ingredients (except for the toppings) in a bowl and whisk to combine. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the chia pudding has set.
Optional to add cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut flakes or low sugar berries as a topping.
3 Chia Pudding Mistakes That Cause Weight Gain
Now that you have a great chia pudding base down, make sure that you avoid these three very common chia pudding mistakes that can hold you back from achieving your weight loss goals.
#1 Adding Sweeteners
Sweeteners such as honey, agave or maple syrup are often added to many chia pudding recipes or store bought chia pudding. This can be a problem for achieving a weight loss goal because sugar causes insulin (our storing hormone) to spike. When insulin is high, the fat burning process called lipolysis is turned off. In fact, when insulin is high, it triggers fat storage instead. So by adding added sugars/sweeteners to chia pudding, it can cause insulin to spike and work against your weight loss goals.
#2 Only Using Nut Milk In The Base
Nut milks, such as almond milk and coconut milk, are great zero sugar liquids to use as the base of your chia pudding. However, if you aren't adding anything else, this is a huge missed opportunity to get in the protein and fat the body needs to stay satiated. Protein and fat signal the satiety hormones peptide YY and cholecystokinin (CCK). If these aren't triggered, it can lead to increased hunger and sugar cravings later in the day. Instead, you can add protein and high quality fat sources to the base of your chia pudding by using protein powder, unsweetened greek yogurt and and coconut cream (checkout the recipe above for an easy example).
#3 Topping Chia Pudding With Granola
Granola is packed with sugar. In fact, just 1/3 cup of granola contains around 10 grams of sugar and 8 grams of starch - both of which can spike insulin. Instead of using granola, you can opt for crunchy, low sugar toppings that don't greatly spike insulin such as unsweetened coconut flakes, cacao nibs, raspberries, strawberries and peanut butter.