Eggs vs. Oatmeal for Weight Loss

Eggs and oatmeal each provide beneficial nutrients important for successful weight loss. Fortunately, you don't have to pick and choose -- you can include both of these breakfast foods in your weight-loss menu if you control your portion sizes. Your overall calorie intake and calorie expenditure are what determine how successfully you will shed pounds.

Protein vs. Carbs

Eggs are rich in protein but contain almost no carbs, and while oatmeal does provide some protein, it’s a carb-rich food. Your body needs both carbs and protein on a daily basis, even during weight loss. However, protein boosts satiety more than carbs, according to a 2008 review in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Therefore, choosing protein over carbs is beneficial when trying to cut calorie for weight loss, giving protein-rich eggs an advantage over oatmeal.

Calories

If you're having a difficult time reducing your calorie intake for weight loss, eggs again have an advantage over oatmeal. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one packet of regular instant oatmeal contains 150 calories and one large egg provides about 72 calories. The USDA also notes that three large egg whites contain just 50 calories. Although MedlinePlus recommends limiting your egg intake to four per week, there's no limitation for egg whites because they are free of dietary cholesterol.

Considerations

You don’t have to choose between eggs -- especially egg whites -- and oatmeal when planning your weight-loss breakfast menu. In fact, plain oatmeal with egg whites makes an excellent low-calorie, healthy breakfast during weight loss. Adding oatmeal to your egg-white breakfast will help keep your energy levels high throughout the morning. The Institute of Medicine suggests consuming at least 130 grams of carbs daily -- especially high-fiber carbs, such as oatmeal.

Concerns

Since added sugar contains calories but few beneficial nutrients and has addictive properties, limiting added sugar is one key to successful weight loss. While plain oatmeal contains little if any added sugar, flavored oatmeal often does contain extra sugar -- and calories -- that can hinder weight-loss success. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, while one packet of regular instant oatmeal contains less than 1 gram of sugar, one packet of apple-cinnamon-flavored oatmeal provides more than 14 grams. Therefore, choose regular, plain oatmeal over flavored, sugary oatmeal when possible.