2 Weeks on the Chia Seed Diet

Don’t you just love the library?  I love it more now that I know there’s a 75-book limit!  Plus, just like a book store, it’s arranged by topic, so I just browsed the diet books and cookbooks again.  And once again, I stumbled upon some interesting finds, one of which was The Chia Seed Diet book.

I had kind of slacked off on my chia use, so I had lots of chia laying around the house that I had just recently started trying to use up, and when I browsed the book, I saw lots of recipes using chia and no sugar.  Perfect.

The Premise

So this book, of course, touts chia as a superfood, full of protein, fiber, and Omega-3s, but I’d say the main idea is that if you add chia to your foods throughout the day, you’ll fill up faster and for longer.  Since chia absorbs water and turns to gel in your stomach, (1) you have to drink more water, which will fill you up, and (2) the gel sits in your stomach for awhile, which makes you feel fuller longer.

How I Followed the Diet

The first few days I was determined to add chia to everything that I could mix it into or get it to stick to.  However, it didn’t really affect my appetite, so by the second week, I had settled in to adding chia to pretty much the same staples: cereal, yogurt, salads, smoothies, peanut butter, whipped cream, sauces, and bananas.  I was getting anywhere between 1 teaspoon to 2 Tablespoons each day.

What I Learned from Doing the Diet

Pros

  • Again, a diet without a lot of commitment, especially since I already had a lot of chia on hand.  I didn’t need to purge my kitchen or stock up on a bunch of new food items.  I was also somewhat familiar with chia, so I didn’t have any real qualms about trying to add it to foods in new ways.
  • It flexed my creativity trying to figure out how to work chia into my meals.  I put chia in my cereal, yogurt, salads, and smoothies, which is all pretty typical.  But for a packed lunch for work that consists of a sandwich (with no sticky condiments) and carrots (no dip)?  There was nothing for the chia to hold on to, so I took a banana, too.  I took a bite and then dipped the end in chia seeds.  It worked!  I also added chia to the top of my peanut butter and apples, and between the sauce and cheese of my pita pizzas.  I often stirred it into whipped cream, ketchup, and bbq sauce, too.
  • I increased my Omega-3 intake without having to resort to eating salmon.  I’m not a big fan of it, and it’s expensive.  This was much more palatable for me. Plus, I can add chia to my food without forcing it on everyone else.  If I buy salmon, everyone is eating it.
  • Fiber….and regularity.  Actually, I wasn’t irregular before, but this definitely increased my productivity in this area.

Cons

  • Those little suckers end up stuck in my teeth (and my permanent retainer).  Every.  Single.  Time.   I decided that carrying some gum with me when I was going to consume chia outside the home was a must.
  • I have to add a little more chia to the dish than what I actually want because many of the seeds stick to the side of the bowl or dish and are hard to get to.
  • It was easy for me to get distracted and forget to add the chia until right at the end of the meal, meaning I didn’t get as much as I had originally intended.  I even took a little baggie of chia with me to Chipotle, ordered a burrito in a bowl so that I could sprinkle it on, and then after getting the kids settled and eating, completely forgot to add any chia at all.  This is one of the reasons that I just stopped trying to add it to everything.
  • I never felt the extra fullness described in the book.  In other words, chia was not making me eat less, and as a result, I didn’t lose weight.

Conclusion

Overall, I think adding chia as much as possible to my day is not a bad thing.  For me, it didn’t aid weight loss, but I never thought it would.  After a few days of starting this “diet,” I started using MyFitnessPal to get an idea of calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients consumed, and generally speaking, I can tell exactly why I’m not loosing weight:  too many calories.  I’m not gaining either, though, just maintaining, which is something at least.   However, it felt good to see that I was almost always getting 40+ grams of fiber, and part of this was due to the chia.  I like it in my cereal.  I like it on a banana, and it’s fine in salads and smoothies.  In the end, the diet made me aware of the many ways to cram chia into my daily diet, so it was well worth giving it a try.

  The Chia Seed Diet

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