I'm new to any sort of forum, so pardon if I make some horrendous mistake. Hahaha! I was wondering about eating a lot of oats and what it would do as far as weight gain is concerned. I live in a household where there's a lot of junk and very little protein available sometimes so I automatically reach for oats when I'm hungry. Is this the wrong thing to do? Will I eventually end up gaining muscle mass that I don't want? I run every day and workout on an elliptical for thirty minutes seven days a week but I'm worried that the constant consumption of oatmeal is going to cause me to have a lot of muscle mass in my legs. I don't want that. I eat oatmeal once or twice a day sometimes and sometimes it's right before bed when I'm craving sweets. What will this end up doing in the long run?
Plain oatmeal is fine (preflavored kinds with lots of sugar are not so good).
Why would you not want to gain muscle?
Most people do not gain muscle size that much, compared to muscle strength if they do strength / resistance exercises (cardio or endurance exercises do build some muscle strength compared to nothing, but not as much as strength / resistance exercises). What causes people who exercise to "look more muscular" is often the loss of body fat, so that their muscles become more visible.
Yeah. I eat the kind out of the big barrel with some honey and blueberry or strawberries. As far as gaining size is concerned, my legs and hip area are already somewhat big because of...well, heredity so I just don't want all that much more mass there. Anyway, a lot of the time, with the exception of protein, that and the fruit that I put into it becomes the majority of my bigger meals because of the total lack of healthy food around here. I just wanted to make sure that I'm not doing anything unhealthy or anything that's going to make me look like a female bodybuilder. not that there's anything wrong with that...for others.
Muscle growth or lack thereof is mainly exercise driven, although the muscle does need sufficient nutrition to grow. But body builders have to work very hard to get huge -- people doing general fitness exercise do not accidentally get huge.
You described only running and elliptical as your exercise. Although cardio exercise tends to have only a small effect at causing muscles to get larger (although they can get much more efficient doing the exercise), you may want to do a more balanced whole body workout since the small muscle growth effect you are currently getting is concentrated in the parts that you say are already large. For example, for cardio, consider rowing and swimming (which are whole body exercises instead of lower body exercises), and do strength exercises in the upper body like pushups, dips, pullups, and (weighted) rows as well as lower body exercises like squats. To the extent that your upper body muscle can grow (again, most people do not grow huge like body builders), it may help "balance out" your large lower body in appearance.
If you are concerned about fat gain, remember that your genetics determines what order fat is gained or lost on your body -- "spot reduction" is not practically effective. As fat is less dense than muscle and tends to increase and decrease in size more readily (in response to calorie intake), changes in body fat are likely to have a greater effect on your body size than changes in muscle.
Oatmeal is a good source of complex carbohydrate along with brown rice and is definitely better than simple carbs since your body has to use more energy to break down the complex carbs. It is a good idea to eat a complete breakfast including oatmeal to fuel you through a day especially if you workout. However, if you are looking to lose weight, it's better to taper off the carbs later in the day and eat protein foods (plain yogurt with fruit, cheese, meats, lowfat cottage cheese,etc.), vegetables, and fruits. Oatmeal is fine for you to eat but you might want to minimize eating it late at night.
If I do any upper body exercises I'm not going to have anything left up there. Hahaha! You know? The elliptical I use Has the arm bars that move and halfway through my workout I begin to switch off between my arms and my legs...if that makes any sense. Anyway. I DO swim in the summertime and I'm happy with the shape that I have I just don't want to lose it by eating too many carbs. I know I shouldn't eat it before bed. Hahaha! Sometimes it's the only good option. I was just wondering what the full effect of eating it would be. Thank y'all SO MUCH for your time! And your help. And the list of good foods to eat prior to bed! xD