Processed foods are often not helpful when trying to lose weight but there are exceptions. Find out whether rice cakes are good for weight loss or fattening.
Rice cakes contain nice amounts of fiber and protein which makes them somewhat filling. However, they also contain relatively high amounts of calories.
The result of these details is that rice cakes are typically not good for weight loss. It is relatively easy to eat them to the point of being fattening.
You typically want to stick to weight loss-friendly whole grains or other whole food categories for optimal results.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that there are also foods that are worse for weight loss than rice cakes. Replacing these with rice cakes could help you lose a bit of weight.
Additionally, if you really like rice cakes you could still implement them in reasonable amounts, potentially with weight-loss-friendly ingredients, and still see fat loss results.
Calories in rice cakes
The number of calories in rice cakes is not the only detail that influences your weight loss journey but it does give you some helpful information.
While different brands can vary, one example of rice cakes contains about 392 calories per 100 grams (1).
You will likely not eat 100 grams of rice cakes in one sitting but this quantity does make it easier to compare to alternatives.
More specifically, 392 calories per 100 grams is a relatively high amount compared to many other foods. Especially whole food categories like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Additionally, due to the high carb content, rice cakes are not keto-friendly or good for other low-carb weight loss diets.
That aside, the source of these calories in rice cakes still matters too but so far this food option does not look that good for someone who is trying to lose weight.
Fiber in rice cakes
When considering a plant-based food in your weight loss journey, you definitely want to look at its fiber content too.
Fiber is a specific category of carbohydrates that tends to be helpful for a few reasons.
Before going into these reasons, 100 grams of the example rice cakes contain around 4.2 grams of fiber (1).
This is actually a nice amount compared to many food options.
Fiber can be helpful for weight loss because it helps you feel fuller. Hunger and cravings are big hurdles when going through a weight loss journey so this aspect of rice cakes can be helpful.
Additionally, your body does not really absorb fiber similar to other calorie sources. A lot of the fiber you eat goes through your body undigested.
So the nice amount of fiber in rice cakes is welcome when trying to lose weight. Whether this is enough to compensate for the high number of calories from other sources is another question.
Protein in rice cakes
Another important nutrition detail for the weight loss foods you are considering is the amount of protein.
Similar to fiber, calories from protein tend to be very filling compared to other sources.
A more unique benefit of protein in a weight loss context is that it can help you build and preserve muscle mass. This extra muscle mass plays a big role in how much energy you burn throughout the day.
Next, processing the calories from protein tends to require more energy from your body than other sources.
In short, protein can be helpful when trying to lose weight.
Will rice cakes help you lose weight?
It is true that rice cakes contain nice amounts of fiber and protein.
These nutrients will likely fill you up to at least some extent which can help you eat smaller amounts of foods that are less helpful for weight loss.
That being said, the high amount of energy aka calories in rice cakes is likely enough to “undo” these positive effects of the fiber and protein.
More specifically, since it is so easy to overeat on rice cakes, they will likely not help you lose weight.
In fact, rice cakes tend to be relatively fattening compared to many other food options.
One thing you can say is that there are even worse food options than rice cakes when trying to lose weight.
If you replace these with rice cakes, you could actually see some weight loss results.
Are rice cakes better than bread for weight loss?
A common question is then whether rice cakes are better than bread when trying to lose weight.
Something important to keep in mind about this is that individual rice cake and bread recipes can vary a lot in terms of nutrition details.
In turn, their weight loss effects will be different too.
Bread recipes tend to contain fewer calories and their amounts of fiber and protein are often not that much lower than rice cakes.
Are brown rice cakes good for weight loss?
You may also wonder whether brown rice cakes are any different from the white ones since there is also a difference between how good white and brown rice are for weight loss.
Unfortunately, it looks like brown rice cakes are not good for weight loss either.
In the nutrition sources I looked at, the brown rice cakes only contained a few calories less and a few grams of protein more (4).
This helps to some extent but will likely not make any difference.
Which rice cake is best for weight loss?
Losing weight is not only about only eating optimal foods.
If you really like rice cakes, it can be worth eating a few of them every once in a while. Preferably the ones that are the least fattening.
I can’t make any specific statements about brands but from a general nutrition standpoint, the best rice cake for weight loss is the one with the most fiber and protein and the least calories.
Rice cake ideas for weight loss
Another thing that is worth noting is that you can combine rice cakes with other ingredients that are more helpful for weight loss.
This would make your snacks less unhelpful when trying to lose weight.
A few rice cake ingredients ideas for weight loss include:
- (Mozzarella or cottage) Cheese (in reasonable amounts)
- Slice of ham
- Piece of fruit
In simpler words, food options that tend to be helpful on their own when losing weight also tend to be relatively healthy rice cake ingredients that are good for weight loss.
As mentioned after the cheese, you do still want to control the portions of certain of the ingredients above.
Are rice cakes good for a calorie deficit?
No, rice cakes are generally not good for a calorie deficit due to their high amount of calories and only above-average effect on hunger.
Do rice cakes make you bloated?
Rice cakes can make you bloated although this will depend on details like who is eating them, what quantities they eat, and what foods they are used to eating.