The weather gets cooler and the days get shorter as we spend less time outdoors. The switch from summer to autumn makes our bodies crave high-calorie and high-fat foods, which makes weight gain a challenge to avoid. However, adding chia seeds, a "weight loss superfood," to our diet can help suppress our appetite as it nourishes the body with nutrients.

The tiny, flat, oval-shaped seeds are a popular weight loss staple due to their ability to stave off hunger and boost energy. They contain 486 calories per gram, which is 138 calories per ounce because of their omega-3 fatty acids. Meanwhile, just one ounce of chia seeds contains roughly 11 grams of fiber, which is about one-third of the recommended dietary allowance for fiber.

Previous research suggests diets high in fiber are linked to weight loss. A 2015 study in Annals of Internal Medicine found eating 30 grams of fiber each day can help with losing weight, lowering blood pressure, and improving the body's response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet. In other words, a simple step can make a difference in encouraging healthy behaviors, like maintaining  or losing weight.

The plant's extensive health properties, from its ability to control blood sugar to its protein content, may help you avoid weight gain this September, also known as the "second fattest month of the year," closely trailing December.

Suppresses Appetite

Fiber is known to absorb large amounts of water, causing the stomach to expand, which makes us feel full and slows food absorption.

Megan Casper, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Megan Casper Nutrition, explained to Medical Daily: "Chia seed are high in soluble fiber, which combines with water to make a gel, making us feel full."

Chia seeds react when they are put into some type of liquid, and the fibers will absorb their own weight up to 10 to 12 times, creating a gel-like mass, according to a 2009 study.

Casper adds fiber is digested more slowly than refined carbohydrates. This is linked to acetate, an anti-appetite molecule that tells our brain when we're full and to stop eating. Acetate is naturally released when fiber is digested in the gut, and when it's released, it is taken to the brain where it signals us that we can't have any more.

Limits Food Intake

Chia seeds contain 19 percent protein, which is similar to other seeds, but it contains more proteins compared to a majority of cereals and grains. A high-protein diet has been linked with more satiety and limited food intake. Previous research suggests increasing protein intake from 15 to 30 percent of total calories helped a group of women eat 441 fewer calories per day while losing 11 pounds in just 12 weeks.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels

Our bodies are susceptible to changing blood sugar levels that can lead to cravings for sugar and other high-fat foods like sweets. Unstable blood sugar levels can lead to weight gain and potentially diabetes. A 2007 study found 20 participants suffering from type 2 diabetes saw improvements in several important health markers when they had 37 grams of chia seeds for 12 weeks. Blood pressure went down; high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) — an inflammatory marker — went down by 40 percent; and von Willebrand factor (vWF) decreased by 20 percent.

Provides Constipation Relief

The fiber in chia seeds is comprised of insoluble and soluble fiber, which are both helpful weight loss aids. Constipation can interfere with weight loss, therefore, it's important to keep the digestive system on track. Rudy Mawer, a sports nutritionist and researcher, explains soluble fiber in chia seeds is able to absorb water, which adds bulk to our stool while also making it soft and malleable.

"This allows fecal matter to pass through your digestive tract with ease," he told Medical Daily.

Meanwhile, insoluble fiber doesn't really absorb water and remains fairly undigested. This leads to an increase in bulk, which speeds up waste exretion.

The combination of these two fibers from chia seeds makes it an ideal option for constipation relief.

Enhances Exercise

Chia seeds are ideal for pre and post-workout because of their high protein content. Dr. Alex Roher, an anesthesiologist at San Diego Botox, explained to Medical Daily their versatility: "Having chia seeds a few hours before an intense workout can help provide fat for fuel after your carbs are diminished. Eating them after a workout provides valuable tissue repairing proteins."

Roher admits he's used them during sustained activity such as hiking or cross-country skiing to maintain his energy levels.

Moreover, chia seeds contain amino acids, which allow the body to absorb the protein and potentially lead to weight loss.

Adding chia seeds to your diet this fall can help you avoid the fall weight gain and stay fit.