Want to lose weight? Fill up!

24 Jun

…on fiber!  That’s right, stuff yourself silly with lots of fiber to really reap weight loss benefits.

A recent study found that women who increased their daily fiber intake from 12 grams to 24 absorbed approximately 91 fewer calories per day than those who ate the same amount of food but less fiber.

Even if you do nothing more to your usual diet except add more fiber you could lose a whopping 4kg in a year without even trying.  I like the sound of them apples!  Get it?  Apples… good source of fiber.  HAHA!  What a knee slapper!

What is Fiber?

Fiber is the indigestible part of a plant.  It can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, beans and wholegrains.  Fiber can not be digested by the body so it quickly zips through leaving you with a lovely cleaned out gastrointestinal system.

What are the types of Fiber?

There’s two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.  You can find soluble fiber hiding away inside foods like the flesh of apples. Soluble fiber binds with liquids inside your tummy and makes you feel full.  It also slows down digestion which allows your body to absorb all the goodness from the rest of your food.

Insoluble fiber is what your granny is usually after.  Grannies love to poop regularly (who doesn’t for that matter?  We just might not talk about it as much as granny does) and I always take note of their smiling “I just pooped and it was fantastic” faces in Metamucil ads. It grows bulky in the belly as it absorbs liquid. The bulk then pushes waste out of your system.  You can find insoluble fiber in the skins and outer parts of foods.

Whilst insoluble fiber is pushing waste out of your system, it also goes to work sweeping nasty toxins out.  Eat lots of natural foods to reap the benefits of both kinds of fiber.

Women’s Health Magazine explains: “If you’re noshing on cereal with 44 grams of carbs per serving, but 10 of those carb grams come from dietary fiber, your body will absorb only the 34 grams of non-fiber carbs. The result: high-fiber fare can help you stay out of the spike-and-crash cycle some high-carb foods can create.”  So look for foods with a high fiber content.

How much fiber should we get in a day?

Well first off, as a nation we are certainly NOT getting enough.  The recommended daily intake is 25 grams however the average woman is only getting about 14.  Ditch the fiber-empty fare and replace with fiber-rich foods.  They pack more nutrients which is important if you are cutting calories.

Rather than reach for products like Metamucil (which has no nutritional benefits) it’s always best to get your fiber from natural foods.  It’s important to increase your fiber gradually as a sudden intake can leave you bloated and gassy which is an unattractive trait in anybody.  So start off slowly and drink loads of water while you’re at it.

Be careful not to overdose on fiber too!  As soon as you hit 50 grams a day the benefits starts to wear off and it can begin to affect your absorption of vitamins and minerals.

How do we get 25 grams in a day?

Here are some simple equations to get you started:

1 apple (5g) + 1 pear (5g) + 1 cup of broccoli (4.5g) + 1 cup of oats (12g) = 26.5 grams of fiber

1 banana (4g) + 1 cup of strawberries (4g) + ½ avocado (6g) + 1 cup of carrot (5g) + 2 slices of wholewheat bread (4g) = 23 grams of fiber

1 cup of bran (19g) + 1 pear (5g) = 24 grams of fiber

1 cup of red lentils (15.6g) + 1 cup of sweet potato (6g) + 1 cup of blueberries (4g) = 25.6g grams of fiber

So as you can see, it’s not too difficult to get the right amount of fiber in your diet!  For a list of foods and their fiber values check this site: http://commonsensehealth.com/Diet-and-Nutrition/List_of_High_Fiber_Foods.shtml

Start today and you’ll reap the benefits very quickly!  Happy poopin’ everyone!  😉

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6 Responses to “Want to lose weight? Fill up!”

  1. worldfromthisangle June 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    I love to add a tablespoon of flaxseed to my oatmeal, protein smoothie, salad, or pasta sauce. Flaxseed has the highest quality of dietary fiber out of any food (soluble and insoluble)…but it must be ground in order for the fiber to be digested.

  2. Amanda June 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Great tip! 😀

  3. kellyaileen June 25, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    I have recipes that call for Flax seed oil. The oil is essentially flavorless when mixed in, but definitely ups the fiber.

    • Amanda June 25, 2010 at 8:33 am #

      Excellent! Thanks for the comment!

  4. Jennifer K. July 10, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    This is seriously incredibly interesting. I eat so much food each day and sometimes wonder why my weight doesn’t fluctuate more, but I’m a pescatarian and usually eat tons of veggies and fruits which are both filled with lots of fiber. I guess the fiber is scraping all the chips and sweets I sometimes eat out of me?

    • Amanda July 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

      Haha! You may be on to a winner then! 😉

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