Eating a balanced diet that is high in fiber (21-38 g per day) has been shown to be effective in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. There are many reasons why a high fiber diet helps with weight loss; understanding the benefits of fiber and knowing how to get enough fiber in your diet will help you hit your weight loss goal in no time. Below are some tips about how fiber can help you lose that extra weight and keep it off.
High Fiber Foods Make You Feel Full
High fiber foods help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. High fiber foods provide fewer calories per volume of food which makes you feel fuller without eating as much. Fiber takes longer to empty from your stomach and slows digestion, making you feel full for a longer time period. These foods also tend to require a longer chewing time causing you to eat more slowly; this helps your body register when you feel full sooner.
Fiber Isn’t Digested or Absorbed Well
Just because you feel fuller by eating fiber doesn’t mean you’ll gain weight. Fiber isn’t absorbed or digested by your body very well; much of the fiber you eat ends up being excreted.
High Fiber Foods Are Generally Healthier
Foods that are high in fiber also tend to be high in nutrients but lower in calories. High fiber foods make you feel full without having to eat lots of extra calories. Foods that are high in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and cereals, beans, and legumes, are all recommended for healthy weight maintenance and to keep your body in good health.
How Can I Increase My Fiber Intake?
- Try to eat at least 5 serving of fruits and vegetables per day. Almost all vegetables are high in fiber. Fruits that are high in fiber include apples, bananas, strawberries, citrus fruits, prunes, pears and tangerines.
- Switch to whole grain or whole wheat bread. White bread is low in fiber.
- Switch to a high fiber cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. Some cereals that are high in fiber include Raisin Bran, Cracklin’ Oat Bran, Grape-Nuts, All-Bran and Fiber One.
- Make sure to include peas, beans and legumes in your diet. Foods that will help you add these to your meal plan include: lentil soup, bean burritos, chili with beans, split pea soup, 3-bean salsa, and refried beans.
- Switch from regular pasta to whole wheat pasta, and from white rice to brown rice.
- Choose high fiber snacks, such as popcorn or whole grain crackers, instead of candy bars or other high-fat, sugary foods.
The key to weight loss is burning more calories than you eat. Eating the recommended amount of high fiber foods can help you reach this goal. High fiber foods make you feel full, therefore you won't be tempted to consume as many extra calories throughout the day. Eating a high fiber, healthy diet and getting regular physical activity will help you lose that extra weight in no time.