Dietary fiber is more than just something you find in oatmeal, whole grain foods and fruits. It is a powerful weight loss tool that when focused on can give you a significant boost towards meeting your health and weight loss goals.
Focusing on fiber also carries many other positive health benefits including:
● Blood sugar control
● Constipation relief in the form of more consistent bowel movements
● Reducing cholesterol levels
● Easing irritable bowel symptoms
● Reduced risk of diverticulitis
● Skin health
In truth, fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that passes through the intestinal tract intact. It packs a major weight loss punch when added to your diet because slower digestion makes you feel fuller, longer. You are less likely to overindulge in other foods because high fiber foods leave you feeling satisfied.
So all this sounds good right? Eat more fiber and lose weight. But could it really be that easy?
We all know that weight loss is really difficult. I personally struggled during my college years, when I gained over 40 pounds, so I know how hard it is to make changes to your lifestyle and more so to your diet.
However, it is indeed possible to make these changes to your diet. Focusing on fiber allows you to find the right foods to eat, as well as learn which foods to avoid. 95% of Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diets. Don’t find yourself falling into this statistic! Start eating more fiber today!
Easy Ways to get Fiber
Here are 5 easy ways to start getting more fiber into your diet:
1. Learn to love oatmeal. There are so many different ways to eat oatmeal, and this includes baking it, boiling it, or even just eating it out from an instant packet. Regardless of how you eat it, oatmeal is one of the best foods you can start eating.
2. An apple a day… May not keep the doctor away indefinitely, but apples have about four grams of fiber and are a quick and easy snack.
3. Switch to whole grain bread. Whole grain bread has more fiber than its white counterpart.
4. Start eating more beans. Beans are one of the highest fiber foods, and they are high in protein too.
5. Almonds will become your next best friend, unless you absolutely dislike nuts. Almonds are one of the world’s best superfoods.
How Much Fiber Do I Need?
The amount of fiber you need to eat every day will depend on you and your body. It is important to take it slow and add fiber into your diet gradually. It can be a shock to your system if your fiber intake has been consistently low, but it is a shock that is worth it in the long run!
An easy guideline to follow is to eat 14 grams for every 1,000 calories per day. This means that men will generally need more fiber than woman as their calorie requirements are usually higher.
However, different people react in different ways, so it is important to listen to your body and add fiber at your own pace. Losing weight should never be a sprint; it should always be a marathon. Slowly make positive changes and you will see results over time.
Drink Enough Water!
It is important to drink enough water regardless of fiber intake, but most people do not drink enough. Furthermore, it has been found that about 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated! This is bad news especially for those who want to start a high fiber diet, as water intake is extremely important in conjunction with fiber.
Fiber can upset a body system that is foreign to its healthy powers, and this can be worsened if you are dehydrated. Do yourself a favor and up your water intake right away. An easy tip is to shoot for an amount that is half your body weight in ounces per day.
Can I Add Fiber and Still be Gluten Free?
Yes, of course you can! Going gluten free and reaching your daily fiber goals do not have to be mutually exclusive paths. There are many foods that are high in fiber and gluten free!
Nonetheless, it will be more difficult as you will have to stay away from certain types of foods, but you can still eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even oatmeal, to be able to reach your daily fiber goals. However, it is important to read the labels on all of these foods to make sure that the final products are not contaminated by other gluten foods that are manufactured and processed in the same factory.
Make a Small Change Today
It is important to take things slowly, I cannot stress this enough. Going from 0 grams of fiber one day to hitting your daily requirement of fiber the very next day is not advised. Remember that your body works best when it has had the time to adjust to the changes you are putting it through.
For me, four years of eating pizza and drinking soda while at college took a toll on my digestive system and my weight. Losing all of that weight right away would not have been a good decision, as I probably would have gained it all right back. I chose instead to re-evaluate my decisions slowly, make small changes, and stick to those changes.
It is not enough to workout for one week, or eat better foods for one week. You will find the best results comes from changing your lifestyle one key decision at a time, and maintaining consistency.
Choose a few items from the list below, master them, and choose more as time goes on:
1. Wait five minutes after you finish your first serving before you go back for seconds. This will allow your body to catch up. If you find that you want more food after waiting then go for it, but more often than not, your body will catch up and tell you that you have had enough.
2. Try different fruits and find one that you like. There are a variety of different fruits out there so there is bound to be one that you will love. Most fruits are high in fiber, which will help you start to reach your daily fiber goals!
3. Add a healthy item to any meal. Whether you are eating a pizza or having a BBQ, there is always room for a healthy food to be added as a side.
4. Drink water right when you wake up to give your metabolism a major kickstart.
5. Take a walk. Walking will help your digestive system to handle the fiber increase by getting your blood pumping. It is also a fun and healthy hobby to get into, and it is very easy to start!
Final Thoughts on Fiber
Focusing on fiber is huge for weight loss. It worked for me, and it can work for you too! I hope that this post has convinced you to muster up your strength and start this type of diet. Once you start to focus on the right high fiber foods, you will start to see changes. Weight loss, happiness, and a more positive outlook on life will be yours for the taking!
I wish you the best of luck, and thanks for reading.
-Jordan Ring, your Fiber Guardian
Jordan Ring is new to the wide world of blogging. He enjoys making weird faces, eating apples, and playing ultimate frisbee with his wife. He is obsessed with the high fiber diet and is currently in the best shape of his life and enjoying every minute of it. For more awesomeness, on fitness, motivation, goal-setting and other various topics, head on over to his website at Fiber Guardian.
*Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Zensorium.
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