Almost every aspect of your life has something to do with weight management. Food choices, activity, where you park when shopping, are you lifting children, what type of exercise you do, how much time you spend sitting in a day, metabolism, and so on. The list is endless. Fiber is not the magic bullet but it certainly can be a powerful force in successful weight loss as well as in good health.
Imagine a food source that psyches out your brain, a food that makes you
feel fuller than you would feel by eating other types of food, a food that
tricks the mind because it is so hard to break down. Imagine a food that takes longer to chew than any other food source so it gives your brain time to get the message that you are full before you get into the old habit of
Studies show that we eat the same volume of food no matter what types of foods we choose. So if you eat a lot of fat and simple sugars and you switch some of that food to fiber, you add a powerful unseen force into your weight loss plan. It is a force that is going to carry you to success with greater ease because adding fibrous foods to your diet prompts you to eat less of other types of foods that do not help you lose weight. This happens because of the increased fiber. You eat less as the brain is tricked into thinking you are full and you will burn more calories as you work to break down the added fiber.
Consider having an apple for a snack or a glass of apple juice fifteen minutes before lunch. How would each affect your appetite? A study from the 2009 journal, Appetite, found that people who ate an apple before lunch ate 15% less calories for lunch than those who drank juice, suggesting that the
fiber in the apple is more filling than the fiber added to the juice (Magee, Elaine, 2005).
Psychologically, the process of eating, chewing and swallowing an apple is rewarding, especially the feeling of fullness that follows. This is part of the reason why so many people are enjoying raw food. It tames the hunger pangs.
For successful weight loss, Tufts University shows that people who eat 35-45 grams of fiber a day are less hungry and are losing more weight. The problem is that most people are not even getting half this amount. They cut back for their diet plan decreasing their fiber to less than their normal intake.
An excerpt from the abstract of this study reports that Interventions that both lower dietary fat and increase fiber appear to be the most effective of carefully tested interventions to date, with weight loss of 3.4 kg on average in studies greater than six months (Roberts etal, 2002).
Fibers from whole foods, like fruits, nuts, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, are the best type of fiber for weight loss because on top of their abilities to trick our brains they are also very low in calories.
A word of caution when adding fiber to your diet, do it gradually and drink plenty of water to aid in the digestive process. If you add too much too fast, gas and bloating will remind you to progress a little
Fiber may not be the magic bullet but it can sure take you a long way toward losing weight in a more natural comfortable way.
As a Wellness Coach I like to start people on weight management programs by having them give up two bad habits and picking up two good habits. Eating more fiber and drinking more water sound like two really great habits to pick up. Don't forget your free Wellness Consult.
Magee, Elaine, 2005, http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/why-you-need-more-fiber, 5, October, 2011.
Roberts, etal, 2002, April, http://www.jacn.org/content/21/2/140S, 5, October, 2011.
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