We’ve all heard of fiber’s ability to help us lose weight, but do you know how it actually works? Fiber feeds our good gut bacteria and helps us stay fuller longer. This means that we’re less likely to reach for sugary snacks or calorie-dense meals, which are often packed with fat and sugar and make us feel sluggish or tired after eating them. Here’s everything you need to know about fiber and its weight loss benefits, including the best ways to incorporate it into your diet, so that you can get the most out of this proven strategy.
What does dietary fiber do
Dietary fiber helps you feel full by making you more satiated and giving your stomach a feeling of satisfaction. And don’t forget about the benefits it has for weight loss. One study found that those who took in 40 grams of dietary fiber per day had less fat stored in their bodies after six months. So how much dietary fiber do you need? Aim for 25 to 30 grams each day from a variety of sources, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts.
Fiber helps maintain body functions
Dietary fiber helps your body maintain healthy functioning and digestion by adding bulk to food and slowing its passage through the digestive tract. The more fiber-rich foods you eat, the more weight you’ll lose because your body can’t digest all of the food at once and it will start burning calories rather than storing them as fat.
Whole grains are good sources of fiber
One of the reasons that whole grains are so good for your weight is because they contain a lot of fiber. Foods that are high in fiber help to make you feel full for longer, so it’s easier to manage your appetite. Fibre also helps you digest food more slowly, which means that energy from the food is distributed over a longer period and helps you burn off calories rather than store them as fat.
Common sources of fiber in your diet
Getting enough fiber in your diet can be an uphill battle if you’re not eating the right foods. The good news is that it’s just as easy to get this essential nutrient when you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try these sources of fiber to start
Eating more fiber can make you feel fuller longer
You can eat less, feel fuller longer, and cut calories by filling up on food that’s not just high in fiber but also nutrient dense. Fibers found in foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables also help lower the risk of cancer and keep your digestive system humming along healthily. Some studies have even found that adding a daily fiber supplement to your diet can help you lose more weight than other approaches to weight loss.
A high-fiber diet can help you lose weight
If you’re looking to jump-start your weight loss goals, a high-fiber diet can be an effective way to increase feelings of fullness, which will keep you from overindulging in less healthy food choices. Certain foods that are rich in fiber are also low in calories, so they provide more bang for your buck.
Are you getting enough fiber?
Get your fiber from a variety of sources to increase the diversity of the bacteria in your gut, which will keep your immune system healthy and help you lose weight. Get two servings each day, both at breakfast and lunch, with a total of 14 grams of fiber. Mix it up with whole grains (such as oatmeal), vegetables (spinach) and fruits (raspberries).
Tips for increasing your fiber intake
- Eat a wide variety of foods, choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, and healthful sources of protein.
- Eat more high-fiber cereals like oatmeal or barley cereal. Add dried fruit to sweeten the taste or add wheat germ or ground flaxseed to increase the fiber content even more. Add sliced apples for added sweetness without extra calories.
- Choose whole grain breads over white breads or refined pastas over complex carbohydrates like brown rice.