A high fiber diet can be effective for losing weight. Fiber doesn’t add any extra calories to your diet, yet it is bulky enough to help you feel full for a longer period of time. Fiber-laden foods also take a longer time to chew and swallow, which translates into feeling satisfied sooner, even though you’ve eaten less.
There are two types of fiber, and you need both in your diet. There’s the soluble type that dissolves in water, and insoluble fiber that does not dissolve in water. Both are important to not only losing weight, but also maintaining your overall health and even preventing cancer and other health conditions.
Eat Water-Soluble Fiber
Increase your intake of water-soluble fiber, which is found in many fruits, including apples and citrus fruits. You can also get it by consuming oats, carrots and barley. Beans and nuts are good sources of this type of fiber as well. Water-soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the body and very slowly leaves your stomach. This means your stomach feels full for a longer period of time, freeing you from the temptation to snack on fries and donuts. As an added benefit, soluble fiber helps you to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, which may lower your risk of developing diabetes.
Add more insoluble fiber to your meal and snack times. This type of fiber is found in whole wheat, wheat bran and a wide variety of vegetables, particularly those that are dark green. It’s also found in the skin of fruit as well as in nuts. Insoluble-fiber-rich foods help to fill out your diet, reducing cravings that cause you to snack between meals. Also, these foods tend to have fewer calories than other choices, allowing you to consume more food yet continue to lose weight.
How Much Should You Eat?
With a high-fiber diet, there’s no need to deny yourself a full range of foods. Instead, you can strive for meals than include lean meats, fish, carbohydrates and low-fat dairy products. Instead of eliminating major food groups like in other diets, you simply increase your daily intake of fiber. Eating more fiber and feeling less hungry should make it easy to choose reasonable portions of other foods.
Aim for between 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily. About 65 percent of your fiber intake should be insoluble fiber. The other 35 percent should be water soluble for the best weight loss effect. These numbers are not exact, and you can change them a bit for practicality. Just be sure to make the bulk of your fiber intake insoluble fiber and the rest soluble.
Keep up With Your Fluids
Drink plenty of fluids while you’re on a high-fiber diet. This is important for avoiding dry, hard-to-pass stools. Water also helps to facilitate weight loss by filling the stomach and helping to keep your appetite at bay. Additionally, if you’re drinking plenty of water, you have less room for soda and other calorie-laden beverages.