Unleash the Power of Fiber
For most people, reckless snacking derails their healthy diet, leaving them frustrated and overweight.
Do you eat a healthy lunch only to succumb to the vending machine an hour later? If you do, I've got good news for you: with just a few adjustments to your diet, you can effortlessly kick your snacking habit to the curb.
You see, the urge to snack happens when your blood sugar levels drop, giving your body the message that you need more fuel (enter the vending machine). This happens after eating meals that are low in fiber, low in calories, and high in sugar.
The solution? Eat meals that are filled with fiber and you'll stabilize your blood sugar levels, and feel full longer.
The Case for High Fiber
Researchers have done their homework on fiber and the results spell easy weight loss for all who listen. By consuming an extra 14 grams of fiber each day you can cut your calorie intake by a full 10 percent. People who consume more fiber (as low as 20 grams per day) weigh an average of 8 pounds lighter than people who consume low fiber (closer to 10 grams per day).
There are two main reasons that high fiber leads to weight loss:
- Fiber fills you up and stabilizes blood sugar for hours. This tames your appetite and protects you from needless snacking.
- Foods that are high in fiber aren't as calorie dense. When you fill up on high fiber foods you eat just as much, but take in fewer calories.
Breaking it Down
It's always easier to understand a concept like this when real life examples are given. So here's a review of a low fiber, high sugar diet that ‘Jane' was eating, and then we'll see the small changes she made to increase her fiber content and stabilize blood sugar:
BreakfastJane would typically eat a packet of instant oatmeal made with low-fat milk, topped with banana and brown sugar. On the way to work, she would usually grab a mocha or latte.
SnackWithout fail, by 10 a.m. Jane's stomach would growl, sending her to the vending machine. She would end up with a small bag of chips, crackers, or candy to hold her over until lunchtime.
LunchBy noon, Jane was starving again and would inhale her packed lunch consisting of a medium-sized bagel with low-fat cream cheese and deli slices, as well as a small container of yogurt.
SnackAt 3 p.m. Jane's appetite would soar. She would begin to scavenge the office for a small snack to hold her over until dinner. She usually found part of a leftover pastry or cookies, and if all else failed she would once again turn to the vending machine.
DinnerMost nights, Jane would make a dinner of chicken breast, instant rice, and a small salad. Some nights she would substitute pasta for the rice.
SnackEvery night at 10 p.m., Jane would find herself back in the kitchen in search of something sweet. Most often, she would have a bowl of low-fat ice cream or sorbet before going to bed.
Did you notice a trend in Jane's diet? While she kept her selections fairly low in fat, she hardly ate any fiber, which left her battling hunger all day. Her meals were also very high in sugar, which caused her blood sugar levels to jump up and plunge down throughout the day.
Here's the revised version of Jane's meals:
BreakfastInstead of the instant oatmeal, Jane switched to using old fashioned (intact) oats. She then topped it with broken walnut pieces and banana. Instead of drinking a high-sugar mocha or latte, she started drinking hot tea.
SnackMuch to her surprise, 10 a.m. came and went without so much as a hunger pain. Jane kept her focus and worked right through to lunch.
LunchFor lunch, Jane had a cup of lentil soup, a slice of rye bread, and a cup of steamed veggies.
Snack3 p.m. came and went, and again Jane didn't feel the need to snack. On her way home, she ate a small handful of almonds.
DinnerThis meal didn't change much for Jane. However, instead of instant rice, she made brown or wild rice (and substituted whole wheat pasta in place of white). She also added a vegetable dish to dinner, in addition to the salad.
SnackMost nights Jane skips her late night snack since she just doesn't feel hungry. On those nights that she does want a sweet treat, she enjoys sliced fruit.
That didn't look hard, did it?
As you probably noticed, Jane's daily calories dropped dramatically after adding fiber to each meal. Her percentage of calories from fat also dropped, since her snack foods were high in fat.
This means that Jane is effortlessly losing weight simply by consuming more fiber. You can follow Jane's lead by evolving your diet to include higher levels of fiber. To expedite your weight loss be sure to include a consistent and challenging exercise routine.
The information in this article is for general educational purposes only, and should not be construed or interpreted as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new heathcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article or any linked materials.