The moment you’re born all that you do is feed, poop, sleep, repeat! And the cycle goes on with additions of work and stress when you grow up. Sometimes the balance between the natural cycles is lost, and food takes over your health in such a way that you become a part of the obesity and excess weight club that the majority of people belong to! Yes! At least 2.8 million adults suffer from excessive weight and obesity. More than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older are in excess weight.
Did you know that a generous serving of fiber in the diet can go to a great extent in resolving the issues with weight gain and obesity? Read on to find out more about how to use fiber for weight loss.
A Quick Brief about the Incredible Fiber
Fiber is a plant-based or vegetarian nutrient that is also known as bulk or roughage. It is a kind of carbohydrate that does not disintegrate into glucose molecules upon digestion. Fiber is a profoundly essential part of the diet. It is excellent for the regulation of absorption and metabolism and useful for a healthy bowel movement. It is also good for the cure of high blood sugar, high cholesterol, constipation, and more.
Foods that are rich in fiber are incredibly beneficial for weight loss. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men (under fifty years of age) should take about 38g of fiber and women (under fifty years of age) should take 25g in the daily diet. For men and women over the age of fifty years, the amount of fiber should be 30g and 21 g respectively for the preservation of the health of the digestive system and the control of body weight.
What are the types of fiber in food?
The two types of dietary fiber include-
- Soluble fiber
Soluble fiber is soluble in water and becomes gelatinous with the absorption of water
- Insoluble fiber
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and gets fermented by bacteria in the colon.
Top 8 reasons that will compel you to include foods with fiber in your diet
- Fight against weight gain
- Cure hemorrhoids
- Risk of High Blood Sugar
- Stay full for a Longer Time
- High-fiber foods are low in calories
- Cardiovascular Problems
- Add More Texture to the Meals
- Heal cancer with fiber
1. Fight against weight gain with high-fiber foods
- Eating foods that are rich in fiber helps in curbing the appetite and preventing the absorption of calories from the digested food by adhering to the sugar and fat molecules.
- The prevention of gain in calories along with regulation of bowel movement helps in shedding the excess body weight.
2. Cure hemorrhoids with fibrous food
- Eating fibrous foods helps in the natural treatment of hemorrhoids.
- Soluble fiber aids in the alleviation of internal inflammation that helps to cure hemorrhoids in the anal region.
- It also helps to avert inflammation induced weight gain and eventually aids in the weight loss process.
3. Combat against the risk of high blood sugar
- The regular consumption of fiber helps in lowering the levels of excessive glucose in the bloodstream.
- It also helps to maintain consistency in the concentration of blood glucose by the prevention of sudden spikes and fluctuations and to keep it at an average level.
- An average blood sugar level keeps your appetite in control and works for maintaining an ideal weight.
4. Stay full for a longer time with high-fiber foods
- Fibrous foods take a longer time to disintegrate upon digestion as compared to other types of foods.
- The intake of fibrous foods helps in slowing down the process of digestion which helps in feeling full for a more extended period and prevent overeating and consequent weight gain.
5. High-fiber foods are low in calories
- Here’s a good piece of news.
- The high-fiber foods are low in calories so you can eat them to your heart’s content without feeling afraid of gaining more weight.
- Fiber foods aid in weight loss in two ways. Firstly by preventing the gastrointestinal system from absorbing calories from the food and secondly by burning calories during the process of digestion of fiber.
6. Ward off the risks of cardiovascular problems
- Medical research shows that the consumption of fibrous foods can effectively decrease the dangers of cardiac strokes by about 9 percent.
- The dietary fiber helps in the elimination of excessive cholesterol and triglycerides from the blood and prevent the onset of cardiac diseases like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
- This eventually leads to less cholesterol accumulation hence keep the weight under control.
7. Fiber helps to add more texture to the meals
- Fibrous foods are known for their crunchy texture which gets preferred over smooth and viscous texture.
- Experts recommend eating the fruit than drinking the fruit juice not only because the fruit is crunchy and delicious but also because it is rich in fiber that adds roughage to the diet. It eventually helps to increase body metabolism and assists in losing weight.
8. Heal cancer with fiber
- The Annals of Oncology report reveals that eating high-fiber foods can contribute to the natural healing of breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
- Such foods are anti-carcinogenic due to the high level of phytochemical compounds and antioxidants.
5 DIYs with Fiber for Weight Loss
Flaxseed is rich in fiber. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 2.80g of fiber. Drinking a smoothie of flaxseed, milk, and apple is one of the most effective ways of using fiber for weight loss.
➢ Flaxseeds and apple smoothie
How to use?
- For the preparation of this smoothie, you need half a slice of apple, a cup of milk, a couple of dates, and a tablespoon of flaxseed powder.
- Peel the apple slice and discard the seeds.
- Chop the apple roughly into pieces.
- Chop the dates as well.
- Keep the chopped pieces of fruits aside in a bowl.
- Transfer the chopped pieces of fruits to a blender and pour in the milk.
- Blend the contents until the mixture becomes smooth and frothy. Pour out the smoothie into a tall glass.
- Add the flaxseed powder to the smoothie and stir until the powder dissolves.
- Drink the smoothie every morning on an empty stomach to shed the excess body weight.
Benefits of using flaxseed
- Flaxseed is rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers. It contains mucilage (soluble fiber), cellulose(insoluble fiber), and lignin. The bacteria in the digestive tract work upon the fibers to release short-chain fatty acids. The short-chain fatty acids enhance the rate of metabolism and help with weight loss.
- Flaxseed contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which get transformed into prostaglandin upon digestion. It is a compound that is useful for the regulation of metabolism.
Indulge your sweet tooth without putting on even an ounce of weight with ripe and juicy blackberries. A cup of blackberries contains 7.60g of fiber.
➢ Blackberry and banana smoothie with yogurt
How to use?
- For the preparation of the blackberry smoothie, you need four frozen blackberries, a small banana, half a cup of coconut milk, half a cup of yogurt, a few drops of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of honey.
- Peel the banana and slice it into pieces. Chop the slices roughly into smaller pieces and keep them aside.
- Transfer the chopped pieces of the banana along with the frozen blackberries to an electric blender.
- Add the coconut milk, honey, lemon juice, and yogurt to the blender and process until smooth.
- Transfer the smoothie into a tall glass.
- You may garnish the smoothie with chopped almonds which too is rich in soluble fiber.
- Drink the smoothie during breakfast every day for a healthy bowel movement and weight loss.
Benefits of using blackberries
- Blackberry is rich in fiber. Snack on fresh and ripe blackberries during the afternoon to gain from its fibrous nature.
- Blackberry is rich in vitamin C which is a potent antioxidant that works to fight against weight gain caused by oxidative stress.
- Drinking blackberry smoothie is also good for the cure of high cholesterol and obesity.
3. Acorn squash
Acorn squash makes for a delicious dish that is rich in fiber. A cup of baked acorn squash contains 7.60g of dietary fiber.
How to use?
- You need one acorn squash, a tablespoon of butter, two tablespoons of brown sugar, two teaspoons of honey, and a pinch of salt.
- Peel the squash and pop it in the pre-heated microwave (400 degrees) the microwave oven to soften its texture. Slice the softened squash into the half.
- Scoop out the stringy bits and squash seeds with a spoon. Make half-inch cuts inside the squash.
- Grease the insides of the squash slices with butter and a pinch of salt. Fill the center with brown sugar and honey.
- Place the squash slices inside the microwave oven with the cut side facing upwards. Pour some water in the baking pan to make sure that the squash does not burn inside the oven.
- Bake the squash at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour or so until the squash slices turn golden brown. Do not overcook.
- Remove the baked acorn squash from the oven and serve. Have it for lunch or breakfast for its delectable taste and rich fibrous content.
Benefits of using acorn squash
- Acorn squash is rich in vitamin C which is a potent antioxidant.
- Eating baked acorn squash enhances the rate of metabolism in the body which helps in getting rid of excess body weight.
4. Asparagus lemon punch
With the goodness of asparagus and a tinge of vitamin C, this side snack is abundant with 4 grams of fiber in each serving.
How to use?
- Trim the hard ends of two bunches of asparagus and put it on a rimmed baking sheet
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, oregano, lemon slices, salt and pepper and toss it all
- Place it in the preheated oven (450 degrees F) and cook for 13-15 minutes
- Shake it in the middle for it to bake evenly
Benefits of asparagus and lemon
- This fantastic combination not only gives you a punch of fiber but also the vitamin C of lemons helps you to shed those extra pounds quick.
- Asparagus is friendly for your gut and helps in the digestive process by easing the bowel movements and trapping in water so that you don’t suffer from constipation
5. Avocado, raspberries and mango salad
This delicious salad will surely uplift your mood when you open your lunch box in your office. It has a generous serving of 7 grams of fiber.
How to use?
- One mango (sliced), one avocado cut in small cubes, ½ cup red onions (sliced), one clove of garlic (roughly chopped), 1 cup salad greens (of your choice) in a bowl
- Puree 1 cup of raspberries, ¼ cup of olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, ½ cup vinegar/ red wine in a blender and add it to the salad mix
- Divide it into five plates and sprinkle rest of the raspberries and hazelnuts and enjoy.
- Each of the ingredients in this salad is a powerhouse of fiber that gives your gut a needful punch of fiber along with antioxidants, protein and a dose of anti-inflammatory properties to make you feel light and full at the same time.
- Enjoy it fresh or store it as per your requirements and get a dose of fiber every day.
A few words of caution
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and make sure that your digestive system is not reactive to it.
- Do not consume flaxseed in excess as that might trigger diarrhea like conditions.
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day nor does body fats go away in a day or a week. But ditch the toxic foods like alcohol, trans fats, processed junk, and oily trash, and you will be amazed at the results. Include high fiber foods as now you are well aware of how fiber for weight loss can be a good option. Monitor the weight loss pattern and take note of your weight after measuring it once every month to keep track of progress. Practice freehand exercise and stick to a healthy diet to stay fit and healthy.