Finding a way to shed those extra pounds can seem like an impossible task. However, there are some things you can do that will help with the process. One of them is adding fiber to your diet!
On average, Americans eat less than half of their daily suggested intake of this healthy carbohydrate. Fortunately, this fiber isn’t hard to get because it is naturally found in plant-based foods.
What makes fiber so unique is that it cannot be broken down into digestible sugar molecules. As it goes in and out of bodies, it does lots of good things along the way. One of them is aiding in weight loss!
In this blog post, we will explore how does fiber help you lose weight in more detail, how much you should consume daily, and what foods are rich in fiber!
How Does Fiber Help You Lose Weight?
Adding fiber to your diet every day can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight.
Studies have shown that people who are at their ideal weight have a higher intake of dietary fiber than people who are obese.
Coincidence? I think not!
Here is the reason why:
- Fiber is filling: Fiber and fibrous foods like fruits and vegetables make you feel full, even though you may be consuming fewer calories than on your regular diet. This is because these foods tend to be lower in energy density. And now you know why sometimes you feel hungry again an hour or two after you have eaten. It’s because the food you eat probably didn’t have enough fiber in it.
- Fiber is satisfying: Most of us make specific food choices based on flavor, appearance, texture, and more. Foods high in fiber are often also colorful, flavorful and provide a potent and appealing mix of choices to any plate. When you dine on fiber-filled foods, you experience a wide array of flavors and feel satisfied.
- Fiber is bulky: Fiber takes up space, so you feel full for longer. According to the CDC, you’ll also benefit from a regular bowel schedule, eliminating bloating and ensuring your digestive track is operating well.
- Fiber is in low-calorie foods: Fiber is in fruits and vegetables that often take about as many calories to chew and digest than they contain. These foods can help boost weight loss and support your healthy eating program.
- Fiber is a replacement: By consuming more foods higher in fiber, you will tend to eat less food that is high in fat and simple carbohydrates. Therefore, you will be more likely to stay in a calorie deficit.
Does Fiber Increase Your Metabolism?
However, recent research suggests a diet rich in fiber found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can help naturally boost metabolism.
When you eat more fiber, you are more likely to consume less processed food that is high in fat, sodium, and sugar. Processed food has been shown to cause hormone imbalances that will slow down your metabolism.
When you eat more processed food, you will amp the hunger hormone called ghrelin, causing you to feel hungrier.
The opposite is true when you eat unprocessed food. You will experience an increase in hormone peptide YY, which suppresses hunger, while also seeing decreases in appetite-inducing hormones ghrelin!
The High Fiber Diet vs. The American Heart Association’s Diet For Weight Loss
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School recently studied adults with metabolic syndrome, a combination of obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.
These volunteers followed two different diets; one group followed the American Heart Association’s recommendations. The second group was allowed to eat freely as they wished, provided they ate at least 30 grams of fiber each day.
The results were surprising. Both groups lost weight, and both groups maintained the weight loss the following year.
However, while the AHA diet group lost slightly more weight, they also followed a more complicated and far more restrictive diet. On the other hand, the second group simply counted grams of fiber each day.
The conclusion was that the second group was as effective as the typically recommended and more complex AHA diet for weight loss and for improving overall health.
How Much Fiber Should You Eat A Day To Lose Weight?
According to multiple studies and the CDC, a goal of 30 grams of fiber daily is the recommended amount to enjoy its benefits. Specifically, 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. It depends on your age and gender.
You can get that fiber through the foods you eat and through supplements. Fruits, vegetables, and grains provide fiber; a food calculator or meal planner can help you track how much you are eating.
If you are fiber deficient, you need to look at what you are eating throughout the day. This may be the reason why you aren’t losing weight.
Careful not to consume too much fiber, as you could experience diarrhea, gas, and decreased absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc.
Are you getting enough fiber?
List Of High Fiber Foods For Weight Loss
- Chia seeds (10.6g / 1oz)
- Pumpkin seeds(3g / 1/2cup)
- Dark chocolate (3.1g / 1oz)…my personal favorite…shhh
- Oats (4g / 1/2cup)
- Black beans (15g / 1cup)
- Artichoke (10.3g / 1fruit)
- Avocado (9g / 1/2fruit)
- Air-popped Popcorn (1.2g / 1cup)…a fun one for you
- Raspberries (8g / 1cup)
- Figs (8g / 1/2cup)
Some foods are specifically produced to boost your fiber intake, including meal replacements and snacks such as fiber bars and drinks.
What Happens When You Eat Fiber Every Day?
When you eat fiber daily, you not only increase your chances of losing weight, you also get to enjoy the other benefits that fiber has to offer.
Some of those benefits are:
- It can help regulate your blood sugar
- It can help protect your cardiovascular health
- It can help reduce the risk of a stroke
- It can help you maintain a healthy digestive tract
- It can help lower your cancer risk, especially colon cancer
What Is The Best Fiber For Weight Loss?
There are two main types of fiber; both soluble and insoluble fiber play a role in weight loss.
1. Soluble fiber: This is fiber that dissolves in water once consumed, similar to how sugar dissolves into your coffee or tea.
Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. This gel slows down digestion and attracts water, making you feel full for longer periods of time.
It’s also helpful in lowering cholesterol and controlling blood sugar levels, issues that overweight individuals often suffer from.
You can find soluble fiber in beans, oats, chia seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
2. Insoluble fiber: This form of fiber does not dissolve in water and cannot be digested by digestive bacteria. Therefore, it quickly passes through your digestive system and helps push things through.
Insoluble promotes bowel regularity and therefore decreases constipation. You can find insoluble fiber in nuts, fruit skins, vegetables, and whole grains.
Does Prebiotic Fiber Help You Lose Weight?
Prebiotic Fiber is a type of soluble fiber. According to researchers, prebiotic fiber helps you lose weight by improving the amount of good bacteria in the gut, leading to a more efficient digestive system. Prebiotics have also been proven to help cut the risk of metabolic syndrome and obesity.
Does Psyllium Fiber Help You Lose Weight?
Psyllium is a type of soluble fiber and therefore has all its lose weight benefits, including improving satiety. It also has been linked to healthier blood sugar levels for diabetics and lower cholesterol.
Can Fiber Supplements Help You Lose Weight?
Supplements have minimal benefits for weight loss. You can’t eat junk food all the time and think that just because you take a fiber pill, you will lose weight. It doesn’t work like that!
To lose weight, you need to stay in a calorie deficit. Eat actual fiber-rich food to fill yourself up. In fact, you don’t even need fiber supplements; when you eat healthy food, you will realize that getting to 30 grams of fiber a day is not as hard as you think.
Click the link for a step-by-step guide to lose weight without any supplements!
However, if you still want to take fiber supplements, do so for its other benefits, such as constipation relief.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
1. Does Metamucil Help You Lose Weight?
Metamucil is made from psyllium fiber and can provide many of its benefits. The brand claims that one of the benefits of Metamucil is that “some of the cholesterol gets trapped in the gel [formed by the fiber] and removed with waste.”
While this is one of the most popular fiber supplement bars, I am not a fan of it. It contains artificial flavors, fake sugar (aspartame), and food coloring (yellow 6). Fake sugars can trick your brain into craving more sweets, not what you want if you are trying to lose weight!
If you want to buy fiber in powder form that has clean ingredients and which I can get behind of, try the following:
- Gobiotix Prebiotic
- Bulletproof Prebiotic
- Garden Of Life Fiber
2. Does Fiber One Help You Lose Weight?
General Mills, the makers of the Fiber One bars, claim that each bar can contain up to 9 grams of fiber. The brand does not disclose how much of that fiber is soluble versus insoluble.
I say skip Fiber One bars! They can have as much as 8 grams of sugar per bar, sugar from corn syrup! These bars also have highly processed oil such as canola oil and palm kernel oil. This is not what you want to put in your body if you can avoid it!
3. Do Benefiber Help You Lose Weight?
While most of us think of foods, not beverages when it comes to fiber, fiber drinks can contribute to your daily intake.
Drinks like Benefiber are made using prebiotic fiber, which particularly can be good for both gut health and blood sugar moderation.
And although Benefiber is not the best fiber supplement out there, it’s not the worst either. So if you are at a grocery store and come across it, I don’t object to you trying it out.
4. Do Fiber Pills Help You Lose Weight?
While experts agree getting fiber from food is best, supplements can contribute to your daily fiber count.
However, fiber tablets and capsules mainly prevent constipation and keep your bowels moving. So, again, don’t take fiber pills in hopes that they will help you lose weight.
Watch out for fiber pills that contain food coloring and nasty preservatives such as polysorbate 80.
If you are looking for fiber in capsule form that is acceptable, try Now Fiber Capsules.
5. Do Fiber Gummies Help You Lose Weight?
Depending on the brand, fiber gummies can have 2-4 grams of fiber each, which can certainly contribute to your overall fiber intake.
However, I could not find a brand on the market that I would recommend to you. Unfortunately, all fiber chewies and gummies that I could find have fake sugars and highly processed oils, such as palm oil.
6. Does Fiber Choice Help You Lose Weight?
Fiber Choice is prebiotic, soluble fiber. According to the brand’s website, their prebiotic fiber is easily digested, and will help you feel full for a longer period of time.
I would recommend that you stay away from this brand. The ingredients in Fiber Choice products are awful! They include artificial flavors and food coloring such as FD&C red no. 40 lake, FD&C blue no. 2 lake, FD&C blue no. 1 lake, FD&C yellow no. 5 lake. Yikes!
If you’re struggling to lose weight, adding more fiber to your diet may be an excellent place to start. Fiber-rich foods are filling and help you feel full for longer periods of time so that you don’t overeat.
You should aim for at least 25 grams a day to reap all the benefits and set yourself up for success on this journey!
Eat fiber-rich food such as whole grains, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. And try to stay away from fiber supplements as they are not nearly as effective when it comes to weight loss.
Are you getting enough fiber daily? What is your favorite fiber-rich food?