Eat Fiber Rich Foods to Lose Weight
Eating fiber rich foods is a great way to shed extra pounds because by itself, fiber contains no calories! In fact, the more you eat, the easier it is to fill up and be satisfied with the foods you prepare. It really goes a long way to satisfying hunger pangs and sets you up for weight loss success! Easy, right?
Most people don’t even think about using fiber to lose weight but they should. It's an efficient and easy way to rid your body of extra weight that makes you feel uncomfortable. Including more fiber rich foods in your diet makes you feel full much faster and satisfies your appetite longer than most other foods. Your stomach stays full longer because fiber helps attract water. Eating an orange, for example, is much more filling than 1/2 cup of orange juice, that contains about the same number of calories.
Another perk is that fiber rich foods require more chewing than other foods. You simply can’t eat them quickly. Consider for instance, how long it takes to eat an apple or a stalk of celery. Chew, chew, chew! By chewing your foods more thoroughly, you add more amounts of salivary enzymes that are necessary for good digestion, since digestion begins in your mouth. Saliva contains an enzyme called amylase, which begins the breaking down of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Your teeth chew food into small pieces. The smaller the food pieces are, the better able gastric juices (acids and enzymes) can break down and process the foods you eat.
Most of the boxed foods found on grocery shelves are totally unhealthy for you and make you gain weight like crazy. Typically they contain a variety of chemicals and other non-essential additives. These ingredients prevent you from using the bathroom regularly. On the other hand, legumes, whole grains, and even fiber supplements, add more fiber to your diet, which helps you shed the excesses. If you're packing on the pounds, it only makes sense to include more fiber in conjunction with other weight loss aids.
Examples of Fiber Rich Foods
Here are some examples to give you an idea of how much fiber is contained in various types of foods.
1/2 cup whole grain pasta = 2 - 4 grams
1/2 cup of cooked white rice or regular pasta = less than 1 gram
1/2 cup of cooked brown rice = 2 grams
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries = 7 grams
1/2 cup of beans or legumes = 6 grams
1/2 cup of cooked vegetables = 2 - 4 grams
1/2 cup of chopped fruit or 1 small piece of fruit = 3 grams
1 slice of whole wheat bread = 2 - 4 grams
1 slice of white bread = 0.5-1 grams
1/2 cup of whole grain cereal = 5 grams
Signs of insufficient fiber in a diet are:
Of course, on the other hand, you don’t want to overdo it!
Signs of too much fiber are:
Abdominal pain and cramping
Frequent and large stools
A while back, Lewis Black did a stand up comedy routine about eating healthy foods. Consuming more fiber is one of the points he cracked on! True, the FDA has recognized it’s importance in a healthy diet so manufacturers are capitalizing on it by pushing fiber down our throats.
When you add more fiber to your healthy diet, gradually build up the amount and vary your daily fiber intake.
Fiber Rich Foods to Lose Weight
Applesauce - Making your own applesauce at home is so quick, easy, and low cost. Be sure to include the skins of the apples to get more fiber. Go easy on the sugar you add though. In fact, you don't really need sugar for most types of apples because they're naturally sweet all by themselves. Here's a good recipe but don't peel the skin's or add the extra sugar unless you use Granny Smith apples.
Barley - Barley is a fiber rich food, high in soluble fiber. Make barley a permanent addition to your diet. It can relieve constipation which keep you regular, and it has cholesterol-lowering properties. You can purchase barley flour, flakes, and grits or add it to soups or stews.
Cooked pearled barley added to a salad provides extra fiber. Main dishes, soups and stews, baked goods and breakfast foods also include barley as an ingredient. Breakfast recipes incorporating barley include frittatas, pancakes, and hash.
Beans - Dried beans are excellent fiber rich foods to include in your diet regularly. Many people don't like them because they may cause gas. The trick to get around this is to add beans to your diet gradually to minimize gas.
Whole Grains - Eat at least 6 ounces of whole grains every day. Choose whole wheat breads, whole grain snacks, and whole grain cereals. Check the labels on cereal boxes; anything with more than five or six grams of fiber per serving qualifies as fiber rich foods. If you don't like high-fiber cereals, try mixing them in with your usual cereal and increase their use over time.
Oatmeal - Fiber rich foods also include oatmeal. Since you can buy instant oatmeal, there's no excuse not to include it more often! Add your own fruits on top to give them more pizazz!
Grits - Grits are white hominy and made from corn. Grits are cholesterol free, low in fat and give you 7 percent of your daily fiber.
Cornmeal - Corn bread and corn sticks are fiber rich foods you should consume more often. Corn meal is an excellent source of iron, zinc, B vitamins and magnesium. Cornmeal flour can be used to make bread or muffins. A coarser grind is also used to make polenta, a popular Italian dish.
Fresh Vegetables - Eat steamed vegetables that aren’t overcooked. Vegetables should realistically be slightly crunchy which retains their fiber in your digestive tract. Most vegetables are fiber rich foods by themselves and should be included when you're trying to slim down.
Supplements - Fiber supplements can be a blessing when you can't eat right. No one has time to eat right everyday, although in a perfect world, most people would try harder! If you forget your apple slices or just can't leave the office to grab a fresh salad, having some type of fiber supplement around is a great idea, at least for some people.
Prunes – Eat more fiber rich foods like stewed apricots or prunes to stimulate your bowels and help you lose weight. They are a bit higher in calories than other fruits, so alternate them with low calorie fiber rich foods, (like beans) for best results. Prunes are especially great if you like the way they taste. Eating the fruit is much more advantageous than the juice! Here’s a simple way to make them:
1. Wash one-third or one-half a pound of prunes, rubbing them between the hands, rinse in cold water and drain; then cover with cold water and let stand several hours or over night.
2. Set to cook in the water in which they were standing, adding more if needed.
3. Let simmer until they are tender and the water is reduced.
4. Just before removing from the stove add from one-fourth to one-half a cup of sugar and let simmer six or eight minutes.
5. The sugar may be omitted because prunes are naturally sweet.
6. The juice from half a lemon, a little candied orange or lemon rind, or a tablespoon or two of sherry, may be added occasionally, to give variety to the flavor.
7. The blanched pits from the stones also give prunes a different flair and may enhance the flavor.
* Tip - You can also use the same recipe for apricots and other dried fruits that are known fiber rich foods.
* Tip - If you are using prunes without the pits, cover them to about half way with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about a half hour or more. Add lemon juice if you prefer a little twang!
More Fiber Rich Foods
Fresh or frozen lima beans
Fresh or frozen green peas
Dried fruit, topped by figs, apricots, and dates
Sweet corn, whether on the cob or cut off in kernels
Fresh or frozen broccoli
Baked potato with the skin
Green snap beans, pole beans, and broad beans
Nuts (Especially almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and walnuts. Consume these sparingly, because of their high calorie content.)
When you are trying to lose weight, eat a few servings of fruits and vegetables daily. It's a good idea to vary fiber rich foods in your diet because the variation helps you lose weight more efficiently.
Don't forget to drink lots of fresh water when you increase your fiber intake. You'll need the extra water to mix with the fiber and help push bowel movements along. Without adequate water intake, you'll only make yourself constipated.
The simple truth is that most people are in a fiber deficit. Why? Because of the vast amounts of processed foods available today. Instead of reaching for whole foods or making foods at home, most of us got used to running to the nearest fast food joint or calling in a pizza. However, these are exactly the types of foods that cause the most problems and make you gain extra weight.
If you're serious about your weight loss, you need to get off the fast food wagon and start eating foods that replenish your body and stimulate digestion. You'll also find that you have a ton more energy and feel better when you finally take off excess pounds.
Another good way to ensure you're getting enough fiber is to check the ingredients on the foods you buy. Although GMO's aren't labeled in the US just yet, you should always try and be aware of what you're putting into your body.
Benefits of a Fiber Rich Diet
Decreases your chances of many types of cancer, including but not limited to cancer of the colon.
Helps aid in proper digestion.
Reduces your chance of developing diabetes throughout your life.
Helps you lose more weight because increased fiber fills you up, not out.
Be sure to include more fiber rich foods in your diet. High fiber is a much healthier way to lose weight than fad diets, fasting, or starvation. When you eat high fiber foods, you have better elimination. The more bowel movements you have, the more weight you're bound to lose.
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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