Why You Should Eat Fiber for Weight Loss: Best Foods With Fiber
Do you know it’s possible to lose weight consistently even if you eat filling and delicious foods that keep you satiated throughout the day? Yes, we’re talking about fiber for weight loss! You can undergo safe weight loss by including large amounts of fiber in your everyday snacks and meals. In fact, one of the reasons why the majority of Americans are overweight is because they get only a tiny fraction of the recommended 25 gms of 38 gms of fiber in their daily diet.
Let’s understand what fiber is all about, how it can help you lose weight and which are the best high fiber foods for weight loss.
What is Fiber?
Despite being very well-known among the weight loss circles, fiber is still not well understood by many. If we try explaining it the simplest possible way, fibers can be termed as carbohydrates that aren’t digested by the human body. They can be classified into two kinds – insoluble fibers and soluble fibers, depending on their ability to dissolve in liquids.
While insoluble fibers are primarily used as bulking agents without any major positives, the soluble fibers have significantly powerful effects on the human metabolism and overall health. Many studies have revealed that soluble fibers can, in fact, be major contributors to fat loss, provided they meet certain criteria. Let’s understand how the right type of fibers can help you lose weight.
How Can Fiber Help You Lose Weight?
Estimates suggest that a human’s gut houses more than 100 trillion bacteria, also referred to as gut flora, mainly in the large intestine. Although having such organisms in your stomach may seem like an undesirable idea, it’s actually a good thing for your health! Different bacteria play different important roles in the maintenance of your health, by taking care of aspects like immunity, weight control, brain function, blood sugar control etc.
Bacteria must also be properly fed to keep them healthy, just like any other living organisms. And this job is done by fiber (mainly soluble fiber) which reaches the friendly bacteria through the digestive system, mostly unchanged. The bacteria then consume all this fiber and convert it into usable energy. Supplying the friendly bacteria with such nourishment is referred to as the prebiotic effect and it’s considered highly beneficial for the maintenance of body weight and overall health.
1. Fiber feeds good bacteria, which reduce inflammation, prevent obesity and many diseases
Good bacteria in the stomach produce many important nutrients apart from short-chain fatty acids, which are all fed to the colon cells. This helps in reducing gut inflammation and is beneficial for curing inflammatory disorders. Please note, long-term low-level inflammation is one of the root causes of the majority of chronic diseases in the West, including metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and others.
It has also been scientifically proven that such inflammation also contributes to obesity and weight gain, owing to its possible effect on the leptin hormone. Many observational studies have proven that regular intake of fiber can lower such inflammation.
2. Viscous fiber can work as an effective appetite suppressant
Regardless of whether you count calories or not, it’s a fact that you cannot lose weight unless you create a calorie deficit in your body - implying that you put less number of calories in your body than what leaves it. Anything that can reduce your appetite can help you consume less number of calories and successfully create this deficit. Fiber has that effect, as it can make you feel satiated for longer periods of time. However, there is a specific fiber type which does this job efficiently.
A recently carried out study indicated that the viscosity of a fiber is directly related to its ability as an appetite suppressant. Highly viscous fibers work as better appetite suppressors. Viscous soluble fibers like glucomannan, β-glucans, pectins, guar gum, psyllium, etc thicken up inside water, turning into gel-like substances that can stay put inside the gut for longer time periods. Hence, the stomach empties slowly and more time is taken for the nutrients to get absorbed and digested by the body. As a result, you feel fuller for longer and your appetite is reduced significantly.
Furthermore, there’s credible scientific evidence available which suggests that weight loss resulting from regular viscous fiber intake has a direct impact on the belly fat, the most harmful fat that’s directly associated with metabolism-related diseases.
Best Foods with Fiber for Weight Loss:
Let’s now take you through some important foods with fiber content good enough to deliver constant and long-term weight loss results. If you’re keen on having fiber for weight loss purposes, you cannot afford to overlook these items.
1. Unprocessed Wheat Bran
Fiber content – 28 gms per cup
Wheat bran isn’t labeled as a nutritional champion for nothing! The wonder food is overloaded with fat-burning fiber, large amounts of muscle-building protein and is low in calories. It’s produced from the outer dense covering of wheat grains and is often had as a slimming snack which adds plenty of nutty and sweet flavor to bread, pancakes, waffles, and muffins. It tastes very well in cold and hot cereals too.
If you’re serious about using wheat bran to increase your daily fiber intake and to use fiber to lose weight, it’d be best to have it in a porridge style, with a little bit of honey and cinnamon.
2. Cooked Small White and Yellow Navy Beans
Fiber content – 19 gms per cup
They don’t cost much, are good to taste and have plenty of hunger-killing fiber, apart from 15 gm of protein per cup. What else do you need in a good weight loss food item? You can easily add cooked navy beans to chilies and soups, or even serve them sprouted and mixed with a little olive oil, garlic, and rosemary, as a delicious snack.
3. Cooked Green Beans or French Beans
Fiber content – 16.6 gms per cup
Slightly smaller and lithe compared to the wider green beans you get in canned or frozen form, French beans are also referred to as haricot vert and are slightly more delicate in terms of flavor. They come in smaller pods than the wider variety. They taste best in steamed form when they are seasoned with some sea salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. You can even stir fry them using honey, garlic, and ginger, giving them a Chinese twist!
4. Cooked Lentils
Fiber content – 16 gms per cup
What sets lentils apart is that not only are they rich in fiber, they’re also very simple to cook! You can easily incorporate them in salads or soups. Some of the punchy flavored and tasty lentil salads you can prepare to get your fill of fiber each day include lentil and feta salad, lentil lime salad, roasted pumpkin salad with lentils and rainbow lentil bowls!
Fiber content – 16 gms per cup
These beige colored beans earned their popularity from their inclusion in the snack world. Crispy baked chickpeas have been in use as a tasty and healthy snack in many parts of the world, for a long time now. Their crunchy and salty flavor makes them just the right alternative to the overly salty pretzels and fried potato chips.
6. Cooked Artichoke Hearts
Fiber content – 14.4 gms per cup
Artichoke is full of antioxidants, but you’re advised to use it in jarred or canned form as it takes forever to cook it fresh. Please make sure that you rinse them off well if they had been preserved in a solution with added sodium. With each cup of cooked artichoke having only 89 calories and around 14 gms of fiber, it makes for a filling yet light addition to salads and pastas, keeping you full for many hours at a stretch!
7. Sliced Raw Avocados
Fiber content – 9.8 gms per cup
Not only do avocados have plenty of fiber content in them, they also have more potassium than in bananas! Apart from that, it’s a fairly well-rounded fruit which has a good amount of vitamin K (for healthy bones) and monounsaturated fats (for a healthy heart). You can easily use sliced raw avocados in your morning sandwiches or afternoon salads. It’s usage this way delivers just the right combination of fat and fiber to keep you full until the dinner time!
8. Chia Seeds
Fiber content – 9.8 gms per ounce
This superfood has attracted plenty of attention over the past one decade - and for all the good reasons! Apart from having an excellent 9.8 gm of fiber per ounce, Chia seeds consist of 9 essential amino acids, including some that can’t be produced naturally by the human body and which are important for muscle building, as well as a good amount of phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. You can easily include Chia seeds in salads, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies and several other preparations.
9. Baked and Cubed Acorn Squash
Fiber content – 9 gms per cup
Apart from providing you with almost one-third of your daily fiber need, each cup of this highly nutritious and sweet vegetable also delivers almost one-third of your daily vitamin C requirement. As discovered by researchers at Arizona State University, our body can effectively use this nutrient for building blood vessels and muscles, apart from utilizing its fat-burning effects during and after exercise. You can have baked acorn squash in the form of a side dish by adding some cinnamon, maple syrup and butter to it, and then baking it at 400°F for around one hour.
Fiber content – 8.2 gms per cup
Want to include sufficient whole-wheat and fiber in your daily diet, but are fed up of using quinoa and rice? Bulgur is what you’re looking for! Counted amongst the few pantry staples with such high fiber content, you can use it regularly to cook-up quick and nutritious side dishes! It’s a bit similar to couscous and cooks in just as much time. Prepare a simple tabbouleh (a Mediterranean staple) by combining bulgur with ample amounts of diced tomatoes, garlic, chopped parsley and a little bit of lemon juice and olive oil!
Fiber content – 8 gms per cup
Apart from packing in a good amount of fiber compared to other popular fruits, blackberries are highly rich in antioxidants, thereby being helpful in warding off diseases. Not to forget, each cup of blackberries also provides you with 50% of your daily vitamin C requirement, thus fulfilling your need for a nutrient that can keep your cholesterol levels in check and improve your heart health.
Blackberries have just 7 gm of sugar in every cup and are also rich in other important vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium. You can enjoy blackberries by adding them to your salads, blending them in smoothies, eating them plain or sprinkling them over oats.
About Instant Knockout – A potent Fat Burner with Glucomannan, an effective viscous soluble fiber
Instant Knockout is a natural fat burner that delivers results by not just working as an appetite suppressant, but by specifically targeting the unwanted fat deposits in the body. It consists of the following ingredients, along with their potencies per serving (of 4 capsules each):
Glucomannan – 1800 mg, vitamin B6 – 5 mg, vitamin B12 – 10 µg, green coffee extract – 100 mg, green tea extract – 500 mg, GTF chromium – 100 µg, zinc – 10 µg, caffeine anhydrous – 300 mg, cayenne powder – 100 mg and black pepper extract – 10 mg
Using this supplement on a daily basis, as per manufacturer’s recommendation can help you expedite your fat loss results. The supplement is produced by Roar Ambition Ltd, a well-known name in the weight loss circles, and was launched in the year 2014.
What sets this supplement apart from the others is that each one of its servings provides a massive 1800 mg of glucomannan to the body. As also mentioned earlier, glucomannan is a type of viscous soluble fiber that functions as an appetite suppressor. It’s extracted from the root of the Konjac plant that’s found in many Asian countries.
Final word - Is Using Fiber for Weight Loss Effective?
It may be pretty clear by now that you can effectively use fiber for weight loss. Adding more and more foods rich in viscous soluble fiber can serve as an effective means to undergo safe weight loss. However, please note, just like any popular weight loss technique, you can’t accomplish sustainable long-term results unless you make certain important lifestyle changes. Regular daily exercise and healthy eating should become an integral part of your daily life as well.