Eat a High Fibre Diet To Lose Weight

In order to achieve 'weightlossthehealthyway', eating a good, and varied, high fibre diet, is one of the most effective, important and healthiest of considerations. For anyone who is trying to lose weight, foods that are high in fibre not only make us feel full; they also help to lower our blood cholesterol levels and help to keep our blood sugar levels stable. A high fibre diet should be one of the 'holy grails' of any weight loss program, When it really comes down to it, if you think about it, isn't it just common sense?

Hunger Cartoon

If we're trying to lose weight, we should eat the things that make us feel full, and high fibre food has the power to make you feel full, without making you fat. We are all very similar in that we are all familiar with the fact that one of the main problems, that we all have, when we are trying to lose weight, is that age old enemy, that dreaded word:.. "Hunger"! If we can just only control our pangs of hunger, then losing weight simply becomes that little bit easier.The problem of 'feeling hungry' can be influenced by lots of different things. Things such as the time of day, (or night,:-)) that we decide eat; and, also by what we eat. By that I mean the nutritional makeup of the meals we eat; how much water, fibre, fats, carbohydrates and protein. All these things play a part in controlling what our bodies interpret as us 'feeling hungry or feeling full.'

If we include foods that are high in fibre in our diets, we will have that relaxed, comfortable, 'pleasantly full' feeling; and, when we feel that way, we won't want to carry on over eating. Additionally, if we increase the amount of high fibre foods in our diets, there are recent medical studies that have suggested that fibre helps in preventing haemorrhoids, colon cancer, and for removing certain toxic metals from our bodies.

Healthy High Fibre foods

If we eat healthy high fibre food, that's the good suff, it makes us feel full; so, then we can resist the temptation of consuming more food than we actually need. Also, because high fibre foods take longer to chew, it gives our brains more time to receive the signal that we have had enough to eat.

Our modern day dietary intake does not, usually, give our bodies the amount of fibre that we need to stay healthy. There are several reasons for this, the main one being that the food industry throws so much 'processed' food at us; and, it's exactly because so much of our food has been processed that causes the problem. The refining processes that are being used by the food giants actually remove most of the natural fibre that our bodies need so much. It's an established fact that the daily diet of almost everyone in America, and the rest of the western world, is deficient in its fibre content.

Why High Fibre Foods can help you to lose weight

Dr Barbara Rolls is a highly esteemed nutritional scientist at Pennsylvania State University, and she is an expert on diabetes, digestive disorders and kidney diseases. She has written over two hundred research articles and three books on the subject of nutrition.

Dr Rolls is also the author of a book that is regarded by many nutritionists as a seminal work in the field of nutrition; the title of her book is 'The Volumetrics Eating Plan'. In her book, Dr Rolls says that it is actually possible to eat more, not less, of good nutritious foods and still lose weight! Sound crazy to you? Not really, because medical studies have shown that most people tend to eat the same amount, by weight, of food each day.

Rich Vegetable Soup

However, if you eat the right kind of high fibre foods, such as good rich vegetable soups, salads and plenty of fruit and vegetables: all of which are foods that contain water and are high in fibre, you can still eat the same weight of food that you usually do. That way you will still feel full but will have consumed less calories.

To demonstrate that 'fullness feeling' a study was undertaken in the 'Appetite Journal', in order to compare the feeling of fullness between fresh apples, applesauce and apple juice with added fibre, before they ate a meal. The results were not really surprising because the fresh apple came out top in a study to determine the 'fullness feeling' difference.

The people participating in the study who ate a fresh apple before eating their meal, all ate around 15% less calories than those who drank apple juice with added fibre, or those who ate apple sauce.The reasoning behind this is that both the apple juice and the apple sauce had undergone processing, which removes most of their natural fibre.Whereas, the fresh apple contained its natural fibre content; thus, making those that ate it feel much fuller, before they had even started on their meal.

High fibre foods, such as that fresh apple, requires us to masticate (chew) it; and, as well as it taking us longer to eat, it also stimulates the production of our natural saliva and other digestive stomach juices: and this aids in giving us the feeling of fullness in our stomachs.

Breakfast Cereal With Fruit

In any high fibre weight loss plan, eating a high fibre cereal dish for breakfast should be one of our regular morning rituals. It is universally agreed by nutritionists that eating a high fibre breakfast cereal is beneficial in promoting weight loss because of the feeling of fullness that it gives us after we have eaten it.

Other studies have shown that people who regularly eat more carbs, dietary fibre and cereals tend to weigh less than people who eat less of these delicious and health promoting nutrients. Because of the bodily difference between men and women it has been shown that women should include at least 25 grams of fibre in their daily diet and most men 38 grams each day.

The problem is that most people in America consume only about half of that amount when they are not on a weight loss program, and even less than that when they are dieting, especially if they are on a low carbohydrate diet.

Another nutritional scientist Doctor Susan B Roberts, a graduate of England's world famous Cambridge University, who is a current lecturer in nutrition at Tufts University, has written a number of very informative and in depth books; one of which which she has called 'The Instinct Diet'.

In this book she states that we are often attracted to food that we are familiar with. (Does the term 'comfort food' sound familiar to you?) Dr Roberts' research findings also showed that people who include between 35 to 45 grams of fibre, in their daily diet, experienced far less signs of hunger when embarking on a weight loss plan than those who ate less fibre in their diets.

She also adds the caveat that we should definitely not attempt to consume fibre as a 'bulk laxative' because this can drain our bodies of vital nutrients, minerals and vitamins. To paraphrase Dr Joanne Slavin, who is another highly respected academic nutritional scientist, says that "There is no downside to eating a diet that is rich in fibre: and the potential health gains are very significant."

Does The Type of Fibre Affect Weight Loss?

Fibre comes in several different forms; and, in a similar way to water or fat soluble vitamins, they can be, either, soluble or insoluble. The soluble kind of fibre will dissolve in water; however, insoluble fibre does not. Both of these types are fibre are found naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.

We've all read about the term 'Dietary' fibre, but what does it mean? Well, it's quite simple really; the term dietary fibre refers to the fibre that is found naturally in the foods that we eat. (or maybe that we should eat :-)) Fibre also comes in several different forms of classification: they are termed as being, either; Bran, Gum, cellulose or hemicelluloses, lignin, mucilage's or pectin.

Each type of fibre has its own particular nutritional function to perform. For optimal effectiveness it's best to alternate between the different sources of fibre available. It is also wise to know that, whilst our modern day diets are, for the most part, lacking in fibre; it is unwise to consume excessive amounts as this can impact on the body's ability to properly absorb Zinc, Iron and Calcium.

It's should also be pointed out that before embarking on any planned diet, we should consult our doctor or other health professional first. It's very important that we should make sure that we know just what we are eating, and also make sure that our diet contains plenty of high fibre foods.

Foods such as whole grain cereals and flours, brown rice, all types of Bran, most types of fresh fruit, dried prunes, nuts and seeds; especially flax seeds, beans, lentils, peas and, wherever possible some fresh and raw vegetables. If you are a big fan of eating organic vegetables, maybe you would like to try leaving the skin on apples or potatoes: after giving them a good wash first of course.

Another tip is, to coat chicken in corn bran or oats to give it that nice crispy coating, when you bake it. You can also add extra bran to cereals; or, when you are baking bread, add a little bran to the flour you are using.

So, what Is Bran?

Oat bran, or rice bran, is the broken protective coat, or husk, of the actual cereal

This is Bran grain that has been separated from the flour in the milling and sifting process. As well as the other previously discussed health benefits of including bran in our daily diet, one of its additional beneficial properties is that it also helps to lower our blood cholesterol levels.

It has been a long known, and widely accepted, fact that all types of fibre are healthy for us, and medical research indicates that fibre obtained from whole foods may be a valuable aid to people who are trying to lose weight. The rationale behind this is because, as well as giving us that 'pleasantly full' feeling, all of the previously mentioned high fibre foods also happen to be low in calories.

Dr Joanne Slavin also said, "As a registered dietician, I always say 'food first,' She goes on to say that, "No one single type of fibre is perfect, so eating a wide variety of fibres is the best solution to gain all the health benefits of dietary fibre," she also says: "Not only will you trim your waistline with a high-fibre diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, but you will also reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol levels, diverticulitis, and constipation."

Add Fibre Slowly To Your Diet

If you slowly increase the amount of fibre to your daily diet you can give your body time to get used to the change in your diet, and you can avoid any bloated feeling; additionally, you should drink plenty of water when you are increasing your fibre intake.

Tips for increasing your dietary fibre without extra calories

We should also make sure that the grains we eat are whole grains, complete with their outer coatings of bran. Also, as part of your weight loss plan, try adding some nuts and seeds, but keep the portions small because, not only are they high in fibre, they are also high in calories.

However, whilst it is a fact that all fibre packed foods are good for us, a high fibre diet on its own will not shed those unwanted pounds for us. If we are really serious about wanting to lose any unwanted chubbiness, we still need to be aware that we must control what, in terms of calories, goes into our bodies; and, we must also engage in some regular physical exercise.

It is a scientific fact that controlling, or maintaining, a healthy weight is much easier if we eat a diet rich in fibre

Breaking Down Soluble and Insoluble Fibre

We have previously touched on both of the terms "soluble fibre" and "insoluble fibre," So, how about we conclude by taking a look at just what they are and what they do. The soluble fibre we get from our food helps to slow down our digestion by binding with fatty acids. This helps sugars to be released more slowly into our bloodstreams and prevents the unhealthy 'spikes' in our blood sugar readings. This is particularly important for people suffering from diabetes: and, it also helps to lower our LDL, 'Low density Lipoproteins', (bad Cholesterol)

Insoluble fibres also help to keep us hydrated, and help to move waste food products through our intestines, to be ecreted. They also help to control the pH levels in the intestines: high fibre foods also help to prevent constipation and keep us regular.

Most nutritionists advocate that we should obtain our fibre needs from the whole foods that we eat in our daily diet; this is because they contain so many other healthful plant sourced compounds. However, lots of us don't get enough fibre in your diet. Our recommended fibre intake should be, roughly, 25 grams daily for women and 38 grams for men.

There are dietary supplements available that can give us the fibre that our bodies need; but, for one reason or another, we don't get because we lack fibre in our diets. In conclusion, we should remember that the average intake of fibre for most people in the US, and the rest of the western is world, is only a measly 15 grams per day! We should be aware, we should be very aware of this!

If you have any questions, or wish to discuss any health, nutrition, weight loss matters or problems, please just drop me a line in the comments box, below this post, and I'll be more than pleased to get back to you with an answer.