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More on Fiber, Weight Loss and Your Health

written by Guest Blogger February 28, 2012

Fiber has been a recent discussion topic here because of its many benefits, and Betsy’s Fiber and Weight Loss article rings true to blogger, Felicia Baratz. As someone with personal experience experimenting with fiber diets, she’d like to add today’s article to the discussion.

In theory, weight loss is pretty simple. Eat fewer calories, exercise a little more and you’ll lose weight.

But those of us who struggle with losing weight or preventing weight gain know that it’s not easy to choose a diet, much less follow one for a long time. Consulting a medical professional with expertise in nutrition and intestinal health saves you time you might waste trying out a method that’s not right for your own needs.

If you’re looking for a natural weight loss aid, fiber may be your best option. A high-fiber diet can not only promote weight loss and help you keep the weight off, and it has additional potential health benefits. Dietary fiber can help prevent or manage some chronic diseases, and it is especially well-known for its role in digestive and gastrointestinal health.

Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet for Weight Loss

  • It does not require supplements or weight loss pills. Rather than being a supplement or weight loss pill, dietary fiber is a nutrient. It is a carbohydrate in plant-based foods, but it does not provide calories because your body cannot digest it.
  • It encourages healthy eating. Fiber is in nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. It is not in animal-derived foods, like butter, meat and cheese, which are high in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • It helps suppress hunger. Many diets fail because they make you feel hungry and deprived, so you eventually binge to satisfy your hunger. Fiber is harder to chew so you eat more slowly and fill up before you eat too many calories.
  • It can help you keep the weight off. A high-fiber diet is a way of life, not a fad diet that ends when you reach your goal weight.

Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet for Your Health

  • It lowers your cholesterol levels and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
  • It helps control your blood sugar to manage or prevent diabetes.
  • It prevents constipation because dietary fiber has a laxative effect.
  • Fiber may reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.
  • It can help prevent painful irritable bowel diseases such as diverticulitis, and it can also help prevent hemorrhoids.

Goal Intake and Cautions:

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that healthy adults get at least 14 grams of dietary fiber for each 1,000 calories that you eat. If you are on a 1,500-calorie weight loss diet, you should get at least 21 grams of fiber per day. If you are like the average American, you normally get less than half of the recommended amount of fiber. That’s good news because you have plenty of room for improvement.

Your first instinct might be to immediately ramp up your fiber intake to your goal level so that you can see effects sooner. Don’t do it! Anyone who has dramatically increased fiber intake can agree that a gradual intake is a much more comfortable approach.

A sudden increase in dietary fiber can cause cramping and bloating. Your family and co-workers may also appreciate a slower increase in your fiber intake because you will have less gas.

Increasing Your Fiber Intake

Start by adding 1 to 3 grams of fiber to your daily diet. If that goes well for a week, try adding another 1 to 3 grams per day. You can increase your intake weekly until you reach your goal amount. During this time, you need to drink plenty of water because soluble fiber pulls water from your gastrointestinal tract to increase stool bulk.

Weight loss is still about burning off more calories than you eat, but dietary fiber can make your diet easier. It helps you feel full, and a high-fiber diet leads to more nutritious food choices. Increasing your dietary fiber is beneficial for your long-term health, but make sure that you do it gradually to minimize unpleasant side effects.

About the Author

Felicia Baratz is a writer living in the Indianapolis area. As a writer for doseofmyown.com, she specializes in articles about health and nutrition.

Let’s thank Felicia for this wonderful reminder of how important fiber is to our health and weight-management, as well as her cautionary note and tips in how to avoid unpleasant side-effects! Has her guest post inspired you to add more fiber-filled foods to your grocery list?

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7 comments

More on Fiber, Weight Loss and Your Health | Live Lighter | Healthy Living Tips February 29, 2012 at 1:12 am

[…] rest is here: More on Fiber, Weight Loss and Your Health | Live Lighter ← Nutrition Tips and Advice for Everyone | New Health and […]

Reply
Dr. Terranella February 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Hi Felicia,

Thanks for sharing this article on a way to lose weight the healthy way. Many people turn to diet pills or other drugs that may help them lose weight, but have long term disadvantages. The best way to lose weight is to seek natural methods, such as diet and exercise. A high-fiber diet is not only healthy for you, but can also contribute to weight loss. I would advice that three important parts of losing weight are: correct diet, fixing internal inbalances and staying on track. Here is a helpful article that goes into more detail about this: http://blog.swintegrativemedicine.com/blog/bid/118426/Phoenix-Weight-Loss-Dr-Gives-Tips I hope this helps your readers understand the importance of diet to lose weight naturally.

-Dr. Terranella

Reply
Neuropsychologist Clinical Melbourne March 2, 2012 at 7:43 am

For those of us with a busy job, these are some great ideas! And supplements help too when you’re on the road and can’t always maintain a healthy eating habit. Thanks for the snack and food ideas. Great job..!!

Reply
Felicia Baratz March 5, 2012 at 8:57 am

Hi Dr. Terranella,

Thank you so much for the wonderful comments. You’re absolutely right! While weight loss pills and drugs seem like a fabulous idea, they’re often times dangerous. Many pills contain caffeine — which, if taken consistently and in heavy doses can have a detrimental effect on the heart. Easily the most important organ in the body (in my opinion), one needs to take care of their ticker and ensure it’s working properly.

The key to anything in life is MODERATION! Losing weight slowly and naturally is far more beneficial than adopting some silly fad diet. Heck, diet pills aren’t the only offender to your body’s health. Simply losing weight TOO FAST (through over-exercising, starvation, etc.) can put a strain on your body. Of course, that’s info best reserved for future articles or dissertations.

Anyway, thanks for reading, Dr. Terranella! Swintegrativemedicine.com IS your blog, is it not? You’ll have to come write for us sometime! 🙂

Reply
Dr. Terranella March 6, 2012 at 9:12 am

Hi Felicia,

I find your articles to be very helpful and I feel that you are guiding your readers along the right path to healthy living. Yes, blog.swintegrativemedicine.com is a blog that both me and my associate (Dr. Christy Cline) contribute to. We try to share helpful information on natural medicine so that people can learn holistic ways to relieve ailments that they or a loved one are suffering from. I greatly appreciate the offer and I’m glad that you view my blog content as valuable enough to contribute to your website. My contact information is on my website if you’d like to discuss what you would like me to write about for your readers.

-Dr. Terranella

Reply
Alex June 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I have been taking the rocalabs formula for 4 months now and have lost a total of 37.5lbs. This is the easiest weight loss program I have had, tried everything but didn’t work. I love the fact that there are no diet restrictions and I can eat whatever my family is having for their meal. The only difference is that I am eating half of what I used to. It also has anti-cravings, a great way to loose weight by eliminating food cravings:
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Holistic health center June 25, 2012 at 8:58 am

Health plays an important role in our life.you are providing a great information regarding health and Weight Loss .

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