Dieting is hard, right?! Under eating for an extended period of time is almost my least favorite thing to do. But, if you know which foods to choose, you can make losing weight almost effortless. I say almost because let's face it, it's still work.
Studies show that the average American only gets 12 grams of fiber per day. We are supposed to be getting upwards of 25 grams per day...minimum!! Fiber puts the brakes on stomach emptying which allows you to stay fuller, longer. It also helps you poop. Yep, I said it. Good digestion and bowel movements are absolutely critical for good health. The benefits don't stop there. It helps feed the good bacteria in your gut and improves nutrient absorption. Fiber prevents free fatty acids from accumulating in your bloodstream. A buildup can create insulin resistance. Lastly, your colon puts fiber to good use converting it to short chain fatty acids which gives it the energy it needs to keep metabolic machinery humming.
My favorite choices for fiber are raspberries, beans & lentils (especially refried black beans...but not the crappy kind with nasty, processed oils added), raw cacao powder, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, sweet potatoes, fiber supplements like this one or this AMAZING TASTING bar, click here.
I aim for 50 grams per day! Now, if you have been eating a low fiber diet, you want to increase the amount each day, slowly. You could get some digestive discomfort by increasing too quickly. Also, higher fiber intake means you need to increase your water intake as all that fiber requires more water to pass through your digestive tract so make sure you are drinking lots of good quality water.
Here is how you can work this much fiber in to your day. Note: This is simply a SAMPLE day. It does not take into account training with weights.
I love making a smoothie with a high quality protein powder. Add in 1 cup of frozen organic raspberries for a whopping 9 grams of fiber. I also add 2 TB of ground chia seed for an additional 4 grams and a couple teaspoons of a fiber supplement with 5 grams of fiber.
Total = 18 grams of fiber
I make a bowl of some sort starting with a base of quality fats like olive oil or coconut oil, protein, tons of veggies like steamed frozen broccoli (1/2 a bag) with 7 grams of fiber, 1/2 cup of refried black beans with 5 grams of fiber, and 1/2 of a small avocado with 4 grams of fiber. I almost always have 4 squares of Trader Joes 85% Dark Chocolate Lovers for about 1.5 grams of fiber.
Total = 17.5 grams of fiber
Things really vary here. You can have an apple with a yogurt for about 4 grams of fiber, or a pack of Trader Joes unsalted dry roasted almonds with 4 grams of fiber and a green drink, raw veggies like carrots, celery, bell pepper or cucumber for around 4-6 grams of fiber with a good quality hummus (look for one with no oil added, or just tahini oil but NO CANOLA OIL!) with around 4 grams of fiber are a great option.
Total = average around 4 grams of fiber for simplicity
A typical dinner for me is an organic turkey burger with a veggie and a starch for sides. Again, I have a LOT of veggies. I love steaming greens beans (1/2 a bag) with about 6 grams of fiber and topping with olive oil and a sweet potato with about 5 grams (obviously depends on the size) and top it with a little ghee.
Total = 11 grams of fiber
Woot woot, that's 50.5 grams of fiber! Yes, it's a lot of food but it's real food that body will use up for building your body and all of the many chemical processes that take place. Think how great your workout would be with all that quality fuel!
Hopefully you can incorporate some of this in to a meal plan that works for you. :)