People often tell me they’ve given up on weight-loss diets because they are afraid of being hungry. So when something reduces your appetite so that you take in fewer calories – without white-knuckling it around food – that’s a good thing. That’s one reason why I’m a huge fan of dietary fiber. It helps you feel full so you eat less.
Certain fibers also support your digestive health so you won’t feel bloated. We’ve all been there, when a bloated tummy prevents our favorite jeans from zipping. It’s discouraging! But there’s an easy way to help keep that from happening.
Adult women need at least 25 grams of fiber per day; adult men should aim for 38 grams per day. Most of us only eat about half of that amount. In particular, we need soluble fiber to help food move through your system at just the right pace. Since we’re not getting enough fiber in our diets, it’s no wonder we’re constantly hungry!
Try adding ground flax seed into your food. It’s a great thickener for tomato sauce or soup. Load up on side dishes, particularly those made with beans, lentils and multiple grains. Fill your plate with lots of colorful vegetables. Your meals should always look appealing. And switch to fruit for dessert. The beauty of high-fiber fruit desserts is that you won’t be as tempted to over-indulge. Fruit cobblers are a good choice for chillier evenings. Frozen grapes are fun and easy in warmer weather.
If you’re prone to feeling gassy and bloated, you might also want to want to increase your intake of fermented cabbage (kimchi), sauerkraut or yogurt. Fermented foods provide prebiotics that nourish your gut bacteria and help to normalize your digestive system. If you can’t stand fermented cabbage, guar fiber is also a prebiotic. It has no taste or aroma, and it is easy to digest.
I also realize that if you’re on the go, it’s simply not always convenient to eat a high-fiber snack. And sometimes you can’t predict when you’re going to be faced with making the choice between a low-fiber meal-in-a-bag and starvation. Here’s a simple hack: Always carry a pre-measured packet (or two) of Regular Girl in your purse. Regular Girl is a gluten-free soluble guar fiber combined with gut-friendly probiotics. It mixes invisibly into a glass of water or iced tea without changing the taste, aroma or texture.
Most of us know exactly what time of day we’ll get the munchies. I use Regular Girl an hour or two ahead of time. It helps me control my appetite so I don’t get those same urges to snack. A series of studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition have shown that small doses of Sunfiber, the prebiotic fiber used in Regular Girl, helped people feel fuller immediately after meals and reduced their urge to snack throughout the day. And it’s gentle. It works without causing the excess gas or bloating associated with other fiber supplements.
A high-fiber diet may not sound glamorous but it’s healthy, effective and nutritious. It includes a lot of the micronutrients your body needs to function at its best. You may feel more energetic, which could lead to burning more calories by taking an extra lap around the block while walking the dog.
Oh, and there’s another pleasant “side effect” to this high-fiber diet. In addition to losing weight, you’re balancing your digestive system which supports a stronger immune system. You may not get sick as often. That’s the kind of side effect we can all embrace!
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