Eating food with lots of fiber will help you feel full for longer, so you’re more likely to stick to your calorie limit. Fiber keeps your bowels healthy and can help reduce cholesterol. Most people in the UK eat only about 18g of fiber a day, but should aim to eat at least 30g. Increase your fiber intake gradually, though, as a sudden increase can cause cramp and constipation. And make sure to drink plenty of water - aim for 1.2 liters a day - to avoid cramp and constipation. This article reveals the different ways you can easily add more fiber to your daily diet.
Here are some easy ways to boost the fiber in your snacks and meals:
Adding some fiber to your breakfast can help you stay feeling full until lunch and reduce the urge for a midmorning snack.
- Swap white bread for whole meal or wholegrain varieties.
- Swap sugary cereals for high-fiber cereals such as wholegrain wheat cereals, unsweetened muesli, or porridge oats, and don’t forget to check the salt content.
For Lunch And Dinner
Vegetables are a good source of fiber, so try swapping some of the things on your plate for more veg. Aim for two portions of veg on your plate at dinner.
- Swap white rice and pasta for whole meal versions – simply doing this can double the amount of fiber you’ve eaten.
- Add pulses – beans, lentils and peas – into your meals. They’re a cheap, low-fat source of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Add pulses to soups, casseroles, rice and pasta, or serve baked beans (choose reduced-salt and sugar varieties) on whole meal toast.
Stock up on healthier snacks containing fiber such as:
- Fruit – fresh, canned or frozen. Don’t forget to eat the skin on fruits such as apples and pears.
- Vegetable sticks – carrot, celery or cucumber sticks or a packet of sugar snap peas. You can enjoy these low calorie snacks if you feel hungry in between your meals.
- Reduced-fat hummus. For a bit of variety, dip your veg sticks, wholegrain crisp breads or pitta bread in a tub of reduced-fat hummus. You’ll get the fiber from both the veg and the bread.
- Air-popped, plain popcorn. Homemade is best, to avoid the high fat, sugar or salt content in some commercial brands. Don’t add any sugar or butter.
How To Add More Fiber To Your Meals
The key to losing weight is to eat fewer calories than your body burns each day. Fiber foods fill you faster and contain fewer calories. This is how they help you reduce your intake of calorie-concentrated foods.
Here’s what too often happens: You buy a diet book, excited about a new way to finally lose those extra pounds. Then you get it home and start to read lists of rules, dos and don’ts. There’s no way you’re ever going to be able to do this! A few months later, you give the book to Goodwill. The good news about The Full Plate Diet is that it works even when you do it imperfectly. You can improve how you look and feel without ever progressing past Stage One.
Read: 9 Weight Loss Traps And How To Overcome Them
- Eat more fiber foods.
- Drink more water—at least 6 glasses a day.
- Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry.
If Stage One is easy for you and you feel like pushing farther, faster, move to Stage Two:
- Increase the fiber in your diet to new levels. Eat fiber foods at the beginning of every meal or snack.
- Experiment with a wider variety of high-fiber foods.
- Drink even more water, 8 to 10 glasses per day. (Your body needs more water when you eat more fiber.)
If you’re that one-in-a-thousand person (seriously, it’s about one in a thousand) who has the interest and the discipline to push an idea all the way to its limits, here’s Stage Three:
- Stabilize your fiber intake to a consistent 40+ gram each day.
- Become a “label detective.” Always learn what’s in the food before you put it in your basket at the grocery store.
- Reduce your intake of meat and dairy products, as well as other foods that are high calorie, high fat, and low fiber.
Recommended Fiber Food Contents and Quantities
- 1 medium orange: 3g
- 90g of peas: 4g
- 6 apricots: 4g
- 90g of spinach: 2g
- 200g of new potatoes: 3g
- 1 medium apple: 2g
- 220g of brown spaghetti: 8g
- 180g of brown rice: 1.5g
- 1 large whole meal pitta bread: 5g
- 2 slices of whole meal bread: 4.2g
- 1 medium jacket potato: 5g
- 30g of chickpeas: 1.5g
- 135g of sweetcorn: 2g
- 165g of baked beans: 5g
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Labels: Health and Nutrition