Fiber keeps you regular, but its benefits go way beyond relieving constipation. It can keep you full, delay stomach emptying, and balance blood sugar levels.
Reality check: you’ve got to get way more fiber than the paltry five to 14 grams most people get to enjoy these benefits. I’m talking 50 grams a day minimum for fast fat loss.
A supplement like Medibulk from Thorne Research, which packs eight grams of fiber per serving, can boost your quota. But you also want to choose the right foods with at least five grams of fiber.
Incorporate these five strategies and you might discover you’ve dropped a jeans size without dieting.
Vegetables. Spinach, broccoli, and other leafy greens pack maximum fiber and nutrients with minimum calories. Think outside the greens box too: a medium artichoke, for instance, contains 10 grams of fiber. Eat double veggies at dinner along with a salad, and you’ll spike your fiber quota. You can even make veggies the center of attention. For instance, throw plenty of non-starchy ones into a chicken broth with some lean protein, and voila! you have a hearty soup with plenty of leftovers to freeze.
Berries. On a hot summer’s day you’re probably craving Dulce de Leche with salted pecans, but also want to fit into that size-2 bikini. Skip the sugary, fatty ice cream for plain Greek yogurt and frozen raspberries. Each cup of these sweet berries offers eight grams of fiber. Berries also make a killer dessert when it’s freezing out and you’re just dreaming of wearing that bikini. Simply heat fresh berries, top with cinnamon and sliced almonds, and you’ll have a dinner-party dessert with over 10 grams of fiber.
Starchy carbs. These slow-release carbs pack plenty of fiber to keep your blood sugar slow and steady, providing you sustained energy and fast fat loss. One cup of cooked lentils, for instance, packs a whopping 16 grams of fiber. Black beans make an inexpensive fiber-rich side dish or added to soups. Sweet potatoes, quinoa, and other slow-release carbs also pack a fiber punch.
Nuts and seeds. Whether you enjoy them as a crave-busting mid-afternoon snack or incorporate them into dishes like pistachio-crusted chicken, nuts and seeds provide good amounts of protein, good fats, and fiber. They’re also high in calories, so if you a have portion-control problem, measure an ounce or two in a bowl and step away from the Blue Diamonds. Nuts satiate you and promote fast fat loss. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, for instance, found that nuts help people better control their weight.
Good fats. Avocado, coconut, and olives deliver healthy fats and fiber to jumpstart even the most lackluster salad or entrée. Besides being an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, for instance, one cup of avocado packs almost 10 grams of fiber. Similarly, a cup of shredded coconut packs seven grams of fiber along with its immune-boosting fat. And ask your server to skip the baguette and bring out a bowl of olives. One cup packs over four grams of fiber.
Bes-Rastrollo S, et al. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 June; 89(6): 1913–1919.
© 2012 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food allergies. She is the bestselling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, a Huffington Post blogger, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout & co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters. Watch for The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days, Dec. 2012. Visit JJ at http://www.jjvirgin.com to get her 3 free training videos on the secrets to achieving fast & lasting fat loss.