Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Have A Confession To Make

I'm a fiber addict. I have been holding out on you all with a VERY important factor in my personal weight loss & overall health because I was too embarrassed to blog about it! I've attempted to write about it a few times but always get stuck when I type "Colon Cleanse".  I figure, you don't really want to hear about my bathroom habits & I really don't want to share them on this public forum. BUT- I believe that fiber has been playing a large role in my ability to maintain my current weight- so it would be wrong of me not to fill you in.
Why Fiber?
Many diets (Weight Watchers for example) rely heavily on fiber as part of the calculation of how much you can eat.  Why is that? Fiber is the indigestibile part of plant based foods.  Because our bodies can't digest it, it passes through us without providing nutrition or calories. There are three main weight loss & fiber intake are linked.
  1. Fiber helps move fat & other foods through our bodies more quickly, so that less of it is absorbed.
  2. Fiber makes us feel full sooner and stays in our stomach longer than other substances we eat, slowing down our rate of digestion and keeping us feeling full longer.
  3. Fiber helps keep your bowel healthy & free of toxins. = Easier processing of nutrients.
Various studies have found that the average woman should eat between 20-27 grams of fiber per day.  The average American woman is only eating 15 per day.  How many are you eating?
My Life with Fiber:
My fiber kick (addiction) started when Chris came home from work with a bottle of this Original Colon Cleanse.  A co-worker of his had strongly recommended it to him as a great weight loss supplement. Obviously I'm game for any of those so I tried it. I'm not going to go into detail (if you want to read reviews, there are some pretty graphic ones out there- google it) but let's just say it definitely got things moving :) This particular Cleanse is made of psyllium husk is known to pull over 10 times it's weight in toxins from your colon. Each serving (tablespoon) has 6 grams of fiber, and you mix it with water and drink it 30 minutes prior to meals, up to 3x per day.  Currently I only take it in the morning but when you first start, it's good to do at least 2x a day.
As you know I'm also taking a Greens Supplement daily, and that also has 6 grams of fiber. (Read more about my daily supplements here: Supplements Everyone Should Take) So by 8am, I've had 12 grams of fiber. And those Zen Bakery Blueberry or Apple Cranberry Fiber Cakes I'm always raving about from TJs? 13 GRAMS of FIBER in an 80 calorie muffin. So- if I have one of those for my mid morning snack, I'm up to 25 grams before lunch.
See... I told you I'm obsessed.
How to Eat More Fiber:
Obviously you can take supplements to add fiber to your diet but it's also great to eat food that is naturally high fiber (it's all healthy stuff as well!) Below are some examples.  Keep in mind that meat & dairy have ZERO fiber, so if you are trying to eat low carb, it's even more important to make sure you are getting enough fiber daily.
  • Legumes (lentils, dry beans and peas)
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grains (wheat, oats, barley)
  • Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries (1 cup provides up to 1/3 of your goal of at least 25 grams of fiber per day)
  • High-fiber crackers (just 2 Ak Mak® crackers contain 3.5 grams fiber)
  • Fiber One®, All Bran®, or Kashi® Cereals (Go Lean Crunch®)
  • 100-percent whole-wheat bread (at least 3 grams of fiber per serving)
  • Thomas' Multi-Grain Lite English Muffins® (only 100 calories and 8 grams of fiber with 5 grams of protein ... a nutrition bargain!)

Just to be clear, Fiber alone will not make you lose weight. Adding fiber either through supplements or food–only seems to assist weight control when it leads to an overall intake of less calories.
I hope you will come to love fiber as much as I do! Check for it on nutritional labels, try a supplement and make sure you are eating at least 20 grams a day. 
P.S. I hope you all got a lot out of that, becuase I literally cringed every time I wrote colon (bowel is even worse) Maybe I'm 12 but still.. MEHR.

1 comment:

  1. It's me, Jenn again. Catching up on past entries. I, too, just discovered the amazing psyllium husk! I totally get everything you're talking about above!