When it comes to attempting to lose weight, many people make the mistake of focusing exclusively on exercise. While there's no doubt that exercise is valuable when you're eager to shed a few pounds, a combination of exercise and dietary changes is the best way to get long-lasting results. Among the dietary changes that are important to make to complement your commitment to exercise is increasing your intake of fiber. Many people don't get enough fiber in their daily diets, and coming up short in this area can make your weight loss goals even more challenging. Here are some things to know about fiber and how to get more of it in your diet.
Your Daily Guideline
Regardless of whether they're attempting to lose weight or not, men should try to get 38 grams of fiber in their diets every day; for women, the daily guideline is 25 grams. You should try to reach this guideline through natural food sources. While dietary supplements can be helpful in some cases, getting your fiber from foods is always the best approach.
Why It's Important For Weight Loss
Dietary fiber is often associated with helping to improve your digestive function, and this is certainly true. Beyond this benefit, however, fiber is a valuable ally in your quest to lose weight for two significant reasons. For starters, foods that are high in fiber can help you to feel full soon after you begin to eat. This is because the food will pass through your digestive system quicker. When you feel full thanks to a high-fiber diet, you'll be less likely to eat excessively and put yourself in a caloric excess state that prevents you from losing weight. Additionally, fiber slows down the speed at which sugar enters your system. This means that eating high-fiber foods, even if they're sweet, won't generate a spike in your blood sugar – and a subsequent fall that will have you craving more food.
What To Eat
There are many high-fiber foods that will help you work toward your recommended daily guideline – and play a helpful role as you work on losing weight. Many fruits and vegetables are high in fiber; raspberries, pears, apples, peas, broccoli, turnip and corn will all boost your daily fiber intake significantly and are easy to find in the supermarket. Seeds and nuts are also high in fiber, as are legumes such as split peas, lentils and black beans. Whole grains, including whole-grain bread, pasta and cereal, can also help you to boost your fiber intake and aid in weight loss. Make sure to include healthy, high-fiber foods in your weight loss plan.