Did you know that an average person tries 126 diets in their life according to a recent survey? *
Yet, an effective way to lose weight is at your fingertips, literally.
It’s called fibre, a substance which you find in whole plant foods.
Naturally this may not sound as sexy, as saying to your friend “I’m on a diet”, but it WORKS!
It’s fibre, which you find in an apple, broccoli or a potato which is your biggest friend when it comes to slimming down, keeping weight off and thriving. Fibre keeps you satiated without adding any calories.
Isn’t that the ultimate dream?
Nature packed it abundantly into every plant you set your eye on, which perhaps is the reason why we tend to overlook its amazing weight loss benefits.
Let me explain…
Fibre creates volume, but cuts down calories
My favourite part about fibre is that it adds bulk to your food without adding calories. After all the number of calories in fibre is zero!
Imagine fibre is like a sponge on your kitchen sink. When the sponge is dry, it’s light, when you make it wet, it becomes heavy.
In the same way plants are naturally filled with water (can you picture a juicy tomato or a baked sweet potato?) and when you combine water and fibre which is already present in the plants you eat, together they create bulk.
And even though bulk has zero calories (neither water nor fibre have any calories), it’s bulk what fills you up! Then your stomach stretch receptors register you are full and send signals to the brain so you stop eating.
Fibre feeds the good bugs
Fibre isn’t good only for you, it’s also good for your friends, the good bacteria living inside your gut.
The truth is you can’t digest fibre but who can and in fact need it in order to thrive, are your good bugs. The more fibre you feed them, more of the good bacteria you have.
As they digest fibre, they produce short chain fatty acids, special miracle substances which protect your health and help you with weight loss.
For example, acetate, one of the short chain fatty acids, works extra efficiently as it helps you absorb less fat from food and it also makes your body more efficient at using fat from fat stores. (study)
In short you store less fat and burn more! It’s almost like winning the lottery, right?
Fibre balances hormones
What goes in must come out.
Naturally, so there is no surprise that fibre creates bulk not only in your stomach but also in your colon, making your bowel movement really worth while ???? .
This is fabulous as it allows your body to capture any extra hormones, like oestrogen, circulating in your blood, so you can send the excess out.
Oestrogen supports fat storage as well as cell growth and having too much circulating in your body makes it really difficult to lose weight.
It can also lead to painful and heavy periods among other things. Enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables, bean casseroles and baked potatoes is the key to balancing your hormones. In other words once hormones work with you instead of against you, you found an effective way to lose weight.
Fibre balances blood sugar
Fibre is crucial to help you balance blood sugar, a necessity when it comes to staying lean and healthy. I mean how many times have you grabbed a bar just because you felt shaky and irritable – a clear sign your blood sugar was all over the place?
Getting a fix to numb cravings keeps you stuck at higher weight than you’d prefer.
So is there a shortcut – something that delivers the most bang for your buck when it comes to fibre and it’s effect on your blood sugar?
Yes, beans deliver the most fibre per bite – 1/2 cup cooked beans contains 5 – 7gr of fibre and due to their “second meal effect” they can keep your blood sugar level steady well beyond one meal.
Studies have shown that even 1 change alone – adding 5 cups of cooked beans weekly to your menu (equals about 0.75 cup per day) reduces waist circumference and significantly improves blood sugar balance. These effects were equivalent to people cutting out 500 Kcal from their diet daily. (study) Isn’t that amazing?
You can find more tips on how to balance blood sugar in 3 kitchen hacks to balance blood sugar.
Fibre helps you eliminate calories
We often focus too much on how many calories we eat. When in fact when it comes to weight loss, it’s more about how many calories we absorb and eliminate. And as you’d expect fibre helps you eliminate a significant amount of calories.
For example when you add fruits and vegetables to your diet even without reducing the total Kcal of your meals, you end up losing weight. (study) Yes, that’s right!
How is that possible?
Calories are trapped inside the cell wall and inside the cell of plant foods making it more difficult to absorb.
It’s the fibre which traps extra calories (similar as waste hormones and other metabolites) and you just flush more calories down the toilet than you normally would.
How much fibre should you eat?
RDA – recommended daily amount of fibre is 25gr /day for optimum health, disease prevention and weight loss.
But since our ancestors were eating close to 100gr fibre/day, your motto should be eat as much fibre as possible.
Fibre rich menu – an effective way to lose weight
If you are wondering how to squeeze fibre into your diet, don’t panic. Simplicity is the king and with the addition of some beans, fresh fruits and vegetables you are already getting a decent amount.
See some examples below:
Eating fibre in the form of whole plant foods truly is magical as the benefits go well beyond your waistline.
So, the next time when you think about trying another fad diet, reach for an apple and make yourself a lentil stew instead.
A plate filled with fibre-rich plant foods offers freedom from dieting once and for all.
As I say the secret to a healthy, lean body and a happy mind lies with plants. So love them all and they’ll love you back.
Cheers to you and a delicious way of living 🙂
*survey done by www.onepoll.com