Fiber is one of nature's most effective tools for losing weight. In fact, a high fiber eating plan is really the diet, the one way to kick those starve and cheat, lose it and gain it back habits for good, without leaving you hungry. You do not take food away from your diet, you add fiber rich foods to it, or substitute them for the fiber poor versions, (white bread for example) you were eating already. The goal is to consume 30 to 35 g of fiber each day. Most Americans consume no more than an estimated nine to 11 grams a day. Not only will you lose weight, and have an easier time than ever before keeping it off, you will also gain energy.
Women who doubled their fiber intake from 12 to 24 g per day cut their calorie absorption by 90 calories daily, according to one study. That's nearly 9 1/2 pounds lost in a year. And fiber consumption is more critical than fat consumption in determining future weight gain, cholesterol levels and other risk factors for heart disease.
So how does fiber, which has no nutritional value on its own, work its magic? The secret is that fiber acts like a sponge in your digestive tract, absorbing molecules such as carbs, fats and sugars, along with all their calories, and preventing them from settling on your hips. In addition, fiber contributions calorie free bulk to foods, which gives you the satisfaction of chewing plus the feeling of a full stomach. And since fiber rich foods take longer to digest, you feel fuller longer, so you tend to eat less through the day.
To show how fiber works its calorie reducing magic, let's look at two cereals. Fiber content is part of the total amount of carbohydrates listed on the labels, but since fiber is indigestible, you get to subtract it from your carb count. A high fiber cereal, for example, can have 25 grams of carbohydrates and 14 g of fiber per one half cup serving. To determine the digestible amount of carbohydrates, subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrates. Suddenly the digestible carb content is down to 11 grams.
By comparison, the same serving size of granola can contain 39 grams of carbohydrates and only 3 grams of fiber. That leaves you with 36 grams of digestible carbohydrates. Big difference.
Here's why it matters how many carbs to eat at once. Carbohydrates are converted by insulin into glucose. This glucose is stored as glycogen, but your body can store only a limited amount at any time. What does not fit in your body's glycogen storage tank is stored as fat instead.
But avoiding stored fat is not the only benefit. The more fiber in a food, the fewer calories it contains. For the same one half cup of cereal, the low fiber granola has 190 cal, the high fiber cereal only 60. If you did nothing except eat the granola for breakfast instead of the fiber cereal every morning for our year, you'd have consumed an additional 450 cal, which translates to 14 pounds of gain gain ..
Source by Robin Boddy