It is no secret that a large percent of Americans struggle to lose weight. As much as 30 percent of the adult population is obese. Fifteen percent of children between ages 6 and 19 also struggle with being overweight.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the primary causes of the obesity crisis are physical inactivity and poor dietary choices. Despite the ubiquitous promotion that consumers should follow a low-fat diet with plenty of exercise to lose weight, many people do not know that there are weight loss benefits from adding more fiber to their diet, as well. There are a number of easy ways to add more fiber to your daily diet, the easiest being to choose foods that are high in fiber. A few examples of fiber-rich foods include whole grains, nuts, beans and two major food groups: fruits and vegetables.
On average, about 25 percent of American adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day; however, less than 25 percent of adolescents eat the recommended amounts of these important food groups, and many are facing serious health risks related to excessive weight.
Most weight loss plans recommend restricting carbohydrates as a way to cut calories. One of the biggest mistakes consumers make is cutting out all carbohydrates instead of only processed carbohydrates while trying to lose weight. While consumers should make an effort to remove processed carbohydrates, they should also increase the amount of fiber-rich foods – “good” carbohydrates – in their diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.
The benefits of increasing fiber-rich foods and including a fiber supplement, such as Metamucil, in your diet as part of your weight loss plan include:
– Improved digestion.
– Increased absorption of nutrients.
– Feeling fuller for a longer period of time.
– Curb cravings for processed foods and other snacks that should be enjoyed in moderation only.
Adding a psyllium fiber supplement to your diet can help you get the recommended amount of dietary fiber you need. Over time, the benefits of fiber may help you lose weight. The fiber found in psyllium husk combines with water to form a gel-like substance that has been shown to lower cholesterol and glucose levels when combined with a low-fat diet and exercise plan. This not only helps you feel fuller longer, but because it helps slow the absorption of sugar, you are also less likely to crave calorie-laden carbohydrates due to a sudden drop in blood sugar levels.
The amount of fiber you need varies according to age and gender, but general guidelines recommend 21-25 grams of daily fiber for women and 30-38 grams of daily fiber for men.
There are three easy ways to get enough dietary fiber in your diet for your weight loss program:
– Make sure to include two cups of fruits and two and a half cups of vegetables in your diet daily.
– Replace overly processed foods such as white bread and sweets with whole-grain breads and cereals and brown rice. Read labels and look for products providing at least five grams of fiber per serving.
– Add a psyllium-based fiber supplement like Metamucil to your diet. Each serving of Metamucil provides 3 grams of dietary fiber. Taken before meals, Metamucil can increase your fiber intake and keep you feeling full, which will help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
Always be sure to drink at least 8 ounces of water when taking a fiber supplement. Supplements may interfere with prescription medications, so be sure to check with your doctor before adding Metamucil to your daily routine.
Facts About Obesity in Children. (n.d.) The Boswell Center-online. Retrieved fromhttp://www.boswellcenter.com/article_05_obesity-in-children.htm
Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. (n.d.) Mayo Clinic online. Retrieved fromhttp://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033
Facts About Obesity in the United States. (n.d.) Center for Disease Control -online. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/PDF/Facts_About_Obesity_in_the_United_States.pdf
The Benefits of Psyllium. (n.d.) Herb Care Direct -online. Retrieved from http://www.herbalcaredirect.com/medicinal-healing-herbs/Psyllium-Fiber-Benefits.html