Do you know that the percentage of obese people in the United States has tripled compared to what it was just 40 years ago? (1)
Obesity is now a national problem in the United States. Although the US has the highest obesity rate in the world, other developed countries are in no mercy at all.
And when developing countries catch up with them, it turns out lethal; with an added package of diabetes, imbalanced sugar levels and alarmingly high blood pressure. (2)
This is the reason why the weight-loss industry has earned billions.
They’ve spammed the Internet with advertisements and articles on various ways to prevent weight gain.
People search for scary terms like keto diet and paleo diet like never before.
However, all we want is to live a happy life free of medical complications and diseases, right?
While there are many reasons why people gain weight, the one responsible for a majority of us is diet and lifestyle. (3)
With the new office, couch and french fries life, we’re engulfing fats and calories in overdosing amounts.
Thus, keeping track of the foods we eat has been so important today.
Can Fiber Really Help Me Lose Weight?
A particular type can.
Dietary fiber is an essential component of a balanced diet. However, you don’t gain any significant nutrients by consuming fiber.
Simply put, they’re a form of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down by your digestive juices. Yes, fibers are non-digestible!
There are two types of fiber: Ones that dissolve in water and ones that do not.
The ones that dissolve in water are called soluble fiber and ones that do not are called insoluble fiber. Humans are very creative with naming.
Insoluble fiber, however, absorbs water and holds it in its journey through the gut and eases excretion. This phenomenon is called Bulking. So, this type of fiber is a cure for constipation.
Insoluble fibers are found in wheat, barley and in all plants in general.
However, the one we’re interested in that has wonders for weight loss is the soluble fiber.
How does soluble fiber help in weight loss?
Let us first think about why we put on weight.
You’re up with a bowl of rice puddings. But since you have a larger appetite and today has been a physically exhausting day, you ask for another bowl.
You finish the whole serving without realizing.
And after about 15 minutes of watching an episode on TV, you start to feel hungry again!
The two reasons why you put on some fat today: One: You weren’t satisfied with less food and Two: You weren’t satisfied for long.
So to control the chummy inner beast inside us, can we do something that makes us feel full early and also maintain the fullness for long?
Researches have an answer: Eat your fiber. It does not only help you lose weight naturally, it helps to lose weight fast.
1) Soluble Fiber makes you full early.
Fiber absorbs water. In fact, when taken with your food, it’ll soak up water from the gut and increase food volume.
You now have a larger amount of food inside you but with the same caloric content.
You feel like you’re full even though you’ve eaten much less than you usually do.
To be more scientific, “early satiation is induced through cephalic and gastric phase responses related to the effect of the fiber consumed“.
But you don’t need to know what those responses are. This is what the men in white coat are for!
2) Soluble Fiber makes you full for long
Soluble fiber attracts water and forms a viscous gel in the intestine. This ‘gel’ shields the carbohydrate of your food from the digestive enzymes.
Thus, it delays the absorption of carbohydrate, extraction of glucose and hence digestion takes long. You won’t feel empty anytime soon.
However, soluble fibers don’t ‘stick’ to vitamins and minerals and so don’t obstruct their absorption.
Looks like you wouldn’t want to miss soluble fibers if you want to stop being any bigger.
How Much Soluble Fiber is good for me?
Roughly, 35g of dietary fiber is recommended daily for an adult male and 25g for an adult female. The necessary intake is slightly less for aged individuals. (8)
For children, intake of dietary fiber per day should equal age in years plus 5g. Thus, for a 7 year old boy, the recommended fiber intake would be (7+5)=12g daily.
These are some of the excellent sources of soluble fiber:
100g of boiled soybeans contains: About 20% of average daily recommended fiber
Soybeans contain both soluble and insoluble fibers in good amount. So while you stay full for the rest of the day, expect a smooth toilet experience later on.
But before you rule this innocent bean out for its protein-rich composition, let me tell you that it is ideal for weight loss.
Protein actually aids in weight loss
It isn’t only wonderful for muscle building and tissue repair.
Consumption of protein increases the production of hormones that help you feel full and satisfied (very similar to soluble fiber!) for long.
A type of hormone called ghrelin, also called the hunger hormone, is suppressed by protein intake. (9)
Extensive studies have shown that a protein-rich diet is as effective as those weight-loss diets.
In fact, a study in people with obesity showed that soy protein based shakes were superior than the weight loss diets.
Summary: Soy beans are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. They’re also a rich source of protein, hence making them an ideal ingredient of your weight-loss meal plan. (because protein aids in weight loss too.)
100g of oats contains: About 35% of average daily recommended fiber
More interestingly, oats are the only source of a group of antioxidants called avenanthramides.
These antioxidants are known to have protective effects against heart disease.
Their high fiber content is what makes your morning oat meal so fulfilling.
Eat them as porridge, or with bread and baked items, oats pack an essential component to your weight loss diet.
Oats are beneficial for controlling sugar level, blood cholesterol and fighting Type 2 diabetes. Theyr’e thus an ideal meal for weight control.
Summary: Oats are a rich source of soluble fiber and also contain a rare antioxidant beneficial for the heart. Moreover, they’re delicious!
100g of barley contains: 52% of average daily recommended fiber
This is the story of Barley:
Barley was one of God’s first gift to mankind. It was one of the first crops to be cultivated.
But as civilizations proceeded, people lost their interest in this plain old food and focused on macaroni and cheese.
God became very angry and sought vengeance. He instilled never-heard problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and higher blood cholesterol on mankind.
People lost and finally submitted to God. This is why we started eating barley again. It is also why barley has made into this list.
Not only will barley keep you full for long hours, it has proven to be effective in regulating sugar and cholesterol levels and hence prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Also, barley rhymes with Charlie! Yes, big people are humorous.
However, not all of God’s creations were perfect. Barley contains gluten, which may be unsuitable for people with gluten-related disorders. Take a watch.
Summary: Barley is the perfect grain for your health, with a wide range of benefits on heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol and of course; weight loss.
100g contains: 22% of average daily recommended fiber
Oh, here again!
How amazing can a wonder-fruit get?
There is a reason why people’s love affair with this fruit has only strengthened over the years.
The Washington Post dubbed avocados “America’s new favorite fruit.”
Two researches published in the same year 2015 highlighted the role of avocados in preventing and treating cancer. This fruit is your ideal food to lose weight naturally.
How will they help me lose weight?
A 2013 study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that people who ate avocados with a meal felt 23% more satisfied. They also had 28% less desire to eat in the next five hours.
I don’t know how they calculate desire by percentage but numbers don’t lie 😉
Avocados can be eaten fresh and raw; you can sprinkle a little salt and pepper to spice things up. They can be stuffed in soups or grilled to be served as a side dish, especially for barbecued meals.
I shouldn’t tell all this in an article for people looking for ways to NOT feel hungry.
Summary: Avocado is a wonder fruit
indeed. Its added goodness for weight loss doesn’t compromise its taste. It can be eaten in various recipes.
100g contains: About 13% of daily recommended fiber
Dust them with olive oil, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Microwave for 5 minutes and serve hot. The taste is incredibly incredible.
Or halve brussels sprouts and steam until tender. Top with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and low-fat Feta cheese. Yummy tummy!
And you were about to skip your meal to stay in shape, how sad!
Unlike most plants, brussels sprouts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in fish and seafood in general.
They’re important because consuming foods high in omega-3 has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer. It also inhibits cognitive decline.
Thus, brussels sprouts can be your ideal food if you are not a keen fan of seafoods but also want to stay nutrition-fulfilled.
Summary: Brussels sprouts add great flavour and health to your diet. They’re a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is otherwise found in sea foods. Although they contain a small fraction of soluble fiber, their plus point is the other health benefits.
100g contains: About 35% of daily recommended fiber
Sweet! Both for its taste and fiber content. If you haven’t eaten it before, let me tell you: They’re crunchy and juicy at the same time!
Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, a mineral that is praised for its work to control blood pressure.
Figs have been eaten fresh or dried, and are used in jam-making. This particular fruit is native to the Middle East and Asia.
However, it is now grown worldwide both as a fruit source and an ornamental plant.
You can add dried figs to oatmeal or any other whole grain breakfast porridge to get a perfect sweety taste without compromising your health.
Or add them to juice and serve with yogurt or frozen desserts.
Summary: Eat figs to regulate your blood pressure and your weight scale reading. Sweet!
But isn’t the sugar from figs harmful?
Many people confuse fruit sugar with free sugar. The health risk of sugar is related to consuming too much sugar like in soft drinks, not with the minimal amount present in fruits. It would be really difficult to consume excessive sugar from whole fruits.
This is also the reason why little sweet taste of milk won’t kill you.
100g contains: About 10% of daily recommended fiber
This is what wikipedia said:
Do you know? Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that gets a lot of love on the internet, but not a lot of love on the dinner table.
This makes you realize how beneficial it is, and how ignorant people really are. Please don’t make this article just another diet writing. Implement the rules.
And broccoli, its brother has even more health wonders. It is equally beneficial as cauliflower, but with even higher vitamin content.
Broccoli has a higher constitution of Vitamin K and C, which is why it is also great for your eyesight.
Want to have healthy, stronger bones? -Broccoli.
Want to prevent wrinkles and look young in your fifties? -Broccoli.
From my personal experience, broccoli soup with green peas and a little coriander sprinklings makes the best winter bowl-filler. And green peas are a great fiber source as well.
Summary: God stuffed vitamins, antioxidants, dietary fiber and anti-aging spell on a single plant. God made broccoli.
100g contains: 11% of daily recommended fiber
Anything that can be eaten, if it’s a root, it is healthy. Roots are where plants store the best of themselves.
Ask me how the desert tribes fulfill their diet in the brutal hot sands. By digging and searching for roots!
Sweet potatoes, specifically are quite popular in Asia as well. The Japanese get 60% of their calories from sweet potatoes.
These guys have the highest life expectancy.
Steamed sweet potatoes are called Jjin-goguma. Tong sui, a sweet potato-based soup is popular in China.
Yes, they also have sweet potato soup! China is friggin amazing guys.
This is the kind of food that is evidence that God exists. Raised in a strict household, they didn’t feed me processed sugar of any kind.
But we’d get to have sweet potatoes on special occasions.
Years later, I’ve come to realize why they weren’t crossed out of my sugar-hating dad’s list of options.
Do you know? Tomatoes are far closer to the family of potatoes than sweet potatoes are.
So don’t expect them to be as boring as potatoes because sweet potatoes contain more vitamins and antioxidants.
Summary: Sweet potatoes are more than great sources of soluble fiber. Japanese longevity has been attributed to sweet potatoes to some extent. They also contain vitamins and antioxidants.
100g contains: About 42% of daily recommended fiber
They aren’t only useful for hairline product commercials.
Almond is an energy-packed nut containing a whopping 579 calories in a mere 100 grams.
However, it is classified under “good” source of protein among recommended healthy foods by the US Department of Agriculture.
A 2016 review of clinical research indicated that regular consumption of almonds may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood levels of LDL cholesterol. Yeah, who knew?
For health reasons (digestion and many more), it is recommended to soak them in clean drinking water a night before.
Prefer eating them with a blend of dates and raisins or mix them with milk.
Almonds shouldn’t be eaten by themselves alone, never in an empty stomach.
They’re allergic to some groups though.
Summary: The importance of almonds in weight loss is unquestioned. But be cautious while you eat this nut since improper consumption can be nutty.
100g of cooked black beans contains: About 14% of daily recommended fiber
Apart from having high fiber content, black beans are especially good for the bones and the heart.
Though they are sturdy themselves, they help prevent constipation, again owing to their high-fiber content.
Nobody said you have to starve yourself to death to lose some weight. Even if you do lose weight with a strict diet and workout routine, it isn’t going to add up.
Because evidence suggests that 90% of people who lose weight will gain it back. You can’t force yourself to take the stairs or skip meals forever. (10)
The trick is to change what’s in your platter, that too, slowly but eventually. There are tons of recipes you’ve yet to enjoy, without engulfing loads of fat and carbs. That way, you can shed your fat naturally without using medications or following a strict gym routine.
Turns out fiber-rich foods are what you don’t want to miss. Dietary fiber is commonly recognized as an important factor in weight loss and weight management by functioning as a “bulking agent”.
High fiber foods increase the sense of fullness after eating and reduce appetite, making an individual feel fuller for longer, thereby lowering overall calorie intake.
The only two rules to lose weight, ladies and gentlemen:
Rule 1: Be happy with less.
Rule 2: Be happy with less without feeling hungry.