New Year New You with Fiber
Now with the holidays over, shedding some newfound pounds may rank high on your resolution list. A good first start is to swap out those routine foods and beverages that are high in empty calories and saturated fat. Simple changes like drinking water in place of juice or soda or using mustard instead of mayonnaise will definitely make a difference. But there’s something less obvious you can do that will have an even greater effect on your weight and overall health and that’s adding more fiber to your diet.
Why? Fiber, the indigestible part of plants, is what I call the “miracle carb” for dieters. Delicious foods that are high in fiber are naturally low in calories and fiber promotes weight loss by boosting metabolism while absorbing fat and calories in the stomach — ushering them out of the body before they can turn into weight gain.
In my new book, The Miracle Carb Diet Make Calories & Fat Disappear – with fiber! I show how easy it is to lose weight and keep it off by adding more fiber to your diet. Here are a few ideas from the book:
Give your pantry a makeover by getting rid of all those empty, calorie-packed processed foods that make it easy to put in weight. Keeping cookies, chips, crackers, and ice cream close at hand will sabotage your best efforts to control your weight. Re-stock items that are rich in fiber and that satisfy hunger and the essence of what you enjoy eating. For example, get your crunchy fix with toasted whole wheat pita instead of deep fried taco chips, or for something creamy have savory dip made with low-fat Greek yogurt. Raspberries are very high in fiber – a far better alternative to gummy candy.
Write it down
Keeping a daily food journal makes you accountable for what you put into your mouth. A weight loss study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that those who kept a daily journal of their food consumption lost twice as much weight than participants who did not write in a journal. Researchers found that by simply keeping a running tally of foods people ate less. Journaling is especially helpful as you learn to increase your fiber intake. It’s easy to track how much fiber you are getting and a different study found that women who doubled their fiber intake from 12 to 24 grams per day cut their calorie absorption by 90 calories daily. This translates to a 9.4-pound weight loss in a year!
You can’t expect yourself to be a perfect soldier from day one. Setting mini-goals will help you reach your goal over a reasonable period of time. Start with one dietary change a week such as drinking 8 glasses of water per day or switching to a high fiber breakfast. Starting the day off with a high fiber high protein breakfast such as scrambled egg whites and veggies on a high fiber English muffin will boost your energy, keep your blood sugar steady, and keep your belly comfortably full until lunchtime
Make an inspiration board
We know adding the right foods to our diet set us up for weight loss success. A great way to get inspired is to create a picture board of the healthy foods you want to be eating regularly. Do this with photos you tear out of magazines or go online and use a photo pinboard such as Pinterest that makes it easy to find and collect appetizing images. Check out our F-Factor Pinterest board that’s chock full of pictures – with some that click through to healthy recipes.
For more tips on healthy eating, drinking and weight loss, check out my new book The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and author of the Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber as well as the bestselling F-Factor Diet. In partnership with the Hain Celestial Group, Tanya has a national line of high-fiber foods marketed under the F-Factor name. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com.