We all know that to lose weight you need to burn more calories while consuming less. That would be so much easier if it didn’t come with “feeling hungry” all the time. The key is to make your body “feel full” longer. How? With fiber!
Fiber helps with weight loss in two ways:
- Soluble fiber absorbs water and requires a longer time to digest, keeping you full for longer
- Insoluble fiber digests quickly and gets things moving, while also staving off hunger pains
So how much fiber should you be eating? According to the Institute of Medicine, women need 25 grams of fiber per day, and men need 38 grams.
In addition to helping you lose weight, incorporating more fiber into your diet has a host of health benefits:
- Regulates blood sugar (an important part of managing diabetes) by slowing your body’s absorption of sugar (glucose)
- Helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by binding with fatty acids and flushing them out
- May increase “good” bacteria in the gut, which enhances immune function
So which foods are high in fiber?
Foods highest in fiber include: beans (all kinds), peas, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, artichokes, whole wheat flour, barley, bulgur, bran, raspberries, blackberries, and prunes.
Below is a list of high-fiber foods and easy ways to incorporate them into your diet. Save this as your “cheat-sheet” to help you reach the optimum daily fiber intake.
- Flax Seeds (2 Tbsp = 6 g fiber)
Add two tablespoons of ground flax seeds to a smoothie, cereal, or flour mixture (like pancakes). Ground flax seeds adds a complex, nutty flavor to foods and makes a crispy breading for chicken.
- Pear (1 medium = 5 g fiber)
A pear with the skin gives you five grams of fiber for only 51 calories.
- Peas (1 cup = 7 g fiber)
With only 117 calories, one cup of cooked green peas has seven grams of fiber and eight grams of protein. Add frozen peas to butternut squash soup with curry seasoning and coconut milk for a delicious variation and quick meal.
- Raspberries and Blackberries (1 cup = 8 g fiber)
Sweet, juicy, and an easy snack. Sprinkle on top of yogurt, pancakes, or eat straight out of the bowl.
- Black Beans (1/2 cup = 8 g fiber)
Toss beans into your soups, stews, salads, chili, and Mexican dishes. Substitute beans for all of the meat in at least one vegetarian meal per week.
TIP: Start your day with a whole-grain cereal that has at least 5 grams of fiber. Make sure the whole grain is first on the list of ingredients.
TIP: Try to add approximately 5 grams of fiber per snack/meal throughout the day, until you reach your goal.
TIP: Each Hollywood Cookie Diet®  has 4 grams of fiber. If you are following the diet plan, eating up to 4 cookies per day, you’ll be consuming 16 grams of fiber. Get the rest of your fiber with a healthy dinner and experience even better results.