Fiber Helps You Burn More Calories
& Feel Full Faster
The single answer to hunger challenges is unprocessed foods and the fiber they contain. Your gastrointestinal system works much harder to break down unprocessed foods, which burns more calories. Unprocessed, fiber-rich foods make you feel full sooner and will maintain that feeling longer. As a result, you’ll typically eat less.
Appetite is the main nemesis of those trying to lose weight
When hungry, you’re most likely to satisfy cravings, eat too much of something normally acceptable, or feel drained, like you’ve lost your energy. Unprocessed foods assist with all 3 eventualities, but what exactly are unprocessed foods, and how do we capitalize on them? They consist of whole foods (We eat the whole thing) like fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts. Also included are leafy greens and unprocessed (or low-processed) whole grains. When you consider the difference from processed foods, you’ll realize the processing is actually the removal of fiber, and sometimes includes cooking and even adding sugars.
Why is fiber beneficial?
Neither soluble or insoluble fiber is able to be broken down by our bodies, therefore it provides no energy and doesn’t add calories. It will however slow down the conversion of carbs into sugar, providing a more consistent flow of energy.
Soluble fiber, while our bodies can’t break it down, is used by probiotics to protect us from harmful bacteria, enhance our ability to extract more nutrients from our food, and provides defense against viruses.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber help keep us hydrated when mixed with food. By its very nature it keeps food hydrated during the digestive process. Proper hydration is critical for complete processing of our food; facilitating the gathering of nutrients for our bodies to use and bad byproducts for dismissal.
Taking up space
When you’re hungry, you’re empty. The correct approach is to eat what will fill you the most to stop the hunger. Another consideration is the calorie and nutrition level of what you’re eating. If you grab a piece of cake, you’ll take in lots of calories but not much in the way of nutrition or volume, so hunger will return soon. To provide some perspective, 2 crème-filled cookies equate to the calories in a whole pound of spinach. Granted, you’ll probably not eat an entire pound of spinach, but you get the idea. Be cognizant of your goal and keep empty calories in the “treat” column.
Feed the Good Guys
Some of our cravings may be coming from an insidious source. We have both good and bad bacteria in our system, and some of those bad bacteria create cravings for what they thrive on… sugar. Bacteria that love sugar can release a chemical that makes our body think we need to eat more sugar, leaving us bloated, gassy, and craving more sugar. Fiber is the hero that will feed the good guys (probiotics), who will then stamp out the bad guys while keeping our food moving smoothly through the digestive tract.
Not a Fan?
If you’re one of those people that just doesn’t have a taste for fiber, there is a solution. We get it that some just don’t like the taste of wheat bread or certain vegetables. To still get your fiber, try chia seeds. They have no flavor, no taste at all, but are chock full of both types of fiber. You can sprinkle chia seeds on virtually anything you like and be adding fiber to your diet. It even works in cold drinks. That doesn’t mean you can disregard calories and nutritional content, but it will get you the benefits from increasing fiber in your diet that you need.
What are your Unprocessed Options?
There really are some delicious options available for an unprocessed meal. Adding oats to the breakfast menu instead of typical breakfast fare will offer many more choices that one might think. Oats can be used in smoothies, and endless varieties of oatmeal flavors. Eggs are a great source of protein but lack any fiber; add a portion of chia seeds and you’ll be good until lunch! When using a juicer, fiber is eliminated, leaving the sugar. However, if you use a blender instead, you preserve the fiber and still achieve the great flavors. There will be less sugar just because it will take less raw material to make more “juice” in a blender.
While chia seeds can provide the fiber you need, they don’t bear the variety of nutrients you’ll gain using fiber foods in your diet. Browse the internet and you’ll find a wide variety of unprocessed choices and recipes that will let you enjoy fiber-filling your food choices. Fruits, nuts, fresh or frozen berries and grains will come together to bring you to a healthier standard.
A truth we can’t avoid: We are What We Eat
Now that you know the benefits of fiber and what foods have it, enjoy yourself! Experiment and find what you like best and establish a new menu for yourself and your family. You’ll all enjoy the health benefits and live better lives!
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