Written by Jack Crabtree
High Fibre Diet
Fibre is something which is included in many foods we consume today, and food manufacturers do not hesitate to plaster their food packaging with labels stating that their products are ‘high fibre’. It is a nutrient which boasts lots of health benefits and is an essential part of our diets, without which we would be unable to function properly.
However, many people are unaware of the positive effects that fibre can have when it comes to losing weight. This article will outline, how, and why you should have a diet high in fibre if you want to lose weight as effectively as possible.
What Is Fibre?
Fibre is a member of the macronutrient group ‘carbohydrates’ and is most commonly found in plant sources such as fruits, vegetables and various whole grains. What differentiates fibre from other carbohydrates is that fact that our bodies struggle to digest it, meaning that fibre passes straight through your digestive system. As a result of this, it does not cause your blood sugar levels to rise.
Fibre can be divided into two types; soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre helps to eliminate fat and lower cholesterol and insoluble fibre helps to pass food through your digestive system.
What Does Fibre Do?
As previously mentioned, soluble fibre helps to lower cholesterol as well as blood pressure and helps to increase blood flow. Consequently, it helps to reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
One of the main ways in which fibre helps you to lose weight is by making you feel more full. This appetite suppressant quality of fibre helps you feel satiated for longer, which will prevent you from snacking on unhealthy foods which could lead to weight gain. Moreover, when you eat foods which do not contain fibre, this can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels which can result in a crash; thus causing you to feel hungry again.
Moreover, when your insulin output is spiked from higher blood sugar levels, it can lead to you storing more fat. This is because insulin is a very powerful hormone which signals your body to store fat, and so it seems obvious that we need to prevent spiking it at all costs.
There have been many studies which have shown that fibre can help you to lose weight, as reference below.
What Foods Contain Fibre?
Whilst fibre can be found in grains, these can promote insulin resistance so other sources are recommended. Moreover, processed foods are not a good source of fibre. Soluble fibre can be found in cucumbers, beans, berries and nuts. Insoluble fibre can be found in dark, leafy greens, green beans, carrots and celery.
Since these foods are very low in calories but high in volume, they will help to make you feel more full whilst you’ve only consumed a small number of calories. They are great for adding to meals or just having on their own as a snack.
Fibre can also be taken in various forms of supplements if you’re on a budget, for example, if you are a student, and for convenience.
How Much Fibre Should I Be Eating?
The standard dietary guideline for fibre recommends eating 20-30g per day. However, everyone is different and thus requires different quantities.
Some people recommend eating 50g of fibre per 1,000 calories consumed. This may seem a little excessive if you aren’t used to eating that much, but it will help you to feel more full and will lead to your body storing less of those calories as fat.
Take Home Message
Upping your fibre intake is a great way of helping you to lose weight. However, if you want to lose weight effectively, you need to ensure you are eating in a caloric deficit and exercising regularly. Read through some of our other articles for advice on training and nutrition.