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How does fiber help with weight loss?

By Sophie Pachella, founder of EatStrong

Clients often remark, “The trouble with dieting is that one cannot simply quit food. It isn’t like cigarettes or alcohol. I’d find weight loss so much easier if I could just quit food cold turkey for the time it took to lose the weight. There’d be less confusion, less temptation.”

Hunger is a very real phenomenon, and something that most of us are uncomfortable with. If you’ve been trying to lose weight for some time, chances are you’re fed up with feeling hungry. If so, recent research has confirmed some extremely simple (but highly effective) advice you can use to feel full on fewer calories.

The magic is in the fiber!

Simply adding an extra 14 grams of fiber to your diet each day will lead to a 10-15% reduction in calorie intake, without noticing it. In less than four months, this simple strategy alone could lead to over four pounds of extra weight loss. This might not sound like much. But combined with an effective diet and training program, it can make losing weight faster and easier.

In fact – here’s a little secret: You know how there is no such thing as a magical weight loss tool? Well fiber comes close! Each gram of insoluble fiber you ingest will sweep away about 6 calories. And while it used to be recommended we eat 25-30 grams a day – the Harvard School of Public Health currently recommends that children and adults eat 14 grams of fiber per every 1,000 calories consumed. So, a person with a 2,500 calorie diet should consume 35 grams of fiber per day. Most Americans get an average of only 6-11 grams of fiber per day. NO WONDER they have bad hair days!!!

And …

Increased fiber curbs appetite!

A UC Davis study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that women who eat more fiber are more likely to feel full, and have higher levels of the hormone cholecystokinin, which is associated with satiety.

When the small intestine encounters fat from the food a person eats, it releases cholecystokinin. Apparently, cholecystokinin then notifies the brain that the body is getting “full” and resultantly, hunger subsides. Since fiber triggers the same cholecystokinin-releasing mechanism, adding fiber to a meal is a healthy way to fill yourself up!

From more from Sophie, visit her website, EatStrong, follow her on Twitter @EATSTRONG or head to her Facebook page.