Don’t Count Calories, Add Fiber to Your Diet

Health And Fitness


It is important to recognize the role that calories play in your ability to lose weight. By varying the caloric intake of daily forces, the body uses more energy, which increases weight loss. Calorie needs also vary from person to person, making it difficult to pinpoint a specific amount of calories to cut while dieting. The key is not to kick the body in starvation mode by drastically cutting calories. Consider nutrition and make small changes instead, such as choosing light beer, thin crust in your pizza and fruit over sweets in the top of frozen yogurt. It is a healthy diet, not starvation.

“Eat less, move more.” That’s easy to say, but practicality is one of the most important things when it comes to health and fitness. Recommendations like this are blank statements that do not address practicality, so when it comes to doing so, what is more important? Diet or exercise?

Yes, we should all eat healthier. Yes, we must exercise every day. There are endless things we can do to be healthier, like sitting less, eating more vegetables, eating less processed foods or drinking less alcohol. But they do not take into account the reality of life: we are all limited by a finite amount of resources such as time, energy, willpower and money. Recommendations that do not take this into account can easily make us feel that we are failing in our health and fitness goals.

Physiologically, weight loss and weight gain revolve around caloric intake and expenditure *. Because of this, it is important to understand the basics of calories. In short: we lose weight when we eat fewer calories than we spend. On the contrary, we gain weight when we eat more calories than we spend. To lose a pound of fat, we must create a deficit of 3,500 calories, which can be achieved either through exercise or diet.

Health and Fitness

Let’s say a 200-pound man wants to lose a pound in a week. Only through exercise, you need to run approximately 3.5 miles per day (or 24.5 miles in total), assuming your diet stays the same. Only through diet, you need to reduce 500 calories / day (the equivalent of two Frappuccino Starbucks), since your exercise regimen stays the same. Theoretically, the two should achieve the same results.

But in the world of fitness, theory and reality are not the same, because theory does not explain adherence. We do not live in a magical house that contains a gym, Whole Foods and personal staff of nutritionists and trainers. Instead, we are left with our own devices in everyday life. What happens then?

He must have heard it from his mother and, no doubt, in innumerable television commercials: eat more fiber! If you are counting calories and reading nutrition labels, increasing your weight loss plan to include fiber may seem like another task in the diet. But adding fiber to your diet is easier than you think.

The health benefits

If you are like the average American, you probably only get 11 grams of fiber a day, despite the national recommendation of between 20 and 30 grams a day.

Eating more fiber can make it more “regular”, but it also has other health benefits:

• A diet rich in fiber protects a woman’s heart. An analysis of the health information of 72,000 women who participated in the 18-year Health Study showed that women who ate a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits (all sources of fiber) had a reduced risk of heart disease. comparison to women who ate less healthy
• A diet rich in fiber contributes to a healthy pregnancy. It is recommended to eat high fiber foods during pregnancy, and a recent study of the diets of 1,500 pregnant women showed that those who ate 21.2 grams of fiber a day had a 72% less chance of developing preeclampsia (high blood pressure related with pregnancy) than women who ate 11.9 grams or less daily. Adding only 5 grams of fiber or two slices of whole wheat bread to your daily diet reduces the risk of preeclampsia by 14 percent.
• A diet rich in fiber can prevent cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can prevent certain types of cancer, particularly cancers of the colon, esophagus, kidney and pancreas.

Fiber: First steps

The easiest way to increase fiber in your diet is to replace a low-fiber food with one that is higher in fiber. For example, use a high-fiber whole-wheat bread instead of white bread as a sandwich, or eat an apple instead of dried meat. Apply this approach to all meals during the day.

Other good sources of fiber to try:
• Fruits and vegetables with the skin on (very clean, of course)
• Potatoes with skin
• Beans such as lentils or black beans
• Whole grains such as oats, barley or bulgur wheat (just remember to keep the correct size of the portion to keep the amount of calories low)

People who monitor their carbohydrates should know that they can subtract the grams of dietary fiber in a food from their total carbohydrate count, although this will not change the calorie count of the food.

Fiber: increasing your consumption

Increasing fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve overall nutrition in your diet without adding calories (many high-fiber foods are lower in calories than other foods), but this should not be your only strategy to increase fiber says Weihofen. “You have to eat a lot to get your fiber allowance. You have to have whole grains or fiber supplements,” he explains, adding that he believes a fiber supplement is a good idea. “I like Metamucil or Benefiber, a natural fiber, something you can take for the rest of your life.”

One last word of warning: when increasing the amount of fiber in your diet, take it slowly. Drink plenty of water and add only a few grams a day to give the digestive system time to adapt.