Fiber

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My current read is The Fiber 35 Diet: Nature’s Weight Loss Secret by Brenda Watson, C.N.C..

I have decided to utilize this book since the weight that I had lost before, while doing The Biggest Loser contest at work last year, has come back (thankfully not ALL of it) with a vengeance!  I chose this book because I really don’t want to count calories.  Instead I’m going to focus on getting 25-35 grams of fiber a day.

So what is fiber?  Kimm didn’t really know.  Well, actually she thought of it as something that helps keep you “regular.”  And in that regard, she is right on target!  But she didn’t really know much else about it.  So I thought I would share just a few tidbits of information.

Fiber is the part of food that cannot be digested or broken down into a form of energy by the body.  Thus, it has NO calories.  It is found only in plants–fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains.

Although fiber contains no nutrients, the food in which it is found is LOADED with nutrients.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber dissolves and breaks down in water forming a thick gel.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water –it passes through the gastrointestinal tract pretty much intact.

Soluble fiber prolongs stomach emptying so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly, thus regulating blood sugar.  Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol reducing the risk of heart disease.

Common sources of soluble fiber: apples, barley, carrots, oat bran, oranges, peaches.

Insoluble fiber moves bulk through the intestines and controls the ph in the intestines.  Insoluble fiber promotes regular bowel movements (there you go Kimm!), prevents constipation, removes toxic waste from the colon, and helps prevent colon cancer by keeping the ph at a good level to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances.

Common sources of insoluble fiber: cauliflower, dried beans, popcorn, potatos skins, wheat bran, whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, whole grain pastas.

In general, fiber helps to curb your appetite, helping you to reduce intake–fiber produces a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) that creates a feeling of fullness.  Fiber actually helps reduce absorption of calories from the food you eat.  That’s right, for every gram of fiber you eat, you eliminate 7 calories in your stool.   Fiber-rich foods are low-energy-density foods, meaning you get to eat a lot of food without eating a lot of calories.  Fiber slows down your body’s conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, stabilizing blood glucose leves to help you lose weight.

So yesterday we went grocery shopping and I made sure to stock up on some high fiber food–lots of fruits and veggies, seeds, beans.

Today has not been too bad.  Thus far I’m at 21.5 grams!

For breakfast I had 1/2 cup oatmeal (4), 1 tablespoon raisins (0.5), 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar, a natural sweetner (0.5).

Morning snack was an orange (7!), a slice of 7 grain toast (3), and 1 tablespoon peanut butter (0.5).

For lunch I had a plate of salad (0.5), with some sliced cucumbers and grape tomatoes (0.5), 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (1), and 1/4 cup garbonzo beans (3.5).  With a parmesan pasta dish (0.5).

The plan for tonight is to make a homemade pizza (dough and sauce) covered with lots of veggies (green and red pepper, onion, tomatoes).  Then maybe some fruit for dessert or snack.  Possibly some pretzels.  Or some more oatmeal.  Not sure yet.

I find that the key to any diet is making sure you are feeling full–comfortable full, but not stuffed.  You don’t want to starve yourself.  That won’t do your body any favors–it’ll just go into STARVATION MODE.  I’m really trying to listen to my body more.  Today has been quite a learning experience.

I’m hoping that I can get back down to the weight I was after The Biggest Loser since I felt SO much better about myself.  One of my main challenges is going to be fueling myself during my 12 hour shifts at the hospital.  I’m thinking I should pair high fiber snacks with high protein snacks in order to feel full–maybe some cottage cheese or string cheese, toast with peanut butter, fruit.

So that’s it folks.  If I learn any more interesting STUFF about fiber, I’ll pass it along in another post.

Published in: on April 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment