High-fiber foods help you feel full when losing weight.
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While eating fiber doesn't cause your body to magically burn more fat, it does play a supporting role in weight loss. You need to increase your physical activity and reduce your food intake to create a calorie deficit to lose fat stores. Eating high-fiber foods helps you feel more full and may aid you in reducing calorie intake. It also plays a part in regulating your blood sugar, which may promote fat loss over time.
Dietary Fiber Needs and Roles
Even though dietary fiber is indigestible by your body, it plays an essential role in good health. Your cholesterol, digestive health, blood sugar and weight may all benefit from a fiber-rich diet. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men get at least 38 grams of fiber per day and that women get at least 25 grams of fiber daily. Moreover, men and women over 50 years old should get at least 30 grams and 21 grams of fiber, respectively. You can meet these daily fiber needs by eating a whole-food-based diet that includes plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.
One major benefit of dietary fiber for fat loss is that it provides bulk in your digestive tract. Soluble fiber absorbs water and swells to form a sort of gel in your body. Many high-fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables, also contain a considerable amount of moisture, which adds more volume to your food intake. This added bulk may help you to feel fuller longer after eating, meaning you'll be less tempted to overeat calories based on hunger. Over time, decreasing calorie intake and creating a calorie deficit promotes fat loss.
Foods that are high in fiber also tend to be lower in calories than low-fiber foods. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans are all lower in calories than most processed foods, snacks, meats and dairy products. Saving a few calories means more weight loss for you. These high-fiber foods often also take longer to chew than many low-fiber foods. This slower eating gives your brain time to receive the message that your stomach is full, which may help reduce overeating and promote weight loss.
Blood Sugar Control
Eating a fiber-rich diet may also promote better blood sugar control throughout the day. High-fiber foods are lower in simple sugars than refined foods and don't cause a drastic change in your blood sugar. Your body doesn't require as much insulin when your blood sugar remains more steady throughout the day. Insulin is responsible for promoting storage of sugar as fat in adipose cells and in the liver. Over time, reducing fat storage and keeping blood sugar more level may help you lose weight.