There’s a lot of talk about carbs, calories, and cardio in the world of weight loss. But what if we told you that there’s
a silent superfood that’s a key player in the battle of the bulge… and there’s a nation-wide deficit?
Nutritionists are calling it the fibre gap. Most Canadians are only getting half of the fibre that they need. HALF!
The first thing when we think of fibre is… well, regularity. But fibre doesn’t just help us poop better – it can also help you lose weight, and keep it off!
Specifically, fibre helps combat fat around your midsection… which is great news, because belly fat is actually super
unhealthy. It significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes -all scary
things that we don’t want in our lives!
(Plus, let’s be real here. Who’d say no to a 6-pack midsection?)
Okay, now that we have that out of the way… let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Women need about 25g of fibre per day, and men need even more – 38g per day.
As you know, nutrients optimize how your body works for you. Real foods tend to be nutrient dense, but
commercially packaged foods have lost much of their nutrients through the process of… well, processing. So it’s
important to try to stay away from processed food as much as possible, and instead chose natural and whole forms
of high fibre foods.
Here’s what you need to stock up on:
- Flax seeds
- Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils)
- Grains (oats, barley)
- Nuts & seeds
- Fruits & vegetables (our favourite!)
I know, I know… we shouldn’t play favourites.
But here’s the deal.
Some high fibre foods – despite being really good for you – can be really calorie-heavy. (Take oatmeal and
legumes, for instance.) So when you’re trying to lean out, fruits and veggies are the perfect trifecta:
- high fibre
- low calorie
- packed full of antioxidants and other phytonutrients*
*Phytonutrients are powerful chemical substances that only occur in plants, and are shown to have a plethora of health benefits
(Pssst… if you want an actual menu plan that steps all of this out for you with yummy recipes, it’s all in the Last 10 Lbs Food Camp online program! You’re welcome.)
For inquiring minds that geek out on the details… here are some of the specific ways fibre helps you shed body fat:
1. HEALTHIER GUT
Eating a fibre-rich diet is associated with better health all around, and that’s largely due to its benefits to your gut flora, or microbiome. “Did you know that scientists can look at your gut microbiome composition and tell you with 90% accuracy if you’re obese or lean?” Certain gut microbes help shape your body and keep obesity at bay – which means that if you’re having trouble losing weight, the problem might be in your gut.
2. HEALTHIER MUCOSA MEMBRANE
Okay, we’re going to talk about mucus. I know. Gross. Mucus, poop, guts. We’re laying it alllll out there today. But stick with us!
Your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a barrier of mucus that protects you from the outside world – it’s actually a part of your immune system. This membrane is covered with a layer of bacteria (yep, part of your microbiome, or gut flora).
Guess what feeds this bacteria? FIBRE.
And if it doesn’t get fed with dietary fibre, it will begin eating the mucosa lining itself. Enter pathogens and increased illness, not to mention all the other disruptions to your gut’s role in regulating a healthy metabolism!
Long story short: gut mucus is good. And it comes from fibre.
3. SATIATES APPETITE
Did you know that fibre is a natural appetite suppressant? It not only reduces the levels of hunger hormones produced by the body, but it also increases the production of hormones that work in opposition – making you feel fuller, for longer.
Not only that, but it actually takes up space in the stomach for a longer period of time… which means we tend to eat less overall.
4. IMPROVED BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE
Because fibre takes longer to digest, it slows down the absorption of the glucose (or sugars) into the blood stream – not only from the fibre, but also from anything else we eat at the same time!
So if you ate a serving of fibre-rich veggies with your rice, it would slow down the digestion and absorption of sugars from the rice as well.
Wait a minute… that’s a GOOD thing? Why?
It’s the release of sugars from our food into our blood stream that increases blood sugar levels. When this happens too fast, it disrupts our metabolism, appetite, weight, mood, and energy. The faster the release, the more insulin is produced in our bodies to keep our blood sugar levels under control. Fibre fights this by slowing down the digestion of food.
We all know that fruits & veggies are good for us, and one of the reasons is that they’re so rich in fibre! Because they’re high in fibre AND low in calories, they help us combat that pesky (and super unhealthy) spare tire around our middle.
We do caution you to increase your fruit & veggie intake slowly if your body isn’t used to it. If you find yourself cramping up or camping out in the bathroom, slow down and gradually increase your intake.
Want to know exactly which greens we should be eating in abundance, and which ones we should be careful
with? No need to overthink it! The Last 10 Lbs Menu Plans break everything down FOR you!