Belly fat is one of the hardest things for most dieters to lose, but the fact is fiber can help burn stubborn belly fat. Not only that but incorporating fiber for weight loss into your diet also has a lot of other health benefits.
But it’s not as simple as just eating foods high in fiber. Getting the right foods and the right type of fiber is crucial to kickstarting those fat-burning benefits.
Here are 5 ways fiber helps you lose weight quickly. Once we’ve covered fiber’s big-time health benefits we’ll review the best foods to add to your fat burning diet today.
Soluble Fiber vs Insoluble Fiber – Choose the Right One for Weight Loss
There are two main types of fiber—soluble and insoluble fiber. While insoluble fiber is an important element in your diet to support digestive health, soluble fiber is what provides the weight loss benefits you’re looking for.
When we’re talking about fiber and weight loss, we’re talking about soluble fiber.
What’s the Difference?
Insoluble fiber maintains most of its form while passing through your digestive tract. It helps promote a healthy metabolism and moves material through your gut.
Soluble fiber breaks down in water to form a viscous gel. This provides a healthy place for the growth of good gut bacteria that promote belly fat loss. It also provides a number of other fat-burning benefits.
Here are 5 reasons to incorporate more fiber into your weight loss diet.
1. Breaks Down into Belly Fat Burning Fatty Acids
Your body has to work to break down soluble fiber. Special enzymes and certain types of bacteria team up to make this possible. The byproduct of this process is the creation of short-chain fatty acids.
Studies suggest that short-chain fatty acids actually work to reduce fat storage and burn belly fat. This is great news for dieters. Pounds tend to linger in the belly area and getting rid of them can be a challenge, even with a great diet and a well-planned exercise routine. Fiber makes losing belly fat that much easier!
Not only that, but an abundance of short-chain fatty acids has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health benefits fiber has across the board.
2. Curbs Appetite
Fiber quite literally makes you feel less hungry. One study showed that increased soluble fiber intake reduced the body’s production of ghrelin—a hormone which causes hunger. By adding fiber to your diet, you feel more full with less, so you won’t be battling hunger pangs while dieting.
Additionally, soluble fiber breaks down into a gel-like substance when it meets water, which happens during digestion. This fiber gel causes food to remain in the stomach longer during the digestion process. The benefit of this is that it increases the duration of those feelings of fullness from eating.
3. Suppresses Sugar Cravings
Because fiber causes food to stay in the stomach longer during digestion, it provides a steady rate of nutrient absorption. This not only keeps you full longer but also keeps cravings at bay. Sugars are absorbed more slowly when eaten with fiber (which is why an apple will satisfy your cravings longer than a candy bar).
Essentially, you’ll be craving sugar less frequently if you add healthy fiber to your diet. Fruits are a great source of soluble fiber paired with natural sugars. We recommend pears, blackberries, apples, and strawberries as go-to’s to knock out those sugar cravings.
4. Supercharges Your Energy
One of the ways fiber helps lose weight is that it provides a welcome energy boost. This is due to the fact that fiber slows the release of sugar into your bloodstream. Instead of a brief jolt of energy caused by a typical sugar rush, you’ll be provided with a steady energy boost without a crash!
Every good weight loss program should include an exercise regimen to maximize your progress. Fiber is essential to maintaining a good diet and exercise routine because it provides you with prolonged increased energy required to make the most of each workout.
5. Reduces inflammation
Chronic inflammation caused by high-sugar, low fiber diets are linked to a variety of diseases. According to this study, there is a link between inflammation and hardened arteries. But the dangers go far beyond that, with inflammation being linked to obesity and diabetes.
Soluble fiber and the healthy gut bacteria it promotes help to battle this inflammation and prevent, or possibly reverse, damage done to the heart and arteries. Fiber can help turn back the clock on your health as you lose weight.
How Much Fiber Should I Eat a Day to Lose Weight?
Most adults are getting less than half the fiber they need, and this is linked to many of the health problems faced today, including obesity.
The recommended fiber intake for adult women is 25 grams per day. For men, it’s 30 grams. Meanwhile, most adult Americans are only getting 10–15 grams of fiber on a daily basis.
Where Should I get my Fiber?
While fiber supplements can be helpful and certainly work, the best source of fiber comes from natural foods.
Many fruits and vegetables contain high quantities of soluble fiber. It’s best to consume these as-is. Processes, like peeling and juicing foods that can be eaten with the skin on (such as apples and sweet potatoes), will remove some of the fiber. When eating thin-skinned fruits and other foods to get fiber, eat them with the skin on to get the most benefit.
Best Sources of Soluble Fiber
Now that you know you should be getting 25–30 grams of soluble fiber per day for health and weight loss, you’re probably wondering where you should get it. Below are the best foods that are high in soluble fiber.
- Artichoke – 60 calories, 9 grams of fiber
- 1 cup Raspberries – 64 calories, 8 grams of fiber
- ¾ cup Bran Cereal – 81 calories, 14 grams of fiber
- Chia seeds – 1 ounce – 138 calories, 9.8 grams of fiber
- Sweet Potato (including skin) – 103 calories, 5 grams of fiber
- ½ cup Black Beans – 114 calories, 8 grams of fiber
- ½ Avocado – 161 calories, 6.5 grams of fiber
- Apple (including skin) – 95–120 calories, 4–5 grams of fiber
- ½ cup Green Beans – 114 calories, 8 grams of fiber
- ½ cup Chickpeas – 176 calories, 8 grams of fiber