When it comes to “how to” lose weight, there are plenty of approaches you can take: count calories, control portions, ditch sugar and cut carbs, or meticulously track your food. And the truth is, any one of these methods may work for you, at least for a period of time…
When it comes to weight loss, keeping the weight off comes down to developing habits that you can sustain over time; what works for one person, may not work for another.
But no matter which approach you take to lose weight, there is ONE thing the vast majority of us aren’t eating enough of that can actually help with weight loss: FIBER.
A recent study suggests that something as simple as aiming to eat roughly 30 grams of fiber each day can help you lose weight, without making other changes to your diet.
What Is Fiber and What Does it Do?
Ok, I’m guessing you probably know what fiber is! But just in case you need a refresher… fiber is a form of carbohydrate found in plants that humans lack the enzyme to digest. It helps us feel fuller, helps keep things moving through the GI tract, supports healthy gut bacteria, and can even help support healthy blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar after a meal.
So if fiber can do all that, why are 95% of Americans still not getting enough? On average, Americans only eat 16 grams of fiber a day—far from the 28 grams recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
How to Get the Recommended 25-30 grams of fiber in a day
The first step towards getting the recommended intake of fiber per day is to educate yourself on the sources of fiber! Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are all fiber sources. The next step is to familiarize yourself with foods from these categories that contain the highest amounts of fiber. Eating higher fiber foods will make it easier to reach that optimal 30 grams for weight loss.
Here are some suggested high fiber foods for each meal:
High Fiber Foods for Breakfast
Chia seeds -1 ounce, 138 calories, 9.8 grams
Oatmeal – 1 cup cooked, 4 grams
Whole grain bread – 1 slice, 3 grams
Raspberries – 1 cup, 8 grams
Avocado – 1/2 cup, 5 grams
Black Bean Omelette – 13 grams of fiber
Coconut Oil (for pan)
2 Egg (whisked)
2 tbsps Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 Red Bell Pepper (finely diced)
1/2 cup Black Beans (cooked, drained and rinsed)
1/4 red onion (chopped)
3/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Paprika
Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
1/4 Avocado (diced)
- Place coconut oil in a frying pan and place on medium-low heat.
- Mix eggs, almond milk, red pepper, red onion, half the black beans, chili powder, nutmeg and paprika in a mixing bowl. Whisk together.
- Pour egg mixture into frying pan and let cook for about 3 minutes. Fold in half when underside of omelette begins to brown and let cook for another 3 minutes. (Note: If you are making more than 1 serving, you will have to divide the egg mixture and cook it in portions.)
- Top with diced avocado and the remaining black beans. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
High Fiber Foods for Lunch
Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad – 1 cup, 4 grams
Small Baked Sweet Potato, with skin – 4 grams
White Beans – 1/2 cup, 9.6 grams
Creamy Avocado White Bean Wrap – 13 grams of fiber
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups coleslaw mix
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced red onion
(4) 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat wraps, or tortillas, or collard greens leaves
- Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine.
- Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
- To assemble the wraps, spread about ½ cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about ⅔ cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.
High Fiber Foods for Snacks
Apple – 1 small, 4 grams
Pear – 1 medium, 5.5 grams
Almonds – 1 ounce, 3.5 grams
Roasted Chickpeas – 2 tablespoons, 4 grams
High Fiber Foods for Dinner
Quinoa – 1 cup, cooked – 5 grams
Broccoli – 1 cup, 5 grams
Green Beans – 1/2 cup, 8.3 grams
Artichokes – 1/2 cup, 7 grams
Chicken Caesar Salad – 4 grams of fiber
2 cups mixed greens
3 oz. cooked chicken, chopped
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
Combine salad ingredients and top with 2 Tbsp. Caesar dressing and freshly ground pepper.
2 diagonal slices baguette (1/4 inch thick), preferably whole-wheat, toasted and drizzled with 1 tsp. olive oil
So, there you have it – what 30 grams of fiber looks like in a day!