Fibre, Fat Loss and The Fab Four
The 'F' Word
Ask anyone for diet advice and I guarantee carbs, fats and protein will all come in to the conversation.
Over the years we’ve had love/hate relationships with all of these wonderful macronutrients but fitness professionals now (mostly) agree, despite what our favourite reality T.V stars say, there’s no real reason to completely remove any of these food groups from our diets.
While carbs, fats and protein are often seen as the ‘big three’ macronutrients, let’s have a look at what makes up our Fab Four.
Fibre, like Ringo from The Beatles, is often forgotten but vital to keep everything moving along nicely.
But unlike our drumming friend, fibre may be able to help you on your quest to lose body fat.
What Is Fibre?
Fibre is a really important part of a healthy diet and may help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. It also eases digestion and, like I mentioned before, can be useful when cutting calories.
Fibre is found only in plant-based foods and there are two main types:
Soluble fibre: Digested by the body, it helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood as well as softening stools. It also forms a sticky gel in the stomach which can slow up digestion and help balance blood sugar levels.
Oats, root vegetables and fruits are good sources of soluble fibre.
Insoluble fibre: Passes through the digestive system without being broken down. It keeps the bowel healthy and helps other foods move through the body.
Wholemeal bread, nuts and cereals all contain insoluble fibre.
How Can Fibre Help You Lose Weight?
As well as general health benefits, filling up on fibre can help you shed pounds in the following ways:
High fibre foods typically contain few calories for their bulk, or size. This low-energy density means that you get more space filled up in your stomach for fewer calories.
After ingesting fibre you feel physically fuller as your stomach expands, and the sticky gel forms and slows digestion.
The Bottom line is, one of the worst things about trying to lose weight - feeling hungry - can be minimised with a well-balanced healthy diet rich in fibre.
How Much Fibre Do You Need?
Western diets, especially those full of processed foods, can be severely lacking in fibre, which can lead to disease and digestion problems mentioned above.
The general consensus for adult fibre intake is around 25-30g per day.
If your diet is currently low in fibre, increase it gradually to limit any undesirable side effects!
About the author: Ronny Terry is a personal trainer at Kiss Gyms Swindon. You can view his profile HERE