How Fiber Can Help in Your Weight Loss Journey

By February 24, 2020 Weight Loss

Have you considered your fiber intake day-to-day? According to this article in Shape Magazine, consuming a healthy amount of fiber daily can be linked to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight into later adulthood. The article explains “Studies peg foods rich in fiber to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—and that fiber for weight loss might be the key ingredient to losing weight without feeling hungry. For instance, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that women who increased their intake of high-fiber or whole-grain foods over a 12-year period were half as likely to become overweight as those who decreased their consumption. (P.S. Here’s the difference between whole wheat and whole grain).”

They break down the following buzz words you’ve probably either heard OR seen plastered on food packaging – see below for their breakdown on what these terms mean:

Why You Need More Fiber for Weight Loss (and In General)

Most people (latest reports estimate about 95 percent of Americans) aren’t getting enough fiber. The average American woman consumes about 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day—about half of what’s needed to meet the basic recommendation of 25 grams. And experts say that more is even better—about 30 to 40 grams a day, according to David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor adjunct of public health and director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.

But before you put that healthy-looking loaf of bread in your shopping cart, be sure you know what you’re getting, advises Kathy McManus, R.D., director of nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Read the label carefully and check the fiber content. Look for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving in bread and choose a cereal with a minimum of 2 grams per 100 calories. Other label buzzwords to watch for:

  • “Whole”: as in “100 percent whole wheat” or “whole-grain oats.” Ideally, the first ingredient listed should be a whole grain.
  • “Excellent source of fiber”: This means you’re getting at least 5 grams of fiber in every serving, while “good source” means that one serving contains at least 2.5 grams of fiber.
  • “Graham flour”: A type of whole wheat flour. So, yes, it’s whole grain. But remember to check the fiber content.
  • “Whole-grain food”: Each serving must contain at least 51 percent whole grains. But, depending on the product, the amount of fiber may still be low. For instance, breads contain more water than cereals do, so even when they’re whole-grain, they won’t necessarily contain much fiber. Always check the label.
  • “Made with whole grains”: If the grains in question appear far down on the ingredients list, put the product back on the shelf.
  • “Multigrain”: The food is made with more than one type of grain, but not necessarily whole grains. Check the ingredients list and the fiber content.
  • “100 percent wheat”: If it doesn’t say “whole,” it’s refined flour, which means all the fiber and nutrients were stripped away in processing.
  • “Enriched”: This term indicates that some of the vitamins have been added back after processing—but the fiber hasn’t. Skip it. (Asking for a friend, okay, me…Is it possible to eat too much fiber?)

If you’d like some help or clarification on these terms, how to shop for fiber-rich foods, or just want a better understanding on how nutrition affects your weight-loss journey, contact our office today! We’re here to help!

We believe in making healthy, lifelong changes to your daily eating and exercise patterns. Physician’s Weight Control & Wellness’s programs are different from other weight loss programs in that they are specifically constructed by bariatric specialists to meet each patient’s individual needs based on their body chemistry, lifestyle, and weight loss goals. Our individualized programs focus on providing positive alternatives to unhealthy habits and targeting foods which provide your body with the specific nutrients it needs for optimal energy and fat metabolism. Practical exercise and hydration are also implemented into our overall program.


Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash