There’s certainly more than one way to approach weight loss — you can count calories, carbs, points, or meticulously weigh your food.
The truth of the matter is any of these may or may not work for you for a variety of reasons, many of which have to do with sustainability.
No matter which way you prefer to cut calories, there is one thing the vast majority of us aren’t eating enough of that can actually help with weight loss: fiber.
What Is Fiber and What Does It Do?
Fiber, a form of carbohydrate found in plants that humans lack the enzyme to digest, helps us feel fuller on fewer calories.
Fiber feeds the helpful bacteria living in our guts, helps keep things moving through the GI tract, can help support cardiovascular health, and can even help support healthy blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar after a meal.
We know fiber isn’t sexy. But if you’re looking for a simpler way to slim down and improve your health, eating more fiber may help you get there. There’s solid scientific research to prove it:
A study published in the Annals of Medicine compared the effectiveness of two diets: One group was asked to eat a simple, high-fiber diet with a goal of 30 grams of fiber per day.
The other group was assigned a more complicated diet, which asked participants to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean protein, and cut back on salt, sugar, fat, and alcohol.
Despite the two very different diets, each group of dieters lost comparable amounts of weight (those on the more complicated diet lost four more pounds, on average), ate about the same amount (19 grams) of fiber each day (the high-fiber group didn’t quite make their daily fiber quota) and kept the weight off for 12 months.
This may suggest that when making dietary tweaks to lose weight, more change isn’t always better, but more importantly, fiber consumption is the common thread for both groups.