Monday, September 28, 2009

High fiber diet plan - why not try what works

With all the fad diets going around these days, it's easy to get lost in the hoopla of what's supposed to be the latest, greatest way to lose weight. Most folks looking to drop some pounds would likely benefit from a simple high fiber diet plan.

Let's face it - many people are looking for diet secrets, but what they really need is a weight loss formula. One proven strategy is to add more fiber to the meals you eat each day. Consider my story.

From the time I was in high school until my late 20s, I weighed about 175 pounds. Didn't matter what I ate. Didn't matter how much I exercised or didn't exercise. I always knew when I got on the scales, I'd look down and see 175, give or take a pound or two.

Then I hit 30. Before I knew it I was pushing 200. Seeing my weight in the 180s didn't really bother me, but when I got to the point where I could see 2-0-0 approaching, I knew I had to do something.

So, I went on a high fiber diet. Within about three months I was back in the 170s. Life was good.

Until I hit my mid 40s. I got on the scales one day and saw 196. Uh-oh.

What did I do? The same thing I did in my 30s. High fiber, low fat.

Three or four months later - 172. Like I was back in high school.

To be honest, I didn't know how the high fiber diet plan worked. I just knew it worked. A little research helped me understand a bit better.

Fox News' health blog calls fiber the "magic bullet of weight loss."

"Fiber makes us feel full sooner and stays in our stomach longer than other substances we eat, slowing down our rate of digestion and keeping us feeling full longer," a post on the blog says. "Fiber also moves fat through our digestive system faster so that less of it is absorbed."

The Mayo Clinic says fiber aids in weight loss.

"High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you're no longer hungry, so you're less likely to overeat," the clinic's web site says. "Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time."

The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, which has as its mission to advise the nation on how to improve health, says on its web site that men 50 years and younger should eat about 38 grams of fiber. Women of that age should take in about 25 grams. Men and women over 50 should have an intake of 30 and 21 grams per day, respectively, due to decreased food consumption, according to the institute.

The Harvard School of Public Health suggests on its web site that women shoot for more than 20 grams of fiber a day, while men should try to get more than 30 grams. The school says eating a diet with plenty of fiber also might lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis and constipation.

All in all, eating a high fiber diet plan will likely help you lose weight, feel better and live healthier.

Steve DeVane

(NOTE - Here's information on a weight loss system and a high fiber snack.)