I get several hundred emails a day and there are usually common themes. Lately, these three issues have been coming up quite a bit.
1. “I am several years out and I just cannot seem to feel full as easily and it scares me.”
2. “I am really having trouble keeping things moving and some days it is really painful.”
3. “I know I need some good carbs but I see tons of sugar and empty calories in the carbs I am finding.”
There is one answer to all three of these and it is one I use every day.
FIBER!!!! DIETARY FIBER helps with all of these issues and you can get more if it so easily.
While most of you are well aware of what fiber is and why we need it after many types of weight loss surgery, here is a quick refresher. Dietary fiber comes from parts of plants that your body can’t digest or absorb. What makes fiber different from fats, proteins or carbohydrates is that our bodies cannot break down fiber or absorb it and as a result fiber isn’t digested by your body. The end result is that is passes through our digestive system intact and aids in relieving constipation issues in most people. It also fills you up very quickly.
I have a friend, who is not a weight loss surgery patient, who was just telling me she cannot eat protein bars with 8 or more grams of fiber because if the ummm…..explosive results. JEALOUS!!!! Anyone else with me on that one?
Fiber also makes you feel full. There is a reason why it is called “roughage” or “bulk” by many. I have a little experiment for those of you who have emailed saying you have trouble feeling full these days. Get some Fiber One Original cereal. (I know a lot of people say it doesn’t taste that great, but I tend to like it myself. It has just a touch of sweetness but zero sugar.) Take a handful of the cereal and drop it into a cup of water. Come back in about an hour. BINGO! Now you know why eating more fiber can help with feeling full!
Fiber tends to expand in liquid.
So we all know why we need fiber now and what it is. How much do you need? That varies from person to person. The USDA official recommendation is to get 14 grams per 1000 calories. Now, for those of us who have had Weight Loss Surgery and tend to get a bit…..stopped up….I would suggest adding a bit more. I try to get at least 30-40 grams per day. some days it just doesn’t happen, but eating fiber-enriched cereals makes it a lot easier.
Want to know ways to get more into your diet? Here are three great high fiber foods!
1. Fiber One cereals– I prefer the original due to the fact that it has zero sugar added. some people are not crazy about that one and prefer one of the other flavors such as the Honey Squares. Try a few of them and pick the one that best suits you. To some the added sugar is not a big issue, but if you dump, or are avoiding the empty calories of the sugar, try to stick with original.
2. EAT GREEN PLANTS!!!– Try adding more of these: GREEN BEANS- 4 grams per cup raw, GREEN CABBAGE- 3 grams per 2/3 cup cooked, TURNIP GREENS- 4 grams per 1/2 cup, SPINACH- 7 grams per 1/2 cup cooked. Get my drift? EAT GREEN VEGGIES!
3. EAT MORE LEGUMES!- Do you like hummus? 1 cup of cooked chick peas has 12 grams of fiber! Lentils, Black eyed peas, Lima beans, and all beans are full of fiber which offsets the higher carb content. I try to eat some form of beans every day when possible.
Beans and other high fiber foods are always a part of my post work-out recovery meals too. You just cannot go wrong after a good workout with a high fiber carb to replenish the energy stores you have used and also to make you feel full. One of my faves is taco meat with fat-free re-fried beans. YUMMY!
Some days, I just am having one of those hungry days and I just need a little more food than normal. My usual routine is to first drink a big glass of water or Crystal Light and make sure my “hunger” is not really thirst, as can be the case for weight loss surgery patients. If I truly am hungry, I will grab a handful of fiber cereal or a handful of almonds and that usually does the trick and will keep me full longer than a piece of cheese.
So if you are one of those who has emailed me about not filling up as easily or about things not moving as easily as they should, try adding fiber to your diet! Your body will love you for it!