If shedding some holiday pounds is still on your to-do list, a good first start is to swap out those food you routinely eat that are packed with calories and fat. Even simple changes like drinking water instead of juice or soda or putting mustard on your sandwich instead of mayonnaise can really make a difference. Equally effective, but much less obvious - add more fiber to your diet.
I call fiber the “miracle carb” for dieting because delicious foods that are high in fiber are naturally low in calories. What’s more, digesting foods with fiber actually boosts metabolism. And fiber absorbs fat and calories in the stomach and flushes them out of the body before they can turn into weight gain.
In my new book, The Miracle Carb Diet Make Calories & Fat Disappear – with Fiber! I explain why fiber is a dieter’s best friend. Think of it this way: foods that are rich in fiber fill you up and keep you feeling full longer. Feeling satisfied matters when you are trying to lose weight because walking around hungry will surely undermine your best efforts.
Lots of tasty foods have fiber, some of them you know and others will surprise you. The good news is that it’s easy to eat more fiber starting right now. Here are a few ideas:
Give your kitchen cabinets a makeover by ditching all those calorie-laden processed foods that make it easy to put in weight. Swap out things like cookies, chips, crackers, and ice cream for foods that offer a similar taste sensation and contain a bit of fiber. For example, you can get your crunch fix nibbling on toasted whole wheat pita or for something tangy and creamy instead of full-fat cheese have some savory dip made with low-fat Greek yogurt. Did you know raspberries are very high in fiber? Berries are a great alternative to candy.
Track what you eat
Write down what you eat in a daily food journal because this makes you accountable for what you put into your mouth. According to a weight loss study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, people who kept a daily food journal lost twice as much weight as those who did not. Another study found that women who doubled their fiber intake from 12 to 24 grams per day cut their calorie absorption by 90 calories daily. This equates to about a 9.4-pound weight loss in a year!
Setting mini-goals will help you reach your weight loss goal within a reasonable length of time. Start out by making one dietary change a week, such as drinking eight glasses of water per day or switching to a high fiber, high protein breakfast such as scrambled egg whites and veggies on a high fiber English muffin. The combination of fiber and protein will boost your energy by keeping your blood sugar steady, and you’ll feel full right up to lunchtime.
A great way to get inspired to eat better is to create a picture board of the healthy foods you would enjoy. You can do by tearing photos out of magazines or go online and try making a photo pin-board on a photo sharing site such as Pinterest.
For more tips on healthy eating, drinking and weight loss, check out my new book The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and author of the Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber as well as the bestselling F-Factor Diet. In partnership with the Hain Celestial Group, Tanya has a national line of high-fiber foods marketed under the F-Factor name. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com.