Fact: Not getting enough fiber can increase your risk of weight gain and heart disease. But most Americans consume less than half the recommended daily intake!
Psst! Do you want to know one of the most effective weight loss and health secrets of all time? A trick that all but ensures you’ll remain full and satisfied while shedding pounds? The answer is clear as day: Eat more fiber.
It sounds far too simple to be legit, but it’s true. The oft-overlooked nutrient, which describes the indigestible material found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, is both extremely filling and brimming with health benefits—making it a vital component of every diet. The National Fiber Council recommends that adults consume 32 grams of the stuff a day, but as a nation, we’re coming up short. Very short, actually, with most of us getting between 10 and 15 grams a day. For a point of reference, that’s the equivalent of consuming just one large apple and three tablespoons of chickpeas—which is practically nothing!
Read on to find out exactly what can go awry if you don’t consume enough fiber; it may just be the kick in the rear you need to finally add more oatmeal and berries to your daily diet!
1. You Get Backed Up
Constantly feeling “backed up” in the bathroom may be a sign you’re coming up short on fiber, says certified dietitian nutritionist Ilyse Schapiro. “Having a fiber rich diet allows more water to remain in your stool, making it easier to pass through your intestines. When we don’t get enough fiber, it slows down our digestive system and makes it harder for us to eliminate our waste.” Add more of these high fiber foods to your daily diet to keep things—er, moving along smoothly—and ensure you hit the nutritional mark on the reg.
2. You’re Always Hungry
If you’ve ever eaten a huge tray of chicken nuggets and fries only to find your stomach growling soon after, it’s likely because you’re meal lacked fiber. Fiber helps to slow the digestion process, helping you feel fuller for longer. Adding a fiber-rich food like avocados, beans, brown rice, and pears to your meals and snacks will help keep those post-meal tummy rumbles at bay—and can subsequently aid weight loss efforts.