Although fiber is a carbohydrate, it doesn’t raise your blood sugar like other carbohydrates because it doesn’t convert to glucose. This is because your body doesn’t break down fiber, so it actually slows the entrance of glucose into your bloodstream, which reduces the blood-sugar spikes that cause insulin production and encourage the body to produce and store body fat. Fiber also helps you feel full longer, resulting in fewer food cravings.
You should be consuming between 25 grams and 35 grams of fiber a day, which I suggest breaking down into 8 grams to 10 grams of fiber with each meal. Start slowly and remember to drink plenty of water; too much fiber too soon could cause gas or bloating. Here are my tips for filling up with fiber and taking advantage of this powerful weight-loss tool:
- Go for veggies. Almost all non-starchy vegetables are naturally high in fiber, and you’re probably not eating enough! Pile tomatoes and avocado on your morning eggs, snack on cucumber slices with a dollop of tuna salad (keep the skin on the cucumber, and other fruits and veggies, for a bigger fiber boost) and enjoy a hearty salad for lunch. Cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts make excellent sides for your evening meal. This brussell sprout with bacon works for any occasion and these cauliflower hashbrowns make a delious breakfast or lunch meal.
- Don’t forget flax. Two tablespoons of flax seed has 7 grams of fiber. You can mix it in your Greek yogurt with raspberries or blackberries, top sprinkle it over salad. You can also try these Flaxseed crackers or Spice muffins to increase your flaxseed intake.
- When You are Ready, Go for whole grains. With Atkins, you’re eliminating the refined grains that a wreak havoc with your waistline and blood sugar levels. Whole grains are rich in fiber. Depending on your personal carb tolerance, you can enjoy steel-cut oats (instead of rolled oats), and try small amounts of hearty grains like quinoa, faro and barley. And high-fiber coconut flour is better than all-purpose flour.
- Fruits have fiber. Low sugar fruits such as berries are much better for you than fruit juice (a half cup of raspberries adds 4 fiber grams, blackberries add 3.8 and blueberries or strawberries add 1.7) and kiwis (2.7 grams per fruit). When you eat your fruit with protein and/or fat (such as Greek yogurt, nuts, cheese or heavy cream), you slow the impact these natural sugars have on your blood sugar levels.
- Atkins Bars. Providing protein, fiber and the taste you love; Atkins Bars are a delicious, convenient and nutritious way to stay satisfied until your next meal and help you reach your fiber target. A Fudge Caramel bar for example has 8.5g of fiber .
Once you focus on your fiber intake, you’ll find how much more satisfied you feel, while achieving your weight-loss goals.