Let’s talk about the most important tools to weight loss. They are almost a secret because everyone finds them a little boring to talk about. In fact, most people only start getting interested in the topic when they are much older. And then it’s all they want to talk about.
The most effective tools to weight loss and weight maintenance are fiber and water.
Where can you find fiber and water? Not surprisingly you find them in whole plant foods. Like vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes. The exact same foods I promote in my book BREAK THE CYCLE and in all my online challenges.
What has no fiber? Animal products and fats/oils.
What has little or no fiber? Processed foods.
In my article on HOW TO AVOID DIVERTICULOSIS you learn how important fiber is for colon health. But what you might not realize is that a high fiber diet is critical for weight loss and weight maintenance.
Basically, fiber refers to carbohydrates that cannot be digested by your gut. It is classified as either soluble or insoluble. It depends on whether it dissolves in water (soluble) or not (insoluble).
Here are the FOUR Ds to help you remember why fiber is so important for weight loss.
1. DILUTION OF CALORIES
Vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes are the foods with the lowest caloric density and highest in fiber. If you fill up on these foods you 'dilute' the number of calories consumed at every meal.
To dilute your calories further, add a cup or two of non-starchy vegetables to your meal. This way you can reduce the amount of grains or beans in your bowl and not even notice it. Check out my stir fry recipes in the vegetable section of the website. Each recipe makes 8 cups which you can add to all your dishes throughout the week.
2. DISTENTION OF THE STOMACH
Eating a lot of fiber fills you up and activates the stretch receptors in the stomach. These receptors then signal the brain that you have had enough to eat.
So, start every meal with non-starchy vegetables first. This engages the stretch receptors early. So, there isn’t much room left for more calorically dense foods. In short, start every meal with a salad. Then move on to steamed vegetables or vegetable soup. Finally, if you have room, eat your legumes and grains.
3. DELAY IN STOMACH EMPTYING
High fiber foods take longer to break down in the stomach.
So, delay in stomach emptying is simply due to the amount of high fiber foods you have eaten. Eating any whole food plant-based meal will automatically delay stomach emptying. This will keep you feeling full for much longer.
4. DUMPING OF CALORIES
When you eat fiber rich foods not all the calories are absorbed by the body. Some of those calories are trapped in the fibers of the food.
The more fiber we have in the diet, the less calories we absorb, the more calories are dumped on the other end. Because it is not the number of calories that we consume, it is the number of the calories that get absorbed.
So, the amount of fiber in a high fiber diet alone can make you absorb between five to 10% less calories in your diet.
Besides being great for weight loss, a high fiber diet also:
Is Good for your Microbiome
Fiber functions mostly as bulking agents, adding content to your stool. Fiber does not get digested. It tends to reach your large intestine relatively unchanged. Also, there are certain soluble fibers help feed the friendly gut bacteria. These bacteria are essential for good health.
Inflammation is associated with many lifestyle conditions, including obesity. Fiber consumption has been linked to reduced inflammation.
Keeps you Feeling Full Longer
Fiber with a high viscosity may provide increased fullness. It also reduces appetite. Viscous, soluble fiber is found only in plant foods.
Beans, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and oats are particularly rich in viscous fiber.
By the way, you may be thinking, why can’t I just maintain my crappy diet and take fiber supplements? Well, the body knows better. You can't fool your body into 'thinking' you are eating real food.
Fiber supplements are usually ineffective for weight loss. The exception is glucomannan which I will discuss another time. So, getting your fiber from whole plant foods is better than supplementing.
Remember you can not supplement your way out of a poor diet. Get your fiber and water from fresh, water filled whole plant-based foods. And watch the magic happen for your weight loss and weight maintenance goals.
Article: Fiber Can Help You Lose Weight — But Only a Specific Type (healthline.com)
Presentation: Dr. Rosane Oliveira on the 2021 The Truth About Weight Loss Summit, www.betterlifesummits.com.
My buddy and I were discussing the merits of filtering drinking water. She has some thyroid issues and chlorine is a bad thing for the thyroid. She is also on a budget so wanted to know if it was necessary to filter our drinking water.
She asked me if leaving tap water out overnight will off-gas the chlorine from the water. Would it be chlorine free by the time you drink it? So, I delved into what turned out to be a rather complex topic. Here's what I found out.
Here's a quote from an article from High Times:
'It’s no longer enough to leave your tap water out for day to let the chlorine evaporate, because water is being treated with chloramine, which takes so long to evaporate that other methods of removal or neutralization are needed.
For a lot of reasons, chloramine sanitizes water more effectively than simple chlorine gas. In fact, chloramine’s slow evaporation rate is one of the reasons it’s used instead of chlorine. Taking this into account, gardeners and clean water lovers alike need other methods of removing this noxious compound.'
Okay, Here's a quote from ThoughtCo. about the merits of chlorine and it's dangers for human consumption:
Chlorine is a highly efficient disinfectant, and it is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria that the water or its transport pipes might contain.... But Harrison says that all this disinfecting has not come without a price: Chlorine introduced into the water supply reacts with other naturally-occurring elements to form toxins called trihalomethanes (THMs), which eventually make their way into our bodies.
THMs have been linked to a wide range of human health maladies ranging from asthma and eczema to bladder cancer and heart disease. In addition, Dr. Peter Montague of the Environmental Research Foundation cites several studies linking moderate to heavy consumption of chlorinated tap water by pregnant women with higher miscarriage and birth defect rates.
Need more proof? Here's what the Canadian Cancer Society has to say about tap water and cancer.
For decades, researchers have studied the long-term effects of using chlorinated tap water. Most studies have shown that when people are exposed to chlorinated water over long periods of time, it slightly increases their risk of bladder cancer. Some studies have also found links to colorectal cancer, but we need more research to be sure of this link.
Several chlorination by-products are possible causes of cancer. Studies have shown that trihalomethanes (THMs) and halo acetic acids (HAAs), which are the most common chlorination by-products, can cause cancer in laboratory animals.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends the following:
You may be able to reduce your exposure to chlorination by-products by:
However, levels of chlorination by-products may not be reduced by all types of products mentioned here. And you can still be exposed to by-products when you shower or swim in a pool treated with chlorine.
If you choose to use these types of products, make sure they are certified to National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards. Also change the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid contamination from bacteria and other microbes.
Okay, so this has been my reason for using a water filter. Right now, I am using a Brita filter but see the importance of having a complete filtration system and avoiding chlorinated pools. Especially if you have any issues with your thyroid. For more on thyroid health, check out my article: How to Support your Thyroid.