Though many people call this season “spring” I often call it bathing suit season. There’s no more true way to assess your progress than slipping on a bathing suit. I put my two piece on yesterday and I need to make a bit of progress myself.
The average American adult only gains a couple pounds each year. The problem is this small amount of weight isn’t lost. And over time, this small amount of weight is what researchers now call “creeping obesity.”
Here’s a trick, though, that will help. Bulk up your food meaning eat more fiber.
Researchers at one University followed the eating habits of 252 middle aged women for nearly two years and found those who increased their fiber intake generally lost weight. Women who decreased the fiber in their diets gained. The scientists boiled down their entire research study into this very simple, take home message — boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1000 calories — lost about 4.5 extra pounds in a relatively short time.
Very simply, fiber helps fill you up.
Here are 3 ways to bulk up your diet with volume and fiber, not calories.
Add berries to your morning Greek yogurt. One cup of raspberries gives 8 grams of fiber. When you add that to the protein in your plain Greek yogurt, along with even a handful of nuts for healthy fats, you’ll be satisfied with quality nutrients and likely to eat less.
Add a serving of beans to your diet. Here’s a snack I recently tried that’s simple and fantastic for you. Pick up a can of chickpeas, open, drain and rinse them. Spread them out on a baking sheet or in an iron skillet, so there is room to shake them around. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper (or cinnamon and cumin, to add a unique flavor) and bake at 450 for around 15-20 minutes, tossing occasionally. A handful of these are an incredible snack that will satisfy you with a unique flavor and fill you with fiber.
Eat fruit instead of juice. One whole orange is equal in calories to 1/2 cup of juice, yet the orange offers at least 4 more grams of fiber. Whole fruit is another great snack – pair it with a handful of nuts or a slice or two of cheese and you have a perfect snack. One study even showed starting every meal with one apple helped decrease the portion at the next meal. This too could be an option.
Be prepared for bathing suit season and proud to go to the pool. Bulk up to slim down.