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One Small Change

Eat More Fiber to Lose Weight

David Cordner / Getty Images

If, like me, you still haven’t lost the weight you gained from eating so many Christmas cookies but, nonetheless, have just ordered a dozen boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, then the apocalypse could indeed be upon us. But suppose, just suppose, that there was a way to turn yourself into a Thin Mint™ without giving up your Do-si-dos™? No doubt, you’d say Thank U Berry Munch™. But I digress. (Does it sound like I’m obsessed?)

Not long ago researchers at Tufts University reviewed every study they could find on fiber consumption and weight loss. What they discovered was even more miraculous than those delicious Peanut Butter Patties™. (Have you tried them frozen?) Specifically, the researchers determined that study participants who ate an additional 14 grams of fiber per day—about twice what they had been eating—consumed 10 percent fewer calories overall without even trying.

That’s right. You heard correctly my little Lemon Chalet Crème™. It’s possible for you to slash your calorie intake and subsequently lose weight by eating just 14 teeny grams of additional fiber per day. (Eat a cup of bran cereal in the morning and you already have 10.) The reason is simple: Fiber fills you up so you stop eating sooner and aren’t as inclined to snack later. So you never feel like you’re dieting or depriving yourself of anything. As a bonus, fiber supplies all kinds of other health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, dropping blood pressure, reducing cancer and diabetes risk, supplying long-burning energy for exercise, and even whitening teeth.

So this month, in my never-ending quest to find small changes that yield big results (with hardly any effort), I intend to eat 14 extra grams of fiber per day. That’s a total of 392 grams, or nearly 1 pound of assorted roughage.

What will this experiment do to my weight? What will it do to my digestive track? What will it do to my marriage? Tagalongs™ with me and find out.

If you’re interested in making this small change, too, here’s the next step: Start tracking, as best you can, how many grams of fiber you eat daily. Don’t make any extra effort to get more, just eat normally, read labels, and approximate where you stand. If you’re like most Americans, you’ll find you’re getting 10 to 15 grams per day, which is far below the National Fiber Council’s recommended 32.

Meanwhile, I’ll be doing the same. Then next blog we’ll compare notes, and I’ll lay out the specifics of the program, namely the best ways to work more fiber into your diet and lose weight. And rest assured the plan won’t include filching any of Nana’s prunes or Metamucil.

And by the way, in case you were wondering, Caramel deLites™ have the most fiber of any Girl Scout Cookie (0.5 grams apiece). Eat 28 of them and you’ll hit that magic 14-gram number (but you’ll also ingest nearly 2,000 calories and 98 grams of fat). So it looks like we’ll need a different plan….

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About The Author

Joe Kita – Joe Kita is a noted writer, editor, motivational speaker and teacher. He authors the blog "One Small Change" for CorePerformance.com.

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Tags: Metabolism, Weight Loss, Calories, Food