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One Small Change

Fill Your Breakfast with Fiber

Adam Gault / Getty Images

Judging from the size and looks of consternation (constipation?) on the faces of most Americans, it should be obvious that as a nation we are not getting enough fiber. In fact, some will argue it’s a moral as well as dietary deficiency. Fortunately, I’ll only be addressing the latter dilemma this month as I try to lose my winter gut by doing nothing more than eating 14 additional grams of fiber per day. You heard right. No extra workouts, no dieting, no other changes. My life will proceed as normal except for some extra birdfeed.

It’s all based on new research showing two things:

  1. Most of us eat less than half the 32 grams of daily fiber recommended for optimal health.
  2. Ingesting 14 grams of additional fiber per day generally results in eating about 10 percent less overall, which ultimately makes fatboys everywhere slim.

On the surface, it seems too good to be true—which is what I intend to find out. To begin, I tracked my fiber intake for a few days, diligently reading labels and consulting the National Fiber Council and other online resources for specific gram-counts. Although the long-suffering Mrs. Kita disputes my findings, I learned that I’m ingesting only 15 to 20 grams per day. (It must be the beer, honey.) So I have plenty of room for improvement.

Next, since it’s easiest to get fiber from breakfast cereals, I decided to pack those 14 grams into the first meal of the day and get it out of the way. So I mixed ¼ cup of Arrowhead Mills Organic Steel Cut Oats (8g) with ½ cup of water, 1 medium diced apple (3g) and some raisins (1g). Paired with an 8-ounce glass of low-sodium V8 juice (2g), the total came to exactly 14.

Overall, it proved to be a hearty breakfast that, with a sprinkling of cinnamon, didn’t taste at all like wall paste. It kept me feeling full and adequately fueled right through my noon workout. And because of the complex carbohydrate and protein it delivered, it also eliminated the mid-morning energy dip that used to send me to the coffee-maker. And yes, unless it’s my imagination, I did feel less hungry the rest of the day.

Looks like this is going to be a piece of cake (whole-wheat pastry flour, of course). Uh, unh, I’m sorry, but can you excuse me for a minute? I’m feeling a bit, uh, distressed…

Okay, sorry about that. As I just discovered, eating that much fiber in a short period can be dangerous. Unless you’re accustomed to eating a lot of fiber or have a thresher for a gut, experts say it’s best to increase your intake by 20 percent per week. This insures that you’ll experience little, if any, gastrointestinal distress. But if you don’t have that much time (or enjoy gastrointestinal distress) then by all means soldier on. Since this is a month-long experiment for me, I’m going to tough it out and stick with my morning bowl of steel cut. Wish me luck. Gotta run….

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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: Nutrients, Metabolism, Weight Loss, Breakfast