The Missing Ingredient in Your Weight Loss and Longevity Plan

In Fitness and Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy Articles by Jeff Gilliam, PT, PhD, OCSLeave a Comment

The Missing Ingredient in Your Weight Loss and Longevity Plan

What is the missing link that’s been shown to be one of the secrets to weight loss and disease prevention…F I B E R!!

You think you’ve heard it before, nope not even close! Did you know…

Just adding fiber to your daily intake can start the weight reduction process. Yes a study of those that added 14 grams of fiber to their intakes daily lost 3.5 pounds more weight over a 6 month period than those that did not add fiber.

Eating more fiber increases longevity. A recent study showed that those men with the highest fiber intakes had a 23% reduction in the risk of dying, while women had a 19% reduction compared to those eating the least amount of fiber.

So what does fiber do to give us these results?
Fiber, found in whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetables and fruits aids the body with bowel movements, lowers blood-cholesterol levels and improves blood glucose levels. Some studies have suggested that fiber may lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Regarding weight loss:

  • The water-soluble fiber triggers fullness and can also contribute to satiety during meals and during the post-meal period.
  • Dietary fiber may also influence energy intake and body weight through its effects on gut hormones.
  • Dietary fiber may enhance the steady absorption of nutrients, sustain a higher energy level, and decrease the available energy from foods.
  • Soluble fibers delay gastric emptying, slow down their exit from the stomach and retard digestion.
  • Fiber’s bulk prevents constipation and minimizes intestinal disorders such as diverticulitis.
  • Foods high in fiber, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, are low in calories. Fiber is filling because it absorbs water as it moves through the digestive tract.
    Best sources of Fiber: All types of beans, high fiber breakfast cereals (Fiber One), fruits and vegetables, nuts.

What Can I Do to Make This Happen for Me?!

  1. Eat a HIGH fiber breakfast cereal first thing in the AM (such as the original Fiber One)
  2. Eat 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables at each meal.
  3. Add beans to at least one meal a day.
  4. Eat 1-2 servings of raw nuts for snacks each day: walnuts, cashews, almonds
  5. Make sure that you eat the skins of your fruits and vegetables.
  6. If you eat bread, plan on using double fiber bread or high fiber wraps.

How Much Fiber do You Need? That varies depending on how many calories you take in each day…but if you get > 35 grams per day you’re doing well and on your way to Weight Loss and Improved Health! Make sure that your drink plenty of water as your fiber intake increases.

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Jeff Gilliam PT PhD, OCS: is a weight loss specialist, who has studied extensively in the areas of health behavior, exercise physiology and nutritional biochemistry at the University of Florida. Jeff has taught a course at the University of Florida called ’Research Applications to Obesity and Weight Loss’. He has also taught courses for the DPT program at UF in Health Promotion and Wellness’ and ‘Evidence Based Practice III’. He has presented on a national level on topics related to diseases related to obesity and changing behavior to facilitate a healthy lifestyle. His PhD research was in the area of effective behavioral interventions for obesity and its associated diseases. He is founder of Physicians’ Choice for Weight Loss, a successful lifestyle/weight loss program, which can be found in over 50 clinics in the eastern US. He currently is clinical director of ReQuest Physical Therapy (Gainesville, Florida) and incorporates his lifestyle/weight loss program into his patients’ physical therapy to help them achieve their healthiest body weight. Jeff Gilliam is an Orthopedic Certified Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties

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