VISCERAL fat build-up poses serious health risks due to its positioning in the body so it is important to take steps to keep it in check.
While shunning bad dietary habits can help to reduce the harmful belly fat, upping your intake of certain food groups can also aid visceral fat loss.
Visceral fat is more insidious than subcutaneous fat - the type of fat you can pinch - because it lies deep under the surface.
Visceral fat is stored close to internal organs such as the liver and the heart so carrying an excess amount of it can lead to life-threatening complications such as heart disease.
Making healthy dietary decisions can help to reduce the harmful belly fat and eating a certain type of fibre has been shown to help.
In fact, studies have shown that by concentrating on your fiber intake, you can lose weight just as if you were on a diet.
Do You Get Enough Fiber?
Fiber is essentially roughage. Your body uses the food that you eat through the digestion process. Fiber doesn’t go through that process at all.
Your body doesn’t break it down.
It simply travels through your digestive tract. Fiber is either soluble or insoluble. If it’s soluble, that means that if you mix it with water, it will dissolve. Insoluble is not dissolved in water.
You might think that you get plenty of fiber in the foods that you eat, but the truth is that most people fall far short of the recommended intake.
How much fiber that you do end up getting is linked with whatever it is that you’re eating.
If you’re filling up on foods that have little or no fiber, then the odds are high that you’re short on fiber. If you’re a woman, you need at least 25 grams of fiber every single day.
What usually happens, though, is that most women end up eating about half the amount of fiber that they need.
For men, the amount of fiber that they should have is a little higher. A man should have around 38 grams of fiber every day.
The amount of fiber that you need - whether you’re a man or a woman - does lessen as you get older.
You can usually tell if you’re getting enough fiber by the foods that you eat.
The healthier that you eat, the greater the chances are that you’re getting the fiber that you need.
But if you live on a diet of processed foods, then it’s likely that you’re short-changing yourself on the fiber count.
Not eating healthy enough isn’t the only reason that most people don’t get the amount of fiber that they should have.
This can also be an issue when dieting.
Many popular diet plans don’t guide participants to eat enough fiber.
And many people who decide that they’re going to create their own diet don’t realize that they’re not getting enough fiber.
Why You Need More Fiber
Not having enough fiber in your diet can lead to some uncomfortable problems with your digestive health.
Without enough fiber, you might find yourself battling constipation.
Straining to have a bowel movement can lead to the development of painful hemorrhoids or even fissures.
Plus, if you don’t get enough fiber in your diet, it can lead to some scary health risks.
A lack of fiber is one of the primary links to an increased risk of getting colon cancer.
Fiber is a natural way to keep your bowels in good health.
When you eat enough fiber, it works as a stool softener to help keep constipation at bay.
It also lowers your risk of developing colon cancer more than just following a diet alone can do.
Without enough fiber, you’re affected in other parts of your body besides your digestive tract, too.
You won’t get the added benefit of an inflammation fighter without fiber. Fiber can reduce inflammation that’s known to cause several health problems.
Besides not getting help with inflammation, your cholesterol levels are affected when you don’t get all of the fiber that you should have.
When your bad cholesterol levels are raised, this can put you at a higher risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke.
When you get enough fiber, it’s good for your heart - even to the point where it can help you keep your blood pressure lowered.
Packing on the pounds can be a result of not getting the amount of fiber that you should have.
People who don’t eat enough fiber in their diet tend to end up gaining weight. The reason that this happens is that fiber helps you feel full so you end up eating less than you would if you weren’t eating fiber rich foods.
When you eat foods that are rich in fiber, you also end up getting fewer calories - but a lot more food.
This can help, because sometimes, when the cravings hit, you just want to eat.
By having a lot more food that’s lower in calories, but high in fiber, this will work to aid you in any plan to lose weight.
When you feel full, you don’t end up wanting to snack as often as you would without a good amount of fiber.
By taking in the amount of fiber that you need, you can have blood glucose levels that are more easily maintained.
Foods that are high in fiber can help prevent your body from getting a fast influx of sugar in the foods that you eat.
Not only can fiber help you maintain good glucose control in someone who has diabetes, but it can also be helpful in keeping type 2 diabetes from occurring in the first place.
How to Sneak More Fiber into Your Eating Plan
There are plenty of ways that you can add fiber to your daily diet and these are simple, easy changes that you can make right now.
When you eat breakfast, ditch the cereal that doesn’t have a lot of fiber and switch to one that does.
Your best bet is to look for cereal that’s bran or one that has four or more grams of fiber in it.
If you happen to be someone who isn’t a fan of cereals that are high in fiber because of the taste, you can create your own morning cereal with plenty of fiber by mixing other cereal that you do like with the kind that offers you a higher fiber value.
If you don’t like cold cereals for breakfast, there are still ways to get the fiber. Hot cereals such as oatmeal are also good sources of fiber.
You can add raisins to it, which will up the intake that you get even more.
Make sure that you’re getting fruits that are good sources of soluble fiber. An example of this would be apples.
Apples are convenient, filling and contribute to good digestive health.
To gain the most in fiber benefits, you’ll want to aim to eat one extra large or two small apples every day.
If you eat an afternoon snack, make sure that it’s loaded with fiber.
Some great snacks that can give you additional fiber are broccoli, carrots, popcorn, nuts and assorted berry types fruits such as raspberries.
Look for ways to replace your snack food with even better snack food.
For example, there are many snack foods, such as crackers, that can be good for you - if you look for the ones that healthy and fiber rich.
A great type of cracker to look for are the ones that aren’t white flour crackers.
Adding fiber to your diet doesn’t mean that you have to overhaul or cut out all of the favorite recipes that you currently make.
Instead, just look for ways to add fiber to the meals that you already make.
For example, if you have vegetables, mix together two or three vegetables that are all high in fiber.
An example of this might be mixing broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. All three are loaded with fiber. You can add high fiber foods to salads, casseroles, soups and even to meats like hamburgers.
With hamburgers, all you have to do is add in a mixture of high fiber beans as you’re making the burgers.
You won’t even be able to taste the difference. Let go of the white food and replace it with brown food.
Switch out white rice for brown rice. White rice only has .06 grams of fiber in a serving but brown rice has 3.5 grams of fiber.
Choose whole wheat bread, wheat pastas and wheat pitas and tortillas over the ones that are made with white flour.
Spruce up a sandwich by sneaking in fiber.
Dark leafy greens is one way. Using avocado slices is another. This food, from the plant family, packs a whopping 10 grams of fiber per cup!
If you’re not used to eating the amount of fiber in your diet, there are some fun ways that you can start making sure that you get enough. You can look at adding more fiber to your diet as a challenge.
Push yourself to find new ways to increase your intake every way. Remember that creativity can also help keep you from becoming bored with the meals that you eat.
Compare nutrition facts of the different foods that you eat so that you can pick the ones that offer you a higher amount of fiber.
Some foods that are high in fiber are legumes, whole grains, black-eyed peas. Also, okra, sweet potatoes and corn are high in fiber. If you’re looking for fruit that can raise your fiber intake, choose ones like raisins, oranges, prunes or bananas.
Fiber Is a Natural Appetite Suppressant
One of the hardest things about losing weight is the hunger that automatically kicks in whenever you even think about wanting to shed some pounds.
Despite your good intentions, you’ll find yourself hit with hunger pangs and cravings from the moment you decide to change your eating lifestyle.
But there’s a reason why this struggle hits everyone who decides to lose weight. The hunger pangs and cravings kick in because weight loss can’t be controlled with good intentions.
The ability to control it, however, does start in the brain. Your brain can help you lose weight when you eat enough fiber and the reason is that the hypothalamus is influenced by the consumption of fiber.
The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that works to help control whether or not you feel hungry. One study conducted in mice showed that there was a strong link between the amount of fiber eaten and the brain’s reaction.
What happens when you eat fiber is that it causes the production of acetate, which affects the way that the brain handles hunger. When the process of acetate occurs, your brain releases hormones that kick in and act as a natural appetite suppressant.
You’ll discover that you’ll have better control over hunger pangs because you won’t be feeling the hunger. And when you don’t feel hungry, it’s easier to not engage in mindless eating as well as control your portion sizes. You’ll be able to walk away when you’re not hungry.
Fiber Helps Fight Belly Fat
There’s an added bonus for the reason that you want to make sure that you’re getting plenty of fiber. The amount of fiber that a person eats can have a direct impact on how much belly fat he or she carries.
This type of fat is known as visceral fat and it’s the same kind of fat that can gather around your internal organs and cause some health problems.
If you’ve heard of the term “fatty liver” - that’s an example of how visceral fat affects your body.
People who don’t eat a diet that contains a healthy amount of fiber will be prone to carrying more belly fat than a person who does eat plenty of fiber.
You can lessen the percentage of visceral fat that your body has by raising your fiber intake, even by as little as 10 grams a day.
Fiber is natural weapon against obesity because of the way it can lower how much visceral fat that you store.
Some people choose to take fiber supplements or powder to make sure that they’re getting enough fiber.
While that’s certainly an option, there is a way that you can do it naturally without having to take anything extra to boost your level.
The best way that you can add more fiber to help you shed fat is by making sure you’re consuming a diet that’s rich in whole foods.
The more natural these foods are, the higher the fiber content will be and the better they’ll be for your body.
When you first start to add more fiber to your diet, you might notice some uncomfortable side effects.
This is normal and there’s a reason that these side effects can happen. It has to do with the way that you add fiber into your diet.
You want to gradually increase your fiber rather than going from little fiber to all that you need in a day. Your body won’t be used to handling that amount of fiber.
Fiber can cause bloating or a sense of fullness. You may also experience painful gas pains or abdominal cramping after consuming fiber. These will go away as your body adjusts to the healthier way of eating.