Belly Fat – Can You Really Fight It with Fiber?
For the millions of people who struggle with belly fat, figuring out a way to loose stomach fat fast can be frustrating. There are tons of products being sold every day that claim to immediately reduce fat in this problem area, but they never follow through on their promises. In fact, one of the best ways to get rid of belly fat is something that you probably eat regularly, although maybe not enough to make a difference. Read on to find out more about soluble fiber and how it can help you reach your goals.
What is dietary fiber?
Dietary fiber is the part of food, particularly plants, that you cannot digest. It passes through your body and there are two types: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and slows down the release of digested foods from your stomach. The slower speed of digestion allows your body to remove more nutrients from what you’ve eaten. Insoluble fiber is bulking, doesn’t digest in water, and is great for helping with constipation. The two types of dietary fiber differ in how they react in your body, and it’s soluble fiber that is so powerful in the fight against belly fat.
What do foods high in fiber do to your appetite?
When you eat soluble fiber you naturally regulate hormones in your body that are related to appetite. These hormones, neuropeptide Y and ghrelin, will decreased when you eat more fiber. Another benefit is that you will have higher levels of peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokinin – hormones that make you feel full after eating. When you eat fiber and it slows the movement of food through your body you will naturally released nutrients more slowly, causing your body to not released insulin – a hunger hormone – at a slower rate, as well.
The connection between soluble fiber and a healthy gut.
When you eat a diet high in soluble fiber you are promoting a healthy gut with bacteria diversity. This may seem uninteresting, but having a large variety of bacteria actually lowers your risk of having stomach fat. Your bacteria digest soluble fiber, releasing short-chain fatty acids. Having these is linked to a lower risk of stomach fat.
How else does soluble fiber help you lose belly fat fast?
Because it helps slow digestion and decrease your appetite, soluble fiber will help you lose weight all over, and especially around your stomach. When you’re not combating hunger hormones and have the benefit of “I’m full” hormones being released into your body, you will naturally eat less. This caloric deficit, combined with exercise, will immediately work towards helping you slim down. Eating foods high in dietary fiber will keep the cycle continuing – your body will release hormones telling you that you’re full, food will move slowly through your body and you’ll feel full, you’ll eat less and, as a result, you’ll lose weight.
What are some great foods to eat?
Foods that are high in soluble fiber also tend to be high in other important nutrients, which is great news for people who really want to eat to improve their health. Some great foods to incorporate into your diet include sweet potatoes, oatmeal, oranges, and apricots. As you can see, none of these foods are highly processed. Fiber-rich foods are going to be unprocessed and as close to natural as you can get. If you haven’t been eating a diet that’s high in dietary fiber it may take your body a while to adjust to all of it at once. Try increasing how much you eat slowly so that your body gets used to the higher amounts of dietary fiber. Over time you’ll reap the benefits of a a flatter stomach, improved digestion, and being fuller longer after eating!
Does taking a supplement help?
If you’re struggling to eat enough foods to up your dietary fiber intake naturally but still want to reap the benefits you can look to a supplement. Of course, eating the foods themselves is the best way to improve your health and decreased your belly fat, but some people have trouble eating enough dietary fiber. Psyllium husk has been shown in studies to help achieve this goal. This is readily available online and at local health stores and can easily be taken. Another option is glucomannan. There have been mixed results on the outcome of taking this supplement for the end goal of losing belly fat fast – for example, one study showed that men reaped this benefit, but not women. It’s still worth a try, as it is shown to reduce your appetite and slow down digestion. Yet a third option for a supplement is inulin. This supplement has shown, in clinical studies, to reduce appetite and and help patients lose weight and belly fat. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a ton of research on supplements, so the best course of action would be to talk to your doctor and then come up with a personalized plan of action. Eating the natural foods is always best, but there’s an option for everyone to increase their intake of dietary fiber.
It can be a lot to take in and hard to understand with words like “short-chain fatty acids” and “ghrelin”, but the important thing to remember is that eating a diet that’s high in dietary fiber will help you get healthier, and one of the ways it does that is by decreasing the amount of belly fat that you have. Begin by gradually increasing the amount of fiber that you eat so as to avoid any discomfort. Symptoms of eating too much too fast include bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. You’ll know if you’re overdoing it, and can decrease what you’re eating. But, in time, as you increase your intake you’ll also reap the benefits of healthy and diversified gut bacteria, being full longer, and decreased belly fat. Try it today – switch out chips at lunch for an apple, eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of cereal, and munch on carrots and celery during meals instead of reaching for a granola bar. Your body will thank you!