Day 13: Why Fiber is Important for Weight Loss

Day 13: Why Fiber is Important for Weight Loss

Over the course of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge our Daily Recap videos  will be where I post the notes I have written for the talks I do in the FaceBook Group each night.  Hopefully this will make what we are talking about easier to follow for everyone that wants to join us in the challenge.  You can see each of the 28 Day Challenge recap posts here.  Please subscribe to the YouTube channel to never miss an video.

Let’s talk a little about fiber because it looks like fiber is at least part of the solution to the obesity epidemic.  Dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes and is the part of food you can’t digest.    There are 2 kinds, soluble that can be dissolved in water and insoluble that can’t.  Soluble slows digestion and ferments in the digestive track, turning into gas.   Insoluble fiber is basically the cellulose in food and it just passes through your body without being digested and it speeds up your digestion.


Taken together these 2 types of fiber work to slow down the rate of absorption of your food through your intestines which means your liver doesn’t get overloaded and it can process your food more efficiently.  The problem is once you process your food, one of the first things that gets removed is the fiber.  Other vitamins and minerals can be added back into food but once the fiber is gone, it’s gone.


Once you process the fiber out of a grain, all you have left is the starch which gets converted into glucose and causes an insulin spike.  Here is the real kicker, because the USDA guidelines manufacturers can put the claim of “Whole Grain” on foods even if the fiber has been processed out.  Surely you’ve seen whole grain Cheerios on the store shelf, I guarantee you that the fiber is gone and all that’s left is the starch.


Now let’s look at fruit.  Whole fruit has large amounts of fiber built into the fruit.  When you eat fruit, even though it has fructose in the fruit, the fiber gives your liver a chance to metabolize the fructose slowly.  Now imagine you’ve decided to drink a big glass of fruit juice.  Now you’ve got all the fructose of not just one but multiple fruits in one glass but what’s missing?  That’s right, no fiber.  So all that sugar floods you liver all at once and quickly gets converted to fat through the insulin response.  And if you decide to blend the fruit into a smoothie, the blades of the blender destroys the insoluble fiber which means that the sugar is absorbed just as fast as if you had juiced the fruit.


Fiber helps keep insulin down by slowing the rate at which the liver has to process in a few different ways.


The fiber forms a gelatinous barrier in the intestines slowing the rate at which nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream. Glucose is absorbed slowly, reducing the amount of insulin needed to deal with it and fructose is absorbed slowly allowing the cell’s mitochondria to use it for fuel instead of having to shunt it off into fat.  This is why eating whole fruit is better than drinking fruit juice.


The satiety signal to the brain is triggered by the hormone PYY which is only triggered when food has moved through about 20 feet of intestine.  Anything that moves food more quickly through the intestines will cause you to feel full faster.  This is exactly what Insoluble fiber does.  Soluble fiber forms a sticky gel in your stomach preventing food from exiting the stomach quickly making you feel full faster.


Fiber allows for more nutrients to travel farther into the intestines before they are absorbed which means there is more food for helpful gut bacteria throughout the intestines.  This increases the number of good bacteria and decreases the amount of bacteria that are thought to impede weight loss.


In short, eating a high fiber diet will make you feel full faster and for longer and keep you away from those second helpings of dinner.

All notes taken from information found in Fat Chance by Dr Lustig, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, The Angriest Trainer Podcast and Jimmy Moore’s Podcasts.

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