Make the most of your workout!
Some years ago, fitness fanatics and weight losers alike became obsessed with high protein, low carb diets. Thanks goes to the Atkins diet with starting the trend. Now I admit, increasing lean protein is an excellent strategy to muscle gain and fat/weight loss. Why? Lean protein fills you up, with out those pesky carbs and fat. Build muscle, burn more fat all day long. Simple, right?
Well… I have a sneaking suspicion that all this protein is making us meat heads. Not only do we have now long term environmental impacts of our heavy meat culture, but more and more medical issues are emerging with ties to protein overload. I personally have had a medical issue where I cannot process protein over about 50 grams a day. And while I’m NOT blaming my excessive 100+ protein grams per day that I followed years ago, I have had to start to look at living a life without the easy road of lean protein. Though this process, I have discovered FIBER, and fully predict it will become the next big weight loss fad (have you seen all the “made with whole grains!” ads lately.. ?!)
What’s so great about fiber? What is it anyway? According to my go-to-definition source on the web, Wikipedia, fiber is simply “the indigestible portion of plant foods.” Indigestible? Ok why is so great then? Well.. this means that fiber fills you up (it’s a carbohydrate) but your body can’t digest them. Free calories I call this!
So how much fiber do you need and how much are you getting? Generally the USDA recommends 20 grams for women/kids and 30 grams for Men. That may not sound like a lot, but I can tell you when I started logging my fiber daily, I found I was getting only 12-15 grams per day? Why? Because of my mental block on carbs. We’ve been trained to be scared of carbs. But I can tell you after 3 weeks of bumping up my fiber to 30 grams per day, I feel great, I’m eating less calories over all and I’m never hungry. How great is that?
Where do you get fiber? The best way to get fiber is through food (vs. supplement). Whole fruit and veggies, beans, and whole grains like oatmeal and wheat (sorry to those who are gluten free!). Just like with organic, be wary of “made with whole grains” labels, and stick with 100% whole grain and simple (make it yourself) oats, brown rice, barley or couscous.
Mayo Clinic has a great list of high fiber foods – print this out and stick it to your pantry door (or desk bulletin board), and load up on fiber!