How fibre can help you lose weight

Following a new weight loss plan can be difficult and many dieters spend their lives swapping from one fad diet to another on a never ending cycle of yoyo dieting. One of the main reasons for giving up on the plan is hunger. But losing weight doesn't mean you should drastically cut out all your favourite foods nor should it entail going hungry. A simple key to feeling full and satisfied after your meals is to include plenty of fibre.

Fibre is a fantastic natural weight loss tool that can help you in many ways. Fibre acts like a sponge by absorbing water from within the digestive tract. This causes the fibre to expand, resulting in a feeling of fullness which should make you feel less inclined to overeat. Besides this, fibre rich foods generally require more chewing and take longer to digest. So a meal containing plenty of fibre should not only take more time to eat, you'll feel fuller for longer as your body slowly processes the fibre content of your meal.

Starting a new eating plan can sometimes lead to constipation, leading to bloating. Becoming clogged up in this way can make you feel heavier and possibly become less motivated to sticking to your diet plan. Eating a diet rich in fibre increases the bulk in waste matter, making bowel movements more regular and easier to pass. Because of the way fibre works, it's important to drink sufficient fluids throughout the day to ensure this process works smoothly.

The reason most weight loss diets recommend eating lots of fruit and vegetables, is not only because they're nutritionally beneficial, but also because they generally contain more fibre than other types of food. Many are also very low in calories, so can be eaten in larger quantities. For example, leafy green vegetables and those with a high water content such as lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumber and courgettes.

You can increase the fullness factor by making high fibre swaps. For example, a sweet potato contains twice as much fibre as a peeled white potato, wholegrain bread has twice as much fibre as white bread, so it can fill you up more, even if they're the same size. However, not all high fibre foods should be freely indulged when trying to lose weight. Dried fruit, nuts and seeds, while extremely nutritious and fibre-rich, are also calorie dense. So, while it makes sense to include these in a healthy diet, if you're following a weight loss plan, only eat them in small quantities.

Because fibre is a natural filler, it can help with weight loss since it's less likely to leave you feeling hungry or deprived. And since fibre-rich foods are also healthy, you are more likely to feel an increased sense of well-being, while finding it easier to stick with your plan and successfully lose weight.