OK, I’ll admit that the topic of fiber in our diets is something you might expect to find in a health blog by a vegetarian but this definitely belongs in a weight loss blog. Truth be told, I am a carnivore. I don’t have the discipline for a vegetarian diet. I believe human beings were given canines so that we too can rip into meat. After 39 years of living in this skin of mine, I have discovered that my body runs a whole lot better when it is running on a combined fuel of protein and vegetables. (Sadly, I have issues with starchy carbohydrates but that is covered extensively in other blogs.) I digress. Bottom line, meat eaters need lots of fiber and you just can’t get too much of it. Fiber supplements like Metamucil are an excellent way of adding additional fiber to your diet.
When I suggest adding a fiber supplement like Metamucil to your diet, I am not suggesting the abuse of laxatives (which many well-meaning dieters are prone to do). What I am suggesting is that in our fast-paced, fast food lifestyle, we simply are not getting the amount of fiber that our engines need to stay clean. After all, when you are trying to lose weight, the last thing you want is undigested matter in your intestines weighing you down.
Let’s not forget the benefit of fiber on such common life-threatening ailments as heart disease and diabetes! Most of us who are overweight are also dealing with the side effects of being overweight like heart disease, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes or even full blown Type II Diabetes.
The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine recommends that women under 50 get a minimum of 25 grams of fiber a day. (More is better with fiber, so don’t feel as though 25 grams is an upper limit. 25 Grams is just the minimum.) Although 25 grams doesn’t sound like much, most of us eat a diet high in processed foods and the processing generally strips foods of their natural fiber. This is where fiber supplements come in. Just for kicks, start reading your food labels and figure out how much fiber you’re actually consuming in a given day.)
Now let’s get specific about Metamucil. There are capsules, wafers and powder forms of Metamucil. I find that the best value is the powder. There are two kinds of Metamucil powder: sugar free and regular. The sugar free version is lightly sweetened with aspartame (the same sweetener found in diet soda) so it tastes just as good without delivering extra calories.
When you first start taking a fiber supplement like Metamucil, you may find your first few days are a bit gassy but that is just because your system isn’t used to getting that much fiber. Once you get it into your daily routine, the gas will subside. I like to combine my orange flavor, sugar free Metamucil with a powdered vitamin like Emergen-C (also orange flavored). This kills two birds with one stone and really gets my day started on the right foot.
I’ve covered the health benefits but let’s get to the nitty-gritty. The thing I really love about adding a fiber supplement like Metamucil before meals (you can take it up to 3 times a day) is the fact that it gels in the stomach and helps you feel full with a lot less food than you would normally consume at a meal. Give it a try and tell me how it works for you.