The first step to dropping weight is to prepare your body for its new lifestyle. We are going to do this by increasing the amount of fiber in your diet. There, see how simple the first step is!
Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet and, therefore, increase the total bulk of your stool will allow you to eat more food without ever gaining an ounce or even feeling hungry. Fiber is indigestible and it fills you up so you will feel full longer. The good news is that whatever percentage of your meal was fiber will never enter into your bloodstream and therefore will never be processed into fat or used up as energy. It will simply be flushed down the drain in a day or two, but not before it improves your health in a number of critical ways.
As you slowly start to increase the fiber in your diet, you will also need to drink plenty of water. Fiber cannot move in your intestine without adequate hydration.
Adding more fiber to your diet is the best thing you can do for your health, bar none. Doing so will allow you to eat more without gaining weight. It’s true! You don’t have to starve. You will, however, need to become aware of your eating habits and make the changes necessary to incorporate this very important first step. You will need to change the way you shop for and order food, but it is as easy as turning a package around and reading the fiber content on the label or asking the waiter to substitute vegetables and whole grains for white bread, white rice or french fries. Once you make the effort to choose high fiber foods you will be well on your way to becoming healthier in countless ways, but best of all, it will help you lose weight!
Among its countless health benefits, a high fiber diet has been shown to reduce the incidence of colon and other forms of cancer, delay or even reverse the progression of diabetes, coronary artery disease, multiple digestive disorders, constipation and even, of course, obesity.
Inert and indigestible, fiber slows down the digestion of carbohydrates (sugar and starch) and releases glucose more slowly into the bloodstream. This will prevent insulin surges by the pancreas in response to the glucose. Insulin causes your body to convert glucose into fat and store the fat for later use. The problem is, most of us never get around to using those fat stores and we just keep adding to that so-called “spare tire.” Insulin surges, caused by rapid digestion of sugar and starches empty the blood stream of all glucose and make you feel sleepy, hungry and "hypoglycemic" quickly after you have just finished eating. This produces cravings for sweets and leads to overindulging in sugary deserts, perpetuating the cycle. Consuming a high fiber diet can end this cycle, leaving you satisfied longer and able to resist repeat visits to the pantry. A high fiber diet can also prevent or in some cases even reverse type-2 diabetes by providing the pancreas with the care and respect it needs to keep you healthy, energetic and thin.
TIP: Remember to drink plenty of water with your fiber.
A grown man should drink about 120ounces or 15 cups or 1 gallon of water daily.
A grown women should drink about 100ounces or 12 cups or 3/4 of a gallon daily.
While fiber will stimulate your intestine to function, fiber is not a “laxative” although it is often prescribed as one. Taken correctly, fiber will not cause the adverse effects caused by abusing "laxatives", such as nutritional deficiencies, chronic diarrhea and the need for increasing doses due to decreasing effectiveness. Avoid laxatives except for occasional use for stubborn constipation and only use as directed. Laxatives will not help you to lose weight and can be dangerous if they are abused.
With a high fiber diet you should have regular, larger sized bowel movements. This is normal and actually very healthy for you. A healthy bowel movement once or twice a day means you are getting enough fiber. In fact, this is a great way to evaluate your progress. If you notice your stools are small, hard or infrequent, you are probably not getting enough fiber or drinking enough water.
That said, you would not be able to process your fiber easily if you are not fully hydrated. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of pure, clean water daily (depending on your ideal body weight) to keep the machinery working and prevent complications.
TIP: Go for a brisk walk 10 to 15 minutes after a meal, to aid in digesting your food and help avoid bloating or intestinal blockage.
If you have been eating a very low fiber diet, you will want to slowly increase your fiber intake to avoid over-stimulating your intestine. I recommend you start by adding two to three servings of fiber to your diet weekly until you reach eight to nine servings of fiber daily. As you increase the fiber in your diet, try adding fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes.
Our high fiber diet consists of 30 to 40 grams of fiber each day. Foods generally considered high in fiber contain a minimum of 3-4 grams of fiber per serving. This can be obtained in any of four simple ways:
1. Eat seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Don’t be afraid to fill up on fruit. Yes, they are full of sugar, but this is the right way to eat sugar (with the fiber attached). Enjoy fruits and vegetables as often as you like. Do not take the skins off because that is where most of the fiber and other healthy nutrients are. Vegetables can be enjoyed in a variety of ways too. You don’t have to eat the same old thing all the time. Try new varieties and add plenty of seasonings (hold the salt). Cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collared greens and kale are not only high in fiber; they contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals and nutrients that have been proven to reduce the risks of developing many types of cancers and heart disease.
2. Eat whole grain products. Whole wheat and other whole grain products use the whole grain (bran, germ and endosperm). Avoid products containing enriched flour (white flour), or wheat flour. In these products only the endosperm is used. This stuff is almost purely carbohydrate and all the good stuff has already been removed!
Anatomy of a Grain Kernel
To better understand the types of grains you’ll want to focus on for maximum fiber benefit, here is a quick lesson on grain.
Grains are made of three basic parts, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.
The bran is an indigestible husk that protects the grain and gives it its form. Bran is the insoluble fiber in grains. The endosperm consists mostly of the carbohydrate starch and varying degrees of protein. The third and by far the most nutritious part of the grain kernel is the germ or “heart” of the grain. This is where all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are stored. There is also a significant amount of fiber in the germ part of the kernel. Believe it or not, the bran and germ are considered to be useless” byproducts” by the flour industry and are disposed of to create white flour. When grains are milled together without extracting the bran and germ you get whole grain flour. When wheat is used, you get whole-wheat flour. This is how nature intended for you to eat grains: whole, with all the good stuff preserved for you to enjoy in their goodness.
With whole grain flour the bran fiber and germ slow down the absorption of starch (carbohydrates) in your intestine. This makes for a slow, even release of the glucose into your bloodstream. This slow-release process makes your pancreas happy because it can release insulin slowly to match the speed of digestion. If, for example you eat highly processed or refined grains like white flour or white rice which are mostly starch and contain no fiber at all, the following takes place in your body: The starch is rapidly digested and turned into glucose (sugar) in your liver, which then causes massive amounts of insulin to be released from your pancreas all at once. Insulin stores all the sugar as glycogen and fat right away, your blood sugar drops from the insulin surge, and you become weakened, lethargic and hungry again.
As you can see, white enriched flour contributes to weight gain, feelings of hunger and lethargy. Not to mention, rob you of all the vital nutrients that should come standard with your order. You’re getting gypped!
3. Eat seeds and nuts. Although healthy and high in fiber, they are high in densely packed calories as well. Your ideal intake can be 1 to 2 ounces of unsalted nuts per day. Smart Balance“ has a good peanut butter, high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Take fiber supplementation. Dietary changes should be enough for most people to get the daily fiber needed to make The 5 Finger Diet work, but you can also add fiber to your diet by taking an over the counter fiber or soluble fiber supplement with meals. Soluble fiber seems to have even more beneficial effects than the insoluble variety. Both are indigestible but soluble fiber can be diluted in water while insoluble fiber cannot.
One good product on the market is Fiber Sure “‘. This tasteless, soluble fiber supplement can be added to most recipes without any noticeable change to the flavor. For example, add soluble fiber to sauces, dips, milk shakes, coffee, juices, scrambled eggs, stews, pastes, etc.
So, not only will fiber be “dropped off” when you are done with it, but it will also slow down the release of glucose and, therefore, of insulin into the blood stream after you eat. This will keep you feeling full, prevent rebound hypoglycemia, and prevent you from getting prematurely hungry. Eat whole grains at most meals (i.e., whole grain breads or pastas, brown rice, rolled oats or oatmeal, popcorn, sprouts or whole corn).
CAUTION: Increase your dietary fiber SLOWLY. Remember, your intestine is a long, continuous tube of muscle. If you have a diet deficient in fiber now, you will also have weak intestinal musculature. Your bowels may be unfit to handle a sudden increase in fiber. Just as you may feel sore after your first week at the gym, your intestines may go into spasm if they’re not used to working harder than they are currently used to. You will need to condition your intestine slowly to prevent upset stomach, bloating, nausea, flatulence or diarrhea. These are signs that you are adding too much fiber to your diet too fast. If this happens, reduce the amount of fiber by 2 to 3 servings and try again in a few days.
CAUTION: High fiber diets are not for everybody. If you have a medical condition requiring you to eat a “low residue diet” (if you have ever been diagnosed with Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, intestinal blockage or adhesions, small bowel obstruction or you have an active case of diverticulitis, are taking narcotic pain medicine regularly or have had intestinal surgery within the past month), you should speak to your qualified medical professional before trying this step of the 5 Finger Diet. If you are unable to increase your fiber try to maximize the other four methods of weight loss in this program
The 5 Finger Diet By Dr. Allan