High Fiber Low Calorie Foods

Getting Enough Fiber

If you are on a low calorie or low carb diet, it can be hard to get enough dietary fiber in your diet while remaining within your calorie allowance or on the allowed foods. Plenty of foods have high fiber contents but not all of them are low calorie or suitable for a ketogenic diet.

How Much Fiber Do I Need?

The current healthy recommendations are between 20 and 38 grams of fiber a day, depending on your gender (men need more than women), age (less as you get older) and the amount you normally eat. It also depends a lot on your own metabolism. Some people have very quick pass through in their digestive systems, others have much slower turn around times. According to WebMD, it is believed that most Americans get only about 15 grams of fiber each day and that includes those who are NOT on diets.

Just Eat More Veggies?

No, it’s not just as simple as that, though eating more veggies is part of the answer. It is difficult to get enough dietary fiber from low calorie vegetables without eating massive amounts of them. For instance, take celery, a lovely vegetable, I am very fond of it and it’s great for keeping hunger at bay and giving my mouth something to do. It has only 16 calories in 100 grams (about 3 ounces), but it also has only about 2 grams of dietary fiber in that same 100 grams (the actual amount depends on which source you consult), so to get 20 grams of fiber from celery, I would need to eat 1000 grams of celery, 2.2 pounds, every day. That probably equates to two whole heads of table celery every day. Much as I like celery, I don’t think I could manage two pounds or more of it every day and that would also use up 160 calories of my daily 800 calorie allowance on the 8 week, 800 calorie BSD diet. It’s the same for many other vegetables that are perfectly fine as part of a low calorie or low carb diet. They do not contain enough fiber to fill your daily needs without having to eat massive amounts of them and I MEAN massive amounts. It’s the same with broccoli, spinach and lettuce. Great foodstuff, fine for adding to your lunchbox to keep hunger at bay or for eating as part of your low calorie meal but by themselves, they are unlikely to add enough fiber to your diet.

High Fiber Low Calorie Soup

Some useful foodstuffs that contain high amounts of fiber include lentils, with 8 grams of fiber in 100 grams. These

High Fiber Soup

are much easier to eat (in soup for instance) and will keep you feeling full for a long time. I sometimes make my own bone broth (basically boil meat bones or chicken carcass with a bay leaf and some apple cider vinegar for a number of hours, or in a slow cooker overnight, then drain and store) and use this as the basis for a soup. Or you can use a stock cube or low sodium bouillon. I add some veggies, such as celery, half an onion and garlic to 500 millilitres (1 pint) of stock and simmer until the vegetables are almost cooked, then add 50 grams (about 2 ounces) of red lentils and continue simmering until the lentils are soft. Once finished, I divide the soup in half and save one half for the next day. Just before serving, I add about 25 grams (about 1 ounce) of oat bran or wheat bran to the soup. This thickens it and makes it very filling, so it keeps me filled for several hours. It also contains about 17 grams of fiber, almost a daily amount for some people. This makes a filling high fiber meal, which can be fitted into a low calorie diet.

Dietary Fiber Supplements

If you still cannot get enough fiber in your diet, you may need to take a high fiber, low calorie supplement such as psyllium husks or apple fiber. Both are available as powder or in capsule form. It is VITAL to take plenty of water with these, to make sure they flush your intestines, instead of clogging them up worse than ever. These may not be suitable for people who have difficulty swallowing or have a narrow food pipe – consult your doctor.

Benefits of Dietary Fiber

There are many benefits to making sure you get enough fiber in your diet. For instance, people who have lots of dietary fiber in their food intake appear to be much less likely to develop heart trouble, to get strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes or to become obese.

Increasing the amount of your fiber in your diet can reduce your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity for both diabetics and non-diabetics. Also, supplementing your fiber intake can help with weight loss in people who are obese and also help improve gastric and intestinal problems like diverticulitis, duodenal ulcers, hemorrhoids and gastric reflux.

And when that extra fiber gets into your large intestine, it appears to improve your natural immunity.

So What’s Not To Like About Dietary Fiber?

As with anything, use your commonsense about increasing the amount of fiber you take in. If you are sensitive to gluten, don’t use wheat bran. Don’t increase your fiber intake a huge amount in one go, it can lead to uncomfortable intestinal problems, including bloating and gas, if your body isn’t used to it. Increase your intake gradually and spread it out over the day. Take plenty of fluid, especially water and anyone who has difficulty swallowing, should be very cautious about taking supplements like psyllium husk and apple fiber, for instance. If in doubt, or if concerned about your bowel movements or intestines, consult your doctor or medical adviser.

 

800 Calories a Day For 8 weeks January 2017

cucumber

Cucumber

This Way Of Eating – WOE – Week 2

I started back onto this diet, the 800 calories for 8 weeks Blood Sugar Diet on 31 December 2016. I don’t bother with New Year’s Eve and all the cake from Christmas was gone, so there were no real temptations to hold me back from starting again. I knew that Christmas week had reversed the weight loss, so I didn’t weigh myself for a couple of days and was relieved to find that I was “Only” just over 1 kilogram (between 2 and 3 pounds) heavier than my lightest weight before Christmas. That meant I was back over the 70Kg weight level but not so far that it was dispiriting.

Support Group

I found a great support group on Facebook. It’s very useful to have support when you are working on something like weight loss or even weight gain or body building, come to that. Getting the support and encouragement from a positive group of people on the same journey as you is very helpful and motivating. They even have their own abbreviations and language, so that WOE is shorthand for “Way of Eating” and NSV is a “non-scale victory”, such as being able to fit into a size smaller piece of clothing. There is also a shorthand way for describing which week of the diet you are on and whether this is your first “round” or a subsequent round. It is recommended that you take a break between rounds. The group suggests that it is possible to lose 10 per cent of your body weight in each round of dieting, so that someone weighing 100 kg could lose 10 Kg over the 8 weeks. This would be great.

Weight Loss

My weight loss has not been as high since I started back onto the program, probably because I am eating more fiber but maybe not taking in enough water to move it through quickly. But I HAVE Lost just over 1 kg in weight (just over 2 pounds) and I have also lost half an inch from around my abdomen. Two victories to celebrate!

Continuing Weight Loss

I am going to buy the diet book that goes with this WOE in order to gain the most possible information for remaining healthy and losing weight quickly. Why? I don’t have diabetes but my grandmother had Type II and one sister has it. That means I may be at risk for developing it and I would rather not risk blindness, limb amputation, and nerve damage. Also, I KNOW I need to lose weight and this has so far been a very useful exercise in moving that stubborn belly fat!

Gaining Constipation Relief On A Low Calorie Diet

The Bowel gets backed up and overfull

Diet Problem – Constipation

One of the problems with many diets is that constipation can raise its ugly head – you know, that time when your bowel is full,  you can feel that you need to visit the loo but nothing is moving. That can get very uncomfortable and if it continues for more than a couple of days, it can get very serious. This article will cover how to relieve constipation arising from low fiber in the diet. It does not provide health advice. If you have any concerns over your health whether diet or constipation related, please consult your medical adviser. If you find yourself suddenly constipated, unable to pass a motion or even gas or passing blood, please get urgent medical advice immediately.

What Is Constipation?

Constipation is when your bowel movements happen less often than usual or when they are hard to pass. The normal number of bowel movements can be very different between different people. Some “go” only once or twice a week, others may need to visit the loo two or three times a day. But the longer the time between having bowel movements, the harder it becomes to have one, as the colon (the last part of the gut) removes water from the “poo” making it harder and more compacted and more difficult to pass.

Constipation Symptoms

Some of the symptoms you may get if you have constipation can include having to strain to go, having hard or small stools, having fewer bowel movements than usual, a feeling that everything didn’t come out, a swollen belly or having belly pain and possibly even throwing up. Some people may get diarrhea, because liquid stools further up the gut slide past the harder material further on down.

Why Does Dieting Cause Constipation?

Dieting can cause constipation (or diarrhea) because of changes in your usual food intake, or you may be less active than usual, or you may not be drinking enough water or taking in enough fiber or possibly, because you avoid visiting the loo when you know you need to “go” and resist the urge to have a bowel movement. This may be because you are busy, or for some people, because they have hemorrhoids and these cause pain. If your stools are less bulky than usual or you are taking in less food because of dieting, you may find that there is a change in your bowel habits that can lead to constipation. It is important to recognize this early and take steps to deal with it as quickly as possible.

Constipation Relief

There are several areas you can tackle to stop or relieve constipation. With dieting, you may be eating less overall, so your stools have less bulk and you may also be eating less fiber. The lack of bulk means the intestine has less material to work with, so it doesn’t push the contents through as quickly as usual. The act of pushing the contents through the digestive system is called peristalsis. Find out more about peristalsis, with a video, here.

The two most basic areas are to stay well hydrated, that is, to drink plenty of water and to take in plenty of fiber. Both of these work together to provide more bulk in your stools.

How Much Fiber Do I Need?

WebMD suggests that women need 25 grams of fiber a day and men need 38 grams per day.

Fiber

One kind of fiber with no calories is psyllium husks also known as ispaghula. This is easily available on line and probably in your nearest pharmacy or health food shop or even grocery supermarket. It is a dry, powdery, even feathery type of substance, which is mixed with a glass of cold water and drunk straight down. It should be followed by more water, to make sure there is sufficient water to allow it to work, otherwise if is too dry, it can cause a blockage in the intestines. It can also be obtained in capsule form. Psyllium husks are also used in commercially available products advertised for bulking out the stool. These may make the product more appealing to take, being flavored with orange or lemon. You can mimic this at home by adding a teaspoonful of lemon juice to your glass before adding water and psyllium husks. because psyllium husks, with water bulk out the contents of the intestines, they provide more for the peristaltic actin to work on and so are a gentler form of constipation relief.

Fiber in Real Food

If you are on a low calorie diet, you need to get as much fiber for the calories taken in as possible. Apart from using psyllium husks, this may seem almost impossible. “Increase your fiber intake” you get told, yet when you look at the fiber content of various healthy vegetables, such as celery or green beans or broccoli, you find that you would probably need to eat 2 or 3 pounds in weight of any of these to get your daily requirements. And the foods with plenty of fiber also seem to have plenty of calories too, which makes it hard to keep within your calorie allowance.

It is possible to create soups that are low calorie and high fiber, using lentils and flavored with garlic and celery. Extra fiber from wheat bran or oat bran can be added to these to increase the fiber content and make a healthy lunch or tea that fits within your calorie allowance. These can be made with a stock cube (watch the salt) for ease or by making your own bone broth, which is cheap and highly nutritious but will take a bit longer. Bone broth can be frozen, so you always have the basis of a soup available.

Other ways of tackling constipation are to eat or drink items that also contain natural stool softeners, in addition to the fiber they contain. These types of food include prunes and prune juice and apple juice. When on a diet, you want to find fiber with the least number of calories, so you are not breaking your diet by taking in too many calories. Prunes and apple and pear juice are quite high in calories so you will only be able to eat or drink a little, however, they also contain sorbitol a natural laxative. If you are on a calorie restricted diet then you get better benefit from eating prunes, for instance than by drinking prune juice, as you get more fiber for your calorie intake, as well as getting the laxative effect from the natural sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol produced from fruits and corn and has been used as a sugar substitute. The body only metabolizes it very slowly, so it doesn’t produce an insulin spike and it has a laxative effect, so may not be suitable for those with IBS.

Exercise and Physical Methods As Constipation Remedies

Exercise is a useful way of getting “things moving”, including walking and, if you can, running. Yoga can also be used to help with constipation and gas problems and there are particular poses that are especially helpful. You can find a number of videos available demonstrating these poses. If you are not used to yoga, you should consider whether these are suitable for you, as some yoga poses should not be used by people suffering from Osteoporosis for instance. There is also the possibility of abdominal massage, which can move the contents on around the digestive system. The yoga moves shown above also work this way.

Laxatives And Suppositories

If you really are in desperation from constipation, then laxatives such as preparations containing senna are available over the counter. Ask for advice from your pharmacist to ensure these are suitable for you. It is also possible to obtain glycerin suppositories for insertion into the rectum, to soften the stool to allow it to be passed. Again, seek advice from your pharmacist or medical adviser to make sure this is suitable for you. If you suddenly find yourself suffering from constipation, with no known reason, get medical advice immediately.

ProBiotics and PreBiotics

What is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?

Probiotics – the “good” bacteria

Our gut contains a lot of bacteria, that help with our general health and digestion. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria, or flora, that we can take, either in something like “live” yogurt or fresh sauerkraut or kefir or as a supplement, to add to the ones already there, to boost the numbers of “good” bacteria. They are alive and help us digest our food, as well as creating (synthesizing) Vitamins B and K. The biggest numbers live in the large intestine and can form as much as 60% of the dry matter in our poo. Recent research suggests that the gut is a 2nd brain and can affect our bodies in many ways we are only just beginning to find out about.

By changing our diet, perhaps by dieting and reducing the level of certain kinds of food or eating more of others, we may change the numbers and kinds of good bacteria in our gut and this can affect our health and may contribute to constipation or diarrhea. Our gut flora also changes as we get older. Taking a probiotic can help keep our gut bacteria working for us, instead of against our health. These can be taken in capsule form or in food. Take any probiotics onnly with COLD drinks, so you don’t kill the bacteria.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are the kinds of food that the probiotic bacteria live on. The prebiotics are plant fibers that come from fruit and vegetables. With lots of prebiotic fibers, the good bacteria have plenty of food to help them grow and do their job of keeping our gut healthy. These fibers are not digested in the first part of the digestive system (the stomach and small intestine) so they reach the large intestine mostly untouched. They ferment there and provide good food for the good bacteria. This fermentation also helps keep the numbers of “bad” bacteria low.

Probiotic yogurt

This is a type of yogurt that contains a “live” culture of some of the types of “good” bacteria that are useful in the digestive system. In order to get the benefit of the live culture, you need to make sure you don’t take a hot drink at the same time, as that will kill the live culture before it can get to work!

Probiotics For Weightloss

While probiotics are not specifically used for weightloss, there is some evidence that they can have a protective effect against the symptoms arising from emotional problems like stress, anxiety and depression. This may help those who overeat because of emotional problems to control their overeating, as their symptoms become less and so they may eat less.

Constipation on a Low Calorie Diet Can be Managed

It is possible to keep the bowels moving smoothly by taking in a regular level of fiber each day and using some of the other techniques in this article to keep within your low calorie diet limits.