Foods Rich in Fiber for Weight Loss

by Millie
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When I started this (my last) weight loss journey in September 2019, I did a lot of self-reflection and I thought a lot about what worked and didn’t work for me on my previous diets. One of the things that I realized was that when it comes to the food part of my lifestyle change I had to feel full. I cannot stay on a diet for more than a few weeks if I was hungry or felt deprived. And thankfully I found one of the solutions to this problem -fiber. Today I want to talk about the importance of foods rich in fiber for weight loss. 

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School compared people who were asked to eat at least 30 grams of fiber to those who were advised to eat more fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, fish, and lean protein but also cut back on salt, sugar, fat, and alcohol. The fiber group lost 4.6 pounds and the other group lost 5.9 pounds! What a boost fiber can give your weight loss.

There are many studies that found fiber to be inversely correlated to obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. It may be that we have the magic pill to obesity sitting right there on the grocery shelf and it could be in your pantry today!

Fiber is beneficial to your weight loss in two crucial ways. First, high fiber foods help with satiety or feeling full after a meal. Secondly, fiber controls blood sugar levels and therefore reduces your cravings for unhealthy food.  

Also read The Top 5 Foods for Permanent Weight Loss.

Also read The Worst Foods for Weight Loss.

Satiety

If I had to pick one reason why my previous diets failed was that I was hungry soon after eating. You know that feeling where you ate a piece of grilled chicken the size of the palm of your hand with a salad with balsamic vinegar. 

You feel good that you were able to eat a healthy dinner. However, an hour or so later you are hungry. But you are strong and resist the temptation to eat. However, this is only sustainable for no more than a few weeks. And eventually, you eat a Big Mac and you’re off your diet. 

However, fiber takes longer to digest, you will feel full and not have the urge to eat for a few hours. Basically, fiber-rich diets contribute to weight loss by causing a person to feel full. And furthermore, you will feel full on fewer calories. This is definitely why I think fiber-rich foods are perfect for weight loss and should be included in every meal and snack.

Blood Sugar Levels

You may know that certain foods like white bread and sugary drinks cause a rise and fall in your blood sugar levels. The fall in your blood sugar levels then leaves you hungry and craving for more food.  Conversely, eating fiber doesn’t cause this harmful spike and dip in your blood sugar levels. And once again, you are not looking for more food. Obviously, if you are not hungry, you eat less – a key to weight loss. 

How Much Fiber Do You Need

Various types of high fiber foods including almonds, black beans, chia seeds, black eyed peas, lentils, and blueberries
Women need 25 grams of fiber and men need 38 grams of fiber a day

It is recommended that women eat 25 grams of fiber a day and that men should aim for 38 grams a day.

If you are like me, these numbers mean very little to you. So let’s look at an example to help you out, a medium apple with skin contains 4.5 grams of fiber. So if you are a woman you need to eat the rough equivalent of  5.5 apples a day and for men, the equivalent is about 8.5 apples.

This may seem like a lot, but remember this is the recommendation for a day. Which means three meals and two snacks. When I started to eat more fiber I made a list of fiber-rich foods for weight loss which I am happy to share with you. But first a word of caution about adding more fiber to your diet. 

Adding More Fiber to Your Diet

You need to add more fiber to your diet very slowly. It is very difficult for your digestive system to go from the typical American diet to suddenly trying to digest 25 or 38 grams. Your body may rebel from your new high fiber diet and you may experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. So go slow and listen to your body.

In my case, I initially started eating more fruits and vegetables and then added more beans and legumes.

List of Fiber-Rich Foods for Weight Loss

This is the list that I made of fiber-rich foods for myself. You can copy and paste this list and take it with you on your next grocery shopping trip.

Also, keep a food diary and track not only the food you eat but the calories and the grams of fiber in each food.

High Fiber Fruit for Weight Loss

several high fiber raspberries
Raspberries top the list of high fiber fruit.

If you want to increase your fiber, one of the easiest places to start is with eating more fruit. Most of the fruit on this list are sweet and delicious and therefore will you will not find it too difficult to add to your diet. Fruit is perfect with breakfast, as a snack during the day and of course for dessert, The list includes the most common and readily available fiber-rich fruit.

FruitServing SizeGrams of Fiber
Raspberries1 cup8
Pomegranate1 cup7
Persimmonmedium6
Pearsmedium6
Kiwifruit1 cup5
Applesmedium4.5
Orangeslarge4.5
Grapefruitmedium4
Blueberries1 cup3.6
Bananasmedium3
Strawberries1 cup3
Cherries1 cup3
Mango1 cup2.6
Nectarinesmedium2.4
Peachesmedium2.3
Cantalope1 cup2
Pineapple1 cup2
Papaya1 cup2

High Fiber Vegetables for Weight Loss

several high fiber green peas
Green peas are one of the best high fiber vegetables

Your mom was right when you forced you to eat vegetables. Start with vegetables that you are more familiar to you, like carrots, and slowly expand your horizon. We usually think of vegetables with lunch and dinner. But don’t forget you can have vegetables with breakfast. For example vegetables with your eggs. I also like avocado toast for breakfast. And of course, vegetables make a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack

VegetableServing SizeGrams of Fiber
Acorn squash1 cup9
Green peas1 cup9
Butternut squash1 cup7
Avocado0.5 cup5
Broccoli1 cup5
Spinach1 cup4
Brussels sprouts1 cup4
Asparagus1 cup4
Green beans1 cup4
Beets1 cup3.8
Mushrooms1 cup3
Corn1 cup3
Kale1 cup3
Sweet potatoesmedium3
Eggplant1 cup2
Cabbage1 cup2
Cauliflower1 cup2
Zucchini1 cup2
Green bell peppers1 cup2
Celery1 cup2
Carrotmedium1.7

High Fiber Legumes for Weight Loss

many high fiber split peas
Add legumes like split peas to increase the fiber in your diet

When you are ready to jump into the deep end of your fiber-rich diet, you will love that you get the most bang for your buck with legumes. A can of beans with a little olive oil, onions, and garlic and you have an amazing side dish or bowl for lunch. You can also add legumes to your salads to make them more filling and increase the amount of fiber.

LegumeServing SizeGrams of Fiber
Navy beans1 cup19
White beans1 cup19
Soybeans1 cup17
Split peas1 cup16
Lentils1 cup16
Pinto beans1 cup15
Black beans1 cup15
Chickpeas1 cup12
Kidney beans1 cup11
Blackeye peas1 cup11
Fava beans1 cup9
Lima beans1 cup9
Tofu1 cup6

High Fiber Grains for Weight Loss

an overfilled scoop of high fiber barley
High fiber grains like barley will help your weight loss journey

Switch your refined grains for these whole grains to add a few more grams of fiber to your diet. Refined grains like white bread and white rice are the worst offenders of the spike and fall of your blood sugar levels.

GrainServing SizeGrams of Fiber
Whole wheat pasta 1 cup6
Barley1 cup6
Quinoa1 cup5
Brown rice1 cup3.5
Whole grain bread1 slice2

High Fiber Nuts and Seeds for Weight Loss

an overfilled scoop of high fiber chia seeds
Chia seeds tops the list of high fiber nuts and seed

Nuts and seeds are excellent fiber-rich snacks for weight loss. However, watch your portion size, because they tend to be high in calories. Nuts and seeds not only make great high fiber snacks and they are also excellent in salads and cereals.

Nut/SeedServing SizeGrams of Fiber
Chia seeds1 ounce10
Flax seeds1 ounce8
Squash and pumpkin seeds 1 ounce5
Sesame seeds1 ounce4
Almonds1 ounce4
Popcorn3 cups3.5
Pine nuts1 ounce3
Pistachios1 ounce3
Hazelnuts 1 ounce3
Pecans1 ounce3
Macadamia nuts1 ounce2
Sunflower seeds 1 ounce2
Peanuts1 ounce2
Brazil nuts1 ounce2

Foods Rich in Fiber for Weight Loss

the word fiber surrounded by various high fiber foods including avocado, corn, broccoli, apples, walnuts, oranges, pumpkin seeds, and kale
Eat more fiber and lose more weight

I like to think of fiber as my secret weapon. I honestly think that eating more fiber has made it possible for me to stick with my lifestyle change because I’m simply not hungry. And eating more fiber-rich foods should get most of the credit for my 80-pound (and counting) weight loss.

If you want to want to lose weight and keep it off, your best bet is to forget fad diets. You need a diet that you can do for the rest of your life. Find healthy foods that you can enjoy and feel full. And on the top of your list should be foods high in fiber. 

Also read The Best Exercises for Obese Women for Weight Loss

Your turn. What are your thoughts on fiber and weight loss?

Foods Rich in Fiber for Weight Loss
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20 comments

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Mimi July 20, 2020 - 3:13 pm

This is actually very helpful since I’m on a weight-loss journey too. I’m following a diet a doctor made for me but I have some freedom in what to eat every day (I have a list of things I can pick from in each food group) so I’ll try to pick up more high fibres veggies.

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Millie July 21, 2020 - 1:30 am

Hi Mimi, it’s sounds like you are following a good diet with lots of great choices. You got this! Good luck!

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Sharon July 20, 2020 - 9:03 pm

So many different varieties of food to make sure that you get all the fiber you need. My favorite are the vegetables like cauliflower.

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Millie July 21, 2020 - 1:33 am

Hi Sharon, I had to learn how to like vegetables. Now I love them! I also like cauliflower.

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Peachy Adarne July 21, 2020 - 9:35 am

This is very helpful towards a journey to being a healthier person.

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Millie July 22, 2020 - 11:21 pm

Hi Peachy, Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you find the information helpful.

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Tisha July 21, 2020 - 10:03 am

I love the charts! So easy to refer to, I am not good about getting a lot of fiber in my diet. This is definitely going to help

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Millie July 22, 2020 - 11:19 pm

Hi Tisha, Thanks, charts. I’m glad you like the charts. Slowly start adding a bit more fiber to your diet every week and you will eventually get to the CDC’s recommendation.

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RACHEL N LOZA July 21, 2020 - 9:21 pm

This is a great list of fiber rich foods!

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Millie July 22, 2020 - 11:12 pm

Hi, Rachel, Thanks. I hope you find it helpful.

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Lina Williams July 23, 2020 - 5:25 am

What a helpful and timely post for me. I’ve been looking for ways to increase my fiber intake as well. Thank you for this great info!

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Millie July 23, 2020 - 11:39 pm

Hi Lina, It’s my pleasure. I hope you can use the list to help you add more fiber to your diet.

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Alexis July 23, 2020 - 5:35 am

This is a really helpful article. I find myself quite hungry about 30 minutes after eating breakfast and I suspect this is why. Will be working on getting more fiber into my diet!

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Millie July 23, 2020 - 11:37 pm

Hi Alexis, Good luck with adding more fiber to your diet! Breakfast is a great place to start.

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Lauren July 23, 2020 - 6:11 am

Chia seeds are everything! I love putting them in my water in the morning. Great post, Millie!

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Millie July 23, 2020 - 11:35 pm

Hi Lauren, I have never tried chia seeds in my water! Thanks for the suggestion!

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Michelle July 23, 2020 - 7:10 am

I definitely learned a few new tips here, particularly how high in fiber raspberries and green peas are. Great and easy reference guide!

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Millie July 23, 2020 - 11:30 pm

Hi Michelle, I was also surprised when I saw the amount of fiber there is in raspberries and green peas! I’m glad you found the info great and easy.

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Kimberlie July 23, 2020 - 7:36 am

Your post on best fibrous food for weight loss was eye opening. I thought I was familiar with foods rich in fiber, but had no idea that green peas topped that list. Luckily for me, they are one of my favorite things to eat.

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Millie July 23, 2020 - 11:33 pm

Hi Kimberlie, Green peas was also a surprise for me too. I grew up eating a lot of green peas. No wonder my mom made it that often!

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