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How Fiber and Protein are Your Best Friends
So when I found out that fiber and protein were crucial to my weight loss and fitness journey I was stunned! When I began my fitness and eating overhaul last July I actually began by reading a book that came with my Nutri Ninja with auto IQ! This amazing little blender and book made it quick and easy to make amazing smoothies and incorporate fiber and protein into my (and my whole family’s!) diet.
I learned all about eating small, regular meals throughout the day and the absolute necessity to eat consistent fiber. My eating habits were skipping meals, eating on the go and eating too much in the evening. But I figured that since I ate large amounts of veggies and drank a ton of water, I was fine. How wrong I was!
Start your day with fiber. The average amount of fiber a woman should eat each day is 25 grams. But don’t start too quickly. Make it a gradual increase and be sure to drink plenty of water because fiber and hydration go hand in hand! The more fiber you eat, the more water your body needs. Increasing slowly will allow your body get used to the change and you should not experience any gastrointestinal discomfort.
Since my goal was to lose weight at first I loved starting my day with fiber because it made me feel fuller longer!
Eating whole foods for your fiber intake should make it easy for you to reach or exceed your fiber goals. Vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans are excellent sources of fiber.
Awesome fiber filled foods:
- Apples (especially the skin!), bananas, strawberries, mango
- Dark colored veggies (the darker they are, the higher the fiber!) and potatoes
- All beans are fiber-packed, as are peas and edamame.
- Check cereals, whole grains, nuts. If the labels report 5 grams or more of fiber it’s a good choice. I love Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Rolled Oats with 5 g of fiber and 7 g of protein! Ezekiel Bread is amazing too!
So, I upped my fiber, stopped bingeing at night and began eating more consistent healthy foods. I began jogging regularly and started a light weight lifting regimen. I did lose over 10 pounds and was feeling great. After a few months, though, I felt like my progress was stalled. I didn’t feel much change in my muscle tone and my weight tabled off a bit. At this point I wasn’t looking to lose more weight, but I wanted to increase muscle and tone a bit.
At my regular physical I had some blood work done. The results came back with low protein! Shocking! I was so proud of all I had changed with my habits and routine, so I needed to investigate this further.
I found out that protein is essential to tissue growth and repair. With my dramatic change in exercise (I had never exercised before) I didn’t realize that I needed to up my protein. When we exercise our muscle tissue breaks down and it’s what we do after that builds it back up!
Protein also helps burn calories more effectively. And it boosts your immune system! It’s like magic.
Awesome protein filled foods:
- Chia seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa, soy products
- Eggs, greek yogurt
- Hummus, spinach
- Beans, peanut butter
- Ezekiel bread
- Whey protein powder – great in the smoothies! Find one that is right for you and your family. You could even consult your doctor, too.
Life is about balance. Eat well, move around and laugh a lot! You’ll be on the right track!