Ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen.” It’s true. When it comes to managing your weight, 80% is nutrition and 20% is exercise. That’s right friends, the foods we choose to nourish the body with are more important than those Bootcamp classes, spin miles, and planks. (Don’t worry they still count but should be combined with a solid nutritional strategy.)
Get ready for even more surprising information: fiber is the fitness friend you may be overlooking.
What is Fiber?
YoungerTV / Via media.giphy.com
Ok, let’s back up and talk about what exactly fiber is. Did you know that fiber is actually a carbohydrate? Not like bread and pasta though.
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate. Most carbohydrates are broken down by the body into sugar molecules, but not our good friend fiber. Fiber instead, passes through the body undigested and this is extremely important as you will soon discover.
How Many Types of Fiber are There?
What’s your fiber type? There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber loves absorbing water and turns to gel in your gut. This is amazing because it slows digestion making your feel fuller longer. In contrast, insoluble fiber isn’t into absorbing water and instead adds bulk to the stool. This is great because it helps get things moving if you are constipation. With insoluble fiber, food passes quickly through the stomach and intestines then out to your lovely porcelain toilet. So in short, your fiber type is both, you ideally want both fibers in your life because they both have amazing health benefits.
How Does Fiber Help You Get Fit?
Glad you asked. There are a number of ways that fiber helps you become a healthier version of yourself:
Fiber can aid in weight loss.
Our friends at Muscle & Fitness magazine said it best “Fiber may be the furthest thing from your mind, but it could also be just the weight-loss edge you need.” Yup, that’s right! If losing weight is your goal, reach for some fiber today.
How you may ask does fiber help with weight loss? Well soluble fiber, remember there are two types, works as an appetite suppressant. Because soluble fiber loves water so much it gels up in your gut making you feel fuller longer. Fiber slows down the movement of food through our digestive system and even regulates our bowel movement.
Fiber helps you lose belly fat.
Remember fiber is a carb that the body can’t digest. When soluble fiber hits your gut, the bacteria there break it down through a process called fermentation. This fermentation in the gut creates a type of fat called short-chain fatty acids that can reduce belly fat. We know what you are thinking. How can a fat reduce another fat? Well, the short-chain fat can increase the body’s fat-burning rate or decrease fat storage. Well it's unclear how this works, numerous research studies have shown the connection. So yes fiber can help you tone up your midsection. (We know you are now thinking about how to pair your core work with fiber to make sure your 6 pack is well defined.)
Fiber helps regulate blood sugar.
Since fiber is indigestible when consumed, a portion of the fiber just travels through the digestive system as is, compared to other carbohydrates. Since fiber is not digested by the body it does not change the blood sugar levels in the body. Result: no blood sugar spikes followed by energy crashes. Add more fiber to your diet for consistent energy throughout the day.
Fiber is good for the heart.
Soluble fiber is good for the heart as it reduces the body’s bad cholesterol. Once inside the small intestine, soluble fiber binds to it. This is important because by picking up this toxin hitchhiker fiber prevents the cholesterol particles from entering your bloodstream and traveling to other parts of the body. The bad cholesterol then travels out of the body into the toilet (where it belongs!). Fiber has a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.
Why Nutrition Matters to your Fitness Routine
Maybe you have planked, side crunches, sit-up’ed until you can’t anymore but aren’t seeing ab definition. What gives? Well, your abs might be there but just under a layer of body fat.
In terms of your overall fitness goals, it’s important to factor in a nutritional strategy to see long-term results. Your body needs the best possible fuel to function at its best. It's not just about choosing veggie greens over pizza. For example, when choosing carbs for breakfast, bread may not be enough to make you full compared to its fiber-rich, breakfast counterpart: oatmeal.
How Can I get more Fiber in My Diet?
There are many fabulous fiber sources to incorporate into your diet. You can get your daily fiber fill from fruits, vegetables, and grains. Fruits like raspberries, pear, and apples are rich in fiber. Cauliflower, turnip, broccoli, are examples of fiber-rich vegetables. You can easily create a fiber-rich breakfast just by switching your sugary cereals to oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and later opt to snack on almonds, pistachios, and baked beans.
How Much Fiber Do I Need?
ABC Network / Via media.giphy.com
The USDA dietary guidelines recommend 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams of fiber for men daily. We know sometimes it’s hard to hit your daily fiber targets through diet alone. That is why there are all-natural, plant-based fiber supplements that can help support your gut. Look no further, friends, let me introduce you to Bonny
Say Hello to Body By Bonny
Bonny is a prebiotic fiber supplement containing psyllium husk powder and inulin, perfect for helping you hit your nutrition and fitness goals. Bonny is an all-natural, plant-based fiber that tastes AMAZING with adaptogens.
Bonny comes in four delicious flavors that you will crave daily: Amplified Apple Pie, Berry Beauty, Strawberry Serenity, and Matcha Magic.
As always, we wish you pleasant poops.