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6 Amazing Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet

6 Amazing Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet

When it comes to choosing the best diet for our body, there’s always a bit of clash between what to eat and what not to eat. Expert opinions flood the internet promoting various diets that promise fast weight loss and cancer-fighting attributes. It may be confusing to determine which of these diets is really good for our body.

Our bodies, like machines, need fuel to run properly. And food is our fuel. What we eat now can determine the quality of our health in the long run. This is why choosing the best diet for your lifestyle and body is very important when it comes to preventing various diseases that can affect the quality of your life.

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Fiber, a plant-based nutrient, is found mainly in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. It is popularly associated with its ability to prevent constipation. However, fiber has other great health benefits that most people don’t know. The following are some of the amazing health benefits of a high fiber diet.

1. A high-fiber diet can help you lose weight

What is the secret to healthy and fast weight loss? No, it’s not exercise or quitting carbs. According to a new study, the best way to slim down is to “focus on high-fiber, minimally processed, plant based food.” This is primarily attributed to fiber’s ability to create a sensation of fullness right after eating. Fiber activates stretch receptors or those nerve cells that signal your brain that you’re full. This helps you digest food slowly, extending the time for the nutrients to go to your bloodstream and increasing your feeling of satiety.

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2. It can improve your gut health

Your gut houses hundreds of different species of bacteria, and every day it feeds off the things you eat. While some of these bacteria are actually beneficial, the rest may cause inflammation and gut diseases. This is where fiber comes in. A diet high in fiber helps reduce inflammation and risk of getting gut diseases. Good bacteria feast on fermentable fibers which allow them to extract the fiber’s vitamins and nutrients, which are beneficial to our body.

3. It reduces the risk of hemorrhoids

A high-fiber diet doesn’t just help you with your bowels, it also prevents you from getting hemorrhoids! Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your rectal region, often a result of too much straining when defecating. Foods rich in fiber make the best natural laxatives that can prevent hematochezia (having blood in stools), which can be alarmingly painful!

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4. It can help control your blood sugar

Having a high-fiber diet can help you control your blood sugar. Unlike refined carbohydrates that cause spikes in your blood sugar, eating fiber doesn’t create any bodily changes. In fact, fiber simply passes through your digestive system, often intact and undigested. Fiber, unlike carbs, doesn’t require insulin to digest. If you eat the recommended fiber consumption every day, you’ll lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes.

5. It can help prevent heart disease

A diet high in soluble fiber can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease by up to 50 percent. This reduces your risk of stroke and heart attack. A study has found that for every seven grams of fiber you consume, your chance of stroke is believed to decrease by 7 percent.

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6. It makes your skin glow

Eat your way to a healthier-looking skin. A high fiber diet doesn’t only benefit your body internally; it can also make your skin glow and look younger. Experts believe a diet high in fiber can help remove fungus and yeast out of your body while preventing them from being excreted through your skin, which can cause rash and acne.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Armela Escalona

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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