Fiber helps you lose weight by giving you a sense of fullness. A study in 2009 by Appetite found out just how much you can save in calories by focusing on filling up with fiber. They gave three different groups of people apples, applesauce, or apple juice with added fiber before eating lunch and then measured how much each group ate in calories on average. Those who ate an apple ate 15% fewer calories than the other two groups. Scientists think that fiber helps fill you up and that we judge how much we’ve eaten by volume instead of by calories. When we will up with fiber, that takes up more room in our stomachs but has fewer calories than foods rich in fats and sugars.
Focusing on fiber from real sources instead of artificially added fiber can help reduce the amount of calories you eat in a day. If you save 15% of calories on every meal, you can reduce your calorie intake by 45%. When you’re trying to cut calories without feeling deprived, fiber can help you get there.
Figuring out just how much fiber you need is the first step to make sure you’re getting enough. Women should get at least 25 grams of fiber and men should get 38 grams per day. If you’re dieting, getting an extra dose of around 5 grams can help you feel fuller within your calorie limits. This means women should get around 8 grams of fiber in each meal if they eat three meals a day and men should get 12 grams.
Adding in a snack with fiber from fruit and vegetables helps increase fiber intake without resorting to additives, which the study above shows isn’t effective at helping you eat fewer calories. Eating foods with at least 2 grams of fiber can make it easier to get fiber throughout the day. Caribbean Mix, Pina Colada, and Raspberry Fruti bars all have 2 grams of fiber, making them a great choice for a snack if you’re trying to add more fiber into your diet. That’s as much fiber as you’d get in a handful of baby carrots or a slice of whole wheat bread!