You have probably heard a lot about fiber lately, and how important it can be for your health. While we know about many of the overall health benefits that fiber can bring, it is also one of the greatest tools that you can use for weight loss. There are a lot of diets out there that have focused on the benefits that fiber can bring, and among the most popular is the Fiber35 Diet, which was created in 2008.
Since its release, “The Fiber 35 Diet” has been a New York Times bestselling book that outlines how to use fiber to lose weight. There are also the claims that the Fiber35 plan is not a fad diet, and allows you to change your lifestyle. You are also promised the ability to prevent a myriad of diseases and lose weight effortlessly. Are all these claims true (or at least some of them)? Let’s take a look at the Fiber35 Diet to see if it’s the right plan for you.
Behind the Fiber35 Diet
It’s all about fiber these days, as we have seen huge increases in the number of food packages that proudly shout out about how much fiber is inside. That’s because many studies have shown that fiber is largely beneficial for weight loss, as the foods can help clean out your system and are low in calories and high in nutrition. Not only that, but fiber has been shown to prevent diseases such as cancer, diabetes and more.
The Fiber35 plan was designed by Brenda Watson, who was also responsible for the Skinny Gut Diet. Watson specializes in digestive health and has appeared on television countless times talking about the issues of digestive health that most of us are too embarrassed to bring up. She has even earned the nickname, “The Diva of Digestion” thanks to her knowledge and magnetic personality.
Watson teamed up for the Fiber35 Diet with Leonard Smith, M.D., a gastrointestinal surgeon from Florida that has worked in the field for more than 30 years. The duo talks about how important fiber is in your diet, while also providing recipes and foods that you should be eating on a daily basis. Since this diet is about weight loss, as well, there are certain calorie restrictions that you need to follow.
Counting your calories alone will help you lose weight as exerting more than you take in burns fat. However, for better overall health, the focus is to increase your fiber intake. There are three phases of the diet, which will lead to significant weight loss if you follow the plan.
What to Know About the Fiber35 Diet
The biggest basis of the Fiber35 Diet is in the name, as you should be eating 35 grams of dietary fiber each day, no matter how many calories you are supposed to consume. The increased amount of fiber in your system will make you feel full for longer to keep away cravings, as well as boost your metabolism with an increased efficiency in your digestive system.
You are expected to lose quite a bit of weight in your first phase, as you will be eating between just 1,000 and 1,200 calories per day. It can be uncomfortable at first as your body might be used to eating more calories and less fiber, though you will get used to it after a few days. You break down the calories into about five or six very small meals, which should help your blood sugar and metabolism stabilize.
Over the next two phases, you will increase the amount of calories that you consume (though only slightly) after the first seven days have passed. You then change the macros of your diet to consume 25 percent of your calories from protein, 25 percent from fat and the other 50 percent from carbohydrates.
Watson claims that eating 35 grams of fiber per day will boost your metabolism to the point where you are burning nearly 250 extra calories per day. Though that will vary greatly from person to person, your metabolism should see a boost. You will also see some quick weight loss thanks to the lower calorie intake over the first week while the introduction of fiber should clear out your digestive system.
When you are in the second phase of the Fiber35 Diet, you are expected to eat between 1,500 and 1,700 calories per day. While this should allow you to lose weight, Watson says that you can stay on this phase for as long as you wish, as it can also be a maintenance considering the amount of calories if you get to a healthy weight, as long as you can keep up with the 35 grams of fiber.
The final phase isn’t really a phase at all, as you are simply asked to eat the necessary amount of fiber suggested. You don’t have to count calories, so this phase can get a little dangerous as some people will tend to eat more than they need and regain a significant amount of weight. If you are still eating plenty of fiber rich foods, however, you shouldn’t really have cravings for high calorie foods, assuming all things have gone well so far.
What’s on the Menu?
Now that you know what you need to do for the first two phases of the Fiber35 Diet, it’s time to incorporate an eating plan. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the first couple of days of the initial Fiber35 phase:
- Breakfast – Two Cups of Raspberries (130 Calories, 16 Grams of Fiber)
- Lunch – Two Cups of Whole Wheat Spaghetti (350 Calories, 12 Grams of Fiber)
- Dinner – Grilled Chicken Breast with Broccoli and Barley (300 Calories, 11 Grams of Fiber)
- Snacks – One Orange (61 Calories, 3 Grams of Fiber), Two Ounces of Almonds (338 Calories, 7 Grams of Fiber)
- Total Calories – 1,179 Calories
- Total Fiber – 49 Grams
- Breakfast – Oat Bran Muffin (300 Calories, 6 Grams of Fiber)
- Lunch – One Cup of Split Peas with One Cup of Black Beans (450 Calories, 31 Grams of Fiber)
- Dinner – Six Ounces of Smoked Salmon with Baked Potato (300 Calories, 3 Grams of Fiber)
- Snacks – Three Cups of Air Popped Popcorn (100 Calories, 4 Grams of Fiber)
- Total Calories – 1,150 Calories
- Total Fiber – 43 Grams
Meat is still on the menu, even though there is not much fiber to be found. Still, there are a lot of lean meats that are going to be good for you and low in calories, so you don’t have to go fully vegetarian like some other high fiber diets might want you to do. Some of the other foods that are high in fiber and low in calories that you should be aiming for include pears, bananas, strawberries, oatmeal, bran flakes and baked beans.
There are a lot of substitutions that you can make throughout the day. Eating more beans instead of cheese while having fruit or popcorn instead of chips will add up. Plus, there are a lot of people that love pasta, which is very much part of the Fiber35 Diet. Just make sure to watch how many carbs you’re taking in with a pasta dinner, though.
Summing it Up
We all know that calories make up the biggest part in losing weight, and one of the things about the Fiber35 Diet that you shouldn’t take to gospel is how many calories you’re eating. How much you need to eat to still lose weight at a healthy pace (one or two pounds per week) really depends on a lot of factors. This includes height, current weight, gender, activity level and even more. So don’t stick to the 1,000 to 1,200 calorie range without speaking with a doctor first.
Another big part of a healthy diet is to exercise, which is highly encouraged with the Fiber35 Diet, and that’s always a positive. Watson suggests that you should be getting 30 minutes per day of cardiovascular exercise, three times per week at the minimum. With the high amount of fiber, you should have more energy for workouts and be able to get through them more easily.
There are quite a few things to like about the Fiber35 Diet as it promotes eating healthy food while also adding exercise and taking out sugary or processed foods. Those are automatic signs of a good lifestyle change diet, and the first week is the only one that’s really restrictive. The only negative really is the amount of calories that are suggested, as it varies so much.
Overall, the Fiber35 Diet is a good plan that will help you fight cravings and promote a healthy digestive system. Though it might not be fun for the first few days when you’re slashing calories and heading to the bathroom more often, it’s only temporary. As long as you stick with the plan for the most part, you should be able to lose weight, no matter how much you are trying to lose.