Fill up on fibre to lose weight

Fibre-rich foods make you feel fuller for longer, so you can ‘trick’ yourself into eating fewer calories. Find out how to get more

THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE that suggests people who have higher intakes of wholegrains, which tend to be rich in fibre, may take in fewer calories overall – and the reason is simple: they fill us up.

‘High-fibre foods are a good way to bulk out your diet without adding too many calories,’ says HFG nutrition consultant Juliette Kellow. ‘For example, having a smaller portion of meat and filling the space with lots of extra veg will mean your plate still looks really full. This is important because studies show that we tend to consume the same quantity of food each day rather than the same amount of calories, meaning it’s possible to ‘trick’ ourselves into consuming fewer calories without feeling any hungrier.’

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has recommended that the current daily guideline fibre intake be increased from 24g a day to 30g. However, on average, British adults only manage to eat around 18g fibre a day – and some experts believe this may be part of the reason we’re struggling to control our weight.

Increase your fibre intake over a few weeks so your digestive system can adapt. At the same time, drink more water – more fibre means you need more fluid.

How to get more fibre into every meal

This is the amount you could add every time you eat…

• 1tbsp chia seeds 5.6g
• 40g Bitesize Shredded Wheat 5.2g
• 30g bran flakes 4.5g
• 2 Weetabix 3.8g
• 40g porridge oats 3.6g
• 80g frozen berries 2.5g
• 1 slice granary bread 2.1g
• 1 grilled tomato 1.6g
• 1 banana 1.5g
• 1tbsp peanut butter 0.7g

• ½ x 400g tin mixed beans 7.4g
• 200g tin or snack pot baked beans 7.2g
• 4 rye crispbreads 6.8g
• 200g jacket potato 5.4g
• 1 pear 5g
• 1 wholemeal wrap 4.3g
• ½ medium avocado 3.3g
• 1 slice wholemeal bread 2.8g
• 1 cereal bowl of mixed salad 1.9g
• 1tbsp mixed seeds 1.4g

• 230g cooked wholemeal pasta 10.7g
• ½ x 400g tin lentils 7g
• 200g cooked quinoa 5.6g
• 80g frozen peas 5.4g
• ½ x 400g tin chickpeas 4.9g
• 180g cooked brown rice 2.9g
• 200g cooked couscous 2.8g
• 80g carrots 2.7g
• 80g broccoli 2.5g
• 80g sweetcorn 2.2g

• 1 orange 3.6g
• 50g reduced-fat hummus 3.3g
• 30g almonds 3.2g
• 30g dried apricots 2.5g
• 1 apple 2.4g
• 3 handfuls (15g) plain popcorn 2.2g
• 1 reduced-fat hot cross bun 2.2g
• 80g blueberries 1.9g
• 3 celery sticks 1.3g


*Weight-loss results will vary and are down to your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose.

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