Fiber is an important component found in vegetables, fruits and grains and has a significant function in regulating and maintaining weight. It is a kind of carbohydrate that is indigestible that is used as a bulking agent in our digestive tract to push waste materials from the body. This is an essential process to prevent constipation and diverticulosis that can be harmful to our large intestine and colon.
Consuming adequate amounts of fiber can help lower cholesterol, avoid the risk of diabetes, help prevent heart disease, control blood sugar, and reduce the risk of cancer. Fiber can also help you feel full much longer, therefore aiding in weight loss.
The best way to supply your body with fiber is by getting it naturally from the whole foods in your diet. Foods rich in dietary fiber are fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts. However, most people find it hard to eat the recommended 25-38 grams of fiber daily.
Although fiber is present in many foods, there are now various fiber supplements available that you can easily and conveniently take. Many people don’t get enough of the dietary fiber in their diet anyway so it’s a good alternative to take fiber supplements to give them their recommended daily allowance.
Fiber as a supplement comes in different forms like tablets, pills, powders, wafers, and fiber-enriched foods. Fiber is easier to consume when taken in supplement form and they are safe as long as you follow the dosage directions. The active ingredients in many supplements are wheat dextrin, inulin, psyllium husk, and methylcellulose.
Dietary fiber also promotes proper digestion and movement of the bowel in our body. They are as vital as other minerals and nutrients that our body needs. Fiber supplements or a diet high in fiber are commonly used to treat or prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, diabetes, heart disease, and gastrointestinal problems. Recently, it has also been proven to aid in weight loss. You add more fiber to your diet slowly to prevent bloating or gas and giving your body time to adjust to the changes. Drink plenty of liquids too while increasing your fiber intake.
Several fiber supplements for weight loss are available in pill, capsule, or powder form. You can buy them with or without a prescription, but it is recommended to have your doctor’s advice first before taking these supplements. You can choose from a wide variety of fiber supplements that will suit your needs. You have to decide first what form you prefer to take then start with smaller doses first to determine if you will experience any side effects or not.
Dietary fiber has two major types: soluble and insoluble fibers. They are both important to overall health and can effectively help in weight loss.
- Soluble fibers – absorbs nutrients, water, liquid, and fats and help solidify and ad moisture to the bowel. It also helps reduce the absorption of unwanted nutrients like cholesterol. Glucomannan fiber is a soluble fiber that functions as an appetite suppressant to help in weight loss. Another soluble fiber that aids in weight loss is chitosan fat blocker that works by absorbing and binding to dietary fats.
- Insoluble fibers – passes out of the body unchanged since they cannot be absorbed, digested, nor can they absorb anything. They help scour and clean the digestive tract and help in the proper digestion and elimination of waste by pushing along the food material.
How Fiber Weight Loss Supplement Works:
Fiber supplement stimulates weight loss by increasing the body’s metabolism and burning more calories. It also absorbs a partial amount of fat that goes to the bloodstream, reduces cravings for carbohydrates, and prevents serum glucose from changing into fat.
Aside from weight loss, fiber gives a feeling of being full, reducing food consumption. In addition, soluble fiber supplements taken with enough water bind with the water in the stomach and become gummy-like which makes the person feel full. Fiber also improves the digestion and promotes proper elimination and regular bowel movement, getting rid of toxins and excess fats in the body.
Ingredients of Fiber Weight Loss Supplements:
Fiber weight loss supplements are made from “functional” fibers – fiber that is extracted from plants or animals that provides many health benefits to humans. They can come in the form of powders, capsules, chewable tablets, oils, and wafers. These functional fibers include the following:
- Guar Gum
- Acacia fibers
You can take fiber supplements 30 minutes before each meal to reduce your appetite and lessen your food intake up to 33%. Always drink at least 8 oz. of water along with your fiber pills. This will give the fiber time to absorb the liquid which in turn fills your stomach so you consume less food.
The recommended dietary fiber for average adults is 20-35 grams daily. For children, the recommended dosage is their age plus 5 grams daily.
Benefits of Fiber Weight Loss Supplement:
- Curbs hunger cravings and acts as a natural appetite suppressant
- Boosts metabolism for rapid weight loss
- Lowers bad cholesterol levels
- Lowers heart disease risk
- Prevents various types of cancer
- Relieves constipation
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Moisten and move waste through the intestines
- Controls the pH levels in the gastrointestinal tract
Disadvantages of Fiber Weight Loss Supplements:
- You might be required some adjustments in your medications since fiber controls blood cholesterol and blood sugar
- Might interfere with other medications
- Fiber might also affect blood sugar levels
- Excess fiber is also bad for the health
- Fiber can decrease the absorption and effectiveness of other medications and several antidepressants
- Can cause allergic reactions in some people
Side Effects of Fiber Weight Loss Supplements:
Fiber supplements for weight loss are generally safe but taking too much can cause certain side effects and might interfere with the absorption of other vital nutrients needed by the body. Among these potential side effects are:
- Abdominal discomfort and/or cramping
- Problems with absorption of nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium
- Stomach upset