You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.
How Much Fiber Do You Eat?
If you eat a typical American diet, which consists of about 3 total servings per day of fruits and vegetables, little or no beans, and white or enriched bread and cereals, then you are probably consuming about 10 grams of fiber per day. That doesn’t sound like much when you compare it to our recommendation of 40 or more grams per day, but The Full Plate Diet will make it easy for you to accomplish your goal. Just start with our recommendations for Stage One. The good news is that people who need to make the most changes also gain the most benefit, usually in the shortest period of time. Perhaps you eat more than 3 but less than 9 total servings per day of fruits and vegetables. Maybe you eat some beans and usually stick to whole-grain cereals and bread. That is good—you are probably getting closer to 20 grams of fiber per day—better than average, but still not quite enough. If you follow our advice for those in Stage Two, you will find it is easy to boost your fiber intake up to our recommendation, especially if you power-up the foods you are eating now with fiber-packed additions. See our Power Up section (part III) for ideas, then experiment on your own and develop Power Ups and Fiber Wheels that best fit your routine and preferences. In no time you will find your fiber intake going up, and your bathroom scale going down. There may be some of you who eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, as well as beans and whole grains. Congratulations! You may be getting the 40 grams of fiber per day The Full Plate Diet recommends. You are in Stage Three, and likely will just Many high-fiber foods are jumping with protein 25 He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law. —Pablo Picasso need to fine-tune things a bit in order to start losing weight. For example, make sure you eat fiber foods at every meal and snack, and always eat fiber foods first. Eat fewer snacks between meals and during the four hours before bedtime. Gradually increase your physical activity. Become a nutrition detective and start paying attention to food labels. All of these actions will help you become, and maintain, a thinner, healthier you. Want to have some fun and learn about how much fiber you eat in a day? Go to www.FullPlateDiet.org/ fiber-calculator, and check out the fiber calculator. It’s easy to use—and you will also learn about which foods have high and low fiber.
The Three Stages
The key to losing weight is to eat fewer calories than your body burns each day. Fiber foods fill you faster and contain fewer calories. This is how they help you reduce your intake of calorie-concentrated foods. Here’s what too often happens: You buy a diet book, excited about a new way to finally lose those extra pounds. Then you get it home and start to read lists of rules, do’s and don’ts. There’s no way you’re ever going to be able to do this! A few months later, you give the book to Goodwill. The good news about The Full Plate Diet is that it works even when you do it imperfectly. You can improve how you look and feel without ever progressing past Stage One.
1. Eat more fiber foods. 2. Drink more water—at least 6 glasses a day. 3. Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry. If Stage One is easy for you and you feel like pushing farther, faster.
Increase the fiber in your diet to new levels. Eat fiber foods at the beginning of every meal or snack. 2. Experiment with a wider variety of high-fiber foods. 3. Drink even more water, 8 to 10 glasses per day. (Your body needs more water when you eat more fiber.) If you’re that one-in-a-thousand person (seriously, it’s about one in a thousand) who has the interest and the discipline to push an idea all the way to its limits, here’s Stage Three:
1. Stabilize your fiber intake to a consistent 40+ grams each day. 2. Become a “label detective.” Always learn what’s in the food before you put it in your basket at the grocery store. You’ll find all the information you need at www.FullPlateDiet.org. 3. Reduce your intake of meat and dairy products, as well as other foods that are high calorie, high fat, and low fiber.