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Fiber Meal Plan for Weight Loss

July 9, 2024
Fiber Meal Plan for Weight Loss

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In this article:

  • Dietary fiber is a nutrient with health benefits. It can also help in weight management since it is slow to digest, helps stabilize blood sugar levels, and tends to be in nutrient-dense, filling foods.
  • The recommended amount of dietary fiber is at least 14 grams per 1,000 calories, but 90% of American adults get less than that amount.
  • Natural sources of fiber include plant-based foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes like lentils and beans.
  • Fiber supplements can boost fiber intake, but they’re not a substitute for nutritious foods.
  • When increasing dietary fiber intake, take precautions like increasing intake gradually and drinking plenty of water.
  • This sample meal plan and snack list can help you get plenty of fiber while eating nutritious foods.
  • Lark can help you manage weight with or without GLP-1s as you log food, get tips for eating healthier, and make small changes that can turn into healthy habits.

If you want a simple way to improve health and make weight loss easier, it may be time to eat more dietary fiber. It’s an important nutrient itself, not to mention that high-fiber foods can lead to a healthier overall diet. Here’s what you should know about dietary fiber and how to get more. Then keep reading for a high-fiber meal plan and snack list.

Dietary Fiber as a Beneficial Nutrient

Dietary fiber is a type of complex carbohydrate, but it’s different from other types of carbohydrates like sugar and starch. Your body can’t digest it the same way. Instead, health-promoting bacteria in your intestine can use fiber for fuel.

According to Mayo Clinic, fiber can help:

  • Lower risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure and risk for hypertension

Reduced risk for diverticular disease in the colon

Eating more fiber can also help prevent constipation, as it adds bulk to stools and can help soften them to pass more easily.

Benefits of Fiber for Weight Loss

There are a few reasons why dietary fiber may also help with weight management.

  • It helps stabilize blood sugar levels, so after you eat there’s less of a sharp spike and subsequent drop. Preventing a sharp drop in blood sugar can help prevent sudden hunger and sugar cravings.
  • It is slow to digest, so you may feel full for longer after you eat
  • It is in many filling, nutrient-dense, and low-calorie foods, and not in many highly processed and low-nutrient foods. Eating a nutrient-dense diet can help increase fullness and reduce the amount of calories you consume, which helps with weight control.
  • Fiber supports the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut, and this type of profile is linked to a lower risk of obesity

Why You Probably Need More Fiber

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest consuming at least 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume. Here’s what that means.

Calories Per Day Fiber Goal Per Day
At least 16 grams
At least 23 grams
At least 28 grams
At least 33 grams

How much are you getting? The average American gets 15 grams a day, according to Harvard School of Public Health. That’s about half of the recommended amount.

How to Get More Fiber

Plant-based foods are natural sources of fiber.

  • Non-starchy vegetables like greens, tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, eggplant, carrots, onions, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, and celery
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes, acorn squash, corn, peas, and sweet potatoes
  • Fruit like strawberries, apples, other berries, pears, oranges, tangerines, cantaloupe, and nectarines
  • Legumes like lentils, split peas, and beans like garbanzo beans, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, and cannellini beans
  • Whole-grain cereal like oatmeal, shredded wheat, oat O’s, and bran flakes
  • Whole-grain bread like sliced bread and other whole-grain bread products like English muffins, bagels, pita, and tortillas
  • Other whole grains like whole-grain pasta, brown rice, popcorn, quinoa, and barley
  • Peanuts, seeds, and nuts like like almonds, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower, and flax seeds

Animal-based foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products don’t naturally have fiber. Here are some strategies to get more fiber.

  • Swap out meat for plant-based meals like bean burritos, veggie burgers, lentil soup, four bean salad, and vegetarian chili with beans
  • Add raw or cooked vegetables to meals and snacks
  • Choose whole-grain products instead of refined grains like white bread, rice, pasta, refined cereals, and white crackers
  • Choose fruit and nuts for dessert instead of having processed sweets

What About Fiber Supplements?

Fiber supplements can increase your daily fiber totals. Psyllium and inulin are examples of common types of fiber supplements, and they may be powders that you dissolve in water, chewable tablets, or gummies.

Mayo Clinic warns that when you take fiber supplements instead of eating high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, you’re not getting nutrients that are naturally in those types of foods, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, fiber supplements aren’t as filling and may not have the same benefits for weight loss as eating whole foods.

If you are interested in fiber supplements, ask your healthcare provider before starting. Also, drink plenty of water to avoid choking and to reduce the chances of having an upset stomach or gastrointestinal issues. Increase your fiber intake only gradually.

Sample Meal Plan with Fiber

The following sample meal plan can exceed daily guidelines for fiber. Select serving sizes to meet your needs for calories, fiber, and other nutrients. You can also make swaps to suit your dietary preferences. Be sure to drink plenty of water and talk to a healthcare provider before making changes to your diet.

Day 1
Oatmeal made with instant, rolled, or steel cuts oats and water or milk, with diced apple, cinnamon, and almonds
1 hard-boiled egg
Low-sodium canned minestrone soup or homemade soup with
low-sodium broth, whole-grain pasta, kidney beans, chopped onion, celery, tomato, carrots, zucchini, and cabbage
Low-fat parmesan cheese
1 ounce of whole-grain crackers
Salmon stir fry with 1-2 cups of vegetables like broccoli, snow peas, carrots, onions, asparagus, zucchini, celery, bok choy, bell peppers, or frozen stir fry vegetables, served over brown rice
Day 2
Scrambled egg or egg whites with 1 cup of chopped vegetables like zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, or onions
Low-fat cheese
Baked cubes of sweet potato or potato seasoned as desired with herbs like rosemary and thyme
Tuna and bean salad with canned tuna or cooked fish, white or other beans, chopped celery, tomato, spinach, onion, lemon juice, black pepper, parsley
Hard-boiled egg
Shepherd’s pie with peas and onions on the bottom layer, lean ground turkey in the middle layer, and pureed potato, sweet potato, and/or cauliflower on the top layer
Side salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and vinaigrette dressing
Day 3
Bran flakes cereal with sliced banana and milk, plain yogurt, or cottage cheese
Peanut butter sandwich with sliced peach or banana on whole-grain bread
Carrots or grape tomatoes
Fajitas with shredded chicken, shrimp, ground turkey, or tofu, peppers, onions, and tomatoes, on a whole-grain corn or taco-sized whole-wheat flour tortilla, with a side of black beans or vegetarian refried beans, served with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and avocado Cut fruit
Day 4
Cottage cheese with puffed brown rice cereal, peach or mango slices, and flaxseed
Wrap with grilled chicken or feta cheese, hummus, and lettuce or sprouts in a whole-grain tortilla
Apple or other piece of fruit
Italian-inspired eggplant lasagna casserole with layers of roasted eggplant or zucchini slices, tomato sauce, any option vegetables like spinach or sliced mushrooms, garlic, Italian herbs, and ground turkey or low-fat cottage cheese, plus an optional topping of mozzarella cheese and/or whole-grain bread crumbs
Side salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and vinaigrette dressing
Day 5
Yogurt parfait made with layers of plain nonfat yogurt, peanuts, and blueberries or other fruit
Sandwich on whole-grain bread with egg salad made with chopped egg whites, hummus, celery, paprika, dijon mustard, black pepper, and parsley or mint
Grapes or other fruit
Rotisserie chicken or roast chicken Corn on the cob
Roasted broccoli, plain or with lemon juice or parmesan cheese Baked or stewed apple slices with cinnamon
Day 6
Whole-grain toast with avocado, egg, and cilantro, lemon juice, and garlic
Strawberries or other fruit
Mediterranean bowl with quinoa, chickpeas, feta cheese, roasted eggplant and bell peppers
Foil-baked tilapia or chicken with vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower florets, cut brussels sprouts, or green beans Baked potato or sweet potato
Day 7
Frozen whole-grain waffle Fresh fruit salad or grapes
Egg whites cooked with cooking spray
Roasted acorn squash stuffed with brown rice, black beans, diced cooked onions, seasoning like cumin and chili powder, and shredded low-fat jack or cheddar cheese
Roasted green beans or other vegetable
Homemade pizza on a portobello mushroom or whole-grain English muffin or pita with sauce, low-fat cheese, chopped chicken breast, and vegetable toppings
Chopped cucumber and tomato salad with onion, lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, and basil
Fresh fruit

List of High-Fiber Snacks

Each of these snacks has at least 3 grams of dietary fiber and only 100-200 calories.

  • ½ cup of refried beans and 1 ounce of low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup of carrot sticks and ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ apple with 2 tablespoons of hummus
  • Tangerine with ½ ounce of almonds
  • ½ banana and 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • ½ cup of shredded wheat and a 5-ounce container of plain nonfat regular or Greek yogurt
  • 1 small sweet potato and ½ ounce of walnuts
  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter Check here for more nutritious snack ideas.

How Lark Can Help

Nutritious sources of protein can help support weight management, and it’s easier to find the right foods when you have the support you need. Your Lark coach is available 24/7 for nutrition and physical activity coaching and tracking. Lark can help you make healthy choices and establish habits that fit into your lifestyle so you can lose weight and keep it off with or without GLP-1 medications.

Click here to see if you may be eligible to join Lark today!

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