One Small Change: 3 Ways to Lose 5 Pounds in a Month
Add FiberMy one small change: "I ate more fiber at every meal"
Shon Gables, 37
Current weight: 150
Pounds lost: 5The Challenge
"Even though I run six miles several times a week, I just can't seem to lose the weight I put on after having my son last year," says Gables. "I've tried cutting out sweets and carbs a million times, but I never feel full, so I end up ravenous and devour everything in sight."The Expert Says
"I've had clients drop five to seven pounds in a month just by consuming at least 30 grams of fiber a day," says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of The F-Factor Diet. "The reason: Fiber-packed foods tend to be low in calories, yet they're dense, so you can eat until you're full and still barely make a dent in your daily calorie count. Fiber will also keep your blood-sugar levels even, staving off hunger and energy lulls."The Plan
Choose whole grains. Start your day with a high-fiber cereal, like All-Bran. At lunch, opt for whole-grain bread, like Nature's Own Double Fiber Wheat Specialty Bread or GG Bran Scandinavian Crispbread.
Eat your apples. Snack on no less than two high-fiber fruits a day, such as apples, pears, or raspberries. When produce is nowhere to be found, try a high-fiber energy bar, like Chocolite's Protein Bar.
Go green. Eat at least one and a half cups of high-fiber veggies a day, such as raw spinach, broccoli, and peppers.
Drink up. Sip water throughout the day. When combined with fiber, water helps you feel full and aids digestion.
"It took me a good week and a half to get the hang of this plan," says Gables. "I had to get used to counting fiber grams, but before long, choosing veggies and high-fiber snacks (especially the Scandinavian Crispbread -- I refer to it as my 'secret weapon') at every meal was like second nature."How to Stick with It
"I tried to focus on how I felt and looked rather than the number on the scale," says Gables. "After the first week, I started to notice that my pants were looser. That was enough to keep me motivated."The Unexpected Perk
"My energy level is higher, so I'm exercising more often," says Gables. "And, to be blunt, I've never been so regular in my life! I don't feel bloated the way I used to."Will She Stay with It?
Yes! "I was so surprised! I can't imagine going back to my old eating habits now."
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2008.
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