Last month the team challenged you to increase your protein by gradually increasing the amount and frequency that you ate throughout the month. In November we are taking a similar approach with fiber, another important, but often overlooked nutrient. I bet you're wondering “what's so great about fiber and how can it help me when my fitness goals are to a) gain muscle b) lose weight or c) somewhere in the middle?”
For starters, high fiber foods are generally packed with nutrients, but are also lower in calories. In other words, they are filling without being a calorie hog. The body doesn't absorb or digest fiber well, so much of it passes through the body, removing waste – even metabolic waste resulting from those intense workouts. Other benefits include reducing the risk for certain types of cancer, maintaining heart health by reducing blood cholesterol and controlling blood sugar levels. So, now that you see the benefits, on to the challenge.
If you're a list maker, this is the day made for you. On planning days you will think about where your fiber will come from for the upcoming week. Think about fruits and vegetables, whole grains or legumes just to name a few. There are lots of options to choose from, so be sure to add in variety.
Of course after all that planning you will now need to stock up, so a shopping we will go! Take your planning list with you to the grocery store and get all the items you will need to meet the week's challenge.
Mondays are when we start executing our plans! We've suggested some great sources of fiber for you to incorporate on this day. If you always eat strawberries, try a new berry like raspberries or blueberries. These days are meant to take some of the guess work out of eating fiber and show you a few simple options that will boost your intake.
Social days are all about sharing the love, or in this case, the fiber. Found a delicious way to get in some fiber? Share it! Heck, even if you hated it, we want to see it. Yes, we're that nosy, plus when we share we give others ideas on what they might try (or avoid).
Along with increasing your fiber intake, make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of water. Increasing your fiber alone might stop up the pipes, if you kwim! So, as you think about adding a serving of fiber, have a glass of water as well. We don't want the month to go by without a movement challenge so on this day we're also challenging you to do a little exercise. Let's just call it a bonus. You're welcome!
In keeping with the spirit of the season, we are asking you to reflect back on the things that you are thankful for and focus just a little bit less on where you're trying to go. Share your NSVs with the family, even the ones that you might think are small. Celebrate them! We're also sharpening our intuitive eating skills a bit as well.
We simply can not have a challenge without a little indulgence. Like protein, there are limitless ways to indulge and get in a little fiber at the same time. On this day, enjoy a high fiber treat.
Now, I know you are as excited as I am to start wolfing down some good-for-you fiber. Are you familiar with the old saying ‘having too much of a good thing'? Well, that can certainly be the case when it comes to fiber. If you are starting from ground zero with your fiber, be sure to increase your intake slowly to reduce the likelihood of excess gas and bloating. Your GI tract will need time to adjust. And be sure to drink up your water as well!