Doctor's Orders: Fire Up Your Fiber
Many bodybuilding foods are notoriously low in fiber. However, bodybuilders need plenty of fiber to make ideal gains. Fiber is an indigestible complex carbohydrate. Consumption of soluble and insoluble fiber enhances the health of the digestive tract and improves the absorption and efficiency of bodybuilding diets.
Fiber increases the bulk of food consumed, helping to process it, and keeps the digestive system working at peak efficiency. Fiber can also slow down the digestion of food to keep blood glucose and insulin levels steadier, which may help prevent fat gain. Plus, fiber can help blunt hunger and help you eat less when dieting.
You should get most of your dietary fiber from complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Strive to take in about 10-15 g of total fiber in your diet for every 1,000 calories eaten from food or supplements. If your diet doesn't provide this amount, then consider daily supplementation with a fiber product. Consider taking 3-5 grams of fiber from supplements before large meals to help slow digestion.
Just so you have an idea of how much fiber you're eating daily, here are a few of the fiber-providing foods you should be eating on this diet and the amount of fiber that they provide:
- 1 cup black beans - 15 g
- 1 medium sweet potato - 6 g
- 1 large apple - 5 g
- 1 cup cooked oatmeal - 4 g
- 1 cup cooked brown rice - 4 g
- 1 cup cooked whole-wheat pasta - 4 g
- 1/2 cantaloupe - 4 g
- 1 large orange - 4 g
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts - 3 g
- 1 oz. mixed nuts - 3 g
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread - 2 g
- 1 cup sliced pineapple - 2 g
- 1 cup chopped broccoli - 2 g
- 1 cup cauliflower - 2 g
- 1 cup green beans - 2 g
- 1 cup spinach - 1 g
- 1 cup lettuce - 1 g
Remember that every rest day should be an active rest day. Rest days are for recovery; they're not an excuse to be lazy. Get out and hit 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio today, or perform 30-60 minutes of your favorite activity: hiking, biking, walking, playing a sport, etc.