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Hitting macros - including fibre - without volume eating

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Forgive the long post.

Context:
Age 56
Female
5'1"
Target weight:57kg
Current weight: 84kg
Obesity and yo-yo weight loss/gain dating back to pre-adolescence

Problem behaviours that led to the weight gain
  • Large portion sizes
  • Snacking between meals
  • Occasional drop-off in activity (sedentary job, insufficient calorie burn from exercise)
Other factors
Chronic constipation when following a healthy eating plan (not such an issue when eating large portions and exceeding my TDEE). Improved by increasing healthy fats and soluble - rather than insoluble - fibre and taking a magnesium supplement.

My question:
Does anyone have any insights into a sustainable eating plan that I can follow when I reach maintenance that:
  1. Allows me to hit my TDEE (which if it matches my current TDEE would be 167% of BMR (i.e. 1800 calories) but could potentially be as low as 1300-1400 calories based on my age and height. Exercise and NEAT burn will be key.
  2. Allows me to hit my macros, and get sufficient protein, fat and fibre

I know that it's possible to hit a 30g+ fibre goal by eating lots of veggies and fruit, but this increases the volume of meals, which is something that I'm trying to avoid. I'm trying to re-educate myself to be satisfied with smaller portion sizes, and I'm concerned that seeing a plate loaded with veggies (so that I hit my fibre goal) will encourage my brain to continue to expect a loaded plate.

Without resorting to supplements (which I want to avoid if possible), is it possible to get sufficient fibre without volume eating?

Replies

  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 4,236 Member
    edited June 2021
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    Sorry, missed the editing window.

    I'm not sure if I made it clear in the above post that the crux of my question is:

    For people maintaining on a quite low calorie budget, do you have any tips on how to reach a minimum of 30 grams of primarily soluble fibre per day without resorting to large portion sizes and ideally without using fibre supplements? While still hitting your macros for protein and fat.

    If I didn't have to worry about the fibre I think I could manage quite easily to hit my macros without large portions, but getting sufficient soluble fibre makes it a more difficult equation.

    And before anyone points out that there's nothing innately wrong with large portion sizes if they help to hit your macros, I agree in principle, but in practice it's large portions that have contributed to my obesity. I want to break away from large portions if at all possible, as one of the tools of my maintenance toolkit.

    Another of my problem behaviours was snacking between meals, so I'd prefer to avoid any proposed solution to the large plate portions conundrum that merely shifted the fibre intake to snacking between meals (e.g on carrot sticks, fruit, dried apricots etc.)

    Both large portions and between-meal snacking are problem behaviours that I'd like to avoid in future.

    Darn fibre needs!
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    edited June 2021
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    Try beans, high in fiber but not high in moisture (water content is what increases volume/calorie ratio). For example, a cup of red beans has more than half of the daily requirements.

    b9k86rln6jgn.png
  • MerryFit519
    MerryFit519 Posts: 43 Member
    edited June 2021
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    I'm new to MFP, but an experienced constipation sufferer, so jumping in here as my first post. :) I'm not sure how to better reach primarily 'soluble' fiber, but will share there is one low-calorie, small portion breakfast cereal that is the magic fix for me: Kellogg's All Bran Buds. Just a 1/2 cup packs 17 grams of fiber (5 are soluble) for 180 calories. I usually add 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh blueberries and use 1/2 cup of unsweetened Almond milk (both of which add a little more fiber). Eating this everyday keeps me right on track in the bathroom. (and also keeps me very full all morning!) I'm currently following a modified ADF (alternate day fast) On my fast days (500 calorie days), I only have 1/4 cup, and on my feast days I eat up to 1 full cup.

    (worth noting, I started my weight loss journey in early May by following Keto. I dropped a fast 15 pounds BUT, not having my buds/blueberries caused crazy constipation to return...in one month I think I eliminated 3 times and that was with the aid of a laxative. After 4 weeks (with stomach pain), I searched for other dieting options, ended up here on MFP and am back to normal after re-introducing more healthy carbs/fiber. My other favorites include sweet potatoes, broccoli, avocado, and romaine lettuce) ..and yes, I've continued to lose weight with the new macros and lots of fiber. :)
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 6,428 Member
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    Try beans, high in fiber but not high in moisture (water content is what increases volume/calorie ratio). For example, a cup of red beans has more than half of the daily requirements.

    b9k86rln6jgn.png

    And perhaps lentils as well?
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
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    Lietchi wrote: »
    Try beans, high in fiber but not high in moisture (water content is what increases volume/calorie ratio). For example, a cup of red beans has more than half of the daily requirements.

    b9k86rln6jgn.png

    And perhaps lentils as well?

    Yes, almost all kinds of legumes are high in fiber.
  • MerryFit519
    MerryFit519 Posts: 43 Member
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    edit: (missed the editing window)..I mis-typed the calories of Fiber Buds. It should be 110 per 1/2 cup (not 180)

    Also, lentils are really great too. (wish I liked more of them, lol)
  • Justin_7272
    Justin_7272 Posts: 341 Member
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    30 calories, 7 grams fiber;

    https://www.amazon.com/NOW-Supplements-Psyllium-Powder-24-Ounce/dp/B002RWUNYM/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=fiber+powder&qid=1623762863&s=hpc&sr=1-4

    Mix this with a whey protein shake and you're killing 2 birds with one stone, while keeping calories relatively low.

    Peanuts are also a great sort of healthy fat and contain protein.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,982 Member
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    Avocados are low volume, high in healthy fats, and reasonably high in fiber (half an avocado would be around 115 calories, 10.5g fats (1.2g polyunsaturated, 6.7g monounsaturated), 1.3g protein, 4.6g fiber . . . could be a help if you're trying to get calories from fat, in addition to fiber. It's about 1/3 soluble fiber, 2/3 insoluble, though, IMU.

    I've also used oat bran in the past as an ingredient in things (baked goods, even stews and such) to add soluble fiber. I don't count that as a supplement, but I don't know what you think definitionally.
  • 33gail33
    33gail33 Posts: 1,155 Member
    edited June 2021
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    I had 34 grams of fibre on 1368 calories the other day. My main sources were a cup of lentils (with chopped veggies and olive oil dressing), black beans (added to my scrambled eggs with spinach in the morning), a smoothie with berries and chia seeds, and half an avocado. Plenty of fat and fibre, and I wouldn't say I am a "volume" eater.
  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 4,236 Member
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    Some helpful suggestions here, thank you all for taking the time to respond.

    @amusedmonkey, I think pulses will remain a core part of my diet once I reach maintenance. Today I hit 35g fibre through having a lentil and veggie bake with a shredded white cabbage, cucumber and carrot salad for dinner, followed by 30g of roasted and lightly salted split yellow peas. Pulses rock!

    @MerryFit519, I've seen All Bran Buds but never tried them. I may try them with kefir and raspberries. Trouble is, I assume they're mainly insoluble fibre and that can sometimes have the opposite effect to the one I'm looking for.

    @Justin_7272, I'm trying to resist psyllium husk powder as if it falls under my definition of a supplement. But I have a feeling I may have to give in and introduce them to my diet eventually if I'm serious about meeting all my other macros too.

    @AnnPT77, I must learn to like avocados! I bought two today with the intention of giving them another try. I love guacamole, but don't really like the taste and texture of naked avocado...perhaps I need to google good ways to eat them to bring out their best qualities. Re the oat bran, like psyllium husks it comes perilously close to my definition of a supplement, but there are times when beggars can't be choosers. I used to add wheat bran to soups, smoothies etc. and it brought everything grinding to a halt, but as oat bran is soluble fibre I might have better success with it,

    @33gail33 that sounds like a delicious day! I hadn't thought of adding pulses to scrambled eggs...

  • 33gail33
    33gail33 Posts: 1,155 Member
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    Some helpful suggestions here, thank you all for taking the time to respond.

    @amusedmonkey, I think pulses will remain a core part of my diet once I reach maintenance. Today I hit 35g fibre through having a lentil and veggie bake with a shredded white cabbage, cucumber and carrot salad for dinner, followed by 30g of roasted and lightly salted split yellow peas. Pulses rock!

    @MerryFit519, I've seen All Bran Buds but never tried them. I may try them with kefir and raspberries. Trouble is, I assume they're mainly insoluble fibre and that can sometimes have the opposite effect to the one I'm looking for.

    @Justin_7272, I'm trying to resist psyllium husk powder as if it falls under my definition of a supplement. But I have a feeling I may have to give in and introduce them to my diet eventually if I'm serious about meeting all my other macros too.

    @AnnPT77, I must learn to like avocados! I bought two today with the intention of giving them another try. I love guacamole, but don't really like the taste and texture of naked avocado...perhaps I need to google good ways to eat them to bring out their best qualities. Re the oat bran, like psyllium husks it comes perilously close to my definition of a supplement, but there are times when beggars can't be choosers. I used to add wheat bran to soups, smoothies etc. and it brought everything grinding to a halt, but as oat bran is soluble fibre I might have better success with it,

    @33gail33 that sounds like a delicious day! I hadn't thought of adding pulses to scrambled eggs...

    Mash with a bit of salt, pepper and lemon or lime juice, spread on a piece of whole wheat toast, top with two over-easy eggs. Fibre, fat and protein. (For a weekend brunch treat I add smoked salmon to the pile.)
  • naomi9271
    naomi9271 Posts: 127 Member
    edited June 2021
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    Potato starch is an insoluble fiber that has helped me bulk my stool and prevent constipation historically. (Long term issues since childhood over here) It’s not water soluble, but you can drink it in a slurry with cold water. Just don’t put it in anything hot. It’s close to zero calories when not heated (resistant starch)

    A quick Google search should bring up some articles about why/how this works.
    Editing to say there’s a lot of woo-woo nonsense out there on it, so stick to the scientific articles if you’re curious. For example:

    https://hopkinsdiabetesinfo.org/what-is-resistant-starch/

    I don’t know how MFP treats this, but probably counts it like cornstarch, as it’s used to thicken foods when it’s heated up (don’t do this for your needs)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,982 Member
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    Hemp seeds/hearts and milled flax seed have some insoluble fiber, too, plus healthy fats - I like them in my oatmeal for a little extra crunch, but they can be used in a variety of ways. Some nuts are higher in insoluble fiber than others - I think almonds and pine nuts are among them, plus calorie dense (healthy fats again) so low volume.
  • mikethewriter
    mikethewriter Posts: 18 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Hemp seeds/hearts and milled flax seed have some insoluble fiber, too, plus healthy fats - I like them in my oatmeal for a little extra crunch, but they can be used in a variety of ways. Some nuts are higher in insoluble fiber than others - I think almonds and pine nuts are among them, plus calorie dense (healthy fats again) so low volume.
    Hemp Seeds are also beneficial for skin disorders and reduce the risk of heart disease and that's why I prefer adding the seeds to smoothies or sprinkling whole or ground seeds on cereal or yogurt or making hemp milk at home using whole seeds.
  • MerryFit519
    MerryFit519 Posts: 43 Member
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    @Bella_Figura Try avocado in place of fatty spreads like mayo. Example, I mashed some up, added dill and lemon juice and a bit of onion/salt to make "tartar sauce" for my fish the other day. :) (super yummy!) As for the cereal or any other fiber sources you add, do make sure you're drinking a bit of extra water since each type (soluble/insoluble) relies on water to work correctly. (I tend to have at least 2 or 3 extra glasses of water the days I consume 50-60g and the results come out the other end darn near "fluffy" lol...sorry if that is gross, but it works for me) :)
  • KevHex
    KevHex Posts: 256 Member
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    @Bella_Figura - this may or may not help, but sharing just in case :-)

    20 grams of powdered baobab fruit provides approximately:

    Calories: 50
    Protein: 1 gram
    Carbs: 16 grams
    Fat: 0 grams
    Fiber: 9 grams
    Vitamin C: 58% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
    Vitamin B6: 24% of the RDI
    Niacin: 20% of the RDI
    Iron: 9% of the RDI
    Potassium: 9% of the RDI
    Magnesium: 8% of the RDI
    Calcium: 7% of the RDI

    I sometimes add 20g to my protein shake at breakfast.

    Baobab provides equal amounts of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
  • Xiaolongbao
    Xiaolongbao Posts: 854 Member
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    I'm similar to you in a lot of ways except I don't really think I am able to retrain myself to accept smaller portions. I'm just too hungry if I do. So I stick with volume eating.

    But, even with volume (which is a lot of vegetables as I'm vegetarian) I love my psyllium. I'm not sure why you consider it a supplement but maybe you could rethink that. I eat it because I like the taste and the feel of it, the fibre benefits definitely have caused me to eat more of it (I suffer with constipation on a monthly cycle which has gotten worse as I've approached menopause) but I don't see why it can't be considered a food like any other. A mix of psyllium, oats, chia seeds and milk make a great breakfast in my book. I can't see why you'd consider a manufactured, processed food (like All Bran) and be against something much cheaper and less processed like psyllium
  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 4,236 Member
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    I'm similar to you in a lot of ways except I don't really think I am able to retrain myself to accept smaller portions. I'm just too hungry if I do. So I stick with volume eating.

    But, even with volume (which is a lot of vegetables as I'm vegetarian) I love my psyllium. I'm not sure why you consider it a supplement but maybe you could rethink that. I eat it because I like the taste and the feel of it, the fibre benefits definitely have caused me to eat more of it (I suffer with constipation on a monthly cycle which has gotten worse as I've approached menopause) but I don't see why it can't be considered a food like any other. A mix of psyllium, oats, chia seeds and milk make a great breakfast in my book. I can't see why you'd consider a manufactured, processed food (like All Bran) and be against something much cheaper and less processed like psyllium

    You’ve convinced me! I’ve just bought 500g to give it a try. Thank you!
  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 4,236 Member
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    33gail33 wrote: »
    Mash with a bit of salt, pepper and lemon or lime juice, spread on a piece of whole wheat toast, top with two over-easy eggs. Fibre, fat and protein. (For a weekend brunch treat I add smoked salmon to the pile.)

    I had this for breakfast yesterday (excluding the salmon) and it was divine! What have I been missing all these years?!