Losing weight is a common goal for many people. In the UK, experts are warning that shedding a few pounds is necessary for millions of us to prevent the associated health risks.

According to the most recent Government data, 63 percent of UK adults are overweight or obese. Both are major risk factors for serious medical issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Storing fat in the belly is particularly dangerous, as this likely means you have too much visceral fat – a type of fat found around the organs.

Weight loss can be difficult, and with so much information out there it is hard to know what is the best way to go about it. With this in mind one expert revealed that adding a certain type of food to your regular diet could help banish unwanted flab.

Speaking to The Mirror, nutritionist Naheed Ali, from Sweat Block, has shared why you may not be seeing the weight loss results you’re looking for – and it’s because you’re not eating enough fibre.

He explained: “The answer lies in fibre-rich whole grains! According to numerous studies, simply incorporating whole grains into your daily meals promotes healthy, sustainable weight loss.

“While refined grains like white bread and white rice cause dramatic blood sugar spikes that cue fat storage, fibre and protein-packed whole grains stabilise blood sugar for hours.

“Multiple clinical trials confirm that diets higher in whole grains improve insulin response, boost metabolism, suppress appetite, and increase calorie burning during digestion compared to refined grains.”

One study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition journal last year, concluded that upping your fibre intake could result in successful weight loss.

It followed a 16-week plant-predominant fibre-rich eating program that more than 4,400 people took part in over a span of three years.

The average weight loss among those who lost weight was 3.28 kg.

Naheed shared more about how fibre works in the body.

“Over months, the belly fat-burning effects of consistent whole grain consumption add up through several mechanisms: improved insulin sensitivity, a faster metabolism, a favourable gut microbiome, and reduced calorie intake overall,” he said.

“While it takes some effort to make the switch, the benefits are well worth it!”

He suggested some simple changes you can make to your diet to encourage weight loss.

He said: “I suggest starting your day with oatmeal sweetened with fruit, enjoying quinoa or brown rice at lunch, and snacking on popcorn (in moderation) to curb cravings.

“Or explore nutritious ancient grains like amaranth, farro, and buckwheat – they taste delicious while expediting your weight loss efforts!

“So unlock whole grains’ potential for trimming your waistline. Real-world research confirms incorporating just one extra serving daily sets internal fat loss in motion.”

The NHS states that “most of us” need to eat more fibre.

“Eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer,” the health body says.

Government guidelines say our dietary fibre intake should increase to 30 grams a day, as part of a healthy balanced diet.

However, “most” adults are only eating an average of about 20 grams a day.

To increase your fibre intake the NHS recommends:

  • Choose a higher-fibre breakfast cereal such as plain wholewheat biscuits (like Weetabix) or plain shredded whole grain (like Shredded wheat), or porridge as oats are also a good source of fibre
  • Go for wholemeal or granary breads, or higher fibre white bread, and choose wholegrains like wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice
  • Go for potatoes with their skins on, such as a baked potato or boiled new potatoes
  • Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads
  • Include plenty of vegetables with meals, either as a side dish or added to sauces, stews or curries
  • Have some fresh or dried fruit, or fruit canned in natural juice for dessert
  • For snacks, try fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, rye crackers, oatcakes and unsalted nuts or seeds.
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