Dietary Fibre is a substance obtained from plant foods as distinct from animal foods ; it is the carbohydrate material in plant foods ( mainly derived from the cell walls ) that is not digested by man. Food that is not digested cannot be used to provide body fat or calories ; hence will have a slimming advantage.

Another advantage of high-fibre foods is they require more Chewing.

Pure wheat bran is the food stuff with the highest percentage of dietary fibre. Bran is a byproduct of the milling process used to refine flour. Full benefits of dietary fibre can be obtained from a wide range of cereal foods , fruit & vegetables to get full health value and greatest benefit in weight control.

Fresh fruits for example , are a rich source of another element in dietary fibre "Pectin" , which has a value in slowing down the digestion and absorption of sugars & fats. Pectin is like a sponge that soaks up glucoe (sugars) and fat , slowing the rate of absorption into the blood stream , hence can be a real help to some diabetics & an aid to the dieters.

By including sufficient high-fibre foods in your diet you can help your body to shed surplus fat.

Becoming Slim : requires you to supply the body with less calories than it needs for its daily energy requirements , so tha it has to draw on the emergancy store of calories in it's own fat i.e. the weight loss equation - losing weight = eating your own body another words , eating away the part of your body you don't want that is surplus fat.

The F - Plan :

1. Reduces your calorie intake inorder to allow you to lose weight at sufficient speed

2. It makes the food you consume more filling

3. It renders some of the calories it supplies non fattening

The slimming benefits of the F - Plan diet start from the moment you put fibre - rich food into your mouth , giving you both physical and psychological advantages in filling you , satisfying you and protecting you from feeling hungry again soon and speeding your weight loss.

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Fibre - Filler : is the F - Plan's Built in Slimming Aid. This provides exceptional filling power & provides about 15 grams of dietary fibre , which is more than what many people normally consume in an entire day. Most of this fibre is from cereal sources ; so also from fruits & nut sources.

Fibre - Filler for one day ( 400 calories , 20 gr fibre )

1/3 cup bran ( or corn ) flakes

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 large pitted prune - chopped

2 dried apricot halves - chopped

1 tablespoon raisins.

2 fruits

This fibre filler mixed with a cup of skimmed milk , divided into two equal portions , acts like an appetite suppressant pill. Since it contains a generous quantity of cellulose , it leaves you feeling less hungry. As it takes longer to chew you will eat more slowly and be satisfied with a restricted quantity of food.

Top Fibre Foods :

1. Dried beans , peas & other legumes ; kidney beans and black beans.

2. Bran cereals puffed wheat cereals.

3. Fresh or frozen green peas.

4. Dried fruits topped by figs , apricots & dates.

5. Raspberries , blackberries & strawberries.

6. Sweet corn ( on the cob or cut off in kernels ).

7. Whole wheat & other whole grain cereal products.

8. Broccoli - very high in fibre !

9. Baked potato with the skin ( when crisp ) is the best part of the fibre.

10. Plums , pears & apples with their edible skin.

11. Raisins & Prunes.

12. Nuts esp. almonds , peanuts & walnuts.

13. Green leafy vegetables including spinach & green turnips.

14. Cherries & bananas.

15. Carrots.

16. Coconut ( high in fibre and fat ).

17. Brussels sprouts.

About 1.2 kgs per week of excess fat can be satisfactorily lost by both women and men on a 1250 or 1500 calories per day high fibre diet.

A sample menu for a 1000 to 1250 calorie diet :

Breakfast :

1/2 portion of the fibre filler ( given above ) with 1/2 a cup skimmed milk , 2 fruit portions ( i.e. orange )

Mid-morning snack :

1/2 portion of fibre filler with 1/2 cup milk

Lunch :

Salad ( kidney beans , peas , onions , lettuce , cucumber ) with 1 boiled egg

1 slice of brown bread

Mid-afternoon snack :

An apple & a peanut butter sandwich

Dinner :

200 gr fish or chicken breast , 1 cup cauliflower or sweet corn or spinach

1/2 cup of cooked tomato ( or 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas )

1 slice of brown bread

For Vegetarians :

The animal protein and egg can be substituted with soups to which lentils and beans have been added , baked oil free crisp potato and 30 - 40 gr paneer.

A high fibre diet has many advantages , apart from being very healthy it is simple to follow and very filling & safe to follow over a long period of time.

Top off the high fibre diet with an exercise programme and you shall be healthy and fit in the years to come.