Just Eat More Fiber

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New research indicates that following one diet principle is as effective as adhering to a complicated diet.

A new Annals of Internal Medicine paper details the diet of 240 participants in a study. Scientists asked half the group to eat 500 to 1,000 fewer calories and follow the American Heart Association’s effective and complicated diet. The second half of the group was told: Just consume more fiber. After a year, the fiber group had lost an average of 4.6 pounds and the AHA group lost an average of 6 pounds. Though the AHA group lost slightly more weight, their efforts and sacrifices were greater, and they ate about half as much food as the fiber group.

Researchers say that fiber increases feelings of fullness, but it's not a weight-loss panacea: The fiber-increase diet was probably effective because it's easy to follow one rule.

Increasing fiber is effective, but at what cost? No more breathless raves about the finicky details of a precious new meal plan. No excitable fawning over the four allowed snacks. Your diets were like hothouse flowers; a fiber-increase diet is like a sturdy, hearty shrub. I'm just eating more fiber these days: Has anything ever sounded more boring?