PRO TIP: Pay attention to your fiber. When we conduct our consultations, it still amazes me that so many competitors have no idea how much fiber they are getting. Fiber plays an important role in your nutrition. Fiber’s effects on digestion and cholesterol are big, but fiber is also a decent thermogenic and helps with Satiety, which is defined as “the absence of hunger”…or feeling full.
In addition, when athletes start to experience gastrointestinal (GI) distress, especially in the later stages of prep when calories are low and our metabolism is highly down-regulated, in many cases an adjustment to fiber (and keeping it consistent) can remedy some of the problems. More often than not, competitors will start taking in more high volume (and low calorie) foods due to hunger resulting in too much fiber. Usually a reduction in fiber can offset a lot of this problem.
So how much fiber should you consume? Well, the Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy adults consume around 14g of fiber for every 1000 calories. However, when calories get low in prep, if you can get at least 10g in for every 1000 calories you should be good to go.
What about Soluble and Insoluble fiber?
They both have their benefits. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is believed to help with cholesterol and glucose control. Insoluble fibers don’t dissolve in water but it does help bring water in to the digestive track and helps make your poop softer. It’s also good for insulin sensitivity.
Both are good to help combat diabetes, and both are found in most plant based foods. So, if you are getting a lot of food variety, you should be fine.
Shameless Plug: This is another reason I believe macro counting is superior to meal plans. Meal plans (not the same as prepping food based on macros) are very restrictive which takes away a lot of food variety, and food variety is essential for gut health…especially in a deficit.