Protein vs Fiber

This past weekend while at the grocery store with my sister and mom, I was trying to explain the difference between protein and fiber and what they do for the body. As we all remember, first there was the Atkins diet AKA: the war on carbs, then there was the Fiber Fad and toilet paper sales went sky high, now we're being told that carbs are good and to moderate our fiber intake. Are you confused??
Here's the truth- diets are fads.
Diets. Don't. Work.

photo from

They may be a temporary fix, but if you're really serious about losing the weight and/or getting healthy it's going to have to be a lifestyle change- not a 12 week program. It's completely up to you on how strict you are with this new lifestyle change....but, of course, you get out of it what you put in to it, right?

So, protein vs fiber. Well, here's the simple breakdown. Fiber keeps you "full" and protein keeps you "satisfied". The difference between the two is this: you know that feeling when you've eaten too much too fast and you think you may pop a button? You're bloated, maybe a little gassy? This is "full". When fiber digests, it creates gas and, without getting graphic with the toilet talk, it....moves things.... Now, it's true that this digestion of fiber can take awhile and this means that you won't be hungry for awhile.
Protein, on the other hand, takes longer to break down in the stomach which means that you will feel satisfied, AKA: not hungry, for longer. You will not feel full, because there will be minimal gas creation during this breakdown. The majority of proteins come from animal products- meat, dairy- however, there are plant proteins. The difference here is in the amino acids, but that's another blog post. The idea behind the high protein lifestyle is that consuming lean proteins can keep your calorie consumption down because you're not feeling hungry all the time. You need protein in your diet to build and maintain muscle. Think of it this way: no protein, no gun show. :-P posted a really good article today on packable snacks with protein. I always try to make sure my mid-morning snack is something with lean protein to hold me until lunch and that my mid-afternoon snack is something with a little fiber. There was one recipe in there that I am going to have to try, however, it sounds almost candy bar-like.

3. Homemade Protein Peanut Butter Balls
Protein Peanut Butter Balls are quick and easy to prepare at home and will quickly provide your muscles with the nutrition they need.
Mix 2 scoops of protein powder, ½ cup peanut butter, 1 cup of dry oats, and ¼ cup dried cranberries. Once a sticky mixture is formed (note that you may need to add a small amount of water to moisten), form into balls.
Form a coating by rolling each ball in oats mixed with another scoop of peanut butter.
Store in a Tupperware container.

yummm, love peanut butter.

Hopefully I have cleared some confusion.
I, obviously, stick with high protein so as to keep my calorie count low. This works for me, but it may not work for everyone. This post was written from my own knowledge from doing a lot of research and and seeing the results in my own body. I am by no means a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist, though I could be classified as a wannbe :-)


  1. It definitely has to be a lifestyle change! I've seen so many people in my family do these fad diets, lose a ton of weight and then gain it all back (plus some). Eat a healthy, balanced diet and you'll be fine.

    Great explanation on the difference between protein and fiber. I try to get as much protein as I can and that recipe sounds really good!


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