by Matt Weik, CSCS, CPT, CSN
To lose weight, you need to bring some changes to your diet. Cooking takes time, and not everyone knows how to cook healthy food. Supplementing a diet with the right ingredients can make all the difference in achieving your target weight. Metamucil helps you lose weight naturally by softening your stool and promoting regularity.
Metamucil is a common brand name for psyllium fiber, a plant-based supplement that can be found in many foods as well. In this article, we are going to take a deeper dive into Metamucil and get a better understanding of how this supplement can actually help you lose weight.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition or supersede the directions of a healthcare professional. As always, it is recommended that you speak with your healthcare professional before adding any new supplement(s) or medication(s), such as Metamucil, into your regimen to ensure you are healthy enough to use such a product and that there will be no interactions with any other supplements, drugs, or medications that you may be on.
What is Metamucil?
Metamucil is a popular and effective fiber supplement that people use to improve their digestive health and relieve constipation. The active ingredient in Metamucil is psyllium husk, a natural soluble fiber source.
Psyllium helps you lose weight by making you feel fuller. This means you may find yourself eating less food and fewer calories per meal. It also improves how your body absorbs nutrients from the foods you eat, so it may help you reach an adequate daily caloric intake without having to eat more food overall.
However, it is debatable whether you should use it for weight loss as it may have some adverse effects on your body. Let’s dig a little deeper.
How does Metamucil Work?
You may think that eating more fiber will make you gain weight because you’re “taking in more calories.” But psyllium husk absorbs water and becomes gelatinous when you add water, so it expands in the intestines and makes you feel full. This means you’ll eat less over a day because you’re not as hungry.
Psyllium may help you lose weight by making you eat fewer calories overall because you feel fuller longer after eating meals containing psyllium-rich foods such as slices of bread or baked goods made with psyllium flour or cereal with psyllium powder instead of oat bran or wheat bran. Psyllium fiber can also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood sugar after meals.
Is it Safe to Use Metamucil for Weight Loss?
If you have never taken Metamucil before, you first need to talk with your doctor about whether or not it is safe for you to use.
Some people who take it experience side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms typically occur because they cannot tolerate the amount of fiber provided in each dose of this supplement.
Does Metamucil Guarantee Weight Loss?
Metamucil does not guarantee weight loss. It can help you lose weight if you use it as part of a nutrition and exercise plan, but it is most certainly not a magic pill or work any miracles. If it were that effective, everyone would be using it and talking about it.
You can also use it as an appetite suppressant by taking one tablespoon of the powder with water before meals. It may help reduce hunger pangs between meals and keep you from overeating throughout the day.
Ideal Metamucil Dosage
The dosage varies depending on the type of Metamucil product being taken. If you’re taking a powdered formulation, it contains over 2 grams of soluble fiber per serving. Capsules contain almost 2 grams, and calcium-fortified capsules deliver just over 2 grams of soluble fiber per serving.
Daily fiber intake can help you determine the ideal dosage for your diet. To figure out what Metamucil dosage is correct, consider the recommended daily fiber intake of 25 grams if you’re consuming 2,000 calories daily.
How to Take Metamucil
Mix two tablespoons of Metamucil with 8 ounces of water or juice and drink immediately after mixing with a spoon or shake well before drinking.
If you’re using a pill form of Metamucil, swallow it whole with water. Do not chew or crush the pill as it could get stuck in your throat.
You might start with having Metamucil once a day. The dosage can be increased up to three times per day if needed.
Nutritional Facts of Metamucil
Metamucil is made from psyllium husks, a highly absorbable plant fiber, and adds no sugar or artificial sweeteners. It also claims to be gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians.
It contains 3 grams of insoluble fiber and 2 grams of soluble fiber per serving, which is more than half the recommended daily amount for adults. It also has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it does not cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels like some other types of fiber supplements do. This makes it especially useful for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes who want to control their blood glucose levels without using medications. But again, check with your doctor before taking Metamucil.
Additional Health Benefits of Metamucil
Besides enabling weight management, Metamucil also helps lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It can improve your control over diabetes and may help prevent heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetes by reducing triglycerides (blood fats), total cholesterol, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.