5 readers took Metamucil’s 14-day fiber challenge
MANILA, Philippines – Recently, we published an invitation for readers to increase their fiber intake and physical activity for 14 days. We did this because most people don’t realize how important fiber is in maintaining overall health. (READ: What happens when you don't get enough fiber?)
5 volunteers who posted their stories on Rappler X were selected to take on the challenge. They also shared a visual diary of the entire experience on their social media accounts. Can taking in more fiber really do your body a lot of good? We’ll let the challengers speak for themselves.
‘I started at 167 lbs, now I’m at 162 lbs’
Dawn Marie Castro, 21, is a digital content planner. Last year, she gained weight, and she attributes this to sitting down in front of a laptop for over 8 hours everyday, along with drinking lots of coffee, eating out when she’s stressed, and enjoying alcohol occasionally.
“I am not that physically fit,” Dawn admitted. “Even mere walking up the stairs gets me easily tired.”
Dawn signed up for the challenge because she felt that needed an extra push to become more conscious about her health. “I wanted to be fit for so long, but I just couldn’t find enough motivation to actually commit to it,” she said.
For the duration of the challenge, Dawn did light physical activities such as walking, jogging, and swimming. She made no drastic changes to her diet, but made sure to take Metamucil every day. She liked the orange flavor, but she added: “the texture was kind of weird. I can’t say that I totally enjoy it, but it was tolerable.”
After two weeks, Dawn felt no changes in her appetite, but she noted that her bowel movements have become more regular. She also discovered that she actually lost some weight. “After my weigh in on the last day, I found out I lost 5 pounds,” Dawn said. “I found this really surprising as I was still eating the same food I would eat normally and I didn’t have that much exercise also.”
‘I started to change my lifestyle to live longer’
In his X entry, Erwin Balino shared that obesity runs in their family. “Some people spend their lives at the hospitals fighting to live longer,” the 25-year-old accountant said. “But for me I decided to fight now.”
Before starting the challenge, Erwin was already taking steps to live a healthier lifestyle through proper diet, exercise and enough sleep. After reading about Metamucil’s benefits such as aiding in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, he wanted to see if it can help him continue with his health journey.
For the 14-day challenge, Erwin followed his usual diet, which usually started off with green tea and hot lemon water for breakfast, followed by meals filled with vegetables and protein throughout the day. He also did 10 to 20 minutes of brisk walking as part of his daily commute, and squeezed in one gym session early in the challenge.
Drinking Metamucil had a significant effect on Erwin’s digestion. “My bowel movement became better; before I normally I pooped only once a day but now I can do it twice,” he said. “I felt like my intestines were cleansed.”
Although Erwin does not believe in diet or food supplements, he found Metamucil effective in helping him stay on the healthy track. “I lost almost two kilos in 14 days. Normally I can only lose one kilo with my previous weight loss efforts,” he said. “I’m planning to buy it on the next pay day.”
‘I felt much lighter than before and I felt energized’
“Years of little to no exercise and giving in to food cravings have caused me to suffer from minor health conditions,” shared Marjourie Cabatay, a 25-year-old customer care representative. She has noticed that she gets tired easily, especially when climbing stairs or doing exercise. “I have been enduring these symptoms for many months and I just want it to end,” she wrote on her X essay.
After witnessing a close friend undergo a gall bladder operation, Marj realized that she had to take better care of her body. “[She] shared the same love of food with me,” Marj said. “Now that she lost an important part of her body, I vowed to be one with her loss by being health-conscious myself.”
Marj was very meticulous in documenting the 14-day challenge. This, in turn, made her more conscious about choosing smarter snacks and meals and increasing her physical activity every day. While taking Metamucil, Marj shared that she felt fuller faster and was able to resist seconds during meals. “Strangely, I consistently feel more energized when I do exercises compared to before,” she added. She also noted in her food diary that she was able to establish a more regular bowel movement pattern.
At the end of the challenge, Marj noted that her pants and clothes felt a little bit looser. “I was amazed by the changes that I went through in terms of my lifestyle and eating habits and I liked how it turned out,” Marj said. “I know that it's just the beginning and I intend to continue the journey even after this challenge ends.”
‘It had a positive effect on my digestion’
JR Ilagan already has a pretty active routine in place. “I usually box around 3 times a week, jog two times a week, and then play basketball around twice a month,” the 24-year-old career counselor said. Still, he wanted to be more effective and efficient. He’s also suffering from what he suspects as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, so he was excited to see if Metamucil could help normalize his bowel movements.
For two weeks, JR monitored his food intake carefully and cut down on rice (although he was already doing this even before the challenge). He ate and snacked when he felt like it, and did his regular boxing workouts.
Just like the other challengers, he also took Metamucil daily. “I liked the fact that it was berry-flavored,” JR said. “The other fiber supplements that I’ve seen are just powder that people place on top of food.”
Overall, JR reports that the fiber supplement had a positive effect on his digestion: “I usually have stomach aches and weird bowel movement. Recently, however, I haven’t really been feeling that much pain in my stomach – only once during the challenge,” he reported.
‘I craved less’
“I have noticed that my weight began climbing up after my first year in the construction industry,” shares Michelle San Jose, a 25-year-old architect. She wanted to find a solution that could help her shed the extra weight better. “I want to try out this Metamucil challenge basically to help my body get back to its normal state,” she shared.
Since she works long hours, Michelle struggled to find time and energy to exercise. But during the 14-day challenge (which she took during her birthday week) she became more conscious to exert more effort. She did occasional jogging and found time to go to the gym. She also paired her bigger meals with salads and fruits.
Michelle reported that she experienced severe stomach cramps when she first tried Metamucil. She also found the berry-flavored variant too sweet for her taste. On the 2nd week of the challenge, she took the supplement every other day instead. She noted that at the end of the challenge, she felt less bloated, her tummy looked flatter, and her bowel movement became more regular. “Because of its full feeling in the stomach, I craved less food and when I eat, I eat less than my normal intake,” she added.
“I was able to shed the extra 5 lbs I gained on my birthday week eating spree,” Michelle said. She said that she will continue taking Metamucil since it helped her body break down food better, but she will pick the orange variant instead next time. “I will try taking it in two to 3 days interval plus the seasonal jogging to see if I get better results,” she added.
Marjourie also wins a Fitbit Charge HR wristband for getting the most likes and comments on her challenge posts. What did you think of this challenge? Would you like to try it out yourself? Tell us. – With research and reports from Regina Francisco/Rappler.com
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