Can fiber help you lose weight? Well, that depends, but mostly the answer is yes, as long as you’re getting it from whole fruits and vegetables.

Soluble, viscous fiber – the kind found in asparagus, legumes, brussels sprouts and oats, among others – will help you feel full longer, therefore causing you to naturally eat less. They also contain the type of fiber that feeds the healthy, good gut bacteria your body needs to reduce inflammation and keep your digestive tract moving. Recent studies support inflammation as a driver of weight gain and obesity.

Some easy ways to incorporate these high-fiber foods into your diet include having oatmeal as a daily component of your breakfast and making a fruit and veggie smoothie for an afternoon snack.

Fresh Ideas

Pumpkin is a low-calorie vegetable that’s stuffed with fiber and vitamin A. Plus, the orange color is a dead giveaway for a high amount of beta carotene. That helps prevent heart disease. Pumpkin, a member of the squash family, is a versatile ingredient in soups and sides. No need to slow-roast your jack-o’-lantern, though; canned pumpkin is a more than adequate grocery-store staple.

Couch to 5K

You may have heard of the training programs called “Couch to 5K” for beginner runners who have never participated in an organized race before. Some of these programs might be exactly right for you – they are as easy as alternating between one or two minutes of jogging with several minutes of walking, slowly building up over several months. Think a 5K is out of reach? Think again! As long as your doctor hasn’t put restrictions on you, lace up your sneakers and get out there. The first step is always the hardest, but you can do it!