Page updated Feb 25, 2019. First published Apr 21, 2018.
So many people want to lose weight, but so few manage to reach their goal. Weight loss struggle is real for many, making long-term success quite rare. After eating more vegetables than ever and sweating like a beast at the gym, you may still be wondering why you are having trouble shedding pounds.
Even when you are doing everything right, there still is some room for using additional support, and that is exactly when you can benefit from including glucomannan in your diet.
What is Glucomannan?
Extracted from the konjac root, glucomannan is a natural dietary fiber known for supporting weight loss.
You can find glucomannan powder as a supplement, but it is also available in many drink mixes and comes added to food products, such as flour and pasta.
It is also used in traditional foods, such as noodles, tofu, and konjac jelly. It helps with weight loss mainly because of its ability to absorb water; in fact, it is among the most viscous dietary fibers available today.
A single capsule of glucomannan is capable of turning a small glass of water into a gel, which is a testament to the fact that it works amazingly well to absorb water.
Due to its ability to absorb water, it is considered a good choice for people trying to lose weight. Studies suggest that glucomannan triggers weight loss through a number of mechanisms. For instance, it has low-calorie content, so you do not end up affecting your calorie intake while supplementing with glucomannan. By swelling up in your stomach, it makes you feel fuller and keeps you from eating additional calories. Moreover, it plays a role in delaying emptying of the stomach, which in turn promotes satiety and keeps hunger pangs at bay.
Another reason why glucomannan powder may help you with weight loss is that it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. Some animal studies have found that healthy bacteria turn glucomannan into short-chain fatty acids, which in turn protect you against fat gain. Many other studies have found a positive relationship between feeding the gut bacteria and promoting weight loss. Other soluble fibers promote weight loss in the same fashion, but glucomannan is more effective mainly because of its high viscosity.
Interestingly, supplementing with glucomannan not only helps with weight loss but it offers other health benefits as well. For instance, a systematic review of 14 studies has found that glucomannan helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides as well. It helps by limiting the absorption of cholesterol in your gut. Similarly, several studies have shown that supplementing with glucomannan may help lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease. It is also quite effective against constipation.
How to Use Glucomannan Powder
Now, you may have gathered the idea why more and more people are now turning to glucomannan powder. However, you may be wondering how you can include in your diet since it is available in different forms. The best thing is to get glucomannan in a powder form and include it in different recipes to enjoy its several health benefits. Here are a few quick tips to utilize glucomannan powder:
Be sure to store it in a shaker. A salt shaker will work just fine because it helps make it easy to add the right amount of glucomannan to your dishes.
Add the powder over your liquid but ensure that you distribute it evenly. Never add it in one clump. Not distributing it evenly in the beginning will make it difficult to dissolve it nicely into your dish or liquid.
Do not add too much at a time. You should add a little and mix it thoroughly and then add some more if needed. Moreover, adding too much of it can spoil your recipe.
A Few Tips to Use Glucomannan Powder for Weight Loss
In order to lose weight, you need to follow a comprehensive plan. It is not enough to just hit the gym every day and burn some calories to lose weight. You need to watch what you eat, and you can always improve your chances of losing weight more effectively by including glucomannan powder in your diet.
You can find it in different forms, but using the powder form is a better option as compared to the pill form because it lowers risk of esophageal or intestinal blockage.
Here are some simple ways to use glucomannan powder for weight loss:
Add it to your food or drink. Ideally, you should be adding at least 1g of glucomannan powder to your drinks or food. Consume it thrice a day preferably before each meal to get good results. You can add it to foods like sauces, yogurt, and oatmeal. It goes well with almost all types of beverages.
Look for foods made using glucomannan. One great idea is to opt for shirataki noodles. You will find clear instructions on the package to prepare your bowl of noodles. Add your favorite veggies and pasta sauce to it and enjoy. You may also want to include glucomannan chews and candies in your diet. You can find these products online or at health food stores.
Increase your intake of water. Keep in mind that when you increase your intake of glucomannan, it is equally important to drink more water to keep you hydrated. It also ensures that the fiber you are taking does not block your digestive tract.
Delicious Ways to Include Glucomannan in Your Diet
Along with using products made of glucomannan, you can also prepare new dishes using glucomannan as one of the ingredients. When used sensibly, it adds texture to your dishes and provides you with numerous health benefits as well. Here are some recipes to help you make the right use of this beneficial dietary fiber.
Chicken Sausage Gumbo
You can enjoy this impressive dish/soup for dinner and enjoy the amazing benefits associated with glucomannan. Interestingly, it is a low-carb, gluten-free dish to try, which ensures that you do not end up loading up on fat and calories.
6 quarts of broth
1 pound of sausage
2 pounds of chicken
2 chopped onions
2 bags of bell peppers (frozen)
3 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoon of garlic
3 cups of celery (chopped)
1 teaspoon of red pepper
½ teaspoon each of black pepper and cayenne pepper
2 tbsp of Italian seasonings
2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
Some coconut oil
2 teaspoons each of glucomannan and file powder
Use your slow cooker to make your broth. You can use leftover meat and bones from a chicken or turkey or take fresh ones to cook in your slow cooker. Be sure to fill it up with 6 quarts of water and then let it cook for several hours – you can wait overnight if you want.
Drain the liquid in the morning and collect the soup in a pot. Now add the chicken to it as well and let it boil.
Take some coconut oil in a skillet and sautee your sausage. Add it to the gumbo pot when it appears brown.
Now add all the seasonings and chopped veggies to the pot. Do not add the glucomannan powder yet.
Leave it for a couple of hours to boil. Once done, take out the chicken. Shred it and add to the soup once again.
Take another bowl and fill it up with a cup of water. Now, whisk the glucomannan powder in it and mix well. Now, add the paste to the soup and let it cook for another couple of hours.
Once ready, you can serve it with radish faux tato salad and cauliflower.
If you love baking your food, you should certainly try adding glucomannan to your dumplings. You can use up to 12 medium-large dumplings using the recipe and get about 1.29g of fiber with 1.38g of carbs – it contains only 7 calories. Here is how to proceed:
1 ½ tablespoon of glucomannan powder
¾ teaspoon of baking powder
1 ½ tablespoon of oat fiber
¼ cup of water
An extra large egg (beaten)
Take a small bowl and beat the egg in it using a fork. Add some water to it as well and blend well.
Take your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Now, transfer these ingredients to the wet ingredients and keep stirring with a fork.
Now use a rubber spatula to stir and continue until your batter turns into a thick paste or dough. You can leave it for a couple of minutes until it becomes dry dough.
Take a teaspoon to get dollops of the rough dough into your palm and roll gently. Turn it into the shape of a ball. Repeat the same and place the balls on a silicone sheet. Do not drop them into the broth yet or they will fall apart while cooking.
Before cooking the dumplings, it is a good idea to remove meat, chicken, or large chunks of veggies. Place them on a platter. Doing this would ensure that the dumplings cook well and swell up just fine.
Boil the broth and add the dumplings to slowly simmering broth. Once done, set the heat to medium-low. Now, cover the pot with tight lid. Cook it for at least 10 minutes and avoid lifting the lid during the process. Lift the lid after 10 minutes and your dumplings are ready.
Now, take some glucomannan powder and add it to the broth. It will help thicken the stock a bit, making it look even better.
You can use this recipe if you are interested in trying something sweet that offers the health benefits of glucomannan powder as well. Here is what to do:
2 drops of orange essential oil
½ teaspoon of butterscotch flavoring
1 tablespoon of maple extract
3 cups of water
1/8 teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of stevia extract
½ teaspoon of glucomannan powder
Take a medium saucepan and add all ingredients to it – do not add the glucomannan powder yet.
Stir well and then add the glucomannan powder to it. You should sprinkle the powder lightly over the syrup. Mix well.
You can taste it now and make changes if necessary. Now, turn up the heat to medium and let it cook.
Stop when the syrup comes to a simmer and becomes thick. If you like it thick, you can get good results by adding up to 1 teaspoon of glucomannan.
Serve cold or warm!
Oat Fiber Strawberry Cake
To support weight loss, you need to watch your calories and increase your intake of dietary fiber. Oat fiber will certainly prove beneficial in this regard. Here is a good way to include it in your diet along with adding glucomannan to the recipe.
½ teaspoon of baking powder
¾ teaspoon of glucomannan powder
¼ cup of oat fiber
2 teaspoon of stevia extract
1/3 cup of egg whites
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Salt, to taste
Add all your dry ingredients to a dish and then slowly introduce your wet ingredients as well. Mix thoroughly.
Once mixed, transfer it to your microwave and cook for about 90 seconds. You should stop when it is slightly wet on top. Instead of a microwave, you can also switch to your oven and cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Take it out and dump it onto your kitchen towel. Let it cool for a few minutes.
Take some strawberries, cut them up, and add some stevia extract to them. Mix well and add to the shortcake you have just prepared.
Glucomannan, a dietary fiber, helps you lose weight because it swells up in your gut and makes you feel fuller, faster. By limiting your caloric intake, you will be in a better position to lose weight. Interestingly, you can find food products made using glucomannan or you can make your own dishes using glucomannan. Just be sure to take the right amount to see its good effects.
While glucomannan certainly has numerous benefits, it is important to understand that its use is not free of risk. You need to ensure that you take the right amount on a daily basis – it is better to take it at least 15 minutes before your meal to limit your caloric intake. Here is what experts say about being careful with glucomannan:
Glucomannan can cause minor gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, flatulence and diarrhea. Do not take glucomannan without consulting your doctor if you have diabetes — the supplement can lower blood sugar levels. Because of the risk of gastric and esophageal blockage, glucomannan is not recommended for people with gut or esophagus abnormalities or diseases.
Therefore, you need to practice some care when including glucomannan in your diet. Start with a little and then increase the amount of glucomannan powder you take on a daily basis. As mentioned already, be sure to drink plenty of water daily to ensure glucomannan does not cause any side effects. Follow the guidelines and you will notice this dietary fiber help you lose pounds faster.
About the author: Rachel Butler
Rachel has been with us since we launched back in 2012.
Rachel has reviewed countless products over the years, and has written many articles offering sound advice. Her professional opinions are widely respected.
Rachel graduated a BSc in Clinical Science from the University of Leicester, U.K.
She lives in York with her husband and young daughter and their dog, a little terrier named Betsy.