Diet and Constipation

Here’s another of those frequent coaching questions … diet-induced inability to move your bowels.

When you were eating tons of food, your bowels worked along pretty reliably, but many people’s initial weight loss food regimen leaves them in a sad state. I distinctly remember without any fondness at all my totally unsuccessful Atkins days.  A few weeks of almost nothing but meat and cheese left me on the pot straining mightily for an embarrassing amount of time to produce an end product that was pretty similar to a charcoal briquette.

And there’s the point.  Assuming you don’t have a deeper medical issue, constipation is a distinctive indicator that you need to change your diet.  Specifically, add some fiber (from plants, preferably,  or over the counter sources), add some hydration, and add some exercise to speed things up and you should see some resolution.

If not, there are helpful products you can add from below.  As far as adding products from above, there are several that you could come up with a dependence on, so personally I’d stick with prunes, which cause a slight irritation that speeds things along, and PEG products like Miralax (now available over the counter) that attract water into your intestines to speed things along.

For goodness sake do not produce a laxative effect to temporarily induce weight loss.  Doing that occasionally just sets up up for “unexplained” weight gain when your intestines refill, and doing it repeatedly would be classified as bulimia.

As always, don’t take this blog or any other online information as medical advice.  Don’t self-medicate to avoid treatment for your issues. Ask your physician if you have frequent or painful problems with constipation or other digestive issues.


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