Constipation & The 3 Tips That Will Solve It, For Good
It’s something we suffer from on a regular basis but rarely talk about… It’s kind of awkward to admit you’re going through it, but so comfortable when solved… That’s right, we’re talking about CONSTIPATION!
What *Is* Constipation?
I’ll save us all from the gritty details and talk about it generally: It basically means your bowel movements aren’t, well… moving. If you’re having trouble going to the bathroom, or you are going but it’s not enough to make you feel comfortable, you’re constipated. If you’re bloated and walking around with a sore belly, that’s constipation. It comes in many different forms and it changes from one person to the other.
Easy Solutions To Take Care Of Constipation
To avoid constipation, we need to be looking at the types of food we eat, how much we’re moving, and if we’re drinking enough water. If you’re thinking, what's the big deal? It’s just constipation! Here’s the thing: our digestion affects all our bodily functions, as well as our moods, gut health, and our sleeping habits, so we need to sort it out. Not to worry, keep reading and I’ll be giving you tips to tackle this at home.
Foods That Cause Constipation
Whatever you eat is going to be either helping or harming this problem. Here are a few examples of foods and beverages that don’t do your digestion any favors:
Did you know that alcohol makes you dehydrated, which in turn makes you constipated? If you do have a drink or two, be sure to follow them up with a cup of water to balance things out!
Skip The Milk
If you experience constipation on a regular basis, it might be time to stop cow’s milk. There are many studies that point to milk and other dairy products as the reason for bathroom troubles. Try lactose-free milk to still get your milk fix and you’d be getting the same amount of protein you’d get from cow’s milk.
Red meat doesn’t have a good amount of fiber, which makes it harder to digest. Next time you crave steak, remember to prepare a fiber rich side dish, like quinoa or potatoes with skin.
Fiber & Water Are Our Friends
Most people tend to eat too little fiber or too much fiber in their diet which can cause constipation or sometimes even diarrhea. It’s crazy, right? Like I tell you, everything in life is about a balance, too little or too much of anything can’t be good. The MOST common reason for constipation that I notice with my clients is that they eat enough fiber BUT don’t drink enough water to help the food go down. Yep, it can be as simple as not drinking enough water to relieve the pain!
How much water have you drunk today? Think about it. We need 2-3 liters per day, and that completely depends on your size as well.
Are You Moving Enough?
The third most common problem with constipation is actually having lazy intestines because of lack of movement. When you’re sitting all day, not engaging your core, not twisting your upper body, not standing, i.e you’re working and laser focused at one task, your intestines end up falling asleep, not active to do any sort of motion to get waste out of your body.
The solution? Getting up every hour and being active daily is essential to feeling good.
The 3 Solutions To Constipation
So the answer my friends is:
Do those 3 things daily, and you’re set.
The Side Effects Of Fiber
I have to warn you, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to fiber, team. The side effects of a high fiber diet will inevitably cause… gases, flatulence, or dare I say smelly farts. But not to worry! That goes away over time and you’ll release less gases. Your body just has to adjust to the excess fiber coming in and release it naturally. Plus the FIVE fiber benefits I’m about to share are just too good to pass up! The fourth one is my favorite.
The 5 Benefits Of Fiber
- Besides normalising bowel movements and allowing you to have healthy stools, fibers also maintain your overall health by preventing colonic diseases and lowering cholesterol levels.
- Fibers are great for reducing blood pressure and general inflammation in the body.
- Do you know anyone with diabetes, or do you have it yourself? You may have heard that fiber can slow down sugar absorption, which can ultimately improve blood sugar levels.
- One of my favorite benefits to fibers is they keep you full for longer. If you have a high fiber meal in the morning, you can count on it keeping you full all DAY! You’re probably going to snack less and if weight loss is your goal, this can definitely help.
- Our fifth and final fact for fiber is that it’s a lifesaver… literally! Scientists have done the work and concluded that: Fiber reduces the risk of cardiovascular illnesses. Pretty awesome, right team?
Examples Of Great High Fiber Meals
- If you’ve been a follower of mine for a while, you’ll know I have an obsession with oats. I even have a few blog posts dedicated entirely to oats, overnight oats, and why they’re so good for us. Oats are made up of soluble fibers, the type that makes your stool go smoothly. Have your oats with yogurt, lactose free milk, regular milk, whatever you like! Add on a scoop of whey protein, a handful of blueberries, and you’re set for a breakfast rich in fiber.
- Speaking of fruits, those have to go on the list when you’re shopping for fiber. Get yourself any kind of berries, oranges, apples, or pears for a fibre-filled snack. Any fruit that has skin like pears, apples, nectarines are usually HIGHEST in fiber. Dried fruits like prunes, apricots, dates and figs are also a great source of fiber. I promise you team, there’s nothing like a digestive system that’s clean and running smoothly, and that’s exactly what fruits can do.
- Next on the list is veggies. As you know, veggies are filled with fibres, especially: Carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes with the skin (YUM). So having a rich salad or a crudites tray with these veggies with a hummus or guacamole dip is a great addition to your day. P.S. Raw vegetables have much higher fiber than cooked vegetables, so sauteing or any form of cooking that you apply onto these veggies usually breaks down the fibers and makes them a little easier to digest. So if you’re newly adding fiber to your diet, take it a step at a time, so you don’t overwhelm your digestive system.
- We also can’t forget legumes! Anything from freekeh, beans, hummus or lentils will get the job done.
- Last but not least, nuts and seeds can go a long way in helping our constipation problems. Grab a handful of walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds if you’re feeling snacky.
How Much Fiber Should I Eat?
It’s good to know that women need 25 grams of fiber and men need 38 grams of fiber a day, so in case you’re tracking how much fiber you’re getting from a packaged product, you can cross check it with your needs for the day.
Last Tips Before I Let You Go
Now it’s your turn! Plan to add some fiber in your meals, get 2 - 3 liters of water per day, and MOVE to help the intestines get in motion. Try a yoga session, dance, or one of my workouts on YouTube. Good luck, everybody. Remember: a happy gut means a happy you.
Till next time, team.