Sunday, July 29, 2012

Constipation and Weight Loss

Constipation is not the most pleasant topic to write about but when it happens to you….you want relief fast and this Diva on her diet blog is going to share some tips that have worked for her and her clients.

Whether it’s the Medifast meal replacements that you choose to consume while losing your weight or another program, the fact remains that changing your normal diet may cause constipation.

Let me take just a minute to clarify what constipation is so you can better understand what it is and the things you can do to alleviate it.

What is Constipation?
According to the NIDDK constipation means different things to different people. You may have constipation if you have three or fewer bowel movements in a week or if your stool is hard, dry, painful or difficult to pass. Some people with constipation lack energy and feel bloated.

Some people think they are constipated if they do not have a bowel movement every day. However, normal stool elimination may be three times a day or three times a week, depending on the person. Everybody’s habits are different. Some people aren’t that regular and do not consider themselves constipated. The amount of exercise you get and how much you eat can affect your bowl habits.

 Causes of Constipation
· Medication such as ones used for depression, anxiety, water pills, painkillers and medical conditions such as diabetes and hypothyroidism.

· A change in your normal diet. Decreased food intake = less movement.

· Not enough exercise (this was a huge lesson for me since I have had bouts of diverticulitis).

· Lots of stress in ones life.

· Not drinking enough water

· Drinking too many caffeine beverages since caffeine tends to dehydrate you.

· Ignoring the urge to go. Mother Nature does tell you and you need to stop what you are doing and listen.

· Eating a low-fiber diet. The recommended amount of daily fiber is between 21 and 35 grams each day depending on age and gender.

 The Diva’s Recommendations
· Flaxseed (ground) is considered a condiment. A serving size of ½ Tbsp. ground flax seed = 1 condiment
& a serving of 1 Tbsp = 2 condiments

· Flaxseed oil is considered a healthy fat and the serving size is 1 tsp.

· Fibercon is a convenient caplet so you do not need to worry about the carbohydrates.

· Sugar-Free Metamucil ~ Make sure it is sugar-free. 1 – 2 tsp. is a serving in water 1 x a day.

· Magnesium citrate ~ Clients that have used this have said they needed to adjust the dose for a few days.

· Smooth Move Herbal Tea - This is not one of my favorites only because Senna is in it and can be rough on the system. You need to watch how much you start out with otherwise your friends and family will not see you for a few hours or several days. Just kidding about the several days!

The Medifast meals provide on an average of 20 - 30 grams of fiber and that’s before the meal you have on your own. The difference is in the type of fiber and you must have insoluble in your diet to prevent constipation. That’s why you need your veggies and good sources like flaxseed that is both a source of soluble fiber and insoluble to be included.

Things to Remember 
· Best veggies for constipation are greens like broccoli (the super star of fiber), spinach, cabbage, cauliflower
and zucchini.
· Drink plenty of non-caffeinated liquid throughout the day.
· Exercise regularly. 20 minutes each day will make a difference.
· Heed nature’s call. No one else will do it for you!
· Be careful about introducing stimulant laxatives.

Resources: www.mayoclinic.com/health/constipation and NIDDK

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