The Ketogenic or Keto diet is one of the most popular dieting trends. And today we are talking about one of the side effects constipation and how to deal with it.
Ketogenic or Keto diet is one of the most followed diet fats of late. Many weight watchers are relying on it for faster and effective weight loss results and it also improves your health. For the unversed, one has to follow a low-carb-high-fat diet, so carbs are replaced with high fat and protein food items. And this dietary change leads our body in a state of ketosis. And in Ketosis, our body burns fat instead of glucose for energy.
But along with fat loss, there are some side effects like Keto Flu, Keto Breath and constipation as well. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract-based issues reportedly happen due to the absence of carbs. So, if you are following Keto diet and experiencing three or fewer bowel movements per week and stools are hard, lumpy and difficult to pass then you may be suffering from constipation. One should treat constipation asap as it can lead to complications such as anal fissures, hemorrhoids, and abdominal pain.
So, why it happens and how can one deal with it? Read on to know more.
Our bodies are naturally used to digesting three macronutrients i.e. carbs, fats, and protein. So, when we cut down on carbs too much, it stresses and messes with the GI tract. So, the body has to adjust from the heavy load of carbs to fats. And gut will take some time to get used to breaking down of more fats than carbs. Sometimes constipation lasts a few days to a few weeks. And as soon as our body adjusts to digesting more fats and fewer carbs, constipation may get better.
Less fibre in the body
During the Keto diet, people typically only eat 20 to 50 grams of carbs each day. This is far less than the daily recommendation of 225 to 325 grams of carbs (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Also, healthy carbs such as fruits and whole grains contain fibre. So, this means cutting down on normal “bulk” in the diet that you need for better and regular bowel movements.
How to resolve constipation when on Keto diet?
Drink more water.
Temporarily add more fibre-rich foods into your diet.
Go for a walk after meals.
Try bowel training.
If your constipation isn’t cured after three weeks, talk with your doctor for the best treatment. Also, consult your doctor before taking any fiber supplements or laxatives. As some of them can derail your dieting efforts.
How to prevent constipation when on Keto diet?
Go for high fibre carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains instead of low-fibre carbs.
Introduce the keto diet gradually.
Make sure that the fats and proteins you eat come from whole foods. So, avoid processed meals and fast foods as they are low on fibre and nutrition plus they stress up gut.
Make sure to drink enough water.
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