Constipation is a common subject in Slimming World and other weight loss groups so I thought I would share with you my thoughts, suggestions and experiences.
Don’t worry there are no pictures and no vivid descriptions! Everyone has a different metabolism and essentially the way we deal with foods can be very different.
If you have ongoing issues it is, of course, wise to see your doctor for advice. These tips are merely ones to try and help in the meantime and may just be what you need to get you going!
Why does weight loss make you constipated?
It often is something that can resolve itself and be solved with changes to diet alone however there are products you can buy if necessary.
Doctors are often reluctant to help if it isn’t an ongoing problem you have already tried to resolve or there is something unusual about it.
Check out the NHS advice and make your own decision. I am not a doctor these are just things that I have found helpful or people I know have found helpful.
Here are some tips which may help you to get things moving without needing any medication at all.
Tips to relieve constipation and natural laxatives
Drink more fluids
Ideally not caffeinated drinks or alcohol and preferably water. This can help loosen things and prevent the problem along with helping when you are already constipated. If you need some tips to get you to drink more check out my previous post here.
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Increase the fibre in your diet
On Slimming World this can be just adding more foods with the F symbol in your Slimming World book so doesn’t mean you need to syn extra items.
Changing your cereal
This has helped for me before, aim for something with a high bran content eg All-Bran, bran flakes or similar for the best results but just changing it around can help too.
Eat kiwi fruits with the skin on
I haven’t had any luck with this but some people swear by it. Obviously whole it wouldn’t be so nice but chopped up with the skin on in fruit salad or yoghurt you will barely notice.
Reduce your carbs
Decrease the number of carbohydrates you eat and increase the number of fruit and vegetables. So, for example, if you are making a pasta bake, reduce the amount of pasta you include (ideally also swap for wholemeal pasta) and add some extra veggies.
Eat a whole melon (not the skin or seeds)
This is something I find really helps me probably because it is largely water. Make sure you are relatively near a toilet as you will get rid of a lot of that water quickly though!
Eat watery foods
Eat lots of foods with plenty of water in them such as cucumber, melon (as above), etc so whilst you are filling up for your meals you are adding lots of fluid too.
Move more – exercise can help keep you regular so moving more may help constipation too, especially when done before you are in pain with it and too uncomfortable.
Do you need some help to start exercising?
Sometimes those first steps are all you need to get moving and exercise as a new habit. These tips and tricks will get you moving and you will soon forget you didn’t like exercise!
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A warm bath can help too, if nothing else it could ease any discomfort and relax you which may also help.
Rubbing your lower tummy area in a clockwise direction. This can be used to help babies so equally it may help and I am pretty sure is unlikely to cause you any harm so easy to try.
Change your position on the toilet
When you sit on the toilet raise your knees – a child’s toilet step is perfect for this. This helps you to be in the right position and assists gravity a little.
Peppermint or ginger tea can help some people with digestion. I am not a massive fan of it so have never had enough to make a difference but it is another thing worth trying.
Hot or cold water with freshly squeezed lemon juice in or a few slices perhaps, this was recommended to me recently by a doctor and sounds like it could be worth a try.
Raisins or prunes
Raisins and/or prunes can be a laxative so may help you to get things moving. If you follow Slimming World or another diet you may need to count these but if it gets things moving it may be worth it!
Apples (particularly their skins) are rumoured to help too so eating more apples or drinking some apple juice may help. Obviously, if you follow Slimming World the juice would be synned but this has worked for both Stuart and Ben before – my bowels were too stubborn for it!
Flax seeds are often recommended as is flaxseed oil, again this is something you would need to syn but is often said to help. Other oils or oily food could help too but be careful you don’t use constipation as an excuse to go off plan for days on end.
Important things about constipation to consider
Don’t forget if you notice blood or there is something out of the ordinary if you are not sure ask your doctor. All the tips above are my suggestions based on my experience and that of others and do not replace medical advice.
Laxatives can be addictive and it is easy when you start taking them to find they make you go and use them in an unhealthy way. I know myself I have found this an issue in the past. Read more about that here.
Other articles you may find helpful
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