Constipation is one of the most common digestive issues that troubles both young and old alike. This common health problem is mainly caused by a poor diet, although there are other factors that can lead to constipation, such as stress, changes in your routine, pregnancy, medications, etc.
Constipation and weight gain
The link between constipation and weight gain is complicated. Perhaps, constipation may not necessarily cause people to gain weight specifically. But when you are stopped up or havenâ€™t been able to have normal bowel movements, you feel as if youâ€™ve gained a few pounds, especially around the middle. This weight gain is not because of accumulated fat or calories youâ€™ve consumed, but rather swelling caused by feces retention.
Keeping your intestine clean by eliminating that excess waste in the form of feces regularly is part of healthy living. This enables you to flush toxins and harmful elements out of your body, which may otherwise lead to serious health problems. When your digestive tract is healthy and running smoothly, those extra pounds on the scale disappear and your tummy looks flat too
Constipation may not boost weigh gain as many people think so, but there are a range of factors which play a key role in digestive health and may also affect metabolism and weight control. This implies that our intestinal health can also contribute to weight gain to some extent.
But when you are constipated or dealing with a stomach upset, the last thing you could possibly do is to eat anything that is only going to make things worse.
Foods To Avoid During Constipation
Although there is very little published research on diets associated with constipation, you may want to avoid certain foods when you are constipated. Here are some of them:
Try to avoid eating any food made with white flour that lacks all nutritional value of unprocessed grains and promotes chronic disease. These include â€“ cookies, cake, pizza, salami, donuts, sandwiches made with white bread, etc. Consumption of fibre less white flour is not only bad for your gut, but also leads to weight gain.
Processed and red meats
They are considered to be hard on the digestive system. The problem is that red meat doesnâ€™t have fibre that is essential for regular bowel movements. In addition, meat from conventionally raised, grain-fed cows, do appear to contain some substances - proteins, unhealthy fats- that can lead to constipation. Processed meats typically contain nitrates, substances that may increase constipation. Try to avoid bacon, hot dogs, sausage, etc.
Fried and other greasy foods, like processed meats, slow down the digestion process, leading to constipation. Food items such as french fries, potato chips, fried fish and chicken, fast food hamburgers, etc, all take a long time to digest.
Dairy products like cheese, ice cream, milk have a reputation of being â€˜constipating foodsâ€™. This may be due to the high-fat and low-fibre content of many dairy products. Also, the effect of lactose or some proteins found in dairy products might sometimes contribute to constipation.
Even yogurt that has gut-healthy probiotics may be avoided when youâ€™re constipated. You can start eating yogurt again once your constipation is eased.
Like caffeine, alcohol can dehydrate you and lead to constipation. The fact is that alcohol inhibits digestion and affects your sugar level to an extent that it may cause loss of bowel function control.
How to get rid of constipation fast
Treatment for constipation usually begins with diet and lifestyle changes such as consuming plenty of fibre, liquids, fruits like apple,banana,orange,bailfruit and keeping physically active. A diet rich in fresh vegetables, fibre, liquids will help regulate your bowel movements and avoid constipation. It will also help you lose weight in a healthy manner.In addition to this, light dinner two hours before bed is crucial for healthy digestion. Make sure that you have breakfast, which is key to fighting constipation.
Dr Darshan Talreja(PT)
Founder of THE HAPPY LIVING
General Secretary of INDIAN ACADEMY OF FITNESS TRAINING
EXPERTISE in Physiotherapy,Manual Therapy & Accupunture Therapy
MASTER FITNESS TRAINER