The ketogenic or keto diet is one of the most followed of the late dietary fats. Many weight watchers are relying on it for fast and effective weight loss results and it also improves your health. A low-carb-high-fat diet has to be followed, so carbs are replaced with high-fat and protein foods. And this dietary change leads our body to 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. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract-based issues are allegedly caused by the absence of carbs. So, if you are following a keto diet and experiencing three or fewer bowel movements per week and passing stool hard, lumpy and difficult then you may suffer from constipation. Constipation should be treated as it can lead to complications such as anal fissure, hemorrhoids and abdominal pain.
Why it happens?
Our body is naturally used to digest three macronutrients namely carbs, fat and protein. Therefore, when we cut too much on carbs, it stresses and messes with the GI tract. So, the body has to adjust to fat with a heavy weight of carbs. And it will take some time for the intestine to get used to breaking down more fat than carbs. Sometimes constipation lasts from a few days to a few weeks. And as our body adjusts to digesting more fat and less carbs, constipation can improve.
Less fibre in the body
During the keto diet, people usually eat only 20 to 50 grams of carbs each day. This is well below the daily recommendation of 225 to 325 grams of carbs (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Also, healthy carbs like fruits and whole grains have fiber. So, this means cutting down on the normal “bulk” in the diet that you need for better and regular bowel movements.
How to resolve constipation when on Keto diet?
1- Drink more water
2- Temporarily include more fiber-rich foods in your diet.
3- Go for a walk after a meal.
4- Try bowel training.
5- If your constipation does not go well after three weeks, talk to your doctor for the best treatment. Also, consult your doctor before taking any fiber supplements or laxatives. Some of them may derail their dietary efforts.
#How to prevent constipation when on Keto diet?
1- Go for high fiber carbs like fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead of low fiber carbs.
2- Introduce the Keto diet slowly.
3- Make sure that the fats and proteins you eat come from whole foods. Therefore, avoid processed food and fast food as they are low on fiber and nutrition and they stress the stomach.
4- Be sure to drink enough water.