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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Allow Your Bowel To Shake, Rattle And Roll


You shouldn't have to strain for a bowel movement on low-carb

You knew I was going to get around to this subject sooner or later, so why not now? One of the classic criticisms of livin' la vida low-carb is that it makes you constipated and can cause you to experience erratic bowel movements. Yes, I'm talking about crap today because this is too important a topic for me NOT to discuss, no matter how gross it may be.

When you've been used to eating a diet very high in carbohydrates as most people who first begin on a low-carb diet usually are, the switch to this new way of eating can make your body do some really strange things. I vividly remember my experience those first couple of months on my low-carb lifestyle where I got to know the inside of my bathroom quite well.

After hearing about all the claims that low-carb would stop you up and keep you from going to the bathroom, I knew a sure-fire way to resolve that problem right off the bat -- take a daily fiber supplement and drink a whole lotta water! My 2 Fibercon tablets have been a daily ritual for me over the past 2 1/2 years to help keep me regular along with the fiber I get in the foods I eat as well.

But I would say the upwards of 2 gallons of water I was drinking daily, especially early on in my low-carb weight loss plan, kept me more regular than I've ever been in my entire life. All those years of build-up literally needed to be flushed out of me and the fiber and water combined certainly did the trick.

Okay, I know, it's gross to talk about #2 in a public forum like a blog, but I think you should know what to expect, especially if you are morbidly obese like I was weighing over 400 pounds when I first started livin' la vida low-carb. It was not all that uncommon during my first few weeks on low-carb to experience several bowel movements a day -- my record was 8 BIG ones on day three! That was an exhausting day! Ewwww! But it helped me lose 15 pounds that first week. :)

I'm a curious person and couldn't help but notice the feces started changing consistency (TMI, I know!) over time from the diarreah-like, dark color when I first started, to the lighter-yellowish, fatty consistency after six months, to the extremely clean little balls of fecal matter that have been coming out of me for well over a year on a regular basis.

It's almost like clockwork now that I will have a bowel movement at 9:30am and then another one at 6:30pm every single day (this is approximately 1-1 1/2 hours after I eat my breakfast and supper respectively). Sure, I'll occasionally experience more bowel movements on some days, but these two happen just about as sure as the sun rises and sets daily. I suppose my body is used to the regular eating pattern I have developed and reacts accordingly. Let's just say constipation is NEVER a problem for me.

Are you experiencing very few or NO bowel movements on your low-carb lifestyle? Then it's time to allow your bowel to shake, rattle and roll by doing several things to help it out:

1. EAT MORE FIBER

Take a daily supplement and consciously add new sources of fiber to your diet. You can get extra fiber from certain kinds of breads, shirataki noodles, muffins, flax granola, natural sweeteners, and nut bars, just to name a few. There's no reason why you can't add additional fiber to your low-carb lifestyle. SO DO IT!

2. DRINK MORE WATER

I have previously blogged about how water can breathe new life into your low-carb program because it will push you to new levels in your weight loss and in the way you feel. Think of it as giving your insides a thorough cleansing after years or even decades of gunk and build-up inside of you. Don't you want to be as squeaky-clean as you can be? Sure you do, so START DRINKING WATER like you've never done before. While I don't drink two gallons daily anymore (I'd freeze if I did!), I still probably guzzled a little over a gallon a day in addition to my diet sodas. You can do it, too!

3. EXERCISE

Say what?! Exercise?! You may be wondering what that has to do with bowel movements, eh? I didn't realize it when I started exercising after one month of low-carb living, but this is a crucial aspect of healthy intestines (where the bowel is located). If you don't get the kind of exercise you need on a daily basis, then your abdomen can actually lose muscle tone and effect the bowel. This, in turn, causes feces to have trouble moving through the body as it is supposed to and can cause problems to happen. But getting regular exercise solves this problem and will keep your bowel happy and healthy.

There's nothing funny about having a crappy (or in this case a NON-crappy) bowel. It can make you feel sluggish and break out in a cold sweat. It may even feel like you'll never be able to use the bathroom again. Implement these three steps I have outlined above and be prepared to open the floodgates. Sorry to gross you out with a post like this one, but I couldn't stop thinking about this lately and felt you needed to know how important it is to be regular.

Perhaps you are just starting off on your low-carb diet or you've been doing this for a while and wanted to know what my experience was like but was too afraid to ask. Hopefully this has helped shed some light on it for you. Just be sure to keep the air freshener handy, please! :D

10 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

I don't know what it is about low-carb that makes people fascinated about their bowel movements. Eating low or zero carb means you'll have low residue so there's no need to constantly run to the toilet bowl. So many people think it's constipation because they're used to crapping 3x a day with a high carb diet. I can go once every 24-36 hours. It's no big deal.

I wouldn't recommend fiber. That stuff scrapes your gut and harms your intestines. If fact, it's best to avoid all fiber at all costs. Eventually the gut gets scared over the long term and you'll have problem absorbing nutrients, just as many old people do after decades eating high carb/high fiber diets.

6/15/2006 8:28 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Oh yeah, if you want more info on the zero carb diet please stop by

http://zerocarbpath.blogspot.com

6/15/2006 8:32 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

I have no constipation at all without the fiber tablets I used to need to take before I began low-carbing.

I guess eating a pound of veggies a day will do that. ;)

6/15/2006 10:25 PM  
Blogger Nita Scoggan said...

Jimmy, you crack me up! Thanks for a good laugh!

Kay

6/16/2006 6:15 AM  
Blogger BSN said...

Too.... much.... information....

;-)

LOL

6/16/2006 10:05 AM  
Blogger Shayne said...

I just talked with Dr. Mike Eades yesterday about fiber - and even HE says you don't need it. Fiber doesn't help you go, it just makes it bigger when you do.

I'm also doing the practically zero carb thing (I'll be checking out that blog in a minute) and have very little residue - I go about twice a week.

6/16/2006 10:44 AM  
Blogger Invisible Blogger said...

I had some constipation issues when I first started low carbing four years ago, but that went away after a few weeks.

The explanation I heard somewhere that fits with my experience is that your system basically gets lazy when your eating all that fiber and junk, it takes a few weeks to adapt when you switch to low carb.

so, jimmy, maybe you should ease off the fiber and wait and see! you dont necessarily need to report to us, tho, you know, TMI, ha haaa...

6/16/2006 11:15 AM  
Blogger detox said...

I've never had constipation because of low-carb, more like the opposite... the only constpation I can make out is due to female hormones...

I agree with the recommendation to drink more water. And what works wonders for me is spinach. spinach fibers won't hurt your bowels, either :)

6/17/2006 9:44 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Going twice a week?!? God, I felt horrible. When I ate high carb that was about what happened. Now I go every day and feel much better.

6/18/2006 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Au contraire.

There's insoluble and soluble fiber.

See link below:
http://www.healthcastle.com/fiber-solubleinsoluble.shtml

Moderation is the important part of eating. One should eat sufficient fiber to regulate the internal state of digestion and heart disease risk.

5/17/2009 7:39 PM  

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