Who wants to lose weight? Who’s feeling bloated or having trouble shedding those extra pounds? The first thought is to exercise, but that’s not the only thing you should do. The most important thing you can do is change your diet, and that means to eat more fiber.
What is Fiber?
Fiber is a form of food that the body can’t digest. While this may sound like a bad thing, it’s actually beneficial: It forces us to go to the bathroom. As we remove fiber from the body, other wastes are eliminated as well. By simply going to the bathroom more, we might be able to maintain a healthy weight.
It should be noted that some will use laxatives or enemas to go to the bathroom. While these definitely help and can be useful in some circumstances (such as when fasting) they should only be used sparingly. Overuse of laxatives can increase the risk of following health issues:
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Malabsorption of nutrients
- Interactions with medications
Over time, the body could become dependent on laxatives, and unable to relieve itself without them. As a result, the key is to prompt your body to go to the body naturally. This is accomplished by eating more fiber.
The Dangers of Constipation
Constipation is a condition where a person has difficulty having a bowel movement. In many instances, the feces is hardened and difficult to pass. A lack of fiber in the diet could lead to constipation. Other potential causes are insufficient water consumption, lack of exercise, and holding the stool too long.
The problem here is constipation could lead to weight gain. There are 3 factors involved with weight gain and constipation:
- More waste in your system. More waste in your system can pack on the pounds. it might also cause your belly to slightly protrude. A protruding belly can cause muscle imbalances and even back pain in some instances.
- Increased appetite. As the waste accumulates in the body, it prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. This could invariably cause the body to want more food, which could lead to eating more food and weight gain.
- Slower metabolism. If the digestive system isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to a compromised metabolism. This could lead to weight gain over time.
Constipation Foods List
The following are common foods to eat (and avoid) for constipation
|Top Healthy Foods |
|Top Herbs & Spices For |
|Common Foods to Avoid |
|Fruit (Pears, kiwi, apples, plums, etc.)||Parsley||Processed Foods|
|Baked potato (w/skin)||Peppermint||Cheese|
|Figs||Ginger||Sugary snacks and beverages |
(cakes, pastries, desserts, etc.)
|Dark green veggies (Spinach, broccoli, etc.)||Cardamom||Unripe bananas|
|Nuts and seeds||Ginseng||Eggs|
|Apple cider vinegar, castor oil||Cinnamon||Chocolate|
This is just a small list of foods to eat and avoid. The general theme is to simply eat a healthier diet, limit junk foods and drink more water. Adding spices to your foods is a great way to increase fiber intake at one meal. For example, I make oatmeal and add honey, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. The result is a highly nutritious meal that’s high in fiber:
Order some of your favorite spices on Amazon:
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Take a good look at your diet. Are you eating foods high in fiber or foods that can cause constipation? Are you getting exercise daily, or do you sit down most of the day? Make an effort to eat high fiber foods daily. This can activate your digestive system and begin to remove the waste that has slowly accumulated in your body over time.
For example, instead of drinking sugary drinks such as sodas and energy drinks, try green tea instead, which is also believed to help ease constipation. For lunch or dinner, add an assortment of vegetables, such as spinach or a baked potato to the meal. What foods from the above list can you add to your diet?
Constipation and weight gain doesn’t happen overnight. It can take time to relive the symptoms so patience is key. But in time, your body can re-regulate itself and ease feelings of bloat and constipation. You could also see the weight start to decrease as well.
Don’t wait until you’re sick to start taking care of yourself. be proactive and do the things that keep your mind, body and spirit in shape. Pick up a copy of my books The Diet of Success: Healthy Eating Tips For Hard Working Professionals, and The Three Pillars of Strength: Increasing Your Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness. Both available on Amazon in paperback, eBook and audiobook formats.