Negative symptoms such as gas and constipation while dieting are often due to a change in diet. In some cases, people dealing with these symptoms throw their hands up in surrender and go back to their old ways to avoid the problem. Before you do this, take a look at gas and constipation in relation to dieting to better understand why these problems may occur for you and what you can do to alleviate them.
Causes of Gas while Dieting
If you experience embarrassing gas when changing your diet to lose weight, it's not unusual. Adding healthy whole foods such as sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and onions will produce gas in your digestive and intestinal tract. That's the bad news. The good news is that as your body acclimates to the dietary changes, for most people these symptoms subside substantially.
Each person's system is unique and reacts differently to ingested foods. What causes gas in one person may not bother another. What foods you eat make a difference, too. Some foods are known to cause more gas than others. If you have a problem with excessive gas, you may want to adjust your diet and cut back on some of these foods and then reintroduce them one at a time to identify which of them cause a problem for you in particular. This is known as an elimination diet. Along with the foods mentioned above, other foods that may contribute to problems with gas include:
- Fatty foods
- Fried foods
- Rich foods
- Spicy foods
Dieting and Constipation
Constipation means bowel movements are less frequent and can be difficult to pass due to hard stools. It's is one of those topics few of us like to talk about, and it affects women more often than men. For people experiencing less than two or fewer bowel movements in a week, constipation can lead to straining to evacuate the bowels. There are several reasons diet can lead to constipation including:
- Drinking too little water
- Inadequate fiber intake
- A change in diet
- Consuming large quantities of dairy
Another thing that can contribute to constipation is the use of antacids that contain calcium or aluminum. So if you eat antacids to fight gas, it can lead to constipation, too!
Tips to Fight Gas and Constipation while Dieting
Along with monitoring what foods you eat, the following tips may help you fight gas and constipation while dieting.
You may have heard of mindful eating which requires chewing your food thoroughly. This gives your brain time to catch up with your stomach to register that you've had enough to eat. Eating slower can often help reduce problems with gas in people who usually tend to eat too fast. People who eat fast often swallow extra air which leads to more gas.
Another thing that may help eliminate problems with gas and constipation for dieters is to follow an eating schedule. Eating about the same time each day can help alleviate both gas and constipation
Eat the Right Diet
Many times, gas and constipation are the result of following a diet that does not offer balanced nutrition. Your diet should consist of adequate fiber and healthy foods that provide needed vitamins and minerals.
Water is an important element to keep the bowels functioning properly. If you choose caffeinated beverages they can increase the production of gas. Drinking fluids with your meals also increases the production of gas for many people.
If you experience gas when changing your diet, symptoms may lessen as your body adjusts to new foods, but if you have an ongoing problem with gas and constipation it is best to talk to your doctor to be sure your problem is not caused by a medical condition such as a food intolerance or allergy.