Nobody likes that feeling of being constipated.
Feeling bloated and uncomfortable and sporting a semi-pregnant-looking belly.
Feeling hungry but not wanting to eat because your tummy already feels so full.
Constipation can make you feel lethargic, low and generally a bit crap.
When you transition to a keto diet from one that has been high in carbs, particularly grains, you may go through a period where things kind of get ‘backed up’.
I say ‘may’ because not everyone experiences this.
Personally, I have always eaten a lot of vegetables so thankfully I didn’t really have an issue in this department.
However, some people find that as their body is adjusting to this new way of eating, they need a little helping hand in the poo department to keep things moving along as they should be.
This is particularly important if your body has some detoxing to do – in with the good and out with the bad as they say!
Fiber on Keto
Fiber is really fantastic for your body. It is the part of food that passes through your system completely intact because it cannot be broken down by digestion. There are 2 types of fiber – insoluble and soluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a kind of sticky gum-like substance. It binds with things like cholesterol and bile in your intestine and helps to pass these things out of the body.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, quite the contrary, it absorbs the water, which helps to add bulk to your stool and reduces constipation.
Our beautiful friends the vegetables contain both insoluble and soluble fiber which is why we want to eat plenty of them! I try to add vegetables to every single meal, even if it’s just a couple of handful of greens.
Other important things to keep things moving are:
- Drink enough water
- Make sure you are getting your electrolytes in
- Move your body regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Be aware of any food sensitivities or allergies that may be causing issues
- Don’t overdo the fiber! Too much fiber in the form of difficult to digest roughage can actually do the opposite of what you want.
Fiber Supplements on the Keto Diet
If you are you eating your vegetables (or if you are going for a zero carb diet and not eating your vegetables), and you’ve checked all the other boxes and things are still getting stuck, you might want to try some fiber supplements that are keto approved.
Here are my fiber supplement recommendations:
Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom salts)
These types of magnesium supplement are the best for constipation. They draw water into the bowels to help loosen everything and get things moving.
Find my recommendation for Magnesium Citrate here.
And my recommendation for Magnesium Sulphate here.
By helping your body to properly digest your food before it reaches the colon you can minimise the chances of constipation as well as ensuring you are getting the maximum nutrition out of your food.
Here are the digestive enzymes I use. They are also chock full of raw vitamins and minerals and probiotics.
This comes from a herb called Plantago Ovata, and is a natural laxative. Psyllium has many benefits including relieving constipation, managing blood sugar levels and reducing bad cholesterol. There’s an excellent article on psyllium here.
Here’s a great source of psyllium husk capsules.
Making sure you have plenty of healthy bacteria in your guy will help to relieve constipation as well as promoting good digestion.
Here are the probiotics I like best. They’re a bit pricey but very good.
This is similar to psyllium in that it is a high fiber, natural bulking agent. It also contains beneficial bacteria for your gut.
Find good acacia fibre here.
Whole flax seeds contain something called mucilage which temporarily coats your digestive tract with a soothing, slimy coating along your digestive tract which helps to smooth the whole process. Flax is also great for reducing inflammation and adding bulk to your stools.
This is where I get my flax seeds. But flax is pretty easy to find in any health food store.
And finally, if you want to start your day with a hearty keto porridge that is full of good stuff and will definitely help to keep things moving along as they should be, I whole-heartedly recommend this keto porridge recipe from Healthful Pursuit.
Now there’s no need to feel bunged up again! Let me know in the comments if you have any favourite ways of keeping things moving along as they should be!