21 Aug Staying ‘regular] on a diet
When going through a fat loss transformation, there’s one thing that can be quite a pain in the behind – quite literally.
Yes, we’re talking about your bowel movements.
Regular bowel movements are what you should be striving for if you are aiming to shift body fat. However, it’s not always as simple as that, and many can end up experiencing the polar opposite.
It’s not uncommon for those toward the end of prolonged dieting phases to complain of not being able to ‘go’ every two, three, or even four days.
One of the primary issues that can completely throw you off mentally is the scales not budging. This is likely the phase of the diet where you are pushing your absolute hardest, yet the scales don’t reflect it. The key to remember here is that this isn’t bodyfat creeping back on, it’s simply due to increased bowel contents.
The first thing to realise is that, without intervention, this is normal and to be somewhat expected.
You’re gradually reducing total food consumption over a period of time, so there’s simply less ‘waste’ to excrete, and as you head into these stages, your body is trying to extract every last nutrient it can out of what little you are putting in, so it has no need to be ‘efficient’ in elimination.
So what if we do have intervention?
Well, things can be a lot more comfortable, that’s for sure!
There are a few tricks that can help keep things ‘moving’ whilst going through dieting phases, which we have listed below:
Hydration: Yes, it’s really as simple as it sounds. Are you getting enough water? It’s such a simple one to remedy that can genuinely have a huge (and often almost instant) benefit.
Everyone knows that water is good for you, but what they don’t often realise is that it’s good for your bowel movements, too. The smallest signs of dehydration can have a surprising effect on bowel movements and increase chances of constipation.
This is one of the reasons why drinking at least 3-4 litres of water is one of the key transformation protocols of the RNT transformation journey, and is introduced from the very first CTP phase.
Insoluble AND Soluble Fibre: Don’t make the mistake of thinking purely loading up on greens will get things moving again. Depending on your digestive system, if you’re sensitive to insoluble fibre, it may actually make things worse and have the opposite effect.
Instead, strive for a balanced diet of soluble and insoluble fibre: Eat your greens as well as oats, potatoes, rice etc.
There’s also no need to go ridiculously high on total fibre, regardless of what it says on the box. Try and aim for around 10g per 1000cal consumed and take things from there.
Psyllium Husk: You may be wondering what you should do if you have low (starchy) carb days, or you’re even in a complete low carb phase where the likes of oats etc. don’t feature on your meal plan?
This is where supplementing with Psyllium Husk can be a game changer. It’s a soluble fibre, and you’ll soon see why it’s classed as one as soon as you leave it for longer than 30 seconds once mixed! (Tip: Drink it fast!)
Black Coffee: Now here’s an area of marketing the likes of Starbucks and Costa are yet to explore! Put simply, coffee is a laxative. However, due to its popularity and mass consumption, many people have become tolerant to its laxative effects.
For non-coffee drinkers, a strong cup of black coffee can help for when things start to ‘slow down’. As for coffee enthusiasts, it may be worth considering temporarily putting down the coffee cup prior to starting your fat loss transformation, and then only re-introducing it when digestion slows.
Super Dieters Tea: This is a cinnamon flavoured tea that has Senna extract added to it. Senna being a natural laxative that promotes peristalsis in the gut (the wave like contraction of the intestines).
This sweet cinnamon tea tastes good, it’s warm, it’s different, and the fact that it can also give things a nudge is an added bonus.
Senakot: In more extreme cases, Senakot can lend a helping hand. For the final stretch of a dieting period, one possible strategy is using one Senakot 2-3 days in a row, before ceasing it’s use for 4-5 days and repeating the cycle until the end of the diet.
Your bowel movements are nothing to be embarrassed about when on your transformation journey. It’s highly common to experience constipation at some point or other during a fat loss transformation.
Don’t be afraid to discuss this with your coach, the more information we have, the better advice we can give you to make you more comfortable.
If experiencing such issues, try one of the above – something as simple as hydration could be the kick your body needs to get back into the swing of things.