Healt and Fitness: Hi Acho,
I follow a high protein and low carbohydrate diet. I was wondering how I can regulate my bowel movement better?
Following a high protein and low carbohydrate diet in most cases will cause some form of bowel irregularity, most commonly bloating and constipation.
There can be a few causes for this, but most of the time it’s either poor digestion, absorption of protein or lack of fibre in your diet.
Let’s first tackle indigestion of protein. Proteins as a macronutrient are more difficult and takes much longer to digest compared to carbohydrate. They are more dense and complex, that’s why it is normal for our bodies to take up to five hours to digest a medium portion fully.
So if you fall into the slow or poor digestion category, making the right easy-to-digest choices of protein sources is very important.
I would recommend egg whites, lean chicken breast and white fish low in fat as best sources for you.
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Consuming enough fibre in your nutrition can curb hunger and significantly reduce the tendency to over eat.
If lack of fibre is the cause of your problem, than I suggest you make sure every bit of the carbohydrate source you are consuming are high in fibre. I prefer oatmeal, brown rice, and whole grain bread.
Also adding a serving or two of green leafy vegetables along with your lunch and dinner is very helpful.
Now you may ask how do I know what is causing my bowel problem.
First incorporate fibre into your current diet and give it a weeks’ time, if your problem doesn’t subside significantly, then, while keeping the fibre in your diet, just switch the sources of protein.
If these two steps don’t help you, than I recommend you do a compete 24 hour fast, and then gradually introduce easy to digest spice less food like fruits, plain rice cooked with lentils will help you.
Our digestive system is constantly working. Since we never stop eating since our birth, so often it can get inflamed and extremely stressed where the best remedy would be to rest and allow it to heal itself.
Despite doing all of the above if your problem doesn’t improve, then I highly recommend you talk to a gastrointestinal specialist, as you could have a chronic or complicated gastrointestinal disorder.