The Slimming World diet is a flexible eating strategy that has its roots in the United Kingdom, where it was created around 50 years ago by Margaret Miles-Bramwell. Today, it remains a popular choice for many who are looking to form balanced and non-restrictive eating habits.
Still, a portion of people who recently started Slimming World reported that they are now constipated. In this article, we will reveal why this happens, how to deal with constipation, and how to make sure you don’t experience it again.
Can Slimming World cause constipation?
Although it is not commonly reported, Slimming World can cause constipation. This is usually because the meal plan is significantly different from a person’s previous diet. Drastic changes in the way that you eat are likely to cause constipation, bloating, or other difficulties with the digestive system.
It is not the Slimming World diet that is causing constipation on its own, but a change in the way a person eats, as well as several other factors. Constipation often occurs also due to a lack of physical activity.
Our bodies require movement for all of their systems to function properly, which is why it is unsurprising that better physical health has been observed in those who do at least 20 minutes of walking each day.
Similarly, if you are focused on following the Slimming World diet as strictly as you can, you may be neglecting to drink enough water. Insufficient water and fibre intake in a person’s diet is one of the most common causes of constipation.
Why am I constipated on Slimming World?
The answer to this question is somewhat nuanced, but in general, it is safe to say that starting any new diet can cause an upset stomach.
As previously mentioned, substantial changes in your eating habits may cause a wide variety of digestive issues. For example, if your body is used to eating a lot of fat, cutting it all out can cause digestive distress and constipation.
Additionally, if you have begun consuming a larger amount of grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, triticale or Kamut, it could be contributing to your bowel troubles.
Many people unknowingly have a gluten sensitivity, which can manifest itself in the form of bowel habit abnormalities – diarrhoea or constipation.
Last but not least, dairy is a component of the Slimming World diet which may cause issues for some. Studies have found that the protein in cow’s milk can cause constipation in some.
What helps with constipation while on Slimming World?
Constipation is a pesky health condition which can cause difficulties in your daily life. Luckily, there are many ways to deal with it.
Here are some of the most effective methods to get your bowels to work as they should.
Try lemon water
Although most people don’t like hearing advice such as “drink more water”’, in the case of constipation it is one of the easiest methods to deal with the condition.
If plain water is too boring, you can squeeze some lemon juice and add it to a tall glass of regular or mineral water. Drink it throughout the day.
Hydration is one of the most effective methods of relieving constipation issues. In addition, drinking enough lemon water will provide you with a good dose of vitamin C.
Eat some melon
Eating melon is a tasty way to hydrate your bowels and get that liquid inside your stomach. There is no need to eat the seeds, the tasty part should do the trick.
Melons are also an excellent source of dietary fibre, which is of the keys to solving constipation.
Eat fewer carbs
Foods rich in carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, pasta, corn and legumes, are notorious for their ability to clog up the stomach, causing constipation. This is also the reason why some people who switch to the keto diet, which is completely carb-free, experience diarrhoea.
Avoid red meat
It would be best to replace your protein sources such as red meat with something leaner, like some of the free foods in the Slimming World diet – lean chicken and fish.
Dietary fats in general have been associated with higher rates of constipation.
Eat prunes or raisins
Although they are high in calories and sugar, raisins and prunes can help you deal with your stomach troubles. Raisins are known to act as a natural laxative, especially when soaked in water.
Prunes and prune juice are also excellent options for relieving constipation. Some studies suggest that utilizing prunes and prune juice can be more helpful than using psyllium husks or other constipation remedies.
The urge to use the restroom may become stronger for many people after drinking coffee. This is because caffeine stimulates the muscles in the digestive system.
A study discovered that caffeinated coffee can stimulate the gut similarly to how a meal can. In comparison to drinking water and decaffeinated coffee, this effect was 60% and 23% stronger, respectively.
Eating probiotic-rich foods or taking a probiotic supplement can sometimes help with constipation.
Some individuals with persistent constipation have an unbalanced bacterial population in their stomach. More probiotic food intake may assist to restore this balance and prevent future constipation.
Prebiotics are a sort of fibre that nourish your beneficial gut bacteria. Similar to probiotics, prebiotic-rich foods such as onions, garlic, bananas, leeks, and chickpeas, can enhance bowel motions’ frequency, help stools become softer, and assist in balancing the gut bacteria.
Avoid fried and fast foods
If you are on the Slimming World diet, you have likely already reduced your intake of fried and fast foods.
Still, since the diet permits an occasional cheat meal, many choose their cheat meal to be some sort of fast food. Since fast foods are typically high in fats and low in fibre, they are a poor option when experiencing constipation.
Instead, make your cheat meal a mix of sweet and delicious fruits, including plums and prunes which can help your bowels get back on track quickly.
Use magnesium citrate
Another common home treatment for constipation is magnesium citrate. It is a kind of osmotic laxative that is often prescribed for constipation, and it can be purchased over the counter or online. Magnesium supplements taken in moderation can ease constipation.
Eat kiwi fruits
Eat kiwi fruits with the skin intact. Although it seems strange, the skin’s fibre can actually aid in accelerating bowel movements.
A good way to mask the taste of the peel is to cut it up and add it to a fruit salad with melon, prunes, or another constipation-relieving fruit.
Eat more fibre
A good way to relieve constipation and prevent future occurrences is to eat more foods rich in soluble, non-fermentable fibre.
Increasing fibre consumption helps in improving the consistency of bowel movements, which makes them easier to pass. They also move more swiftly through the digestive tract thanks to it.
Some foods rich in fibre include berries, avocados, broccoli, beans, apples, and dried fruits.
Do some exercise
Moving around or doing strenuous activities will not only help to shake up your bowels but also help keep your metabolism at a high level so that you can burn through fat more easily.
Sedentary lifestyles have been associated in studies with a higher incidence of constipation. In order to get the stool moving, several healthcare professionals advise increasing exercise.