Many people ask whether the Atkins diet and constipation are common. While some people do suffer from occasional constipation early on, this is usually a temporary situation that is easily relieved, and some people on the diet don't ever experience constipation.
The people who are most likely to experience constipation while on the Atkins diet are the ones who have been eating a lot of carbohydrate rich foods before dieting or people who don't eat enough vegetables. If you are eating a lot of red meat while on Atkins, you should start by decreasing the amount of red meat and cheeses you're consuming and switch to fish and chicken for a few days.
One of the simplest ways to sever the link between the Atkins and diet and constipation is to make sure you drink a lot of water. Although eight glasses a day is recommended, drinking at least ten glasses a day can go a long way toward relieving your discomfort and getting your colon working properly again. Exercise is another way to jump-start your colon and relieve your discomfort, so don't neglect your evening walk or some time on the elliptical machine.
If you are in the induction phase of the Atkins diet, you need to make sure you eat plenty of leafy, green vegetables and vegetables high in fiber. Spinach, dark salad greens, cabbage and avocado are all foods rich in fiber. Try eating a large salad for one meal each day and see if this helps.
If you've been on the Atkins diet and constipation is still a problem after you increase your fiber and water intake, a supplement of some kind may be necessary. You can find psyllium husks, wheat bran, and ground flax seed at most health food stores. Taking some each day will quickly regulate your system and alleviate constipation gently.
You can also try taking probiotics, which include live bacteria which are the "good bacteria" found in the intestinal track. If you are still in the induction phase, you'll have to take probiotic supplements. If you are farther along on your diet and can eat reasonable amounts of dairy, try a small cup of yogurt each morning that contains probiotics.
As a last resort, you can try one of the fiber laxatives available at your local drugstore. Metamucil is one brand name. But don't rely on laxatives - they aren't meant to be a long-term solution. Instead, use it to regulate your body in the short term and focus on eating the proper foods and getting enough water so that the Atkins diet and constipation are no longer an issue for you.
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