So you’re starting off or well into your ketogenic diet journey. Achieving a healthy version of yourself might not be as smooth sailing as you thought it’d be. It could be because you are experiencing some of the side effects that come with a low-carb diet like keto. Whether you are experiencing headaches, dizziness, diarrhea or constipation. It usually isn’t a cause for concern and is common especially if you are not used to your diet yet. Side-effects like constipation (as will be discussed in this post) while on the keto diet are usually temporary and disappear in a few days or a little tweaking in your diet is needed for it to disappear.
Why it happens
Now to focus on a side-effect rarely discussed in public probably because it’s a little too inappropriate. Bowel movement is important for a body to function. While constipation is a reason to freak out, while on the keto diet, it’s a pretty common side effect. When a body used to high amounts of carbs suddenly lessens its intake on the stuff, the body needs to get used to it.
And while experiencing constipation is more or less inevitable while on keto, it is important to remember that even when you haven’t had a number two in a few days, if you aren’t experiencing any pain or discomfort chances are what you are feeling isn’t that serious and you might not need to do anything about it at all.
Eating keto-friendly food is dense and extremely nutritious and lower in volume so it’s normal that you are producing waste less.
Regular bowel movement is anywhere between 3 times a day or three times a week, so if you fit the range and aren’t experiencing any other symptoms, you have nothing to worry about at all.
What to do about it
But if you are showing signs of pain or discomfort and haven’t gone for more than a week you might need to change a couple of things in your diet to be able to sit on the throne often and worry-free at that. Here are a few ways you can do that.
- Stay hydrated: a no-brainer even when you are not on a diet. The keto diet is known for its diuretic effects and keeping your fluid replenished is a must when you are on a keto diet. It is important to note that your fluid intake has a direct effect on how easy it is for you to do #2 so make sure you have enough fluids in your system.
- Up your sodium and potassium intake: As your body flushes out fluids in your system while on keto, it also flushes out important minerals such as sodium or potassium. Without enough of these two might result in headaches, dizziness and you guessed it, constipation. It is recommended that 2000 to 40000 grams of potassium per day and 470 grams of sodium per day. So remember to eat food rich in potassium whenever you feel backed up.
- Up your fiber intake: Again a no-brainer even when you are not a diet. Having enough fiber in your body can help with the regularity of your bowel movements and can also make you pass it with ease. We recommend you eat a lot of green vegetables because they are not only loaded with fiber but are also low in carbs!
- Take MCT oil: Usually extracted from coconut, palm and kernel oil, MCT oil is not only known for its multiple health benefits but also its aid with digestion problems. So if you haven’t gone for a while we recommend you try these
- Try Over the counter meds: If all else fails, try meds. This is for when the pain or discomfort you are experiencing is particularly bad. We recommend milk of magnesia since it’s proven for years.
Let’s be honest, bowel movement is definitely something we don’t talk about publicly especially if you are having trouble with it. But we assure you that it is normal and everyone has it from time to time but when it gets too painful or uncomfortable it’s better to do more research or better yet consult a doctor. Asking and knowing more about this aspect especially while on a diet is important for you to have a safe worry-free journey towards health and wellness so continue to learn and share your knowledge with other people.