Years ago I had a client who wanted to lose 20-25 pounds. When we sat down and discussed her typical daily diet, I noticed that she didn’t eat any vegetables and almost no fruit. I mentioned it and then asked my next question, “How often do you have a bowel movement?” She confided that she only had one once a week and that was only if she took laxatives — ouch!
According to Dr. Oz, you should be having a bowel movement 3 times per week minimum. He also stated that he prefers if his patients have one every day, but at least 3 times a week is healthy.
A few suggestions to keep you regular:
- Add a high fiber fruit to your morning breakfast cereal. Raspberries have twice the fiber of most other fruits; half a cup has 4 grams of fiber.
- Eat at least one serving of cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, or kale) each day. Add broccoli to your salad or cabbage to your fish tacos.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water when consuming high fiber foods. Dehydration can cause constipation, which can only make your problem worse!
More reasons why you should eat more fiber:
You can increase weight loss by adding fiber to your diet. Some of the fat you eat mixes with the fiber, which is then excreted (sounds gross, but it’s a good thing).
Eating fiber makes you feel fuller, longer, which helps limit your trips to the kitchen.
Your goal is to eat 25-30 grams of fiber every day. Most people eat less than 10 grams a day.
My fiber secret weapon:
Flaxseed is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as an excellent source of fiber. Flaxseeds also have lignans, a rich source of antioxidants — so rich in fact that you would need to eat about 100 slices of whole wheat bread to get the same amount of antioxidants as found in just two tablespoons of flaxseed.
Flaxseed also has a mild laxative effect, so consider this your warning! Don’t eat two tablespoons and then get in your car for a road trip. Start slowly. Add a ½ teaspoon of flaxseed to your morning cereal or sprinkle it on top of soup or a salad. Most physicians will suggest about 1 tablespoon of flaxseed per day. But, it’s always a good idea to check with your physician before adding in any new supplements to your diet.
*keep in mind; flaxseed needs to be ground for you to get the full nutritional benefit.