Fiber becomes your secret weapon for fast, lasting fat loss, but let’s be honest: Most of us think of fiber in terms of staying regular, or as I more irreverently say, giving you poops to be proud of.
Let’s talk about poop for a minute. You need to have one to three bowel movements a day. They shouldn’t be urgent, and you shouldn’t have to run to the bathroom every time you eat, but you should be having them.
Fiber is your golden ticket for staying regular. When you work your way up to 50 grams of fiber daily, you can kiss constipation and other bathroom miseries goodbye. I say “work up to” because adding too much at once can create more problems. Instead, add five grams each day until you reach your goal, and make sure to drink more water as you do so.
A shake provides the easiest way to meet your fiber quota. Let’s look at how you can step up your fiber intake with a fast, filling protein shake:
- 2 scoops Plant-Based All-in-One Powder – 6 grams fiber
- 1 cup raspberries (except for Cycle 2) – 8 grams fiber
- 1 cup kale – 3 grams fiber
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seeds – 4 grams fiber
- ½ avocado – 5 grams fiber
- 1 cup coconut milk – 1 gram fiber
Even without those berries, you get a whopping 19 grams of fiber in this shake!
You’ll also want to work in high-fiber foods at every meal. Fortunately, a ton of low-sugar impact foods are loaded with fiber. My favorites include:
- Raspberries (except for Cycle 2)
- Seeds, especially chia seeds and freshly ground flaxseeds
- Winter squash
- Other legumes
Sometimes you’re doing everything correctly, yet meeting your fiber quota becomes a challenge. You know what I’m talking about. You’re at the airport, or stranded at your in-laws, and high-fiber foods are just not prevalent.
That’s why I always keep Extra Fiber nearby. Every serving provides four grams of high-quality fiber from 12 sources. Extra Fiber is the Rolls Royce of fiber products! Every serving combines six grams of fiber with a proprietary, high-ORAC greens, vegetables, and fruits blend.
Other ways to promote regularity include water (click link for water schedule and tips), which along with fiber makes a nice sponge that will give the bulk you need in your stools.
A few supplements can also “help things along.” They include:
- Vitamin C: Start with 1 gram and increase as needed up to 5 grams each night.
- Magnesium: Start with 300 milligrams and increase as needed up to 1,000 milligrams each night.
If your poops become runny, back off the supplements a bit. Iron and calcium are constipating, so if you are taking either of these, you may need some supplements to offset those effects. I like to take vitamin C and magnesium at night to get things moving in the morning.
Some other ideas to improve regularity:
- Get things moving with exercise.
- Try drinking some hot coffee or tea in the morning.
- Sip some peppermint tea throughout the day.
- Throw two or three prunes into your shake (except for in Cycle 2).
- When you move your bowels, consider elevating your feet with a footstool. Our toilets are just about the worst possible setup for elimination.
If none of this is working, try cascara sagrada, senna, Chinese rhubarb and/or frangula (I prefer to use herbal blends of these) on a short-term basis. These are also great to take along if you happen to get constipated while traveling. You should only use them for a few days. Don’t become dependent on them, as they may irritate the gastrointestinal lining long term with chronic use.
Note too that constipation and other bathroom problems can be a symptom of a more serious problem like thyroid imbalances. If you’re doing all these things and nothing is happening “down there,” please visit your doctor or an integrative specialist.
If you’ve ever struggled with constipation or other bathroom issues, what remedy “got things moving” for you? I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below.