This topic contains 19 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  bigbooty 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • Hi,

    I love the 5:2 diet! I find it really works for losing weight and making you appreciate your food more on non fast days. However I have noticed I am suffering a bit with constipation lately from not eatin as much two days a week.. It’s like it stops my system from functioning. I do suffer from a sluggish bowel in general but never had this problem on the 5:2 when I did it last year. Just wondering does anyone else have this problem or is it just my body!?

    I makesure ieat lots of fiber but also stay as hydrate as possible.
    Even unsalted unbuttered popcorn helps with fiber.not the white part, but brown parts that getstuck in teeth. They are the highest source of polyphenols from an unprocessed whole grain.

    I felt like my understanding of fiber was lacking so I decided to read all about it.
    Now now matter how I arrange my menus. Fiber is a major rather than minor part of my meals.
    I try to balance soluble fibers. And just me personally when I was struggling moving from 5:2 to 4:3 I needed more protein , so I temporally took fiber tablets on fast days so I could feel more saited with more protein. However it was just a temporary patch. To make a life change I needed to find the combination of real foods, and not rely on supplements. I like sweet peppers, bu hot peppers are nearly the same in vitamin c and a . But are also figh fiber. I stuff peppers with chick peas and red bean hummus.

    There might be more to constipation as I’m no expert! I believe the approach I’m pointing to is a diet with emphasis on rich sources of fiber on feed days. I’m not offering any suggestions on to deal with constipation as it occurs.

    I have had constipation problems as a result of extended fasts. 3 – 10 days. but not as a result of 5:2 on the occasions I was constipated I had to use RestoraLax (Polyethylene Glycol 3350) two doses in one day and lots of water cured the problem.

    I do not recommend extended fasting to anyone. If you are interested in the practice research it and consult a physician and only do extended fasting under a Drs. care and observation. There are real serious consequences that can occur.

    On 5;2 fast days if I feel overly hungry I have a cup of chicken bullion 30 calories, 1/2 cup green lentils 162 calories, 1 teaspoon of tumeric 8 calories 1 clove of garlic 4 calories and a grind of pepper 2 calories(?) total 206 calories I have that in the evening and I’m good. Usually I have nothing but water while fasting.

    Stewed prunes of course are the old standby but the calories are 308 per cup

    I’m a vegetarian following a superfood/low GI diet which is full of whole grains and fibre yet I too have been plagued by bouts of constipation after fasting. I can say that gradually over the months this has resolved itself. So give it time I say. Eat the high fibre foods and keep fluids up but have faith in your body to make the adjustment!

    Slimatee is the cure for all constipation – you can pick this amazing tea up at Holland & Barrat for £3.99 or 241 on a deal day which is what I usually do – I swear by it. You have it once a day (recommended in the evening) Box says do not use for more than 2 weeks but I have been having it for over 3/4 months and it works everytime!

    I’m doing ADF (alternate day fasting) rather than 5/2, and the only problem I’ve had is constipation. Constipation was previously very rare, so it was a bit of a shock. My wife is doing 5/2 and has had the same problem. I’ve read this is only a transition problem, but it’s one we’re keen to avoid.

    What has worked extremely well for us is 3 or 4 prunes on fast day mornings and up to 6 or 7 as insurance on non fast days. And keeping hydrated. That’s 60 to 80 calories on fast days, and well worth it.


    Youre undoing all that good work by having prunes. Sugar content is through the roof with prunes. The extreme sugar content means your gut is having to import lots of water into your gut. No constipation but a huge glucose spike which is what you want to avoid for weight loss. Are you able to eat chili? Have a few small ones either straight or in a salad. Drink lots of water, aim for 2 L as a minimum. Basically your gut bacteria are waging a war and it will take the good guys a little time to eventually win the war. Keep eating healthy and after a month or so they will have won and it will be plain sailing after that.

    I’ve been on 5:2 over 8 months, and someone in another forum suggested an apple a day. So far that has really helped with my constipation issues. I also have had a sluggish bowel all my life and take daily metamucil capsules along with my vitamins. It all helps, but it isn’t foolproof. Sometimes I will still go days without a movement. Then I get really cranky! I count the apple as part of my 500 on fast days, generally it’s about 80 calories.

    Hi bigbooty,

    It might be surprising, but as it turns out the prunes haven’t interfered with my weight loss in the slightest, and have kept me regular. They are part of my 600 calorie allowance on fast days. And on the ADF I’ve lost over 1kg per week for 8 weeks. So I’m super happy with the weight loss, and super happy to not have constipation.

    If its working for you keep doing it.

    On fast days I would stay away from prunes as bigbooty said they have some sugar in them. It really isn’t a problem to not have a bowel movement if you aren’t eating. (At least that is my viewpoint) However on non-fast days I have anywhere from 5 to 10 prunes at breakfast. I love like them and prunes and coffee do keep me moving. :blushing:

    (Fruit is my main source of sugar and in my case most of it doesn’t trigger hunger. Fruit juice though is off limits for me.)

    Hi dykask,

    Maybe I needed to be clearer. I’ve never had daily bowel movements so simply not having a bowel movement wouldn’t have worried me either. My issue on starting fasting was having a very strong urge and need to go but a painful blockage. My normally soft stool had turned into a rock! Multiple times, and despite being well hydrated! Not happy.

    Like you, fruit is my main source of sugar. And prunes are just plums (with some water and the pip removed). By my calculations, the prunes I have on fast days have the same amount of sugar as a small apple, so not really a lot. And I wouldn’t hesitate having an apple on a fast day. As long as the total calories are OK, I wouldn’t place any major concern on the sugar in fruit. The prunes certainly resolved my constipation, and are my plan A. Maybe if I’d started out having prunes on non fast days like you I’d never have had a problem. But at this stage I’ll be erring on the side of overkill.

    Plan B is psyllium husks. I’ll experiment with that too as I like having options. Psyllium is a little more tricky (and a whole lot less tasty). I’m taking important medications, and the suggestion is to not take the meds within two hours either side of the psyllium as otherwise it binds the meds to make them ineffective. And to be wary of taking it with meals for a similar reason. And to take it with lots of water. Phew!

    For me constipation has always been a sign of magnesium deficiency. Once I optimize my magnesium levels, everything flows through the internal plumbing easily because magnesium aids my muscles to contract and relax creating the peristalsis that helps move things along.

    Hi Onel, The concern with fruit on fast days is that the sugar could spike insulin which hurts the fasting effects. It isn’t really clear to me if fructose will spike insulin or not. That is also possible that would vary by person. You just have to make a judgement call based on what works for you. For myself what works is no calories on fasting days. It sounds that you are very comfortable with fruit. If you are losing weight then it probably works fine for you.

    To be honest, I haven’t noticed any adverse effects from eating whole fruit. I don’t know if that is because fruit is completely safe for me or if I just can’t eat enough of it to get problems. One ice cream cone, single scope from a good ice cream store is enough for me to start noticing my typical sugar effects. (Rush of energy and later a bit of a crash and hunger.)

    Does the Onel refer to the first year of law school?

    Hi again dykask,

    Part of the power of the 5:2 fast diet for me is its outstanding simplicity. The single principal of 500/600 calories per day twice a week may be enough for most people to lose about 2kg a month, until the healthy target is reached. And complications like TDEES, food types, etc maybe only need to come into play when things aren’t working.

    I’m now considering whether my constipation problem may have been dehydration, even though I was drinking more water. Maybe I was getting a lot of the water I needed previously from the food I was eating. And by fasting every second day I was no longer getting this water. I’m now testing drinking extra water each time I go to the toilet. So far so good.

    The onel moniker is an anagram of my name. And my name is a contradiction because it has one “l” (hence “onel”) but says it has none.

    OH and I were troubled by constipation initially. I solved it by adding a teaspoon of bran to my porridge. I also glugged loads of water directly from the tap – that was easy in the summer, now it’s too cold! He does take a small glass of prune juice – against my advice.

    I’d say our systems have become used to our reduced intake now. Few problems.

    I’ve lost almost 20 lbs on the fast diet. Been on it 5 months. But I had a colonoscopy today and they
    Couldn’t get through. After I prepped for a full day. Help!!!!

    I haven’t had constipation issues on 5:2, but I did when on an 800 calorie per day VLCD. I thought that I needed laxatives, but after I spoke to my doctor, he said that I certainly did’t – I needed a higher fibre level.
    So I made the following changes:
    – I added psyllium husks to foods like smoothies and cereal and benefibre or inulin (flavourless fibre powders) to other drinks.
    – I replaced half of my egg/meat/dairy protein choices with legumes
    – I made sure all grains/fruits/veg were high fibre choices.
    – Consumed extra water to allow the additional fibre to move more easily through my intestines – without this you just cause a blockage.

    After some careful monitoring of my food diary I eventually figured out that my digestive system functions really well if I have 40-45g fibre per day (this is much higher that most healthy eating guidelines ever recommend, but it works for me).

    If you can’t find a safe workable solution it wouldn’t hurt to have a chat to your GP about it.

    For me it’s not total constipation, system just doesn’t process as well and leads to bloating, until things catch up.
    Discovered Fruit and Fibres chewable capsules by Ortis – gentleish – says to take before bed, might be better to take at around 6pm as it seems to kick in mid morning, which is usually not at all convenient 🙂 And am not at all happy that a capsule is a whole whopping 27 kcal!

    Problem of constipation is occured due to indigestive problem.Sleep less than 8 hours causes indigestive problem which turn to constipation.

    Thanks for all your meaningful information.thanks a lot for sharing very useful to future

    As age increased, my constipation increased. It is common for people to go from daily bowel movements to every other day or every 3 days. This is normal.

    Another issue is the consistency of the stool. There is a rating system [1 to 5 where 5 is normal] which is useful for describing the stool. Anything from 1-3 is another form of constipation — not a lack of movement, but a texture issue. Most days I’m at ‘1’.

    To fix this problem, I drink my “Green Milk” at lunch time.
    Green Milk Recipe: 1 cup milk 1 oz spinach [cooked or raw] 1/2 oz medjool date
    Method: Put 1/2 the milk + spinach + date in a blender. Blend on half speed until all the spinach is pureed. Add the remainder of the milk and blend on lower speed to combine.

    This takes me from a 1 to a 4 or 5 if I drink it daily.

    Some people call no bowel movement for days ‘slow transit’ but it could be caused by Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. That can be remedied by a specialized Physical Therapist.

    I rarely have constipn even with ADF. Beans are the highest fiber food on the planet. get plenty of beans on your non-fast days–and veggies, grains, fruits. Cheese and meats replace the good fiber you could be getting if you ate well. and cheese constipates possibly because it has casomorphin in it, which is an opiate derivative; and like all opiates, it causes constipation. You, my friend, are a victim of fiberless eating.

    Veganman, I beg to differ. When my husband sought help for constipation, he was told to eat lots of fiber [and go on a plant-based diet for 6 weeks]. We upped the fiber considerably [yes, I know: the SAD has no fiber in it. not refuting that], and ate the veggies, and still no relief. He did not have IBS-c or a low-fiber issue or slow transit. He had Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Once he did the PT, he was fine. Not everything responds to a veggie diet and fiber.
    Fasting did not cause my constipation — it was there before i took up Fasting.

    As Albert Einstein once said. Look for the simplest answer first. So in that respect what veganman has said would probably account for 90% of all constipation cases. Of course if there are other underlying medical issues get those seen to. Everyone has a different take on what healthy is but I doubt anyone would argue that a SAD is a good diet. Personally I eat a huge amount of cheese but I wouldn’t touch anything made of grains even if you paid me. Most of my fibre comes from veggies, some fruit and a huge amount of nuts. I eat nuts like other people are addicted to chocolates. It has no adverse impact on me but some others wont touch them because of their fear about the fat content. I am regular as clockwork, twice a day, don’t count calories and have been in maintenance for over 3 years. Horses for courses.

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