Fast Diet & Bowel Health

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  • I’ve been doing the Fast Diet for a few weeks now, and I feel fantastic. When I was talking abou the virtues of this diet to a friend though, she offhandedly asked about the correlation between fasting and bowel health, given that all current wisdom tells us to eat fibre first thing in the morning to ‘get things moving’.

    I have certainly noticed that no matter how much water I drink, my fast days are definitely slower than usual. Is this dangerous? Surely the food in my digestive system from the day before should be working its way out? Should I be concerned about this and start having a glass of psyllium husk or similar each fast morning?

    I would be very interested to hear any insights the community here may have.
    Thank you.

    Hi there! I’ve been doing this programme now since early March and I’ve also found that my bowls are sluggish. This week I’m only to ease off and not fast at all and review any changes.

    I am on week 20(17lbs lost) and it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the bowels got moving on a fast day. My body seemed to stop still completely.I changed nothing and just kept with the fasting. All fine now, but it always meant that I never weighed myself the day after a fast day…needed to wait a couple of days for any loss!

    Fastbetty – You have the right idea. In another book on fasting I read that because of the reduced intake of food the digestive system slows down. So becoming (somewhat) irregular is to be expected. The book content is a week-long fast, but I think even with our two days of fasting many of us are impacted. Drinking plenty of fluids is the first measure, but when it needs to be helped along a little, one of their recommendations to is to take psyillium husks.
    I follow the package instruction of 1 tsp dissolved in one glass of water (their dosage of 1 tbs seemed a little high to me), and the book’s recommendation to immediately follow with two more glasses of water. I do this on fast days in the morning and I feel so much better.
    (Source: Fasten nach der Klosterheilkunde)

    Thank you to all who wrote in this post. I have been on 5:2 since Feb 20th. I’ve lost 21lbs and my cholesterol has gone from 5.9 to 4 and lots of other good blood results. BUT I’VE REALLY SUFFERED WITH CONSTIPATION particularly after the second fast day. My doctor suggested 1 teaspoon psyllium and slippery elm but I still do struggle. Annette52 has encouraged me that in 3 weeks or thereabouts after 17 weeks it might settle. Fastbetty and Kerstin’s recommendation helped too. Yesterday a naturopath suggested taking the psyllium in orange or mandarin juice so I might try that too. I’m open to any ideas??? I do make sure I drink at least 8 glasses of water.

    I’m on week 16 and it’s just in last couple of weeks that i’ve noticed things ‘slowing down’ a little. I will try and pay attention – usually a ‘once a day’ girl, but finding slightly constipated but not noticing a pattern yet. will keep a check over next few weeks and will increase my fluid intake in general i think.

    I have only started today so no idea if this will affect me but as a runner I find a cup of coffee a couple hours before a run helps things along nicely and stops me having to find a toilet mid run! Maybe give it a try (if you are OK with caffeine of course) 🙂

    Hello, I have followed this diet now for 10 months. As a nurse I work on the premise that if you don’t put much in, you will not put much out, especially as what we do eat on 500 days is low in bulk and high in fluid.(I do pass urine an awful lot on 500 days and nights) on non fasting days I ensure my diet contains bulk, fat ,fibre and fluid +++Add a good walk, and hey presto, no constipation on consecutive days.
    So I do not worry too much about lack of action on 500 days. I prefer to work bowels naturally, if we start using aperients , our bowel stops ‘thinking’ for it’s self

    Whilst I appreciate what pabu said for some of us this is a real problem not just on fast days but for days after so to stay on the diet we may need to take action as natural as possible. I’m pleased to report the psyllium in orange juice at night followed by another glass of water does seem to help. All suggestions welcome.

    Thanks so much to everyone who has shared their experiences and recommendations here. I think I’ll try to be a bit more active with a daily walk on fast days to keep things moving, and purchase some Psyllium Husk as a stand-by option. It’s also probably worth making a big effort to ensure my first meals on the non-fast days are full of fibre.

    Coffee is a great suggestion too – if only I could get used to drinking it black!

    Does 1tbsp of psyllium have any calories we should take into account on fast days?

    A Magnesium supplement resolved the issue for me

    I did my first day yesterday. Doing one more today. Noted speed slow by last night, took 1 satchet of fybogel(content is isphagulla husks same as psyllium). All clear n back to business by this morning. Certainly investing in a few more (only 1 for the fast day).

    I have found oat fibre counteracts the tendency for digestion to slow to a crawl on fast days (and the day after, often). An ounce of oat fibre is perfect. This brings a few calories but oat fibre is very poorly digested so they don’t really count. Oat fibre is especially beneficial because it helps mop up cholesterol as well as promoting bowel health, as well as being very cheap.

    Im only on my 3rd week and have noticed a slow down a bit but it corrects itself. One thing that I do know works is in the morning first thing, drink your water warm and squeeze some lemon into it. The warm water relaxes the bowel. Try also introducing green tea (I love green tea with mint) and less of the caffeine as it has a slightly constipating effect (caffeine that is).

    Another high laxative effect drink is coconut water. Makes me a bit windy but it also has a great effect. You will have to count the calories but they arent very high.

    Another tip is try having some laxative fruit before bedtime the night before your fast. One great fruit is kiwi fruit if you can get some. Tin pineapple is also good. An orange is too. Eat these also with warm water perhaps about 8pm.

    Please report your “outcomes” here from these tips!

    Good luck! Keep moving! 😀


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