High protein diets have been shown in countless studies to be an effective nutrition strategy for controlling hunger and helping people lose more fat. But there are some adverse effects if you are not drinking enough water, or eating enough fiber with a high protein diet – constipation. Find out why and what steps to take if you are experiencing constipation from a high protein diet. We hope the other 4 questions and answers this week, which range from ideal set and rep ranges to if strength training can be considered cardio, help answer some of your concerns.
- Do high protein diets cause constipation?
- Will Intermittent Fasting help me reach my goals?
- Does a total body workout count as cardio?
- What should my set and rep goals be?
- How do I calculate my caloric needs on the BuiltLean Program?
Question #1 – Do high protein diets cause constipation?
Research has shown that a high protein diet (http://www.builtlean.com/2013/02/04/high-protein-diet/) can aid in weight loss, but it can also lead to constipation. There are a few explanations for this, and also ways to alleviate the issue. Protein is processed by the kidneys and liver, which use water in your body to remove unnecessary byproducts. A big increase in protein consumption could thereby cause dehydration since more water is being used to digest protein and remove wastes. Dehydration can lead to hard stools and constipation. High protein diets may also be accompanied by low carb/fiber intake. Fiber is what adds bulk to the stool and promotes regularity. Animal proteins contain little to no fiber, so you need to make sure you’re getting enough fiber from other sources.
If you’re experiencing constipation from a higher protein diet, ways to remedy the situation are to:
- Make sure you are drinking enough water. A common recommendation is to drink 2/3 of your body weight in ounces of water, assuming a normal amount of activity.
- Consume fiber. Great sources include beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Consider decreasing the amount of protein you are consuming
If you experience issues with constipation and don’t have a bowel movement for 2-3 days, you should speak with your health care provider.
Hope that helps!
– Kristin (Kristin, CPT, CHC)
Question #2 – Will Intermittent Fasting help me reach my goals?
– Marc (Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)
Question #3 – Does a total body workout count as cardio?
– John ( John Leyva, CSCS, CPT)
Question #4 – What should my set and rep goals be?
When it comes to repetitions, a lower number of repetitions is favored over a larger number to prevent too much fatigue (muscular acidosis) which would prevent the muscle from working at it’s greatest potential. It’s best if you choose a range of repetitions to reach for, and set up your load so that you get to a high degree of effort (the muscles working start to slow down ) as you approach that repetition range. Hope this helps! For more detail, check out this article – High Reps vs. Low Reps and also How Fast Can You Build Muscle?
– Kwesi (Kwesi Peters, CPT, Community Manager)
Question #5 – How do I calculate my caloric needs on the BuiltLean Program?
Thanks for the question and super happy to hear you are interested in the program! Yes, there are meal plans and ideas for both men and women in the program. I also offer a calculation dependent on body weight for figuring out calorie intake, so it works for both men and women and is surprisingly accurate in my experience.
If you have any other questions, just let us know!
– Marc (Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)