Weight Loss Support - Odd question...possibly TMI

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07-03-2012, 07:24 AM
Hello all,

First off, if this is the wrong forum, kindly inform me of a better place for it. I pondered it for a while and this seemed like the most likely place, but I could very well be wrong.

I've noticed an odd problem since going on a diet...lately if I have a bowel movement once per week, that's an accomplishment. Shouldn't increasing fiber intake make such things happen more often rather than less? Anyone have a similar problem or any idea why it might be happening? I have fruits and/or vegetables at every meal and haven't really changed my diet all that drastically aside from cutting out most of the junk.

Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and sorry for being gross >.<

07-03-2012, 08:20 AM
Well I guess it comes down to the person really. You're probably eating a lot less though, so you'll probably be pooping less. Do you feel constipated and backed up or do you feel ok?

07-03-2012, 08:44 AM
I've been having some stomach troubles and have contemplated getting a laxative, but as I know next to nothing about them aside from the fact that they make you poop in English, I didn't think that my Japanese was good enough to find the right type at a pharmacy over here. I've been eating the yogurt that's supposed to help with digestion for breakfast, but so far it hasn't helped.

07-03-2012, 08:50 AM
Do you have much fat in your diet? I usually find that some good healthy fats help me a lot more than fibre. Like a coconut milk curry, some oily fish and nuts. You could try that for a few days and see if it helps.

Are there any English speaking Doctors you can visit? I guess it's tricky being in another country!

07-03-2012, 08:54 AM
I guess that trying to find a doctor would be the logical step...that'll take some looking into, but as there's a pretty big immigrant population in my city, I'm sure that there's one SOMEWHERE nearby. I end up having fish almost every day (since it's an island, it tends to be cheaper than normal meats)...I'll have to grab some nuts next time I'm at the store. Thanks a ton!

07-03-2012, 08:59 AM
I agree with the healthy fats and also liquid!! Make sure you are drinking enough water.

Fiber will cause constipation if you aren't also drinking enough. Especially if you aren't used to the amount of fiber you're getting. Will take your body a little bit to adjust to it.
So if you have upped your fiber intake quite a bit, but haven't offset it with drinking more it will cause constipation.


07-03-2012, 09:00 AM
You might also try increasing your water consumption. Increased fiber in conjunction with adequate hydration should get things moving along quickly.

Edited to add: oops! looks like DaughT and I posted the same thing at the same time! :-)

07-03-2012, 09:03 AM
haha, oh yeah I should have realised that you probably eat a lot of fish.

Hope you feel better!

07-03-2012, 09:15 AM
The same thing used to happen to me before (other diets) but with my new lifestyle I have a protein shake in the morning with probiotics and I also guzzle water all day. Keeps me feeling SO much better!!

07-03-2012, 09:27 AM
I didn't think that my Japanese was good enough to find the right type at a pharmacy over here.

Hello Hotaruchan
I have lived in Japan for 9 years and the best laxative available in a pharmacy is "Kaibeel" - it's spelled out in English on the box.
If you have to talk to someone, ask them them -
"benpi no kusuri" (constipation medicine)

Benpi no kusuri wa arimasu ka?
Do you have constipation medicine?

Don't get embarrassed talking about constipation, it's not a sensitive subject here.
I've taken Kaibeel several times and it's pretty powerful stuff.

I think the best thing to use is Metamucil in water - I can't get it here so my sister mails me the big orange canisters from the US.

Good luck!

07-03-2012, 10:07 AM
With reduction in calories, it's not unheard of to move less. Once a week doesn't seem like enough, though. I don't know if you can get flax seed in Japan, but I use this for fiber and bulk. You can put it on your salads, or in your yogurt, or drink it in your protein shake.

I find I move more when I'm dieting because I eat more fruits and vegetables. If I switch to an all protein diet, I move less due to loss of fiber.

Also exercise. Movement leads to movement.

07-03-2012, 12:12 PM
Sometimes travel can cause you to get backed up too, some people react to changes in water chemistry, barometric pressure, and other environmental factors in that manner (the opposite of travelers diahhrea, if you will)

I don't know how long you've been in Japan, but that could factor in too.

07-03-2012, 12:31 PM
This happens to me too. When I'm not on plan, I'm regular with BMs. The minute I get strict with my plan, three times a week is an accomplishment. This isn't considered healthy (in my culture) and I don't particularly feel great not being as regular. Drinking more water didn't help, neither did upping fibre or adding in more fruits and veggies. Yogurt (the live culture kind) does help a bit.

You should probably see your doctor anyway, just to make sure everything is alright.

07-03-2012, 12:33 PM
The first few months I was only going every 3-4 days. I was worried and went to the doctor and he said with the way I'm eating a lot less calories compared to what I used to, it was normal. He said lots of people don't have a bowel movement everyday. I do eat quite a bit of fiber and I notice if I don't drink enough water I can get constipated.
Right now, I only go every other day. It still bothers me, lol, but I'm getting used to it.

07-04-2012, 05:56 AM
Thanks a ton everyone! I looked for the brand suggested and couldn't seem to find it, so said to **** with it, informed the pharmacist that my stomach was giving me trouble, and looked up the word for laxative in my DS. I ended up just showing him the jisho entry because he did the not-so-uncommon gaijin-speaking-Japanese freeze. Telling the problem was less of an issue than reading the directions/warnings/etc. on the packaging, so I was incredibly happy when he scampered away and came back with a pack with instructions in both Japanese and Engrish.

I generally drink at least 2.5 liters of water in a day, which seems like a lot to me, but maybe I need more. I'll poke around online to see if I can find a better approximation of how much I should be drinking daily. That seems like the most likely reason of the suggestions.

As for the travel theory, I'm on month 4 here now and the issue seems to date to when I started my diet. For exercise, I bike 30 minutes to an hour per day for my commute then take another 1-2 hour bike ride dinner...I'm going to start the 30 Day Shred next week, but I don't really think that inactivity would be the cause either.