While constipation and weight gain are two separate health issues, they can often be linked as stemming from the same causes. It’s not uncommon for those struggling to lose weight to also suffer from painful and irregular bowel movements. Every person is different, so there are many causes for either of these conditions, but there are a few common factors that can contribute to both issues.
There are many questions that arise when analyzing the link between constipation and weight gain. To better understand the connection, it’s important to consider the following question: Can constipation cause weight gain? By identifying the most common causes of both constipation and weight gain, you can take steps toward improving your overall well-being. Let’s take a closer look at the five most common causes of constipation and weight gain.
5 Common Causes of Constipation and Weight Gain
If you frequently struggle with constipation or stubborn weight gain, then likely one or more of the following causes may be to blame. Here are five common factors that may contribute to constipation and weight gain:
- Lack of Fiber
- Lack of physical activity
- Certain Medications
If you’re struggling with chronic constipation and losing weight, there are solutions you can try to help alleviate symptoms. By incorporating more fiber, water, and exercise into your daily routine, reducing stress, and knowing how certain medications affect you, you can more readily regulate your body toward better health. Below we’ll review the most common ways to help with constipation and weight gain:
1. Consume Enough Daily Fiber
One of the biggest contributors to constipation is a lack of fiber in your diet. The average adult typically consumes less than half of the recommended daily intake of fiber. For women, the recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 grams and for men, it’s 38 grams per day.
A lack of enough fiber can cause the digestive system to become sluggish, which is how constipation can occur. Similarly, a diet high in processed foods containing unhealthy fats and processed sugars can equally contribute to bowel issues such as chronic constipation.
Studies show those who consume a high-fiber diet are more likely to maintain healthy weight levels and decrease risks for chronic illnesses. Not having enough fiber can lead to diseases such as heart disease, increased blood pressure, stroke, or diabetes. Increase your daily fiber intake to reduce constipation and increase weight loss.
2. Get Enough Exercise To Avoid Constipation and Weight Gain
Not getting enough exercise each week can also contribute to constipation and weight gain. A lack of physical activity can cause your digestive system to slow down, making it more likely to struggle with proper bowel movements. A sedentary lifestyle can also lead to weight gain or make it hard to maintain a healthy weight.
Exercise helps to stimulate the digestive system, helping to keep food moving properly through your intestines. It’s supportive of weight loss since exercising increases your metabolism to help you burn more calories. When you burn more calories than you consume from eating, your body will use stored fat for energy, which leads to weight loss.
When you build muscle through strength training, you’re also signaling to your body to burn more calories, which also leads to weight loss. Exercise can even improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels and ultimately leads to weight loss. By incorporating more regular physical activity into your daily routine you can combat both constipation and weight loss, achieving better health and overall well-being.
3. Reduce Stress
You wouldn’t think it true, but high amounts of stress can negatively affect the body in many ways, including causing uncomfortable constipation and weight gain. When the body is under stress, it produces cortisol, a hormone that can cause inflammation throughout the body.
This inflammation can affect the entire body, but it can also directly target the digestive system, leading to slowed bowel movements. Not only does stress manipulate our hormones it can emotionally affect us as well. Too much stress can cause some to overeat or, in general, make unhealthy food choices that can make weight loss harder to achieve.
4. Know The Medications You’re Taking
If you’re increasing your fiber intake as well as getting more exercise, but still struggling with chronic constipation and weight gain, then looking at the medications you’re taking might help bring clarity to these two health issues.
There are certain pharmaceutical medications that can contribute to both weight gain and constipation. For example, most pain medications are attributed to slowing down the digestive system, which can make constipation an issue. Some medications can also cause water retention, another factor leading to weight gain. Knowing how certain medications affect your body can be supportive of your weight loss goals and in relieving painful constipation issues.
5. Drink Enough Water To Avoid Constipation And Weight Gain
Constipation is a condition typically characterized by difficulty passing stools, infrequent bowel movements, or having stools that are hard and dry, making them difficult to pass. With this definition, it’s easy to assume that dehydration can directly cause constipation and weight gain.
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it’s able to take in, leading to an imbalance of electrolytes and decreased levels of water in the body. This lack of enough water can lead to many issues, including water retention and weight gain. From impaired cognitive functions to headaches and constipation, dehydration can cause many bodily complications. It’s important to ensure that you’re getting enough water daily and especially when working out.
Targeting Constipation Issues to Activate Weight Loss
If you suffer from chronic constipation or struggle to lose weight, it’s important to take these steps toward improving your overall health. By incorporating healthy habits such as increased dietary fiber, working out, managing stress and medications, and making sure to get enough water, you can help alleviate the painful symptoms of constipation and weight gain.
Constipation and weight gain are two separate conditions that can often be linked with the same symptoms. If you’re struggling with either or both then the above common causes may be the reason why. By understanding the relationship between these two health issues, individuals can better target their constipation issues and activate weight loss.