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Keto Constipation Tips
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Keto Constipation Tips

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So, you just started eating a keto diet, and now your stools are feeling… backed up. Does this mean it’s time to give it up? Are laxatives the only solution? Or should you tough it out? Have no fear! I’ve got plenty of constipation tips that are specifically for those of you who are keto, so be sure to bookmark this post in case you happen to run into it! 

Let’s get to it!

Magnesium to the Rescue! 

In my constipation post last year, one of the tips I offered was supplementing with magnesium. For the keto diet, it has several benefits. First is that it helps to prevent dehydration, which is one of the main side effects of the dreaded keto flu. Second is its ability to help even out moods and lower stress, although this works differently for everyone. Third, and finally, is that it helps to soften stools. While the popular belief is that it’s a laxative, magnesium is non-habit forming, meaning your body doesn’t become dependent on it. The reason it causes loose stools is that in large amounts, your body starts to get rid of the excess. And the only way to do that is by, well, emptying your bowels. So, in low to moderate amounts, magnesium is great for relaxation, sleep, and hydration. But in very big amounts, it has a stool softening, laxative-like effect. The two types of magnesium you’d want to look into include magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate. If you want to customize the right dosage for you, I suggest you look into using a powder-like Natural Calm. (As always, check with your doctor prefer investing in supplements, especially if you have any existing health conditions.) 

Hydrate

Speaking of minerals like magnesium, it’s essential to keep your hydration in check, especially during keto. Your body has already gotten rid of tons of fluid from lowering carbs, so you need to make sure you don’t become dehydrated. Not only does this lead to that keto flu, but it also causes constipation. Here are some things you can do every day to keep this from happening.

The easy way is taking an electrolyte powder 1-2 times a day (my favorite brand is Ultima Replenisher). Other ways to stay hydrated include mixing up the types of drinks you have, from flavored water to iced tea. Soups and water-based foods like cucumbers, romaine lettuce, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, and small servings of grapefruit and berries are good as well. There’s also salt, which you can add to foods and water (you need just a small pinch of salt or try my sole water recipe) or find naturally in things like pickles, nuts, seeds, and broths. Make sure to stick to sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. Never a regular table salt. (For more info on keto hydration, check out this post.)

Play with Fiber

To fiber or not to fiber? That is the keto question of the day. Whether or not fiber is best for you depends on your body. However, just because you’re eating low carb on keto does not mean you are eating zero carbs. With keto, you have complete control over how many carbs you consume, and from where. Typically, that number is between 20-25 grams, although some people do well with either 30-50 grams or 5-15 grams. You’ll have to experiment with a ketone monitor and see how much you can get away with while maintaining ketosis. 

Regardless of the number, you can still control the source of carbs. And when it comes to constipation, the best ones are those that are high fiber. These include chia and flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, asparagus, okra, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, artichokes, berries (especially raspberries and blackberries), and lupini beans. A keto-friendly alternative to Metamucil would be oat fiber, which is virtually free of net carbs and calories and is nothing but pure fiber. There’s no flavor too, so stir it up in a glass of water and chug it down!

Be careful of zero carb miracle noodles, which can be very constipating. They pull water in and keep you full, perfect for satiety (and blood sugar), bad if you’re already struggling to go number two. 

If you have to supplement, then be sure to include their carb count into your daily macros and work your way around them. These include psyllium husk, acacia fiber, and Benefiber.  

Check Your Food

Sometimes, constipation is caused by your diet. Not that you have to give up keto. You have to check what kinds of food you’re eating. Like I mentioned earlier, try incorporating more fibrous foods like flax seeds and asparagus. If you’re living off of bacon, eggs, bulletproof coffee, and cheese, then your gut health is going to pay. Avoid eating tons of processed “keto-friendly” foods like microwaveable meals, deli meats, snacks, and even take-out. Instead, opt for whole foods, and treat those other foods as, well, treats. Just to let you know, my Keto Meal Plan is made with whole food fiber rich recipes. 

You could also be dealing with food sensitivities, with dairy being the primary culprit. Try eliminating dairy for a short while and see how that affects your stool. If your constipation doesn’t improve within a week or two, try some of the other tips in this post. 

Fat + MCT

One trick to relieve constipation while on keto is to up your fat. On keto, the goal is to lower your carb intake to the point that your body runs on ketones and fat for fuel. But many people remain cautious and keep their fat intake on the moderate side of things. The solution? Increase those fats! Skip the dry chicken breast and go for the thigh. Instead of lean beef, go for fattier cuts. Avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, fish, eggs, full-fat dairy, and oils (avocado, macadamia, olive, coconut, etc.) are all great. However, the under-looked trick of the trade is to supplement with MCT oil. Many newbies to it often jump right into it instead of starting low and slow, which is why they often end up rushing to the bathroom, which is great news if you struggle with the opposite! So, consider adding a tablespoon to coffee or tea. If you’re brave enough, have it straight up.  

Over to You

And there you have it! Some of my top tips to help you relieve constipation while going keto. If you’ve got any helpful tips of your own, please share them in the comments! And if you’re looking to jumpstart the new year and want to try keto, then why not kill two birds with one stone and try my Keto Meal Plan? It comes with a big PDF giving you all the 101 on all things keto, along with pre-planned meals, snacks, and shopping lists! No more guesswork, no more overthinking! 

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