There are some side effects of the keto diet that knocked me right off my heiny when I started this diet without doing thorough research. One of them was keto constipation. I know, great topic to talk about. But perhaps if more of us spoke about it, it wouldn’t sneak up on so many low carbers. I was constipated for several days when I just started the keto diet and had no clue why since I was eating so many more vegetables.
In my mind, vegetables = fiber which should keep you pretty regular, right? Well, turns out it doesn’t quite work this way on the keto diet. So why did I get constipation on keto? Well, let’s take a look at a few causes of constipation to see what it may have been.
In this post you'll find:
Causes of Keto Constipation
How regular are you? I generally poop once per day or every other day and this is totally normal. Going for longer periods of time in-between pooping plus having difficulty passing poop is when you start to wade in constipation territory. That difficult part was really uncomfortable. Generally, when we are constipated we, well I know that I think immediately about two causes: I’m not eating enough fiber or I’m not drinking enough water. Some other causes of constipation include:
- Eating too much fiber
- a lack of activity
- imbalanced gut health
- eating fewer calories
- lack of essential minerals
Did you know that eating too much fiber can bind you up? Especially so if you’re not drinking enough water to flush it all out. Many of us increase our veggie intake greatly on the keto diet but fail to increase our water intake. This can lead to keto constipation.
A lack of activity can also lead to constipation as we need physical exercise to help stimulate bowel movements. Physical activity stimulates the digestive tract and gets things going which is why you often feel the need to poop right after a bout of exercise. Physical activity will also, of course, help you to lose more weight on the keto diet so this is essential for your overall success.
An imbalanced gut can definitely be the cause if you’re experiencing constipation on keto too. Your gut is home to billions of good bacteria that help you to absorb nutrients and keep bad bacteria at bay. Thee good bacteria feed on soluble fiber so again this all ties into your fiber intake. Those of us eating dirty keto every day, meaning we stick to cheese, eggs, meats, and processed but still keto foods and eating very few veggies are bringing this onto ourselves it seems.
Effects of the Keto Flu
When you’re new to keto you may experience the keto flu. It’s not the actual flu but it has flu-like symptoms, hence its name. What happens here is that as your body eats up all its glycogen stores and starts to transition to using fat for fuel, you lose a lot of water. You’ll notice you pee more often when transitioning to ketosis. When this happens, essential minerals in your body goes with it. Minerals such as magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
When you lose these minerals, also known as electrolytes, you may experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue and yes, constipation. It’s absolutely essential to supplement your electrolytes on the keto diet, especially as you’re transitioning to ketosis.
How to Eliminate Keto Constipation
Did you like my play on words there? How can you eliminate all that waste easily and side-step the effects of the keto flu? Here’s what I did to stop keto constipation and what I do whenever I start a new keto cycle.
- Take electrolytes.
- Take probiotics
- Drink apple cider vinegar
- Try to get more active
- Drink my keto constipation elimination shake
To combat the loss of those essential minerals you lose due to the diuretic effect of the keto diet, you should supplement with electrolytes. You can do this by drinking them or taking pill supplements. I like this electrolyte mix since I no longer drink any kind of juice on the keto diet save for the occasional coconut water. It gives me flavor and nutrition in one. When I’m out, I take this magnesium supplement as it is the most absorbable type and magnesium has other benefits like helping me to sleep at night. Your energy will be through the roof on a proper keto diet so you’ll love the sleep aid.
You’ll definitely need a good probiotic supplement too. It doesn’t make sense to be eating all this healthy food and taking your supplements if your gut health is off and you’re unable to fully absorb the nutrients. I’m having great results with this brand as it also contains prebiotics which helps to feed and strengthen your probiotics.
Including just these two things in your diet will greatly improve your health and you’ll go with such ease. Trust me on this. Take it a step further and drink 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother) in a glass of water each day. ACV, as it’s commonly called, will help to keep your body in the right pH balance which also supports a healthy gut. This will in turn help you to lose belly fat, have clear skin and lots of other proven benefits. If you can’t stand the taste of ACV, try these capsules that are especially formulated with MCT oil and BHB salts to help you get into a deeper state of ketosis and lose more weight on the keto diet.
Delicious Keto Constipation Remedies
These two keto constipation remedies can help you to combat low carb constipation and ingest more nutrients on this diet. My morning shake will help you to have regular bowel movements for sure. It includes lots of fiber and is deliciously chocolatey. I like to use this chocolate protein powder that’s sugar-free and great for the keto diet and this MCT oil. Use code ONANDOFFKETO to save 10% on these if you try them!
Keto Probiotic Smoothie
A keto smoothie that will help eliminate keto constipation and improve gut health.
- 1 cup kefir
- 1 scoop keto chocolate protein powder
- ½ avocado (frozen)
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp MCT oil
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup water
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Here’s another keto smoothie that’s big on fiber and will help to keep you full while you’re losing weight the ketogenic way. For this recipe, I love adding this birthday cake flavored keto creamer that has a base of high-quality MCT oil powder. This helps with satiety and makes this smoothie incredibly yummy. You can always use your favorite keto vanilla protein powder too.
Keto Green Smoothie
A delicious keto green smoothie with lots of fiber to help fight keto constipation.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk)
- ½ cucumber
- ½ avocado
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 tsp matcha
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp Keto Creamer (bday cake flavor)
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Lot’s more ketogenic recipes are available in my 28-day keto meal plan. Try these remedies and let me know if they work for you. If you enjoyed this article please share it to help save a fellow low carb dieter from keto constipation!