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South Beach Diet Q&A: Tummy Trouble (Part 2)

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Updated February 18, 2014

As for constipation, this is an extremely common problem for low-carb dieters. This is due to the fact that in the initial phases of low-carb diets causes a drastic change in most people's diets. If you're accustomed to eating a lot of fruit, plenty of carbs, and some of the vegetables you might not now be "allowed", your regularity can become, well, irregular.

Drinking enough water each day is important to regularity whether you're dieting or not, so be sure you're getting in at least eight glasses a day.

Have you tried a fiber supplement? Check with your pharmacist to compare types. Taking supplements that contain psyllium can make a big difference in your regularity. Psyllium is a type of seed husk used in fiber supplements (e.g. Metamucil, Benefiber). Take a look at the label to see if it is the active ingredient in the supplement you are considering.

With the South Beach Diet in particular, it is not at all unusual to experience constipation during Phase 1.

The vegetables you are including in your meal plans simply may not have enough fiber in them to "get the job done," or you may not be eating enough veggies in general. This diet recommends you eat around four to five cups of vegetables daily. At least one half cup should beans.

Are you eating a lot more cheese than usual? Cheese is known to be a food that causes constipation. Since it's an allowed food on all Phases of this diet, you may be eating a lot more than you're used to. Try cutting back and see if that makes a difference.

To prevent constipation, Dr. Agatston recommends taking one teaspoon of sugar-free Metamucil or Benefiber in 8 ounces of water about 15 minutes before meals .

Remember to drink more fluid whenever you take fiber supplements, because not drinking enough liquid when you take them can actually make constipation worse.

Dr. Agatston suggests there is a second benefit to taking a fiber supplement -- it slows down digestion. That means it'll take you longer to feel hungry again after you it than it would have if you hadn't taken it.

If you continue to have bloating, constipation, or other unfavorable G.I. symptoms, such as abdominal pain, it's important that you speak to your doctor, as these could be symptoms of an underlying health condition.

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