Typically after a high carb day, many women may feel bloated and suffer from digestive issues like discomfort, gas, or constipation. When you’re eating from a variety of food groups and taking different supplements every day, it can be a challenge to pinpoint what is causing your issues and potentially stopping you from proper nutritional absorption. This list describes the most common dietary factors that can cause digestive issues or bloating and how to combat them.
1. Fiber: Too much or too little fiber can lead to the buildup of gas in the stomach, which then leads to bloating. It’s recommended we get 25-40 grams of fiber daily, but most of us get markedly less. On the other hand, too much fiber may lead to symptoms such as, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. Finding a happy medium is key, as well as avoiding any dramatic increases or decrease in fiber intake at one time. If you are making large increases or decreases to the amount of fiber you consume in a day, make these changes slowly to let your body adjust and avoid potential problems.
2. Too little fat and too much protein: A diet too low in fat can lead to problems with constipation and bloating, as fats aid in healthy bowel movements. There are so many functions and benefits of adequate fat intake that go beyond proper digestion. Keep those fats high on low carb days to stabilize hormone function, keep hunger at bay, and aid in the digestion of high protein levels. Too much protein (all those egg whites!) has been shown to cause issues in regards to gas, bloating, and constipation. Every individual’s ability to process high levels of protein may vary so just stay mindful of how you’re feeling on those low carb/high protein/high fat days. You may want to have smaller protein meals throughout your eating window to reduce issues.
3. Food Sensitivities: When carb cycling, you may discover sensitivities to certain foods that you didn’t notice before. When tracking macros, you might eat meals of the same foods each day and realize on high carb days that some foods cause you more discomfort than others. When we eliminate certain foods for a period of time our stomachs my develop a certain level of sensitivity to those foods once they’re added back in. I recommend that fill most of your carb macros with the same foods you have on low days just in larger portions. I also recommend rotating your food sources in order to avoid potential sensitivities developing.
Keep these factors in mind the next time you’re feeling bloated or puffy and trying to find the culprit. Small changes to your fiber, fat, and protein, while recognizing food sensitivities can greatly alleviate the issues to get you back on track!