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  1. #1
    Registered User JIF22's Avatar
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    Constipated during cutting for competition!!!

    Does anyone have any idea on how to relieve constipation while im cutting for my bodybuilding competition? The show is a little over 4 weeks and I've been having these days where I'm feeling constipated and bloated for the past 3 weeks, some days I don't have a bowel movement in 3 days and i just have gas. I weigh 172 pounds and Im drinking atleast 1.5 gals of water/day, my calories are around 1700-1800 cals per day with about 115-130g of carbs, 45-50g fat, and 205-220g of protein. The carb sources come from canned pumpkin, sweet potato, carbo gain supplement, and green beans. My fiber is around 20-25g/day. I also incorporate refeed days about once every 5 days where I increase the carbs to around 230-260, reduce the fat to 20-30 and the protein to 170-180, and thus the fiber increases to 40-50 grams. I just don't wan't to be bloated when the time comes to step on stage. I really don't want to increase my carbs at this point in my cut either, so is there any other way to get more fiber or any way to relieve this? Thanks!!!
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    Registered User dbanj's Avatar
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    if you dont mind that arse burn hot chilli pepper, lots of it, it gets the bowel moving. or just a hot indian takeaway
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    Psyllium Husk Powder and/or Magnesium Citrate
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  4. #4
    Registered User JIF22's Avatar
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    Thanks for the infor guys!!! Really appreciate it!!
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    Registered User EfficientLiver's Avatar
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    IME, i often have less bowel movements during cutting and at times constipation/bloating. Fiber doesn't help in this scenario, for me at least...actually for me....fiber makes it worse.

    I would cut out the carbo gain stuff and ditch the veggies and see how you respond.....that stuff for me = bloating, constipation WHEN CUTTING. Water never helped me either.

    What helped me was eating less protein and more fats and simple carbs (not more fiber). I used to eat 1lb of white grilled chicken a day...that **** bloats you up!!!! Try eating 170g protein (30-50g less than you eat now), replace with more carbs and more fat. 1700-1800 is also pretty low at 172 lbs assuming you exercise quite a bit. I think it may be a sign of your metabolism slowing down...maybe too big of a deficit? Not sure...just bro science. I've successfully cut many times and these are things I've noticed. I would never go below 50g fat...also make sure you are getting enough essential fats (could be the issue)

    My guess is too low fat and too low carbs is your issue in conjunction with the cut...your body is confused. I've tried all the constipation meds...they don't work well when you are deep in a cut and not eating very much (1700 cals is nothing when you exercise the amount you are....i assume). What works well is having a nice big meal full of carbs (fiber or no fiber).

    just my 2 cents, right or wrong.
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    Registered User EfficientLiver's Avatar
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    some one once explained it to me like this:


    What will relieve your constipation/bloating?

    1. Eat green veggies all day.

    2. Eat juicy fruits all day.



    I chose scenario 2...because my bowels were rock hard and dense...and it felt like there was a brick inside me.

    Juicy fruits would not lead to dense bowels...quite the opposite. They are also very easy to digest (less bloating), which my stomach seemed to have a hard time doing with all that broccoli, spinach, and grilled chicken.

    You decide for yourself. I found scenario 2 worked better for me....I didn't only eat that **** (that was just an example)....I just stopped stuffing so much fiber down my throat and starting eating more fruit and easier to digest food...also less protein and more carbs but same calories....it worked!
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  7. #7
    Registered User JIF22's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EfficientLiver View Post
    some one once explained it to me like this:


    What will relieve your constipation/bloating?

    1. Eat green veggies all day.

    2. Eat juicy fruits all day.



    I chose scenario 2...because my bowels were rock hard and dense...and it felt like there was a brick inside me.

    Juicy fruits would not lead to dense bowels...quite the opposite. They are also very easy to digest (less bloating), which my stomach seemed to have a hard time doing with all that broccoli, spinach, and grilled chicken.

    You decide for yourself. I found scenario 2 worked better for me....I didn't only eat that **** (that was just an example)....I just stopped stuffing so much fiber down my throat and starting eating more fruit and easier to digest food...also less protein and more carbs but same calories....it worked!


    Thanks for all the info man!! I might try eating more fruit cuz I cut out all my fruit (it was really just 1 banana) 3-4 weeks ago, so maybe ill replace more of my carbs with them and cut out a serving of veggies. Did you notice any change to your how you body looked after increasing your carbs? I guess did you look more "soft" when on stage or during your shoot or whatever due to the increase in carbs and possible retention of water? Cuz with only 4 weeks left and about 3 more pounds to lose I dont want to come in soft at the competition.
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    Registered User EfficientLiver's Avatar
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    I'm no expert, doing my peak week research right now. First contest next week.

    Bananas, may be the exception to the fruit thing...people say it constipates....but I've never noticed. Def doesn't bloat me. Juicy fruits definately come out easily. Lactose can also cause some bloating for some people...so may be something to watch.

    At 4 weeks out you don't have to worry about water retention. That's more of a last week thing. Though people start playing with sodium levels...but I don't know much about that and not too worried about it.

    Carbs won't make you soft. Soft would be from depleted glycogen and/or dehydration. On contest day you want full glycogen stores and full water in your muscles but no subcutaneous water...which would make you look flat or soft. It's a fine line. But basically it is just enough water to quench your thirst and no more, dehydrating too much will make you small come contest day...you want your muscles full. Read Layne's Norton's peak week stuff....I'm learning it myself...so pardon me if some of my stuff isn't quite right.

    At such high levels of protein, I (nor do I think you will) did not notice any difference in body comp by decreasing protein and increasing carbs. Carbs are muscle sparing, and give you energy. As long as you remain in the same deficit you will lose the same lbs.

    I ate more veggies and protein when I was in beginning of cut to help with satiety...but was bloated a lot. Towards the end of my cuts, I try and look good all the time...it sucks being bloated....you can't show off your hard work. So I lowered protein and consumed easier to digest carbs...less fiber. I feel better. It's not a drastic change dropping ~210g protein -> ~170g protein. I found the added carbs helped me sh*t more regularly as well as probiotics and coffee/caffeine.

    Hope that helps. Do what you are comfortable with and stay in a deficit and you'll be A ok.
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    Activated charcoal will relieve the pain from bloating very quickly. Also, see how you feel if you drop the sweet potatoes. I made the mistake of trying a carb load having consumed 5 sweet potatoes within a single day causing excruciating pain. Might have a sensitivity to the sugars found in sweet potatoes.
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    NGA\IFPA Pro Bodybuilder fltallpaul's Avatar
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    high fiber foods and hot coffee.
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  11. #11
    Registered User JIF22's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by blayjin View Post
    Activated charcoal will relieve the pain from bloating very quickly. Also, see how you feel if you drop the sweet potatoes. I made the mistake of trying a carb load having consumed 5 sweet potatoes within a single day causing excruciating pain. Might have a sensitivity to the sugars found in sweet potatoes.
    Thanks man, now that you mention it I do eat a lot of sweet potatos on my refeed days and 1 on my other days. I do digest oats and pumpkin a lot better than sweet potatos too! So thanks for the advice!!
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  12. #12
    Registered User JIF22's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fltallpaul View Post
    high fiber foods and hot coffee.
    Not much of a coffee drinker but I do take caffiene pills and I just heard about drinking hot to warm water (especially in the morning)
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    Originally Posted by JIF22 View Post
    Not much of a coffee drinker but I do take caffiene pills and I just heard about drinking hot to warm water (especially in the morning)
    Hot warm water with caffeine...hot tea or coffee. Come on over to the dark side!
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  14. #14
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    I don't compete, but I have learned a thing or two about losing weight in my day... I usually have bad constipation (very infrequent BMs) when cutting my calories. Something that other people have mentioned, and I just now realized what a laxative effect it has on me, is eating more juicy fruits. Particularly strawberries, pineapple, and oranges. For whatever reason, it greatly helps with keeping me regular, and keeps me feeling 10x less bloated than eating a super high fiber diet. Fiber just gives me gas, it seems...

    Fruit, fruit, fruit! That is my advice
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    Registered User JIF22's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you for your responses! You all have really good advice and I decided that Im gonna try reducing my protein a bit to about 180 and increase my carbs to about 155 and increase fat a little as well. I have been feeling better the past couple days since I posted this and decided that Im going to add more fruit into the diet and cut out the sweet potatos. I think the sweet potatos is what gave me the gas (just seems like it sits in my stomach and doest move after I eat them), but Ill see how things go this week and hopefully the problem is solved!
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    This is actually an area I would like to research more. I've experienced similar as OP. When I cut (and reduce calories), my bowel movements are less frequent and it can turn into constipation. Increasing fiber doesn't help, just makes me more bloated and gassy. I've noticed that when I increase my carbs (simple or complex), this makes me sh*t again (more regularly). It's like my body ignores the fiber, but rather responds to how many calories I'm consuming when deciding whether to **** or hold it in. So, I've been thinking about this in relation to cutting. Is this a sign of your metabolism slowing down in response to a cut (which would be counterproductive to some degree)? Is this a sign of a deficit that is too large?

    Also, regarding refeed days, I haven't found that refeed days help with the situation. I usually have a big meal on sunday night with the family (anywhere from 1500-3000 calories), which I count as a refeed, but it doesn't always help with the constipation on a cut. I usually eat little the next day (monday), and even after that huge sunday meal, I still might not **** until tuesday or wednesday, but will feel bloated. My bowel movements are more regular when my calories are distributed more evenly, rather than high calories on refeed day, then low calories back on the cut. If I distribute those calories from the refeed day throughout the week (so increase cals 400-500 per day), and do no refeed, my bowel movements are much more regular, with no negative effects to the cut. And in this case, I feel better and look better since no bloat.

    Therefore, I have a hypothesis that, when cutting, you shouldn't cut calories (more specifically, carbs) below a level that causes you to have much lower than normal bowel movements or constipation. If you **** a little less, then that's understandable and fine, but if you're becoming bloated, gassy and constipated regularly on a cut, then that's a sign that's something is wrong--specifically, your metabolism is slowing/shutting down in response to the cut, which is counterproductive. Therefore, you would be better off increasing calories until you're more normal (doesn't have to be frequent, just more normal), keeping your metabolism up, bowels moving, and you'll perform better in the weight room too.

    Also, I've had better results (look and feel) for a cut (or anytime) from higher calories and higher cardio versus less calories and less cardio.

    What do you think about any/all? I'll probably post this as a thread somewhere else to get more feed back.

    Also, for the OP, I've found that sweet potatoes can be hard to digest if you're already bloated. And coffee helps.
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    Similar situation

    Originally Posted by muscle-machine View Post
    This is actually an area I would like to research more. I've experienced similar as OP. When I cut (and reduce calories), my bowel movements are less frequent and it can turn into constipation. Increasing fiber doesn't help, just makes me more bloated and gassy. I've noticed that when I increase my carbs (simple or complex), this makes me sh*t again (more regularly). It's like my body ignores the fiber, but rather responds to how many calories I'm consuming when deciding whether to **** or hold it in. So, I've been thinking about this in relation to cutting. Is this a sign of your metabolism slowing down in response to a cut (which would be counterproductive to some degree)? Is this a sign of a deficit that is too large?

    Also, regarding refeed days, I haven't found that refeed days help with the situation. I usually have a big meal on sunday night with the family (anywhere from 1500-3000 calories), which I count as a refeed, but it doesn't always help with the constipation on a cut. I usually eat little the next day (monday), and even after that huge sunday meal, I still might not **** until tuesday or wednesday, but will feel bloated. My bowel movements are more regular when my calories are distributed more evenly, rather than high calories on refeed day, then low calories back on the cut. If I distribute those calories from the refeed day throughout the week (so increase cals 400-500 per day), and do no refeed, my bowel movements are much more regular, with no negative effects to the cut. And in this case, I feel better and look better since no bloat.

    Therefore, I have a hypothesis that, when cutting, you shouldn't cut calories (more specifically, carbs) below a level that causes you to have much lower than normal bowel movements or constipation. If you **** a little less, then that's understandable and fine, but if you're becoming bloated, gassy and constipated regularly on a cut, then that's a sign that's something is wrong--specifically, your metabolism is slowing/shutting down in response to the cut, which is counterproductive. Therefore, you would be better off increasing calories until you're more normal (doesn't have to be frequent, just more normal), keeping your metabolism up, bowels moving, and you'll perform better in the weight room too.

    Also, I've had better results (look and feel) for a cut (or anytime) from higher calories and higher cardio versus less calories and less cardio.

    What do you think about any/all? I'll probably post this as a thread somewhere else to get more feed back.

    Also, for the OP, I've found that sweet potatoes can be hard to digest if you're already bloated. And coffee helps.

    I am currently facing the same problem, came across this post and currently describes my situation.
    I am curious to try the above approach paired with cardio to maintain as close of a target deficit
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