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Slim-Fast & Constipation

by
author image Jeremy Hoefs
Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Slim-Fast & Constipation
A glass with chocolate flavored Slim-Fast garnished with mint. Photo Credit rusak/iStock/Getty Images

Slim-Fast is a nutritional company featuring shakes, bars, snacks and packaged meals with a focus on promoting weight loss. The Slim-Fast program uses these products along with fruits, vegetables and other grocery items for its diet plan. At times, adding these items to your diet can result in constipation – characterized by infrequent bowel movements and those with hard stools that are difficult to pass. However, you can prevent or cure constipation while taking Slim-Fast by following a few basic preventive guidelines. For weight loss, nutrition or constipation advice, consult your doctor first.

Function

The Slim-Fast diet is designed to function as a calorie-reducing weight loss nutrition plan. Using a three-step process, Slim-Fast starts by allowing you to choose three snacks from the 100-calorie bars or nuts in that line, followed with two Slim-Fast shakes or meal bars for breakfast and lunch. The final step to the process includes a 500-calorie balanced meal. At times, this process can cause constipation from the excess or lack of specific nutrients.

Effects

Constipation is characterized by infrequent or hard bowel movements, and can be caused by various factors and result in several side effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem and is commonly caused by inadequate water intake, inadequate fiber intake, disruption of regular diet, stress, large amounts of dairy products or inadequate activity.

Features

Most of the Slim-Fast products contain various vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can cause or prevent constipation. For example, one serving of the French vanilla shake contains 5 g of dietary fiber for 20 percent of the daily recommended intake and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. Additional nutrients and fiber can be consumed through the fruits and vegetables that are added to the 500-calorie meal. However, inadequate fiber intake from a lack of fruits and vegetables can potentially cause constipation. Other features of the Slim-Fast diet include water, activity and weight-tracking charts to monitor your progress from day to day.

Prevention/Solution

Preventing and curing constipation while on the Slim-Fast diet plan can be achieved with simple preventive steps. Combine adequate water and fiber intake with regular exercise to maintain a healthy digestive system. The balanced nutrition plan should include at least 64 oz. of water and 20 to 35 g of dietary fiber according to the Mayo Clinic. High fiber foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. Following these steps should soften stools, easing bowel movements and curing constipation.

Considerations

If prolonged constipation occurs for more than three days, consult a doctor or gastroenterologist immediately. A doctor or registered dietitian can also give you personalized advice for a weight loss plan. You can use the online support from Slim-Fast to answer questions about the diet plan and constipation.

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