Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common digestive disorder that effects as many as one in five people, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. If you suffer from IBS, you likely experience cramping, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, constipation and trouble eating certain foods. Those symptoms can make losing weight slightly more difficult as you work to balance your symptoms with new lifestyle changes. You may find that as you begin your diet and exercise program, you not only lose weight, but improve your IBS symptoms.
Start a food journal. Record everything you eat and drink, including small snacks. At the same time, record your IBS symptoms. A food journal can help you control your calorie and fat intake by knowing exactly what goes into your body. It also helps you link certain foods to your IBS so you can eliminate them or eat them less often.
Adjust your caloric intake to one that supports weight loss. Use the Calorie Calculator in the Resources section to get an idea of how man calories you need to eat each day to maintain our weight. Eat around 250 fewer calories each day to create a calorie deficit that will yield about a 1.2 lbs. per week loss.
Eat high-fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A high-fiber diet helps you lose weight by making you feel full faster and stay full longer. Fiber may also help control your IBS symptoms by keeping your colon mildly distended, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
Exercise five times per week for 30 minutes or more per session. Exercise will benefit you in two ways. First, regular exercise helps improve intestinal contractions, which can ease your IBS symptoms, according to MayoClinic.com. Second, exercise burns calories, which increases your weight loss efforts.
Take a yoga class. Yoga helps tone and strengthen your muscles. Strong muscles burn more calories, which helps you lose weight. Yoga also relieves stress, a major trigger for IBS flare ups.