EP. 56- Constipation & Gut health. The steps to optimized digestion for weight loss & clear skin!


EP. 56- Constipation & Gut health. The steps to optimized digestion for weight loss & clear skin!

Happy Monday! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. Today we’re going to discuss something I get a lot of questions about: constipation. By the end of the end of this episode, you’re going to be an expert on poop, gut health, and digestion. These things are essential to reaching your weight loss goals.

The last two episodes of The Last 10 Podcast have been different than my usual podcasts. We’ve sat down and dug into the specifics of how some of my clients have been able to reach their goals after participating in my 16-week program. It is crucial to your journey to give your brain the evidence it needs to believe real success is possible. That’s why I’m happy to announce that on top of my usual Monday episode, from this point forward, on weeks when I’ve recorded one, I’ll be doing an interview based installment of the show on Thursdays so you can see specific examples of how this program works in the real world.

Let’s Talk About Gut Health, Digestion, and Constipation

When you’re making significant changes in the way you’re eating, sometimes you may experience constipation. Nothing is more important to your physical health than the decisions you make regarding what you put in your body. That’s why so many ancient medicinal practices refer to food as medicine. The digestive system is the center of everything. Any time there’s an imbalance, the first thing they look at in ancient Chinese medicine is the stool. Do you have a bowel movement every day? What does it feel like?

It’s interesting how different western medicine can be. Physicians can be so quick to prescribe a medication and push you out the door. Rarely do they discuss the consistency or pattern of our bowel movements. Western medicine just doesn’t give the same credence to bowel movements and digestive health.

More and more in western medicine, the gut-brain connection is being studied and acknowledged. With more studies and research, things are slowly shifting to recognize how the state of our gut affects our overall health.

Your gut health starts from the moment you put something into your mouth and doesn’t finish until all the way at the exit with elimination. The entire gastrointestinal tract is vital to your health and weight loss goals. Research shows the American diet–full of processed foods & carbohydrates and lacking in vegetables–does very little to nourish the microbiome that is our gut; this results in so much health and weight frustration.

Your gut is responsible for regulating your metabolism, and this process happens via metabolic hormones. Your gut is responsible for our immune system too! A healthy gut has enormous importance for overall health; that includes the loss of excess fat, energy levels, and hormone balance. Hormones are the boss of fat loss. They tell your body whether to burn fat or store it. Your gut health also determines whether you’re absorbing or eliminating the nutrients your body needs. It’s time to start thinking of your gut as your second brain.

The Enteric Nervous System

Your gut holds the key to your mood. There are serotonin receptors in your gut. Serotonin is the feel-good hormone. That’s why it makes sense that poor gut health is linked to anxiety and depression. Your gut contains more than 100 million neurons. That’s more than the number in your entire central nervous system! An estimated 90% of the body’s serotonin is created in the digestive tract.  

Serotonin helps regulate mood, appetite, digestion, metabolism, sleep, and sexual desire & function.

A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain just as much as the brain sends signals to the gut. Intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of things like anxiety, stress, depression, etc., and vice versa. These two brains affect each other more than you know! When the microbiome in your digestive tract is out of balance, it can result in reduced energy levels, change your metabolism, stump your weight loss, and affect your hormones as a whole.

We often talk about how important it is to take care of our brain. If your gut is your second brain, it’s just as important to take care of it!

Let’s Talk About Poop

The goal is to evacuate once per day every morning. If you’re not there yet, don’t freak out. Stress and panic will only make things worse. Relax, listen to the podcast, and follow the steps I give you so you can take action.

When you have a bowel movement every morning, that’s a sign of excellent health. Everything in your digestive system is functioning the way it’s supposed to.

If you do not have a bowel movement every day, that’s an indication that the microbiome that is your digestive tract is out of balance. Things are not moving through like they’re supposed to, and this can cause a lot of problems with your overall health.

Things That Can Contribute to Poor Gut Health

  • Food Additives & Chemicals
  • Excessive Exposure to Antibiotics
  • Lack of Essential Nutrients
  • Excessive Sugar
  • Low-Quality Processed Carbohydrates

Constipation is just one sign of poor gut health. Some other symptoms can be excess gas, a lot of bloating, chronic fatigue, poor overall health, and skin problems. If you do not have a bowel movement every day, toxins are going to be reabsorbed into your body. Constipation is a result of choices you’re making with your diet and lifestyle, but it can also be a cause of the other health issues you’re experiencing in your life. Even skin issues can be a symptom of constipation.

It’s your liver’s job to clean out toxins. Those toxins then head to your stool to be evacuated from your bloodstream. When your stool backs up, your colon reabsorbs excess hormones and toxins. This can affect your overall hormone balance, specifically estrogen. When you have too much estrogen in your body, it can affect your fertility and contribute to difficulty with weight loss. Having balanced hormones can be critical to weight loss.

Constipation can also affect the balance of your intestinal flora. It can cause a reduction in healthy bacteria that help with weight loss and overall intestinal health and an increase in unhealthy bacteria that lead to health and weight loss struggles.

How to know if You’re Constipated

Now that you know what constipation can do to your body, it’s time to talk about how to identify it. I use an app. I know, what a nerd right? Well, my nerdiness is going to be very valuable for you. The app I use is called BM Pro. It helps me track my bowel movements, which can be crucial to clearing up the traffic jam in your gut.

The perfect poop should be a smooth log that’s easy to pass. If your gut is healthy, this is what you should experience every day.

Irregularity is a sign of constipation. If you’re not going at least once a day or when you do it’s a struggle to evacuate. You’re constipated. Don’t panic. Simply follow these steps towards regular bowel movements.

The Fixes for Constipation

Stay Hydrated – If you’re not drinking about half an ounce per pound of body weight per day, you’re not giving your body the fluid it needs to survive.

Magnesium at Night – Magnesium is vital to hundreds of bodily processes, and most women don’t get enough of it. Garden of Eden and Calm are two brands that make great magnesium supplements you can take before bed every night.

Cook Your Veggies – If most of the veggies you’re eating are raw, that can be hard on your digestive tract. Breaking down all that fiber can be tough for some people. Start by cooking 1/3 or 1/2 of your veggies and see if that helps.

Incorporate Warm Foods – If you’re only eating cold foods, try some warm ones. It can be hard on certain digestive tracts to exclusively eat raw & uncooked foods. Eating some cooked foods can give your body a head start on digestion.

Acupuncture – This one’s the last resort. Make sure you’ve tried all the things we’ve already mentioned first, but if you have and you’re still struggling to gain balance, try acupuncture. It can be a great way to get things going down there.

Herbal Teas (Non-Laxative) – All-natural herbal teas can be a great way to gain balance in your gut.

If all these natural and diet-related solutions don’t’ work, try a probiotic or digestive enzyme at lunch or dinner. These are all the things I’d suggest to get started restoring balance to your digestive process. By now you should feel like an expert on digestion an all the things that come along with it.

If you have any specific questions or need more support, schedule a strategy session! Have an amazing rest of the week, and I’ll talk to you next Monday.