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How Do We Get over Constipation When We Say No More Pills?

How Do We Get over Constipation When We Say No More Pills?

Nobody likes to talk about constipation, but it’s actually a huge issue, affecting over 42 million people in the US, according to research. [1]

If this is such a big issue, what’s causing it?

Well, there are some common eating habits which contribute towards poor digestive health, and we’ve listed them below.

Any of these ring a bell?

Not eating enough fibre

Fibre is material that your body can’t digest, and getting enough of it helps prevent constipation, by providing material for a stool to form around. Fibre is found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. You can also take fibre supplements, although incorporating fibre into your diet naturally is normally a better option.

A sudden change in eating habits

Do you regularly experiment with new diets, or dramatically change your what you eat on a daily basis?

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A sudden change in eating habits can contribute to digestive problems as your body struggles to adjust. Avoid this by making any diet changes slowly and gradually, instead of making a big change all at once. This is true even if you’re switching to a healthier diet – even changing to a high-protein or high-fibre diet can cause problems if it happens too fast. [2]

Not drinking enough water

When did you last drink a glass of water?

Are you thirsty right now?

It’s easy to become dehydrated without realising, and this can contribute towards digestive problems. Drinking plenty of fluids ensures that stools stay soft, reducing the risk of constipation.

Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink water throughout the day, or keep a large water bottle handy at all times.

Being underweight or overweight

If you’re not at a healthy weight, that could be contributing to your digestive problems. Weight problems also indicate that there may be a problem with your diet. Seeing a dietician to discuss the issues you’re having and come up with a personalised diet plan is a good idea.

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Fibre is a help to relieve constipation

The most important thing to look for is fibre.

There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, and it’s important to get a good balance of both.

Insoluble fibre makes your stool bulkier, which helps it to pass through your system. Soluble fibre attracts water, which makes stools softer and easier to pass.

It’s really important to introduce fibre to your diet gradually, and drink plenty of fluids at all times. If you don’t do this, you could risk making the problem even worse.

Foods that you should eat to avoid constipation

Ready to change your diet and improve your digestion?

Have you ever tried any of these foods that help you poop? Try adding them – you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel.

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Strawberries

Strawberries have edible seeds, which makes them high in fibre and great for digestion. They’re also really tasty, and easy to add to a dessert or enjoy as a sweet snack.

Black beans

Black beans contain plenty of soluble fibre, which makes them a great choice if you need more fibre but aren’t keen on eating loads of fruit and veg. Add black beans to a chilli, or use them to make delicious meat-free tacos.

Prunes

Has your gran ever recommended these to you?

She knows what she’s talking about.

Prunes are high in fibre, and also contain sorbitol, a natural laxative. You can eat prunes whole, add to a smoothie, or drink prune juice. This food is often recommended by doctors – a good indication that it works.

Broccoli

Broccoli includes lots of insoluble fibre, which is essential for healthy digestion. Add it to soups and stews, or steam as an easy side dish. Try to incorporate plenty of vegetables in every meal to keep things running smoothly.

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High-fibre cereal

Next time you go down the cereal aisle, look out for boxes that say ‘high in fibre’ – usually bran flakes or muesli. These cereals are a great way to kickstart your digestive system and set you up for the day.

Oatmeal

Oats contain soluble fibre that will help your digestion, and they also make a super-filling breakfast. Try adding fruit for an extra boost of fibre in the morning.

Constipation is a huge problem for many people, but it doesn’t have to be.

A few simple changes your diet can make a massive change to your digestive health – try it today.

Reference

More by this author

Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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