Women who are trying to lose weight with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have difficulties. When they try to eat ‘healthier’ foods such as salads their bloating increases making them feel pretty rubbish.
The desire to exercise regularly is interrupted with low energy or in some cases movement triggers their symptoms. So, it is difficult to lose weight with IBS.
Hormones, IBS & Weight Gain
There are some differences in appetite regulating hormones in people who have IBS.
5 of the hormones are abnormal in people with IBS:
- Peptide YY
- Enteroglucagon (oxyntomodulin) and
Hormones alone are only 1 tiny factor in what can cause you to gain or lose weight.
Three Targets Areas
Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP is the acronym for
- monosaccharides and
In essence, FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are tough for the small intestine to properly absorb.
Food Replacement Example:
- Kiwis are good for anyone with IBS and constipation because they can encourage a healthy bowel movement.
- Try adding some greens to your dinner, even blending up some spinach into sauces may help to begin with
- Berries like raspberries or blueberries can make a good snack, or addition to a breakfast.
Foods to avoid on a low-FODMAP diet vary from person to person.
Smart Tip: Focus on chewing your food well to help kick start the digestion in your mouth and reduce the pressure put on your digestive system by unchewed lumps of food.
Foods to Avoid with IBS
- Caffeinated Drinks
- Food High in Fructose
- Cruciferous Veggies
- Sugar Alcohols (Polyols)
- Insoluble Fiber
- Carbonated Drinks
Consuming less calories than what you are burning, mounts to calorie deficit. Methods include fasting, calorie counting, low carbohydrate and portion control.
Whilst there is no one-size fits all approach, it is probably not a good idea to go down the low carbohydrate route as many carbohydrates are good prebiotic foods for your gut.
Equally fasting is not ideal as irregular meals can worsen IBS symptoms.
Sleep and stress impact our dietary choices and our gut health. Making small simple changes can help to target both areas.
- 8 hours of sleep a night.
- 30 minutes of exercise a day
- Daily mindfulness exercises such as meditation
- Hydrate – aim for 8 glasses.
- Watch your Hormones – women’s menstrual cycle.
- Track timing of food – when, and how you are eating.
To be successful with losing weight and bloating symptoms you need a step-by-step approach which includes the low FODMAP diet, calorie deficit and a lifestyle change.