The Best 7-Day High-Fiber Meal Plan for Constipation


Feeling backed up? You’re not alone. Constipation impacts about 16 out of 100 adults in the U.S. While the occasional bouts of constipation can be expected if you suddenly change up your eating routine or are traveling, chronic constipation often requires more of an intervention. 

Chronic constipation is defined as having infrequent stool, difficult stool passage or both for at least three months. If you believe you have chronic constipation, it’s helpful to check in with your medical provider. Medications and certain conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism and irritable bowel syndrome can all cause constipation. Of course, diet and lifestyle factors, like not getting enough fiber and fluids, can also increase the incidence of constipation.

In this 7-day meal plan, we map out a week of high-fiber meals and snacks tailored to help relieve chronic constipation. Each day provides at least 34 grams of fiber, an important nutrient for gut health. Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that helps both soften and bulk up stools, which helps relieve constipation. While fiber deservedly gets a lot of fanfare, hydration is also essential. On average, the daily recommendation of water intake is 3.7 liters for men ages 19 to 30 and 2.7 liters for women in the same age range. While most hydration comes from fluids, like water, some foods, especially cucumbers, strawberries and watermelon, can also aid hydration. Ensuring you’re properly hydrated is particularly important if you plan to increase your fiber intake. That’s because eating plenty of fiber but skimping on water can also increase the risk of constipation. 

To accommodate those with different calorie needs, we set this plan at 1,500 calories per day and included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories daily. As with all meal plans, remember that it’s only a framework for a healthy high-fiber plan. If there’s a substitution you prefer, feel free to make the swap. If your current routine is low in fiber, slowly increasing your fiber is helpful to avoid GI discomfort. 

Strategies to Reduce Constipation

  • Eat more fiber: Upping your fiber intake benefits your overall health, including reducing the incidence of constipation. And unfortunately, 91-95% of adults don’t reach their daily fiber goal of 28-34 grams daily. Easy ways to add more fiber to your meals include snacking on fruits and nuts.
  • Hydrate: If you struggle to drink enough water, carrying a reusable water bottle everywhere can make the job easier. Plus, it helps the environment! 
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity such as walking, running or strength training can help get your bathroom routine back on track. 
  • Talk to your health care provider: Certain conditions and some medications can increase the risk of constipation. That’s why checking in with your medical team is important to discuss if laxative supplements are right for you.

High-Fiber Foods to Focus On

  • Fruits, especially fruit with skin and seeds, such as berries, kiwis, apples and pears
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, artichokes, potato and leafy greens
  • Whole grains, like bulgur, oats, brown rice, whole wheat, teff, farro, sorghum and buckwheat
  • Nuts, including natural nut butters
  • Seeds, particularly chia, flax, pumpkin and hemp
  • Legumes such as beans, lentils and edamame

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals

  1. Make Quinoa & Chia Oatmeal Mix to have for breakfast throughout the week
  2. Prepare 20-Minute White Bean Soup to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.

Day 1

Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Lauren McAnelly

Breakfast (316 calories)

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

Lunch (401 calories)

P.M. Snack (219 calories)

Dinner (450 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,518 calories, 51g fat, 84g protein, 191g carbohydrate, 40g fiber, 1,225mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to ½ cup sliced carrots and change P.M. snack to 1 clementine.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to A.M. snack, 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast to lunch and 1 medium apple to P.M. snack. 

Day 2

Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist: Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley


Breakfast (306 calories)

A.M. Snack (101 calories)

Lunch (383 calories)

P.M. Snack (252 calories)

  •  1 medium apple
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Dinner (474 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,516 calories, 49g fat, 92g protein, 181g carbohydrate, 36g fiber, 1,737mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit yogurt at lunch and change P.M. snack to 1 medium orange.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 large pear to breakfast, increase to 2 servings Edamame with Aleppo Pepper at A.M. snack, increase to 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter at P.M. snack and add ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds as an evening snack.

Day 3

Fred Hardy

Breakfast (316 calories)

A.M. Snack (177 calories)

  • 1 medium orange
  • 15 dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Lunch (383 calories)

P.M. Snack (219 calories)

Dinner (415 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,511 calories, 57g fat, 85g protein, 176g carbohydrate, 39g fiber, 1,405mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit yogurt at lunch and change P.M. snack to 1 plum.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Peanut Butter-Banana English Muffin to breakfast and add 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to the yogurt at lunch.

Day 4

Breakfast (306 calories)

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

Lunch (383 calories)

P.M. Snack (154 calories)

  • 20 dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (535 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,510 calories, 62g fat, 80g protein, 169g carbohydrate, 34g fiber, 1,541mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 medium orange, omit yogurt at lunch and change P.M. snack to 1 plum.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 medium apple to breakfast, ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted pistachios to A.M. snack and 1 serving Avocado & Corn Salad to dinner.

Day 5

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless


Breakfast (306 calories)

A.M. Snack (101 calories)

Lunch (383 calories)

P.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (496 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve two servings One-Pot White Bean, Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo with Lemon & Feta to have for lunch on Days 6 & 7.

Daily Totals: 1,492 calories, 61g fat, 77g protein, 173g carbohydrate, 38g fiber, 1,263mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 medium apple, omit yogurt at lunch and change P.M. snack to ½ cup blackberries.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 medium apple to breakfast, increase to 2 servings Edamame with Aleppo Pepper at A.M. snack, 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to the yogurt at lunch, 1 serving Simple Cabbage Salad to dinner, and add ¼ cup hummus with 1 cup sliced bell pepper as an evening snack.

Day 6

Breakfast (316 calories)

A.M. Snack (35 calories)

Lunch (496 calories)

P.M. Snack (219 calories)

Dinner (436 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,502 calories, 58g fat, 84g protein, 175g carbohydrate, 35g fiber, 1,333mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Change lunch to 1 serving Cucumber-Chicken Green Goddess Wrap and change P.M. snack to 1 medium orange.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Peanut Butter-Banana English Muffin to breakfast and add 20 dry-roasted unsalted almonds A.M. snack.

Day 7

Breakfast (306 calories)

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

Lunch (496 calories)

P.M. Snack (62 calories)

Dinner (535 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,493 calories, 62g fat, 72g protein, 178g carbohydrate, 35g fiber, 1,121mg sodium

Make it 1,200 calories: Omit kefir at breakfast, change A.M. snack to ½ cup blackberries and change lunch to 1 serving Cucumber-Chicken Green Goddess Wrap.

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to A.M. snack, ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack and 3 Tbsp. hummus with 1 cup sliced bell pepper as an evening snack.



Source link

Rate this post

Leave a Comment