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I weight train 5 days a week and my diet was mainly lean meats, fish, egg whites, fruits and veggies and I've been told to stay away from breads and pastas, all in which I'm now beeing told I need to eat because of IBS. Sometimes I am in so much pain I cannot go to work or to the gym. I have recently incorporated more bran and fruits in my diet, though am still constantly constipated and bloated, but found out to my surprise these are the wrong types of fibre anyway! For the last 3 weeks I look like I've been hiding a basketball under my shirt and none of my pants fit. I have switched my diet to more soluble fibres and followed other IBS diets to eliminate the pain but have gained weight. I want to maintain my mass from training, but shed this excess fat I've gained. I need to eat plenty of protein, but eating all that "starchy" foods contradicts everything I have been told in my years at the gym. What kind of meal plan can an IBS sufferer have who wants to build mass and stay lean without pain?
 

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Hi there - It's not as tough as it seems to combine an IBS diet with the lean protein/lower starch requirements you'd like for your workout needs. At the bottom of the message I'm posting text about weight concerns and the high soluble fiber foods at the foundation of the IBS diet - that should help you.I'd be sure to have a soluble fiber supplement like Citrucel or Benefiber or Equalactin every single day, especially before meals. This can substitute for some of the soluble fiber foods. Be extremely careful to incorporate your insoluble fiber carefully - you're going to have to dice, skin, peel, cook, etc. those fruits and veggies. And choose whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal over wheat bran, which is one of the most difficult things for IBS folks to eat.For lean protein, keep to your egg whites, fish, soy, and skinless chicken breasts. No red meat or dairy or egg yolks. For the bloating, try strong hot fennel tea -it's very anti gas."Weight concerns and soluble fiber foods"You're more much more likely to lose weight with the IBS diet than gain. The high soluble fiber foods at the foundation of the IBS diet (rice, pasta, oatmeal, potatoes, white bread) should not cause weight gain as you're also going to be eliminating high fat foods such as red meats, dairy, egg yolks, and fried foods. Soluble fiber (and insoluble fiber, which you�ll be incorporating carefully but as much as possible) is calorie-free as it passes through the body undigested, and it is also quite filling. Soluble fiber also stabilizes blood glycemic levels because it regulates the rate at which food leaves the stomach, which helps keep appetite levels under control and is very helpful for diabetes. If you wish to avoid the soluble fiber foods with that are high on the glycemic index, you can use brown rice (one of the whole grains that is safest for IBS) and oatmeal instead of white rice or potatoes. Many people who are overweight actually find that they effortlessly lose weight with the IBS diet because the decrease in fats and increase in soluble fiber foods results in a calorie reduction. The nice corollary to this is that for people with IBS who are underweight, the diet can let them gain weight and maintain it because they no longer have to be afraid that eating will trigger an attack, so they end up eating more food in sheer terms of quantity than they�ve been able to in the past. Soluble fiber foods are always plant foods, and almost always high carbohydrate foods, but it is simply untrue that a higher carb/lower fat and protein diet is unhealthy or leads to weight gain or diabetes. Americans average only 45-55% of their diets from carbohydrates, and our obesity rate is now 35%. In contrast, Asian countries average 60-75% of their diets from carbs (with white rice as the staple) and their obesity rates are 1-2%. They also have lower colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis rates. For glucose concerns, your body eventually breaks down all carbohydrates (simple and complex, and no matter what the source or how much/which type of fiber they contain) into glucose, as this is the only fuel the brain can use. It is always more nutritious to eat whole grain foods such as brown rice and whole wheat breads than refined grains such as white rice and white bread, because it is the bran portion of the grain that is removed during the refining process, and the bran is high in vitamins and minerals. However, the bran is also pure insoluble fiber, and thus a trigger for IBS attacks. This doesn�t mean that you won�t eat any whole grains on the IBS diet � in fact, you will incorporate as many of them as you can tolerate into a high soluble fiber foundation, but you�ll do so very carefully. You�ll also be adding many fresh fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts to the soluble fiber foods, but again with care. This will dramatically increase the safety of these insoluble fiber foods in terms of the strength of the gastrocolic reflex they trigger (people with IBS suffer from irregular gastrocolic reflexes, and are prone to having the muscle contractions triggered by this reflex go violently out of control, resulting in cramps, diarrhea, and/or constipation). Insoluble fiber (and fats) are the single greatest stimulants of the gastrocolic reflex. The difference in soluble vs. insoluble fibers in foods can be confusing because many foods contain both. Grains and cereals especially have insoluble fiber in their outer layers (the bran, husk, or hull of wheat berries, rice grains, corn kernels, etc.) but soluble fiber in the interior. This is actually true for many fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils as well (the skins are insoluble, the interior flesh soluble). You are going to be eating these whole foods, but their insoluble fiber makes them too risky to eat alone, on an empty stomach, or in large quantities at once. That�s where the plain soluble fiber food choices (the white rice, pastas, white bread, potatoes, etc.) can act as safe foundation foods for people with IBS. It�s as much a matter of how you eat as it is what you eat. So do make sure you get the whole foods in your diet, but recognize that their insoluble fiber (and fructose in the fruit, sulfur in the cruciferous vegetables, etc.) pose challenges to IBS folks and don�t be afraid to eat the high soluble fiber foods first and foremost. They will address all the symptoms of IBS across the entire spectrum, and they won't pile on the pounds as a result, I promise. Oh - and make sure you're drinking plenty of water, all day long. Very important for both weight loss and digestive health, especially relieving constipation.Best,Heather
 
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