TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – While protein can be great for weight loss and muscle build-up, you might be missing out on some nutrition that can cause negative effects to your body. There are downsides for overly being dependent on a protein diet, which can go wrong in many ways if left unmonitored.

The protein diet helped many women to lose weight while they cut on carbohydrates. Protein is digested slower than carbohydrates, helping the stomach to feel full while carbohydrates and fat are used up. However, some encountered a case of feeling constipated with their protein diet.

What can the possible cause of constipation in a protein diet? It turns out that protein inherently doesn’t cause constipation, but the lack of fibre intake as high-protein food takes over the room for fibre consumption.

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the main sources of fibre, which add volume to the stool. Women tend to focus more on consuming animal protein, having no fibre at all. Dietitian, Torey Amul, recommends other food alternatives such as lentils, chickpeas, edamame, black beans, and kidney beans, which are plant-based proteins. Women can get the protein they need while reaping the benefits of fibre too.

Legumes may contain carbs, so if you would like to minimize carbs, other vegetable options can be great alternatives too. Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale would be great, plus other options such as zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, green peppers, and broccoli. Overall, asparagus would be the best choice as it contains three grams of protein in a cup of sticks, which is a whole lot of protein.

Risks for Women Who Have a High Protein Diet

Fruits increase regular bowel movement, so it is also important to add them to your regular diet. Natural sugars in fruit contain lots of filling fibre, so no one should worry about it as they are not the kind of artificial sugars that will make you bloat. Fruits with a higher skin to flesh ratio such as blueberries have more fibre and fewer carbs compared to fruits that are eaten without the skin such as the watermelon.

Drinking protein shakes and powders may pose some problems in digestive tracts too. Although they are advertised to have no carbs or “non-sugar,” many still contain stevia or artificial sweeteners, which can upset the stomach. Women should meticulously check labels to see if it contains dairy ingredients as it can cause diarrhea, especially for those who are lactose intolerant.

Other side effects of taking in too much protein include fatigue, weight gain, and bad breath. Women should ensure that they are taking in enough carbohydrates for your daily fuel of energy. Excessive intake of protein without a balanced carbohydrate and fibre intake will cause fatigue.

For those who want to gain muscle mass and lose weight through a high protein diet, the opposite may happen as most protein food that doesn’t have a balanced carb and fibre nutrition, would contain fat, which would be harder to burn than carbs.

For those who invest in a keto diet, you’d know that the diet program is designed to send your body into a ketosis state. This state would induce your body to produce ketones, chemicals that can cause bad breath.

Finally, it is important to drink lots of water throughout the day. Fibre draws more water from your body, so you should remember to replenish it as you eat more.  Women can always keep some water bottle near them. Listen to your body and feel what it needs by taking note of some pains, discomfort, fatigue, or other negative effects that signal you of something wrong or lacking in your diet.