I have been raw till 4 for about 2 months now, I was fully raw (but not low fat) for a couple of months before that, and vegan for years. I have also been anorexic and calorie restricting for years. I am finally eating 2500+ calories now.
I feel better in many ways (energy/mood), but I am unbelievably bloated all the time. It's not water retention bloating; it's uncomfortable, taught-stomach, lots-of-gas bloating. Being bloated makes it uncomfortable to eat large volumes of food, and I'm really getting frustrated. I really don't want to go back to restricting, but it's so tempting since my stomach feels so much better that way. I tried fully raw for a few days, and it was much harder to get in even 2000 calories, and my bloating was not much better.
If anyone else has been through this and could give me an estimate of how long it takes to heal the digestive system after years of restriction, I would really appreciate it. Any other opinions or advice is welcomed too :)
I agree, even if I have a bowel movement in the morning, there's still no flat belly. It must be due to the high volume of food, I'm just not sure why it's not digesting easily. It probably just takes time, but waiting is tough when you feel like you've got to be doing something wrong.
I feel you :) i was a pregnant looking mama with relatively skinny legs and arms compared to my really big melon-belly. lol it was bloated from high volumes of water, fibrous and watery fruit for probably 3 months... YES THAT LONG... first month i was fully raw when i jump on this wagon then two consecutive months it was some cooked incorporated....was still rather bloated.... and NOW since i don't get that 7 months in.. i can share some of the reasons why it happened to me:
1. recovery from eating low-carb, low-fibre foods with lots of protein ( in your case it might be just low CAL diet)
2. WATER.... if you don't drink enough before a meal - you will be bloated. get a LITER before.
3. WATER.... if you DRINK AFTER YOUR MEAL = YOU WILL BE BLOATED.
4. your digestions is not used to this quantity of nutrient dense foods... its WEAK from eating cucumbers and carrots all day lol ( might not be the case but i was starving myself)... it can't handle digesting THE NEEDED AMOUNT since we daamageee it with starvation.
5. make sure you move your body - it tremendously helps with digestion...
6. be patient.... it will go away lol... IT FELT LIKE IT NEVER WOULD BUT IT DID ) I'M GLAD I STUCK WITH THIS - I DON'T GET BLOATED ANYMORE....ONly...ONLY if i eat BROCCOLI or other very hard to digest VEGGIES. never fruit though.
7. PROPER FRUIT/VEG COMBINING IS CRUCIAL.... MAKE SURE YOU ARE AWARE OF IT... ITS RATHER SIMPLE BUT HELPS TREMENDOUSLY!
BEST OF LUCK. HANG ON - I'M NOT THE FIRST TO SAY - JUST LIKE ANY GREAT RELATIONSHIP - THE RELATIONSHIP WITH HCLF VEGAN FOOD ONLY GETS BETTER WITH TIME!
That's great to hear. I figured consistency was key, I just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything I was missing. Hearing an approximate time frame it took for you helps too. I'll try to up my water, and I already do walking or yoga or rebounding every day. I'm glad to hear you did it with some cooked food too, because I was feeling like I should be raw to make it work. I've gotten really strict with the food combining (mostly mono meals) to try to make it as easy as possible for digestion.
Food combining is only eating fruits that are in the same category (acid, sub-acid, or sweet) or adjacent categories at the same time. The different categories digest at different rates, so they may cause discomfort in your stomach. Veggies, liquids, fats, and melons all have their own category. Heres a chart on it. And here's a video.
I'm not sure how long to wait after a meal before drinking water. My guess would be once you no longer feel really full.
How long to wait between meals depends on what your eating. If it's fruit or veggies, most digest within an hour or 2. If it's cooked starches, then I would say 3-4 hours
after a meal = depends on what.... cooked or raw.. but as a rule of thumb not less than HOUR.... after starchy maybe 1.5hrs... really depends on how you feel!
I'm also struggling/restricting again, I'm not comfortable with a bloated stomach (always been my biggest fear for some reason). I think if I would've slowly made the transition into eating more calories to begin with it would've been much easier and not as much of a panic. I've been breaking a lot of RT4 rules, BUT NEVER BREAKING VEGANISM. That's what I believe matters the most.
I agree for some reason feeling fat in the tummy area is the toughest. I even did go pretty slow with transitioning, I think the bloating may be inevitable after restricting. However it may be easier to handle mentally if you take it slow. And yes, I'm definitely vegan no matter what!
I have suffered from 4 years of anorexia so I know what your feeling. What I do whenever I feel just STUFFED but know I have not ate enough, I look for very dense calorie sources that will give me what I need but not fill up. Such as; Dates, Nuts, Avocado, and dried fruits. Sometimes I cant even do thoughs but keep pushing myself because no one wants to fall back into that "restriction" wagon, eh? Also, drink your fluids such as water before meals (I make sure to drink 30 mins before atleast). It helps so much and I find digestion thanks us for it!
Best of luck and congrats on getting up to 2500+ calories!
Thanks, I appreciate the support. I will try upping the water intake even more, and consider adding some dried fruit. The 2500 is getting easier and easier, I can tell my stomach is getting used to that, it's just the intestines that haven't caught up yet :) No, I really don't want to fall back into old habits. So I should just keep up the calories and wait it seems.
Love the horse in your profile pic, I'm a long time horsey girl :)
Update: Thanks everyone for the suggestions and support. I really increased my water intake, and have been timing it really carefully before my meals, never during or right after. It has made a tremendous difference! I probably average about a swimming pool every day :) haha. Actually I've been drinking about 3-3.5 liters a day. I didn't realize how little I was drinking before or how much of a difference it could make.
To anyone else out there who is having the same problem, really give the water thing a chance.