Drink more fluids. Dehydration can worsen constipation by leading to hard, dry stools. When food waste passes through the colon, the colon absorbs water from the waste. If you are drinking adequate amounts of fluids, the colon will soak up less water from the food waste, resulting in softer stools.
Strive to drink about eight full glasses of water a day, or about two liters. Start your day with two glasses right after you wake up, even before coffee. You should drink more water if you live in a very warm climate or when it's hot out. Be sure to also drink water while exercising to counteract the water lost through sweating. You may also need to drink more water as you increase your daily intake of fiber. If you suffer from heart or kidney problems and are receiving medical attention for either of these conditions, consult your doctor about your fluid intake before you make any major changes.
Increase your fiber intake. A healthy diet includes insoluble and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps the body to absorb more nutrients from the food you eat. Insoluble fiber does not break down in the body, but this type of fiber adds bulk and water to the stool, making it faster and more comfortable to pass the stool. Adults should aim to consume about 21-38 grams of fiber daily, depending on their age and sex. Women should eat 21-25 grams of fiber every day, while men require 30-38 grams.
Sources of soluble fiber include oats, oat bran, apples, nuts, lentils and peas. Sources of insoluble fiber include wheat bran, seeds, almonds, whole grains, and most fruits and vegetables. Make sure to eat legumes and citrus fruits. In addition to fiber, these foods help colonic bacteria flourish which keeps the intestines healthier. Legumes in particular are among those foods that have the most fiber per serving. Incorporate prunes into your diet. Prunes are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber and sorbitol, which has a natural laxative effect. Add more whole fruits and vegetables to your diet. Make sure you eat the skins on fruits and veggies, since the skin usually contains most of the insoluble fiber. Also be sure to eat whole fruits instead of fruit juices, which usually have less fiber and more sugar
cut back on low-fiber foods. These would include meat, ice cream, cheese, chips, meat, fast foods, and prepared and processed foods like hot dogs and frozen dinners. These low-fiber but high-fat foods may actually worsen constipation.[
Avoid junk food. Fatty, sugary foods like cookies, crackers, cakes, and so on, tend to slow the digestive system down, since the gut is working to get all the calories it can from the fat in them.