Medically Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on May 28, 2020



If you get constipated often, do yourself a favor and take a look at your diet. Among the foods that may block you up: too much cheese and milk. But you may not have to give up dairy -- just eat less of it and change your choices. Try yogurt with probiotics, live bacteria that’s good for your digestive system. It may help relieve constipation.

Fast Or Prepared Foods


Does your busy lifestyle have you eating on the go? Those readymade meals may be convenient, but they could cause a backup. Most are low in fiber, which you need to help food move through your system. By taking time to slow down, you may speed up your digestion.

Fried Food


Aunt Helen’s chicken is almost impossible to pass up, but consider opting for an entrée with more fiber if you’re having a tough time on the toilet. Fried foods are full of fat and are hard to digest. When food moves through your colon slowly, too much water can be taken out of it. That makes for a hard, dry stool.



They’re high in protein but low in fiber. You don’t have to take them off the menu. Just add some high-fiber foods into the mix. Try an omelet with fresh spinach and tomatoes.

Tender Meat


Full of protein and fat but lacking in fiber, that juicy steak needs to be balanced with a side of broccoli. That’ll help herd it comfortably through your digestive system.



Add possible constipation to the many reasons a sweet dessert should be an occasional, not regular, thing. Pastries, cookies, and other treats with refined sugar are low in fiber and fluids, and high in fat. That’s no good if you’re having trouble keeping things moving. Satisfy your sweet tooth with strawberries and yogurt. Your tummy will thank you for it.

White Bread


Too much of this will give you hard, dry stools. It’s made with low-fiber white flour. Go for whole-grain toast instead. It may help your next trip to the bathroom go more smoothly. 



Like coffee, booze can make it hard for your body to hang onto water. That can spell trouble for your bathroom visits until you get hydrated again. If you’re going to have a cocktail, nurse a glass of water at the same time to keep things flowing.

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Cleveland Clinic: “Constipation.”

Harvard Health Publications: “Probiotics may ease constipation.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Constipation.”

Kids Health: “Constipation.”

Kings College of London: “The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials” “Constipation: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions,” “Why does coffee make you poop?”

Mayo Clinic: “Constipation in Children,” “Dehydration,” “Hangovers,” “Low-fiber diet.”

National Health Service in England: “Good foods to help your digestion.”

National Institute on Aging: “Concerned About Constipation?”