Have you ever pooped and felt like a huge weight was taken off your shoulders… or stomach? Be honest! Poop is a solid waste, so a connection to weight loss might actually make sense. Well, maybe.
It’s common to feel bloated and heavy when you need to do number two. Constipation only makes it worse, especially if you’ve been chowing down on burritos and pizza. Even zipping up jeans will be a pain. But pooping isn’t exactly your new weight loss tool. Here’s the small way it affects your weight and what you can do about it.
Poop And Weight
On average, poop weighs about 2.5 ounces to 1 pound. You might have more if you haven’t gone in a few days. And obviously, the numbers also depend on your diet.
Cultures that eat more fiber are more likely to have heavier poop, as it bulks up the stool. The Mediterranean diet is an excellent example. Meanwhile, the Western diet has little to no fiber, explaining why Western poop measurements average only at about 4 ounces.1
Yet, regardless of your diet, one thing is for sure: pooping is not enough to shed pounds!
Fiber For Easy Pooping And Weight Loss
The link between pooping and weight loss isn’t direct. So don’t waste extra time on the toilet! Instead, focus on fiber, a carb that separately benefits each one.
After dissolving in water, fiber forms a gel that softens the stool. This helps poop move along with ease, making way for a smooth dump.2 Fibre is what you need for weight loss as it also increases satiety. You’ll feel less tempted to eat everything in sight, even after a few hours gap. This is a perfect example of how fiber aids appetite control and therefore, weight management.3
Foods High In Fiber
Again, Americans don’t eat much fiber. The average person gets 15 gm each day, even though the daily recommendation is 20 to 30 gm.4 Only 5% of Americans meet this intake.5 To lose weight and poop well, eat more of these high-fiber foods.
1. Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and veggies are top sources of fiber. However, preparation makes a difference. Most of the fiber is in the skin, so peeling them off significantly decreases the fiber content, along with vitamins, minerals, and proteins.6
Processing also destroys nutrients, so eat fresh whenever possible. Want to cook a meal? Limit heat exposure by keeping the time and temperature to a minimum.7
Beans are like a miracle food. They’re packed with fiber and protein, two nutrients that ward off hunger. Pooping will also feel like a breeze. From chickpeas to kidney beans, there are countless types of beans. So, use them to bulk up salads and your stool.
3. Whole Grains
Not all carbs are bad. Whole grains have the entire grain and, most importantly, the fiber-rich components. On the other hand, refined grains have all the “good stuff” removed.
Whole grain products you could go for include whole wheat, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and bulgur. Refined grains are foods like white rice, pasta, bread, and pastries.8 These latter foods will work against healthy pooping and weight loss – so steer clear.
To avoid constipation, slowly increase fiber intake. Give your body time to get used to the excess fiber. Drink lots of water so that the fiber has something to soak up. Here’s to a healthy, happy poop!
|↑1||Cummings, John H., Sheila A. Bingham, Kenneth W. Heaton, and Martin A. Eastwood. “Fecal weight, colon cancer risk, and dietary intake of nonstarch polysaccharides (dietary fiber).” Gastroenterology 103, no. 6 (1992): 1783-1789.|
|↑2, ↑5||Lambeau, Kellen V., and Johnson W. McRorie. “Fiber supplements and clinically proven health benefits: How to recognize and recommend an effective fiber therapy.” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 29, no. 4 (2017): 216-223.|
|↑3||Rebello, Candida J., Carol E. O’Neil, and Frank L. Greenway. “Dietary fiber and satiety: the effects of oats on satiety.” Nutrition reviews 74, no. 2 (2015): 131-147.|
|↑4||Fiber. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.|
|↑6||Alvi, Shahnaz, K. M. Khan, Munir A. Sheikh, and Muhammad Shahid. “Effect of peeling and cooking on nutrients in vegetables.” Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 2, no. 3 (2003): 189-191.|
|↑7||Rickman, Joy C., Diane M. Barrett, and Christine M. Bruhn. “Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. Part 1. Vitamins C and B and phenolic compounds.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 87, no. 6 (2007): 930-944.|
|↑8||Whole Grains and Fiber. American Heart Association.|