Health professionals do not advise people to rely solely on bowel movements to reduce weight. Instead, they recommend you to adopt a healthy diet that is rich in fibres.
Studies suggest that diets that are rich in fibre are beneficial to long term and sustained weight loss. They also cause a person to poop more frequently. This makes such diets ideal for getting relief from constipation.
The reason why people often wonder if pooping can help reduce weight is because of constipation, and its consequent effects. Constipation makes the stool accumulate in the bowels, which induces bloating.
This often makes an individual feel that they are carrying greater weight as they experience an uncomfortably heavy feeling.
In order to understand the relation between weight loss and bowel movements, we must first understand how much stool our bodies usually contain, and how diets aimed at losing weight can affect bowel movements.
A person does lose a small amount of weight while experiencing a bowel movement. However, it is not significant, and more significantly, it is not sustained. It also varies for every individual.
When your body passes out stool, it is also accompanied by gas. Releasing gas reduces bloating which makes a person feel as though they are losing weight. It is imperative to note that our weight is affected by several factors. It cannot be diluted down a measurement of what enters and exits the body.
The weight loss that occurs while having a bowel movement is not sustainable, and is temporary. This is due to the fact that our body is constantly processing food. People gradually replace the waste ejected by the body in the form of stool as and when they eat more food.
It is difficult to calculate the time taken by the body to digest food completely and pass it out. This is mainly because it is tough to track how the food passes through the digestive tract, as it is different for every individual and every food type.
Approximately, it takes about four to five hours for the stomach to empty for a healthy adult eating a standard meal. It takes around thirty to forty hours for the food to pass through the colon.
The food is broken down by the acids and enzymes present in the stomach. After passing through the stomach, it moves on to the gut, where it is further broken down by the bacteria. All the nutrients are absorbed by the body in this manner and the leftovers are passed out through the colon.
Stool however, is not just food that is undigested. It also contains:
Thus, the constitution of a person’s stool depends heavily on the amount of fluids that they consume and the food that they have eaten.
It is recommended that you add plenty of whole grains, plenty of fluids, vegetables, and fruits in your diet to obtain more roughage that can lead to a healthier bowel movement.
While it is not possible to determine the exact amount of stool that is present in the body at a given moment, the average amount of stool produced by an adult per day is approximately 128 grams.
Every individual’s body is different, and the weight of each stool is also different. Factors that affect the weight of each person’s stool are:
Having a fibre rich diet can increase the weight of stool, thereby making an individual feel lighter.
People who weigh more than others are likely to have stools that are heavier. Furthermore, drinking more fluids can increase the weight of a stool, as fluids exit the body via bowel movements.
Not passing the stool when you feel the urge to can make it heavier and drier. Softer stools that have a high liquid content are easier to pass easily from the body.
Healthy diets that are aimed at making you lose weight usually include plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. All these foods have a high fibre content. Including these foods can increase the weight and lead to more regular bowel movements.
Thus, if you follow a weight loss diet you can experience bowel movements more often than usual. While the weight that you lose is due to the diet, increased bowel movements do supplement the process.
A lot of weight loss diets recommend including more protein in your food. However, foods like meat that are a common source of protein are not easy to digest.
Diets that are rich in proteins may not contain sufficient amounts of fibre in them. Fibre helps in bulking up stool. A lack of fibre can also cause constipation.
According to Daniel from HCBT - “ It is thus important to find the right balance between your fibre and protein intake. Some weight loss diets that have healthy amounts of both are Mediterranean Diet, Vegan Diet and a Vegetarian Diet.”
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a diet that is balanced and healthy for losing weight.
A balanced diet includes vegetables and fruits, lean meat, whole grains, eggs, fish, nuts, and beans. It should restrict processed foods, saturated foods, and high amounts of sugar and salt.
It is also important to eat only as many calories as required by the body, exercising regularly, and have a healthy sleeping schedule.
You should also try to assess your weight accurately and frequently to trace our progress. A good way to do this is by stepping on the weighing scales the same time every day, preferably after a bowel movement.
A simple way to get started is by relaxing, and taking your time when trying to have a bowel movement. You should try and have a bowel movement at the same time every day, and make the process a regular one.
However, it is not necessary that everyone has a bowel movement every day. A healthy range of the frequency of bowel movements is between three times a day and three times a week. Factors like stress, traveling, pregnancy, illness, and medication can affect your usual bowel movements.
It is important to be mindful of what your body is indicating. Ensure that you go when you feel the urge to do so, and not force your body in any way.
Light exercises can also help in encouraging a bowel movement. Being physically active and adopting a healthy and balanced diet can aid in maintaining regular bowel movements and maintaining a healthy digestive system.
It is also recommended that you include sufficient fibre in your diet and drink ample amounts of fluids.
People suffering from constipation and aiming to lose weight can also try to incorporate a dietary supplement like Peak BioBoost that can clean the stomach thoroughly, boost the health of the gut bacteria and help you burn more calories during workout promoting weight loss.
Peak Bioboost is a 100% organic plant- based supplement that works better than any laxative or diet and unclogs the innards completely making the body feel lighter and full of energy.
Any loss of weight that is caused by a bowel movement is temporary and does not last for a long time. This is due to the fact that our body constantly processes food and passes out the waste in the form of poop.
Thus, if you aim to lose weight, you should not rely solely on bowel movements to do it for you. You must consult your dietician to figure out a diet and exercise regimen that is suitable to your needs.
Having more fibre content in your diet encourages healthy and regular bowel movements. It also leads to loss of weight.