Have you ever wondered if you have normal poo?
Yes, I’m serious!
You may already know your poo can reflect your physical, and sometimes even emotional, health.
If you’re human, you’ve experienced constipation and/or diarrhea. It may have happened when you were sick or it may have been after eating something that “doesn’t agree with you,” or maybe even when you’re super-nervous about something (Hello public speaking!!!).
Then you have to consider your fiber and water intake. If you’re not getting enough, it’ll probably show in your poo, and more than likely it won’t be normal poo.
Have you ever considered your all-important gut microbes? If you read my blog, you know…if they’re not happy, you’ll probably have problems with your poo. (Read more HERE.)
Now, this may come as a shocker, but…
Did you know there is an “official” standard for poop? I mean like a legit university-created chart! It’s actually used to help diagnose conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
In Comes the Bristol Stool Scale
The Bristol Stool Scale was created in 1997 at the prestigious University of Bristol in the UK.
If you’re more for visual charts, you can see it HERE
The scale breaks down type of poop into seven different categories ranging from type 1, which is very constipated, to type 7, which is diarrhea. Believe it or not, there is a range for normal poo!
1 – Separate hard lumps (very constipated).
2 – Lumpy and sausage-like (slightly constipated).
3 – Sausage shaped with cracks in the surface (normal)
4 – Smooth, soft sausage (normal).
5 – Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (lacking fiber).
6 – Mushy consistency with ragged edges (inflammation).
7 – Liquid consistency with no solid pieces (inflammation).
Other Factors to Consider for Normal Poo
You probably guessed the shapes described in the Bristol Stool Scale aren’t the only thing to consider for normal poo.
You need to think about how often you go. If you go at least once per day, up to 3 times per day you’re “normal”. Less than one, or more than three can mean there is something going on and you may need to address the issue if it continues.
Another thing to consider when talking about normal poo is the amount of effort you have to put forth. You want it to be effortless, but not diarrhea. In other words, if you’re having to take reading material into the bathroom, it’s not effortless.
Did you know the color can tell you if you have normal poo? You should look for your poo to be brown in color. This comes from the bile you need to break down the fats you eat. Of course, there are a few things like massive amounts of veggies and beets that can alter the color (yes, beets turn it Red!) If this happens to you, you’ll be fine.
However, if you see an abnormal color, like red or black, that can’t be explained based on what you ate or drank in the last day or two, you probably want to get that checked out.
Is There a Link Between Normal Poo & Weight?
In case you’re wondering, there are a few ways abnormal poo is linked to weight gain.
1. Yes, if you’re constipated, the extra fecal matter can cause you to weigh more. If you have chronic constipation, (please have that checked) it can lead to you feeling sluggish and “heavy”. This usually = you skipping the gym & being less active. BTW, movement actually Helps with regularity!
2. If you suffer from SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), you may be absorbing more calories because the function of your small intestine slows. SIBO can also slow your metabolism, and affect your insulin & leptin resistance. This can lead you to craving more food & not feeling satisfied.
3. IBS can cause bloat & chronic inflammation. Yes, this can lead to weight gain too.
These are just a few ways to show not having normal poo can possibly lead to weight gain. So, be sure to address these issues if they pertain to you!
What Can You Do if You Don’t Have Normal Poo?
Well, the first thing to consider is how abnormal your poo really is. Plus, how often is it abnormal? Every once in a while, things aren’t going to be perfect, & that’s a-OK!. If you’re super stressed, traveling, sick, etc., things will “be off” for a bit.
Maybe you don’t eat enough veggies, drink enough water, don’t get enough fiber in your diet or are eating a lot of processed foods. You guessed it, you need to address those issues.
If you tend to stress a lot, try deep breathing, meditating, or indulge in a warm bath. Want more tips, find some HERE
Most of all…don’t forget the two basic pieces of nutrition advice:
- First, eat a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods, including a lot of fruits & veggies (and their “fibrous” skins, wherever possible). The fiber you consume when eating veggies & fruits is not only helpful for pushing food through your gut, but it also feeds those millions of amazing helpful critters living there (your friendly gut bugs.)
- The second piece of advice is to eat slooooowly, and mindfully. Make sure to thoroughly chew your food. Remember the old advice of chew every bite 20 times? While that might seem like a lot, chewing thoroughly can help your digestion (it begins when you smell & chew your food 😉 ).
Whether you’ve already achieved normal poo or not (if not, you should be aiming to get there), these habits I’ve listed are good habits for anyone and everyone.
Of course, if you suffer from long-term issues, you might require a more thorough review with a qualified health care practitioner. You don’t want to suffer from poo issues for too long before seeking help! Get things in working order & you’ll feel soooo much better!
Super-Simple Coconut Milk Yogurt
A super-simple dairy-free yogurt to help you get in some gut-friendly probiotics.
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk (without lots of added ingredients)
- 2 probiotic capsules (look for one that has different strains of probiotics)
Open the probiotic capsules and empty contents into the blender. Blend with coconut milk.
Transfer to a sanitized glass jar (make sure it’s cooled off - you don’t want those probiotics to die) and cover with cheesecloth & a rubber band.
Store it in a dark warm place (Like the top of a fridge or freezer with a towel covering it or even in your oven with the light on.) for 24-48 hours. If it's not thick enough for you, you can let it ferment for another 24 hours.
Add your favorite yogurt toppings and store the rest for up to a week in the fridge.
Serve & enjoy!
Fermenting food is not an exact science. If this doesn’t work out as you’d like it to, try different brands of coconut milk and/or probiotics.
You can use Lite Coconut milk, but it will have a thinner consistency.
It should have a tart flavor like Greek Yogurt, but should Never have mold!!!
Before you go, if you have a sense of humor, you’ll love this commercial!