Do You Lose Weight When You Poop?

Poop, also known as feces, is what's left of your food and drink after your body absorbs nutrients. If you've ever felt lighter and less bloated after having a bowel movement, you're not alone.

Technically speaking, if you weigh yourself after a large poop, you'll likely notice a drop in the scale. This may cause you to wonder whether pooping after each meal would lead to long-term weight loss.

Unfortunately, the human body does not work that way. Weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you consume.

This article will discuss how much weight you can lose from pooping and how many calories a bowel movement can burn. It will also discuss the best way to lose weight and keep it off.

Woman using toilet paper

Chakrapong Worathat / EyeEm / Getty Images

How Much Does Poop Weigh?

How much poop weighs—and how much weight you may lose—depends on the frequency of your bowel movements. Studies suggest that the average healthy person poops 1.2 times within 24 hours.

However, there is no definition of a "normal" number of bowel movements. Some experts suggest that a healthy bowel frequency is between three bowel movements per day and three per week.

Other factors that play a role in the frequency and weight of stool include:

  • Diet
  • Fiber intake
  • Body size
  • Water intake

The types of food you eat and your meal frequency can also affect the weight of your stool. For example, studies show that high-fiber diets can provide more bulk to the stool, leading to heavier bowel movements.

People who are obese or overweight are also at more risk for abnormal bowel patterns and diarrhea, which can affect stool weight.

Most adults produce an average of 128 grams or about 0.25 pounds of poop each day. However, poop can range from 15 grams to 1,505 grams per day.

Do You Burn Calories While Pooping?

Technically, yes. Our body constantly burns calories in order to perform essential daily functions. This includes breathing, eating, regulating body temperature, and performing sedentary activities such as reading. During a bowel movement, your body continues to burn calories as you sit on the toilet.

Experts believe we burn an average of 40–55 calories per hour while we sleep and slightly more while watching TV or sitting up.

However, the exact amount of calories you burn depends on your body size. For example, a 170-pound person may burn around 139 calories while sitting for an hour.

If you are straining when using the bathroom, there is a chance that you will burn a small number of extra calories. However, you should avoid straining during bowel movements because it is not healthy and could signal constipation.

Pooping and Weight Loss

The amount of weight a person loses after a bowel movement differs for every individual. However, it is usually insignificant and temporary.

Digestion begins in the mouth and ends in the small intestine, where nutrients and calories are absorbed. The waste products of digestion pass through the large intestine and out of your body through the stool. By the time stool passes, the calories and nutrients have already been absorbed by your body.

What's more, poop is primarily made up of water. An estimated 75% of stool volume is water. While the scale may drop after a large poop, it's going to primarily be water loss.

Best Ways to Lose Weight

The best way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than your body burns each day. While healthy bowel habits are important for your overall health, exercise and diet modifications are the key to weight loss.

If you're overweight and looking to lose weight, consider reducing your daily calorie intake. As a general rule of thumb, it takes approximately a 3,500-calorie deficit to lose 1 pound.

If you reduce your calorie intake by around 500 calories to start, you can achieve a slow, sustainable weight loss of about one pound per week.

This can be done through diet and exercise. For example, if you exercise for 30 minutes each day and burn 250 calories, you'll need to cut an additional 250 calories from your daily calorie intake to achieve a weight loss of one pound per week.

To maintain optimal health during your weight loss, it's important to avoid processed foods and consume enough fiber, and eat a wide variety of whole, nutrient-dense foods. A recent study found that people who eat a high-fiber diet consisting of around 25 grams of fiber each day are more likely to experience long-term weight loss.

High-fiber diets also promote regular bowel movements to help you feel less bloated.

Foods that are high in fiber include:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Green peas
  • Whole-wheat spaghetti

Summary

The body is continuously processing food and eliminating waste, leading to temporary weight fluctuations. If you notice a drop in weight after a bowel movement, it's most likely short term. While it's essential to have regular bowel movements to maintain overall health, it is not a way to lose weight. Eating a high-fiber, nutrient-rich diet and exercising can promote weight loss and healthy bowel movements.

A Word from Verywell

Losing weight is a complex process that takes time. Eating too few calories can lead to irregular bowel movements and hinder your weight loss efforts. It's important to give yourself grace throughout the process and take things one day at a time. Incorporating regular physical activity and a well-balanced, high-fiber diet can help you lose weight. For additional help losing weight, visit a registered dietitian who can create an individual meal plan tailored to your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does protein make you poop?

    A high-protein diet that reduces or restricts carbohydrates often does not have adequate fiber and can lead to constipation.

  • Do laxatives help you poop?

    Laxatives are useful in promoting regular bowel patterns and relieving constipation. However, they should not be used to aid in weight loss.

  • Is constipation when dieting normal?

    If you've transitioned to a diet that is low in fiber, not eating consistent meals throughout the day, or aren't consuming enough fluids, you may experience constipation.

Was this page helpful?
12 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Rose C, Parker A, Jefferson B, Cartmell E. The characterization of feces and urine: a review of the literature to inform advanced treatment technologyCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology. 2015;45(17):1827. doi:10.1080/10643389.2014.1000761

  2. Walter SA, Kjellström L, Nyhlin H, Talley NJ, Agréus L. Assessment of normal bowel habits in the general adult population: the Popcol studyScand J Gastroenterol. 2010;45(5):556-566. doi:10.3109/00365520903551332

  3. Rush University Medical Center. High fiber diet.

  4. Ballou S, Singh P, Rangan V, Iturrino J, Nee J, Lembo A. Obesity is associated with significantly increased risk for diarrhoea after controlling for demographic, dietary and medical factors: a cross-sectional analysis of the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination SurveyAlimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2019;50(9):1019-1024. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.15500

  5. Boilesen SN, Tahan S, Dias FC, Melli LCFL, de Morais MB. Water and fluid intake in the prevention and treatment of functional constipation in children and adolescents: is there evidence? Jornal de Pediatria. 2017;93(4):320-327. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jped.2017.01.005

  6. Rose C, Parker A, Jefferson B, Cartmell E. The characterization of feces and urine: a review of the literature to inform advanced treatment technologyCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology. 2015;45(17):1827. doi:10.1080/10643389.2014.1000761

  7. Harvard Health Publishing. Burning calories without exercise.

  8. Medline Plus. Ways to burn more calories.

  9. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Constipation.

  10. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The digestive system and how it works.

  11. U.S. Department of Agriculture. I want to lose a pound of weight. How many calories do I need to burn?

  12. Miketinas DC, Bray GA, Beyl RA, Ryan DH, Sacks FM, Champagne CM. Fiber intake predicts weight loss and dietary adherence in adults consuming calorie-restricted diets: the pounds lost (Preventing overweight using novel dietary strategies) studyJ Nutr. 2019;149(10):1742-1748. doi:10.1093/jn/nxz117.