When a person has a bowel movement and then weighs themselves, they may see a small change in weight that tends to be equal to the weight of the stool. If they do see this change, it is rarely significant, and it does not amount to long term weight loss.

Health professionals do not recommend relying on bowel movements to lose weight. Instead, a person should try to adopt a healthful diet that contains lots of fiber.

that fiber-rich diets are good for long term weight loss. They can also cause a person to poop more often. This makes them a good option for constipation relief.

Constipation causes stool to build up in the bowels, creating an uncomfortable heavy or bloated feeling. This can make a person feel as though they are carrying extra weight.

This article looks at how much weight a person might lose after a bowel movement, and how much stool the body usually contains. It also looks at how weight loss diets can affect bowel movements and lists some tips for relieving constipation.

and person pulling off some toilet paper and wondering do you lose weight when you poop
When a person has a bowel movement, they may lose an insignificant amount of weight.

A person may lose a very small amount of weight when they have a bowel movement.

How much weight this is differs for every individual, but in general, it is not significant.

As the body passes stool, it also releases gas. This can reduce bloating and make a person feel as though they have lost a little weight. However, it is important to remember that many factors affect weight. It is not simply a measurement of what goes in and out of the body.

The weight loss associated with having a bowel movement is temporary. This is because the body is constantly processing food. Also, people will gradually replace the waste matter that leaves the body as stool by eating more food.

The amount of time it takes for the body to completely digest food and pass it from the body as stool is hard to estimate. There are two reasons for this: It is not easy to track the passage of food through the digestive system, and every individual and type of food is different.

As , for a healthy adult eating a standard meal, it takes around 4–5 hours for the stomach to empty and around 30–40 hours for the matter to pass through the colon.

Acids and enzymes in the stomach break down food. It then enters the gut, where bacteria break it down further. The body absorbs useful nutrients and passes the rest as waste.

Stool is not just undigested food. It also comprises:

That said, the makeup of a person's stool will vary depending on how much fluid they consume and what they have eaten. Incorporating plenty of fluids, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in the diet can make for a softer stool.

Healthful weight loss diets usually include lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These are all high in fiber. Including more fiber in the diet can increase stool weight and encourage more regular bowel movements.

Because of this, a person following a weight loss diet may have bowel movements more often. However, it is important to remember that any weight loss they see is primarily due to other aspects of the diet — not the increase in bowel movements.

Many weight loss diets suggest eating more protein. Meat is a common source of protein, but it can be more difficult to digest than other foods.

Also, these diets may not include as much fiber as the body needs. Fiber helps bulk out a stool, and without it, the stool may be loose and runny. A lack of fiber can also give rise to constipation.

Weight loss diets that are high in fiber and may increase bowel movements include:

Weight loss diets that are low in fiber and may decrease bowel movements, or not affect them, include:

The recommend following a balanced diet and a healthful eating plan as the best way to lose weight.

A balanced diet should include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. It should limit saturated fats, processed foods, and high amounts of salt and sugar.

Eating only as many calories per day as the body needs, and trying to exercise every day, are effective ways to maintain a healthful weight.

Getting an accurate measurement of weight can also help when following a weight loss diet. To get an accurate reading, step on the scales at the same time each day, without clothes on and ideally after having a bowel movement.

People can help encourage bowel movements through gentle exercise.

Relax and take time to have a bowel movement. Trying to have a bowel movement at the same time every day, such as after breakfast, can help keep things regular.

However, not everyone will have a bowel movement every day. A is between three times per day and three times per week. However, traveling, stress, pregnancy, medication, and illness can all affect usual bowel movements.

It is important to listen to the body's signals. Be sure to go when needed, and not to force the body.

Gentle exercise may help encourage a bowel movement. As well as adopting a healthful diet, being physically active can help maintain a healthy digestive system and encourage regular bowel movements.

Other tips include drinking enough fluids and including enough fiber in the diet.

Constipation may need treatment with over-the-counter laxatives. Sometimes, an underlying health condition may be to blame. If constipation does not improve with changes to diet and exercise, seek medical advice.