One other exception to the idea that calories in/calories out is just some unchanging closed system is the very simple but highly substantial changes that occur in stool volume depending on your metabolic rate. We’ve talked about how the type of food you eat determines how many calories your digestive system can absorb, but your digestive system can also increase calorie absorption or decrease calorie absorption based on whether it is actively trying to dissipate or hoard energy.
www.healthhype.com states that:
The color, volume and consistency or shape of stool varies from person to person. It is generally accepted that the normal stool is:
- tan to dark brown in color
- firm but soft
- elongated like a sausage
- passed at least 3 times a week
- volume of less than 200 ml or 200g per day
It is also typical, if you follow the work of the other Matt Stone, to see stool sing songs full of Christmas cheer.
This topic is of great interest to me, as my own digestive ability, transit time, and stool volume is almost fully controlled by my own rate of metabolism. This has been true for many others as well, and was a major influence in what I wrote in the book 180 Degree Digestion. There are other subtle nuances to changes in diet and changes in food absorption and transit time that may be of great interest to you as well. Hopefully I’ll get into it before this post drags on for too long and I get booted out of the Starbucks I’m currently camped out in while writing this.
For starters, when I say stool volume I mean how much you poop. I first noticed this phenomenon before I even started this here blog. In the summer of 2004 (I think?), I started training for a 50-day solo backpacking trip where I wasn’t going to be resupplying my food at any point throughout the trip. The idea was to go out into the Wilderness for as long as possible without any contact with civilization (anti-social much?). Needless to say I needed to get my legs in shape. My backpack was going to weigh 95 pounds ? well over half my bodyweight to start.
After a couple of short backpacking trips in late June and early July I noticed that I had dropped quite a bit of weight. Like 6-7 pounds. I knew this was trouble. The last thing I wanted to do was go out for my 50 day trip, knowingly going in with insufficient food, leaner than normal. So for the 2-3 weeks before my departure I took it easy on the physical activity and ate as much food as I could stomach. Awwww, my first RRARF!!! ?Sniffle, sniffle.
My normal weight in those days was about a 170 frail, endurance exercise and vegetarian-eating pounds. But I managed to go from the mid-160’s to a sloppy 176 by the time I was to load up and head out. During this time my stool volume went really high. In fact, when I started the trip, I was having 3 large bowel movements every day. If 200 grams is normal, it wasn’t normal for me the first week of that trip! I was passing maybe 500-600 grams in the early going if I had to guess. After years working as a chef, I feel pretty confident estimating amounts of stuff in grams. Plus I was like’so a drug lord in Columbia. You can totally see it right?? Total badass. ?Donde esta mi dinero El Guapo??? Donde!!
What is interesting is that I was eating very little when I first started out. I wasn’t very hungry, and could barely eat the bland oatmeal I had brought or the slimy trout I was reeling in. My later estimates have put me at an average daily calorie intake of 2,600 while on that trip. But all in all my calorie intake per day was fairly consistent. So, if the amount of food and fiber I’m taking in each day was consistent, my stool volume should have been consistent. Right?
Not even close!
The first week I had nice bowel movements an annoying three times per day. You notice these things when you have to poop outside when it’s cold and mosquitos are everywhere. By the second week I was down to two. By the third week I was lucky to have one. Slowly, and steadily ? despite having very consistent food intake and activity levels, I was passing less and less stool. By the 6th week I was only going once every 3 days!!! And these bowel movements, at most, were 50 grams!!! Like a tiny lump of coal!
What was happening was that as my body lost weight and I become increasingly emaciated (and cold, and impotent, and lethargic, and psychotic, and sleep-deprived ? oh, and I peed like 40 times per day), and my body was becoming more and more thrifty ? squeezing every last nugget of energy out of the food I was ingesting instead of just allowing it to pass through freely at a fast rate, largely unabsorbed.
Anyway, this is but another mechanism that changes as your metabolism slows down. Your body absorbs more calories from the food you eat. A sloth, the mammal with the lowest metabolic rate and a basal body temperature of around 93 degrees F, has a 30-day transit time!!! That’s how long food it eats stays in its body.
Likewise, when you start increasing metabolic rate ? and sure you will probably poop more if you are eating more to do this naturally (but that’s not the only factor in the equation), your body stops absorbing calories (and probably metabolic waste as well) so efficiently, and the pipes flush with a jackpot of fecal matter once, twice ? sometimes even three or four times per day. Beauties all of ?em.
So keep this in mind. Especially when it appears that obese people absorb more calories from the food they eat than the lean. Got low metabolism?? But this can be fixed. Or at the very least improved.
And so, what happened when I returned to civilization and ate enough to gain 15 pounds in 10 days or so?? My bowels returned more or less to normal. Although I remained a little chilly for years until I really made the metabolism connection and began to get more aggressive at the dinner table. At which point my bowel movements became the stuff of legend. I hope someday I will be able to have a bowel bout live on pay per view vs. Paul Chek. Finally! There will be shit on tv worth watching!
The other interesting thing I wanted to discuss related to stool volume is what happens when you do eat a lot of indigestible material. Let’s say you eat 30 bananas a day, like the gentleman described here by the 2nd best health blogger in the universe, Anthony Colpo. You are not used to doing this. You are used to eating pancakes and syrup and filet mignon and pizza ? all of which digest and absorb completely with very little residue. Then you eat a high fiber, high FOS, high resistant starch, raw food that digests at a much lower rate. What happens?
Shit happens! Come on. You had to see that one coming.
Eat 30 bananas a day for two weeks though and by the end of the two weeks your body is absorbing all those bananas much better. You are still pooping a lot, but not as much as you were at the start and things are starting to come out more solid and formed. It makes a transition, I believe, by slowing down transit time, and the undigested matter fosters massive bacterial growth (Ray Peat’s reasoning for avoiding bananas ? bacterial growth yields greater serotonin production yields instant death and dismemberment in his theoretical world), which breaks much more of it down into short chain fats.
Okay, now that you have tried that ? switch back over to the pancakes, pizza, and filet mignon. Yep, you aren’t pooping at all now and are plugged up. Even though you weren’t the least bit constipated and had decent stool volume before you ever touched a banana.
Anyway ? not drawing any big conclusions from that in particular. Just saying that a lot of it is transitional. It’s interesting right?? And potentially useful as is any physiological happening. And yes a lot of people who have been eating a coarse fiber-rich diet with lots of raw foods get constipated when they switch to more easily-digestible food. But it is usually temporary, as is having diarrhea once you switch from a processed diet to one that is more unrefined.
Hope you liked this crap.
“It is also typical, if you follow the work of the other Matt Stone, to see stool sing songs full of Christmas cheer.”
Haha. Caught that one too :)
Hooray for Mr. Hanky!
I recall reading Paul Chek asserting you should be pooping “12 inches, twice a day”. I’m willing to measure my pee on a Brix meter, but I draw the line at using a tape measure on number twos.
Chek seems to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed on a regular basis.
Awesome post. I once thought that my digestion was doomed forever. For a loong time I only had “urges” to go if I had cramps etc…Basically put, beer could have been considered my weekly oral enema. When I was younger, for some reason I held in the urges to go to the bathroom, I’m not sure why…Maybe I even liked it? Idk…But a few years ago I thought maybe thats why my digestion is screwed because I never went to the bathroom as a kid like I should’ve. Eating a lot more, and getting the body temperature up, I’m actually feeling urges that feel similar to back when I was a boy. Now if I have to go to the bathroom I absolutely hate holding it in, it’s like, a sin or something lol. I obey my bowels! And also, I too had an appendectomy. Couple years after that, I would go on long walks (misguided weight loss attempt) and sometimes I would feel this pain at my waist. I later attributed this to cecum pain, and I started reading into the cecum, and the appendix blah blah blah, and starting squating whenever I could. The pain actually went away from doing this. Have you written any blog posts about proper evacuation Matt? Reading about how, when you squat, your thigh presses against the cecum, squeezing it (getting all the gunk out) and also keep the ileum valve shut so as to not let stuff from the large intestines cram back into the small. All very fascinating and sorry I don’t have time to make my post proper in any way shape or form! =) Good day and night everybody.
It’s an interesting tangent, and one that I have thought about a lot, but never voiced on the site for fear of sounding too much like Doc Mercola. But I have had many outdoor squatting poops as well as wonderful squats in my travels in Asia. Great stuff. But you know we Westerners must sit on a throne.
That ‘transitional’ point is especially important. I’ve wondered about this too, especially having experienced constipation as a fruitarian (albeit an emaciated, calorie-restricting fruitarian). I guess I still wonder whether we ever reach a point of ‘no return.’ Then the shit would really hit the fan…
I must commend you on your sense of humor! Most exciting shitty blog post I’ve ever read.
Thanks for making me crack up about crap. Love your way with words. Keep it coming!
What I have always wanted to know is the magic formula for the perfect poop. You know the one that’s big and satisfying yet yields no residue on the toilet paper when you go to wipe. I get maybe only one of those a month.
The biggest improvement I saw on RBTI was in the quality and consistency of my stools (and also the regularity of bowel movements). I don’t think this is necessarily attributable to RBTI but here are some of the principles I think influence stool quality.
-Eating enough food (increases metabolism and increases stool volume)
-Eating yogurt and foods containing resistant starches to feed the good bacteria
-High volume of whole foods (including fruits and vegetables)
There are differing theories about fiber and gut flora and what not. Most of my life I was one of those people that wondered what it took to get well-formed stools. Now I get them almost all the time, and I haven’t really been following RBTI principles for the last few weeks. My foods contain things like rice and sweet potatoes as starches and a good variety of fruits and vegetables. I think just having enough whole foods in there keeps the whole system running smoothly.
I can’t imagine not having at least some not-fully-predigested processed foods in the diet. I like having a lot in there actually. My digestive tract can handle just about anything. Whole heads of lettuce. A dozen pieces of fruit a day. Whole grains.
That is so funny! I was just thinking about that this morning after my body delivered just such a specimen – as usual. And for a minute, I considered sharing that experience, with this post in mind of course, but thought, “Nah nobody wants to hear about my perfect poop.” Haha. But since you asked… :)
Mine are significant and no fuss no mess most days. Toilet paper usually clean. Number one is healthy metabolism. And I think number two is eating a wide variety of foods and plenty of it.
For example, what I ate the entire day yesterday was… a bowl of cereal with skim milk, 2 bananas, low fat (2%) cottage cheese, sliced peaches, 2 clementines, fish (tilapia), a colorful mix (orange, red, yellow, green, white) cooked veggies, a bowl of ice cream (for desert at lunch), homemade veggie soup, and a 6-8oz glass of skim milk with both lunch and dinner.
And… I even ate some Pringles that someone offered me – because I didn’t want to be a food snob :) – but they were the “lightly salted” kind at least. Haha. I don’t stress over incidentals like that though. I just eat the food. And because I give my body plenty of what it wants, it can handle the occasional things it doesn’t need. So I don’t worry about it. I think not stressing over what you eat is very key too.
Also I tend to not eat (crave) much muscle meat. And definitely not everyday. I tend to eat more fish than red meat or poultry – a few times a week (tilapia and salmon are my favs). But I do eat meat when I “feel” like it. And when I do follow my urges to eat meat, I do enjoy it. But I’ve noticed that muscle meat does tend to make my stool harder than usual – among other things non-poop related.
Note that I have a consistently high temp, great digestion, no hunger between meals, and other signs of having a healthy metabolism – including my perfect poops.
So how did I do it? By “eating the food” and letting my body be in control. Most anyone can restore a healthy metabolism (and achieve perfect poops) by following the principals of RRARF by Matt Stone (you know, the independent health and nutrition researcher and writer – not the other Matt Stone). And the “magic formula” for achieving perfect poop can be found in his latest book, “Diet Recovery” http://180degreehealth.com/2011/10/diet-recovery
Oh and one last thing… I’ve noticed that when I don’t eat enough and/or a wide variety of food my poop isn’t so perfect. And I ‘know’ when my body isn’t happy with the volume and variety of my food intake. It always gives me “a little shit” for it the next day at poop time! :)
What’s with the Matt Stone infomercial? I suppose you are just hoping I will do the same for you when you release your CorenaGeneen masterpiece :)
Haha. I thought the same thing after I posted that. It was meant to be funny but yeah, reading it back (yes I caught the misspelling of “principles” lol), it did kinda come across as an infomercial. I mean come on. The “magic formula for perfect poop!” Now THAT will sell a crap load of freakin’ ebooks for sure!!
And um CorenaGeneen?! Can’t believe you would fuse my name with hers! Not that I have anything against her. But really? No comparison. Not even close! And uh my masterpieces sell themselves, thank you. And that one will too because it just works! :)
Evan, if you base your calories from fruit, you’ll get those every time.
Tons of fruit does that for me every time. I have made it weeks without leaving a toilet paper stain before on a high fruit diet. But I know it makes some people just kinda splatter.
I’ll agree. I’m feeling a good part of that (splatter) comes down to ripeness, gut bacteria, and better tolerance to certain types of fruits. I’m flawless on sweet fruits, but citrus doesn’t always run as smoothly. Haven’t totally narrowed that problem down, but it seems like it’s in relation to citrus being eaten too close to other foods.
In RBTI, citrus speeds digestion and bananas slow it down haha.
I should have said, citrus doesn’t digest as well, not slow. It does digest faster… just brings the “pop-pop” effect when da’ poo is coming through ;)
I know what you mean. I’ve done plenty of fruit feasting in my day. Citrus is pretty rough in huge quantity.
I like it when someone’s talking about real science
Evan: my best creations happened when I went really high fat and low carb for a few days, I literally saved thousands on toilet paper. A prerequisite is probably also a decent amount of protein, which prolongs sitting on the throne a bit – not constipation in its true form, rather the feeling that has you so much more satisfied with what you would have done. I remember I almost reach samadhi several times as the process included altered states of mind. Power to the poop!
Ah man. All the work I’ve done for the humble banana… and here’s Matt Stone driving fear into the butts of those throughout the interwebs about them. Ha-ha
Never fear Grok. I had 6 as an appetizer today.
acording to his email to anthony DURIAN RIDER EATS 60!!! ..although I dont know how i tried 30 it sucked …maybe he does 30 in a normal fashion and 30 in reverse like cartman on southpark …and thats why he talks so much shit.
It’s posts like this that’ll make you more of a star than you already are :)
Hey, if it worked for Dr. Oz. It can work for me!
Great poop post Matt! Though I will say I was disappointed to see there were no comparisons to peanut butter, soft serve ice cream, or anything “streamlined”! ;-)
Don’t lie Drew. I know damn well that your disappoint came from no actual pictures of poop. This guy loves poop. What can I say?
There could be no better present for my birthday, than a new poop post from Matt. The boy has increased his appetite a lot and is putting away adult sized meals, but unfortunately his digestion is not as robust as it should be. His transit time is too long and I’m still relying on herbal tea to get him to the poddy three times a week. I was just reading on a WAPF-related page (oh why do I look at those, they almost always leave me a little crazy afterward) about C-section leading to a compromised gut because the baby doesn’t get the right probiotics in the birth canal. Of course their solution is GAPS. While I found Matt’s RS3 salad to have a miraculous effect on my digestion whenever it gets a little slow, I really never saw it doing much to help the little nipper. He is no stranger to probiotics in food, like yogurt and he’s the only person I’ve ever met who actually likes kombucha. Suggestions?
I’m a C-section baby and I had crappy craps most of my life. But as my post above points out, i I seem to have turned this around lately. Of course I am now 32 so who knows if that is even a factor anymore. I did have multiple rounds of antibiotics for ear infections when I was young though. You’re probably doing a lot of things right. Many of these things are just trickier than we’d like sometimes.
As for WAPF bashing, I’m kind of in that camp too. But as I work on my own blog and have the need to make certain points, I repeatedly find myself returning to principles that only Weson A. Price, or the WAP Foundation seem to understand. Yeah, you can sink into orthorexia with them, but they are providing a valuable service.
Check out the book “IBS Free At Last” by Patsy Catsos
You may have already tried this or it may not work in your situation but it might be worth a shot. I have had slow transit time and constipation my entire life. Even as a breastfed infant I had a bowel movement only about once a week. But anyways, the only thing that really works to get me moving again is food combining. I know it sounds stupid and anti-everything that we have learned on this site but everytime I do it for a couple weeks it gets me going again and I can start to go back to mixed meals. But recently I have been eating only carbs for breakfast (like oatmeal with honey), and usually something cheesy for lunch (like a quesadilla, not strict food combining but it seems like cheese mixes better with carbs than meat), and then usually meat and vegetables for dinner. I started doing this about a week ago and within 2 days I was going everyday after breakfast like clockwork.
I dont know if this will work for your son but I hope it does. Another thing that definitely helps is cutting out cow dairy and being really strict with only goat and sheep dairy (but that might just be me). Good luck
what is food combining ? I combine a bunch of stuff every time i eat.. is there a strict method that is supposed to do something I’m genuinely curious.
Food-combining is an oxymoronic name. It should be called Not food combining, whereas buffet eating should be called food combining. The main rule is not eating protein and carbs together.
Yea it pretty much sucks eating protein without carbs but if you are at your wits end digestively, it can help get things moving. It does for me anyway
Always wondered about that. Joel Marion is big on these combos:
1. Protein + Fat meals (with less than 10 grams of carbs)
2. Protein + Carb meals (with less than 10 grams of fat)
Any truth or validitiy to these?
As a tweak to the forced method they are valid and cycling them can produce improved results but steak and gravy with greens gets boring and so does chicken breast cooked in pam with steamed rice.might help a body builder get ready for competitions but for average joes it wont change your weight set point any more than avoiding all flavor stimulation and going with something like the all boiled potato diet.
life is too short for it too taste shitty.
“life is too short for it too taste shitty.”
More pure platinum Chiefy wisdom!
Chief you Rrrok!
( and all puns intended – of course :)
CSI season 2 Overload
They have a re-birthing ceremony. The boy is wrapped in a blanket naked, this simulates a womb, the boy then has to fight his way out while his mother and doctor try to trap him inside, the boy breaking free symbolizes a new birth and he should be cured!
or maybe this http://thehairpin.com/2011/02/womb-spa-is-disgusting
Does he have very alkaline urine by any chance? No I don’t expect you to know this. But you might want to give it a test to see. And keep him away from things like nuts and seeds especially. If you can without turning him into a little orthorexic.
No worries there. He hates nuts and seeds. It’s the only thing he won’t eat. He loves peanut butter, but my understanding that’s a legume so it doesn’t count as a nut. Haven’t tested any pee. Have you done a basics of reading your pee post?
Wow, chief, you read the hairpin? Do you also have a subscription to Bust? Mind boggles.
nah, I only read matt’s and Stephan Guyenet’s really and grassfed momma’s on occasion. everything else is google stumbling. I tend to remember almost everything, sadly alot of it is insanely worthless things like that new agey womb therapy lol Stephan likes to talk about “little fury humans in cages” and matt talks about poop, so I get my bases covered with those 2 blogs.Stephan is the only similar but opposite view to mine and it’s good to not become all dogma’d out.
Does the boy pee a lot? And is it always clear? Does he wet the bed or get up at night to pee? Frequent nightmares or night terrors? Cold hands and feet? Major mood changes when he hasn’t eaten? I would like to know the pH of it as well. Some cheap pH strips will do the trick on that badboy.
Have you looked into Triphala? I had terrible IBS for two years after a round of antibiotics, and it took Triphala, probiotics, and marshmallow root to fix it. Incidentally, the poop doctors were useless.
Frankly, they ain’t worth their poop.
Happy New Year. Hilarious and timely article for me. In my experience, though, I don’t think anyone has truly severe and chronic cases of constipation figured out. The pat (and sometimes contradictory) suggestions most people throw out, like “just eat more fiber,” “just eat less fiber,” “drink more water,” “eat more fruits and vegetables,” “eat more raw foods,” “eat more easily digestible cook foods,” “try prunes,” “eat beans,” “don’t eat beans,” etc. have never gotten me very far. I have tried them all and think these are shallow suggestions generally devised by people who have never had to deal with constipation for a lifetime, or even a month.
RRARF, too, basically failed me in this arena, as eating ginormous plates of food from all food groups every day for over year straight with very little physical exertion never corrected my infrequent, poorly formed stools, nor brought my temperature out of the low 97 range, nor held my weight above 170 pounds (at 6’3″) for very long. Can this be explained (assuming I don’t have cancer or something) within the theoretical framework of RRARF alone?
At this point, RBTI is the only health theory that has much practical value to me (ie, the only one that actually accurately predicts my own experience) and the only one that has answers for why abundant easy calories from 15 pounds of potatoes per week would actually constipate me following RRARF, and why bananas plug me up something awful, too. For myself, I think I’m finally seeing slow improvement through following RBTI, but things seem to go south very easily for me if I’m not strict as well as if I go without regular vitamin C and soil-based organism supplementation. Following the acid/alkaline calciums food chart and emphasizing foods with calcium phosphate and calcium gypsum also seems to make a difference, somewhat amazingly. Anyway, glad to see some conversation on this topic again, and hopefully better answers to this problem will emerge over time. Thanks, Matt.
Are you sure you don’t have a parasite? Maybe something with your physiology is just way out of whack but the regimentation of strict RBTI could be allowing your body to not have to deal as hard with something else. Who knows?
Check out the book “IBS Free At Last” by Patsy Catsos
The big problem for you Mike is summarized by 170 pounds (at 6’3″). If you had bulked up to 200 and ramped up leptin production and anabolic hormones you would be pooping like a champ. But just eating a lot of food doesn’t mean added size or body fat. Your body has to digest, metabolize, and convert that stuff into stored energy. And that is never a given.
Keeping the urine pH out of the highly alkaline state can certainly help. But it’s not the whole story. It is damn interesting though.
I guess the question is, why *didn’t* I bulk up to 200 pounds doing RRARF for over a year? And what do you do when resting and eating 4000 calories a day doesn’t work? Surely, the answer is not to eat 8000 calories a day?
And I’m weary of this kind of thinking: “If you had bulked up to 200 and ramped up leptin production and anabolic hormones you would be pooping like a champ.” For me, expecting things to work this way got me sticking to and hoping in the long-term benefit of acting on a theory at the expense of ignoring actual short-term results that suggested the theory (“just eat a lot, you’ll gain weight, then you’ll be healthy”) didn’t actually work.
While doing RRARF, the only barometer of progress I monitored (other than body temp., which never really changed) was whether I was gaining weight. I spent a year disregarding horrible bowel movements, low energy, absent libido (not that any of these were new problems), etc., telling myself that if only my weight came up all these problems would magically go away. My weight did go up to an all-time high of 175 but none of these issues resolved and later it dropped back to 160 and never came back up.
Now I’m inclined to think, that if you don’t get your digestion fixed first, neither the weight gain nor the energy, libido, etc. can ever come up and stay up. I think the solution is not, as you suggest, “Eat a lot to fix your digestion,” but rather, “Fix your digestion, THEN eat a lot.”
My constipation and low energy are FAR from healed, but already they are objectively better eating fewer calories, now at only 155 pounds (yikes… again, definitely not saying all is well), doing RBTI. I think if you are eating what is best for you, you shouldn’t have to wait until you reach your ideal weight to have good digestion. In fact, unless you first have good digestion, I’m now inclined to think you will never reach your ideal weight. And if your digestion stays bad doing RRARF, maybe it’s not because you just haven’t done it long enough for your metabolism to come up, but rather, that the program itself (for individuals with this experience) is a net negative for the metabolism.
This health stuff is frustrating.
Great comment Mike. In my experience, I tried for years to figure out what I could eat that wouldn’t cause me to have digestive distress. It seemed that no matter what diet I tried, the digestive problem – heartburn, would creep in. Even if there was short-term relief. But then I just said screw it, ate everything with no macronutrient restriction, and the problem went away forever. Now eating at a buffet with 20 different selections on my plate(s) I have no negative digestive issues at all.
It’s obvious that not all cases are that simple though, as you can attest. That’s why I found RBTI to be appealing, because it drew in another set of insights into stabilizing things, and really can be better suited for those who have more complex problems.
Yeah, “screw it” was my lifelong motto with respect to diet up until just a few years ago when I finally realized I wasn’t getting away with it and never had. I never restricted macronutrients (I didn’t even know what a macronutrient was) and wouldn’t even think of limiting calories (I ate whole pizzas for dinner fairly often). I never had heartburn, stomach aches, or diarrhea, but… when I went to the toilet once a week, I would strain out rock-hard crap that often took 15 minutes or more with a plunger to get down the toilet. Charming anecdote, I know, but no joke.
Definitely try a parasite / colon cleanse and see if that helps. I’m a big fan of healthforce’s cleanse — just ignore the vegan propaganda on the lables. :-) http://www.healthforce.com/shop?page=shop.product_details&flypage=garden_flypage.tpl&product_id=82&category_id=4&aff_id=551
Their “Earth” product is great for generating overall happy poop after the cleanse is done.
Parasites are caused by constipation, not the other way around. If you get your constipation fixed, any parasites that you may have will have nothing left to feed on and will die. Parasites are there to clean up the garbage that is just sitting around if our bodies are not able to get rid of it. If you get rid of the garbage the parasites will go away. I tried dozens of parasite cleanses to try to fix my severe constipation issue with zero success. It wasnt until I started “eating the food” that my constipation went away.
Does RBTI suggest low fat dairy? I’ve been drinking whole milk and half and half… =)
Half and half is amazing stuff for metabolic stimulation. A half gallon of that in a day will leave you sweating. RBTI recommends low-fat milk, but ice cream and sour cream and stuff like that is still fair game – in reasonable amounts.
Gotta LOVE a post I can understand and relate to! LOVE to talk to poop….but it’s kind of frowned upon by many women!
Doing anything upon poop is strange. Especially frowning.
watch out Matt, cult status reaching critical mass, infomercials now people are talking to their poop.
Be gentle with me- this is my first comment! On your poo post! After quietly observing your great blog for many months and by courtesy of your inspiration: throwing my old, anorexic, orthorexic mindset down the toilet.
Interesting stuff, to say the least. Iodine supplementation makes me poop good. I remember you saying at some point that it only artificially ramps up metabolism but can’t find where you said it/if you said anything else about it. When I supercharge my food intake, and supercharge my iodine intake (anywhere from 4-50mg a few times a week, with selenium), pooping is frequent and easy, and I can cope a little better with more food than I am used to. I wonder if it is solving a lifetime of inadequate iodine (I’m 22, formerly vegan for eight years, vegetarian forever, no fish, minimal seaweed, only dairy in my younger years, highly strict on myself til now). Or, is it a short-lived temporary route to the stella metabolism I am seeking. I’m frickin doing my nut in over a chronic itching, crawling skin thing that has surfaced in the past few years (candida, allergies, could be anything, but I am reluctant to diagnose myself), and one of the few things that helps is iodine in strong doses, and RRARF isn’t as yet solving.
Iodine can be helpful. It does indeed raise metabolism, as do various dietary interventions. I wouldn’t be too concerned about taking if I were you, and just continue to try to eat well – high calorie and macronutrient unrestricted. Thanks for your comment! Hope it’s not your last. Poop on.
do you eat eggs by any chance ?
i do, well, in the past few months I have started having them nearly daily. why?
I was reading your comment and noticed you mentioned being vegetarian but because you mentioned milk and fish not being part of your diet I though the omission of eggs in the statement was because you do eat them I wanted to be sure you were. A vegetarian diet is tough to thrive but it is certainly very very doable with eggs and maybe even a little algae. you certainly can raise your metabolism with vegetables alone but once your body is running on all cylinders cholesterol and b12 will eventually become an issue on a vegetarian diet and I figured if you were trying to get a “stella” metabolism I’d point that out.
seems like if people can get the perfect poop by going high fruit, while others can get it by going high fat, there’s no one way about it is there? I’m still trying to figure out what will make me get that perfect poop going every day. I think I may be reaching that goal, my poop is as you described, but alas, the frequency of my bowels are still far from being daily. 3 times a week at least though. i find I can’t poop at all when I travel, even if I am eating my vegetables etc while traveling and I am relaxed and all. I don’t know, I think there’s a lot more to this thing than just food. to risk sounding like a total nutcase, I’ve also tried massaging my tummy before in a clockwise direction and it does help..
I personally wouldn’t rely too heavily on high fruit, high fat, or food combining to achieve the perfect poop. I don’t think any of them address the true core issue underlying bowel problems.
what is considered high fruit/carb/fat anyway? i was reading corena’s comment and 2 bananas, peaches, and clementines in one day sounded high to me. I’m in no way trying to avoid carbs at all, having come out of a kind of LC paleo-ish phase.
For e.g. today, i had a slice of blackberry pie with raw buffalo yogurt for breakfast, a cup worth of rice noodles with an egg and veggies in a stirfry using about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, and then for dinner, carrot and coconut soup plus some chard. In between meals i had a pear, and this cute tiny baby apple. And walnuts toasted with honey and sesame, I know, it’s nuts and seeds, but they’re my weakness): I do eat meat and fish too, just not today. But just curious because I see comments(i think it was in your previous, previous post) outlining a typical day with 3 hardboiled eggs and some jerky and i think it was grassfed burgers and that, to me, was much like/more than the amt of protein I would have in low-carb/hi-protein days..
Overall though, I don’t like to think too much about how much of each nutrient group I’m eating in a day. Trying to get rid of all these thoughts like what Matt’s been advocating. I just eat based on what tastes good. I love cooking. It may very well be vegetarian or it may very well be grilled ribs, it may be fat-free and light soup, or it may well be a roast basted with lots of butter. But well, it would be nice if that translates to reaching a healthy state easily ): I don’t struggle with weight issues, but since transitioning to this way of eating, esp adding more grains, my skin has started getting forehead acne again (and I’ve been clear for years!), my bowels have never been perfect anyway so well, no loss there..
It’s usually on a percentage basis. Like over 60% of dietary calories as carbs and up is considered high carb, generally. Where 30% or less from fat is considered low fat, generally. I don’t think there is any strict rule, but most people do better with more of their energy from carbs. I think glucose is a superior fuel supply. Certainly for high intensity exercise. If you’ve been LC for a long time, your view of what is high carb may be skewed. Sometimes a slice of toast feels like a high carb meal after years of low-carb – but 10 slices of bread isn’t even close to how many carbs I get at meals lately! I got in an easy 350 grams of carbs tonight, starting with an entire bunch of bananas as an appetizer before going out to an all-you-can eat Chinese buffet.
I’ll +1 this.
Maybe 70% & up carbs or more from fruit I’d call high fruit. I had poop when I had high-fat paleo dialed, but “good” is a relative term in comparison to the fruit poop.
Right on the money with the skewed idea of carbs coming from low-carb. A satisfying meal for me is always OVER 450 carbs when I add it up a log. When meals are that high in carbs, I like to keep them low-fat or else I see fat gain. I’m not anti-fat at all, so I think this is where I tend to confuse people with my low-fat talk. I’m also not a advocate for those carbs coming from starch sources if you want energy. I’d rather see someone drinking honey or maple syrup.
HI chuck, what’s your take on starch ?
Personally I find them an inferior source of carbohydrate. They do almost nothing but hold me back (exercise, weight loss, energy), and sometimes give me GERD like symptoms. Generally speaking, they’re as boring as Matt’s perfect poop when eaten plain. When covered in empty calories, they’re udderly (har-har) delicious and I find them terribly easy to overeat. A benefit, is some, like potatoes, are very nutritious and a great calorie vehicle for itty bitty eaters wanting to get more calories for weight gain.
That said, many people do just fine on them. Colpo is one of those. I’m certainly not going to argue with his results. If someone tolerates starches and is not unmotivated and snoring on the sofa after eating them… knock yourself out :) I’m jealous.
Actually the trick to starches is zero raw food, high protein and low in fat. In that case they beat fruit as fuel source plus you get the best possible muscle growth and hormonal levels on any protocol which is something a fruit diet will fuck up/disrupt completely.
Well this would makes sense, since it’s the typical BB protocol. I still don’t believe it’s better for fast recovery. When you’re doing 2-3 glycogen depleting workouts a day, that starch and high protein just isn’t going to leave you loving life during the next workout.
I can’t really comment on the anabolic effects, since pretty much all the exercise I do is considered catabolic. I will say though, I’m most certainly gaining muscle/strength, and my recovery is incredible (ie… tissues are being repaired quickly).
I’ve done the low-fat starch approach. Admittedly it wasn’t high in lean protein (.5g per LB?) and not zero raw food. Bottom line… it just didn’t absorb fast enough and often caused stitching. More protein (fresh raw tuna) made it even worse, as it further slows digestion. White rice was by far the best starch I tested. I even fermented it first to further aid in digestion. I could see not including raw food might change the stomach PH and allow for better digestion, but that sounds like a lame “diet” to me.
you say coming out of lc, views on what is alot of carbs will be skewed. haha i guess i’m the other way round then, I’ve jumped all the way to the other side of the bandwagon? I’m saying the amounts outlined by that comment seem quite low.
more of my carbs come from starches though, white rice. i know you’re anti starches chuck, and I do like fruits, have maybe 1-2 medium ones a day, oh and I like honey, have that ALOT. when i first decided to eat more carbs, I was still stuck in a sort of paleo mindset, so i ate a lot more fruits and avoided grains, and that is why i was confused about corena’s perfect poop diet which basically just sounded like what I would eat then…
But I’m thinking if what matt’s trying to get us to do is to be able to go back to eating like “normal” people, most normal people do get most of their carbs from rice and potatoes etc, not fruits.
Wow 3x a day? You training for the olympics? I don’t think even durianrider trains that much.
“that is why i was confused about corena’s perfect poop diet which basically just sounded like what I would eat then?
But I’m thinking if what matt’s trying to get us to do is to be able to go back to eating like ?normal? people, most normal people do get most of their carbs from rice and potatoes etc, not fruits.”
I eat lots of everything! EXCEPT not so much rice or white potatoes. But I’m not “normal” people – far from it! :) Haha.
thanks for clarifying that corena! haha I guess if we are on this site we are all from being “normal” ;)
@shu, I’m not anti-starch at all… only for myself. I live in Hawaii. “Normal” for me is eating fruit. It’s a whole lot nicer (especially in the summer) to not have to cook and/or eat warm food all the time.
@Apex_Predator, No, a 320 mile triathlon. About 10x further than an Olympic length triathlon. A pretty good base is required going into an event like that. I probably train more hours than DR most of the time.
I definitely have felt less sleepy after meals recently if I eat 200g carbs worth of fruit prior to commencing the real meal. Today I ate at an Indian buffet with very little sugar at all and had a 2 hour nap after. Naps can be awesome too though. And I have been super warm all day. Like my fingers could melt my keyboard right now. So being tired after a meal isn’t outright a bad thing. In some contexts maybe it’s even good and a sign of traveling deeper into a low adrenal state. I think of meals like sex. The better and more satisfying the more sleepy and relaxed you become afterward. And the deeper you sleep.
what’s your physical activity like ?
This is just because I’m on break from school, so I’m pretty free. I do HIIT 5 days a week, yoga and meditation 2 days. Sounds a bit much I guess, I’m also trying to get over that whole “I need to exercise more” mentality thing. This is even harder to get over than the food bit, I’m not going to say I love exercising, but I think I really do like that feeling of sweating AFTER you exercise, and because it’s winter now, I find it really hard to sweat, so I often push harder to get to that stage.
gahhhh i know, that’s going to be the reason for my troubles eh?
that said, school starts again next week…boo.
that said, school starts again next week…boo.
oh the buffalo yogurt wasn’t raw after all, i’m snacking on it now (at night, another problem) and I just read the label.
Some people can withstand more exercise than others. In an ideal world, I think we would all spend most of the day moving around. But we have youtube now. So who the hell can leave the computer screen?
I would just be open to the idea that you may do better with less. Maybe better with more. Maybe better with a different mix. Maybe HIIT only once per week and weights the rest of the week. Maybe more walking and no HIIT for a while. Just don’t get it in your head that it must be a certain way. You might be wrong! Flexibility in thinking is key to tuning into your body’s physiological needs.
I was gonna say exactly what matt said, ( damn twin) and I would add that maybe you have gone about exercise in the wrong way. Instead of looking at what “your supposed to do” maybe find what will build up a demand for more calories without burning yourself out. maybe sitting on the couch is what you need I could not say with so little info. You digestive issue might simply be not enough stuff in there to make it work. simply put, you don’t need enough, so you don’t crave enough which means you don’t eat enough so there is not enough. Something is obviously off somewhere, you need to “need more”.
I’m training an ultra skinny guy right now for the past few weeks and he has people asking him “what happened over christmas break ..steroids?” he has dealt with constipation most of his life and the doctor just told him “eat more fibre” , when he started with me and he had no Idea that a grapefruit a piece of jerky, a sandwich and an apple was “not alot/enough ” for a day. he is no longer shivering on the way to school and “droppin kids of at the pool ” daily and eating like “a boss”!.
the reason I bring up his story is sometimes like matt said you have to change the way you see things in order to progress. As soon he applied my advice he changed it all up overnight and within the first week was droppin deuces regularly after a lifetime of toilet troubles. He was exercising, playing soccer and all of that but it was not the right formula.
so you think it’s because I’m in general not eating enough because perhaps my body just needs a lot more than others? that’s an interesting thought! If I think about what makes me really ravenous right after, it’s swimming. I do that alot in summer, but not in winter of course >< I don't know, I'll try changing my routines! My main concern now is still my returning acne though, so may do alot more calming exercises like yoga..
oh, another thought came to me. I'm usually most constipated when I travel. I actually do poop sometimes daily, sometimes every 2 days, max 3 days here. It's only when I travel, which is funny because that's when I eat ALOT more. Maybe because I exercise less? I do walk alot though.
i think it requires more than you think shu, everyone else should not matter. you are eating less than what you are genetically designed for.
swimming makes perfect sense as it steals bodyheat quicker than air so it would obviously use up more calories and in the process make you hungrier.
Yes. Thats probably the problem. You don’t need to sweat as much when its cold. So, don’t bother going to look for sweat. And HIIT 5x/week? Holy cow. Don’t forget that your heart is a muscle and needs to recover from a workout just like you would recover from a high reps workout that left you with doms. Please don’t hurt yourself. Heart repair is a pain in the ass. . .
Matt, the proper poopin’ position, have you read and or blogged about it? I previously said something about it in an earlier post, it’s just really cool how it works (i think) and I wanted to address it again cuz I know you do a lot of reading already…and ONE quick question, have you solved your keratosis issue on your arms with rrarf or rbti??? thank you for responding to my whole milk post. the facelessfatloss dude on youtube is very interesting….May you all have wondering komoduels
The keratosis seems to primarily involve 3 things for me: carbs, calories, and percent animal protein in the diet
The higher the ratio of animal protein to the first two, the greater the keratosis pilaris or whatever it’s called. I don’t eat much meat anymore so it’s not even noticeable.
Funny I have had this forever…on the back of my arms mostly. I know there is no medical fix for it…interesting…
My daughter has “keratosis pilaris” Her doctor told her it is caused from
a vitamin A deficiency. She prescribed a high dose vitamin A supplement.
My daughters skin cleared up. My daughter slacked on the supps and, the
condition returned. She now keeps up with her supplement.
That’s what most people believe, but if your diet is too off you can probably take all the vitamin A in the world without seeing it clear up.
Didn’t know there was a scientific name for this. Fruit Vegan cleared it all up for me. I only had it on the backs of my arms. Haven’t done vegansim for some time now and it hasn’t returned. I also don’t eat meat really at all.
I could see the A supps helping, but there may be something else too it. My paleo diet was high in vitamin A. CLO, liver, and other organs were a major part of my diet. Paleo didn’t make it go away. The LFRV diet is low in usable A, yet it cleared up very quickly. My 2?
Yeah, the worst it’s ever been in adulthood was when my cod liver oil and organ meat intake was at its zenith.
I find that raisins work well to assist with movements.
Matt (and others)…what is your take on raisins? I love them and can eat a whole big box at a time if I wanted…but noticed (based on the label) that a 1/4 cup has 24grams of sugar. Who eats a 1/4 cup anyway??? Safe to eat?
Yeah I’m all about raisins. And I eat huge quantities of sugar from fruit. I’ve been eating tons of fruit as an appetizer before I slay big meals the last couple of days. And there’s always room for dates and raisins when it’s all said and done.
Thanks Matt…I am trying to shed the “safe to eat”…”good vs. bad” food mentality that Sisson and his minons drilled into me (OK, maybe I am being too hard on the guy). I am also trying to not count nutrition content…however, while no sugar expert, it seemed really high and I wasn’t sure if it was something to be eaten in mass quantites. :)
I’ve been a follower for years, since before you came up with the HED. You advised me away from coffee and sugar then, which I really never managed. Except, during most of my 2nd pregnancy, I had no desire for either until the end. And I totally listened to my body during that time and ate what felt right or didn’t make me sick.
I have gained quite a bit around my middle. My body composition is way worse than 14 years ago (2 kids ago) even though I am only maybe 5 pounds heavier. Been reading along with RBTI, etc. Didn’t try ANY of that. I’ve been reading a lot of MDA and Robb Wolf lately and started eating less bread as a result. Mostly a, “Do I really want bread, or would I rather have some gingerbread house or ice cream later instead?” kind of thinking.
I would like to shed some body fat. I don’t consciously restrict, but I don’t always sleep well, have a fair amount of stress, and sometimes don’t eat well when I am busy. Not sure where to go from here.
Too bad you didn’t try any of that wacky RBTI stuff!! Combined with a little high-intensity exercise! Keeping your sugars stable a la RBTI can do amazing things for you sleep. But I would be happy to try to line that out. That’s a good place to start. Virtually impossible to expect improvements in body composition if you are stressed and not sleeping well.
Matt, your voice in my head is why I”m only READING paleo stuff! But some people do seem to get good results, and it is tempting to try low carb just to lose some fat.
Ah, sleep – I am capable of sleeping. My extremely active toddler is like an alarm clock – up at 5:30 or 5:40 every single day. I think I’d need to go to bed at nine, which means I’d have exactly 15 minutes of my evening with no children awake. I end up staying up later just to have some me time. Any mom’s out there with ideas for me?
I don’t know anyone that got results as good as mine on a low-carb Paleo-esque diet! But it was like a fatal attraction! Stay away from the light!
Agree with Matt 100%. I did Paelo (Sisson style) for a while and it sucked (to be blunt). If you see the light, close the door…and lock it.
I have run the whole poop gamut in the past few months. Up until the end of October, I was doing “Peat eats”. As Matt has mentioned, Peat’s recommendations often result in constipation, and sometimes SEVERE constipation. I experienced this MANY times during my year of “Peat eats”. (A friend of mine had to go to the hospital for an impaction due to “Peat eats”.)
At the end of October, I ordered Matt’s RBTI e-book and jumped right in. Since at that point I was always alternating between constipation or diarrhea (if I ate fruit or drank certain kinds of fruit juices), I considered myself to have pretty weak digestion and although I didn’t have a practitioner, I had read about Challen’s “Marie Challender” recommendations for people with weak digestion. I didn’t plan on consuming anything with 40 ingredients on the label when there should only be 4 or 5, but I DID decide to avoid anything that was not easily digestible. I was shocked to learn that white refined flour did not cause me any gastric distress. I was convinced I was gluten sensitive after years of having problems. But as I did more experimenting, I discovered I reacted badly to whole wheat flour, and even bread flour (high protein content), but I did just fine with all purpose white flour. I also loved the Debole’s pasta with jerusalem artichoke flour – no bloating or gas. I avoided almost all veggies except for tomatoes and occasionally some canned veggies (lower fiber content). I drank OJ and cranberry juice and ate well cooked apples and cooked blueberries for fruit.
I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, eating such a low fiber diet. I feared I would have the same constipation battle I had with “Peat eats”. To my surprise, this was not the case. Between the RBTI meal times and eating lots of refined carbs, along with a little meat and dairy and juices and some fruit, I started having 1 or 2 normal bowel movements a day, no straining at all. What a relief!
Now 2 weeks ago, I started craving more fiber, such as brussel sprouts. I had some, and did not have any bad reaction. Stupid me, I decide this means I can get away with eating something like this EVERY DAY. So I started having brussel sprouts or well cooked cabbage or pearl barley almost every day, thinking my digestion could handle it. After two weeks, my b.m.’s were completely loose, unformed, undigested vegetable matter. And along with that, I had lots of gas and bloating, my hair started falling out, my goiter started swelling, my basal body temp went down, my skin started breaking down, my mood was affected, I had a lot of brain fog. My muscles were very tight and sore. Then I started developing muscle cramps because my electrolytes were messed up since everything I was eating was going right through me.
Needless to say, now I am back to my low fiber, refined foods diet. B.M.’s are getting more solid but still have a ways to go. Temp is coming up, hair has stopped falling out.
Ray Peat often warns people about the toxicity of many vegetables and the damage done by eating grains, and my last 2 weeks were a classic example of the kinds of problems he says are caused by the undigested food in the intestines increasing serotonin, raising cortisol and suppressing the thyroid. Unfortunately, there is also something missing from HIS dietary recommendations which often results in constipation!
If someone had told me I could restore my digestive health by eating donuts and pizza and French toast, etc. made with refined white flour, I would have never believed them, but thanks to my trying RBTI, that is what has happened. I also wouldn’t have believed them if they told me I could also lose weight while eating these foods, but having lost 10 pounds in the past 7 weeks, seeing is believing!
Mmmm, eating goitrogenic vegetables when you have a goiter! Not Winning!
Still totally loving all your comments. I think others that are phobic about processed foods could still at least process their food like baby food – having lots of purees and stuff like that. Similar concept.
Not WINNING at ALL! LOL. I always thought cooking reduced the goitrogenic effect of brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc. Apparently, not so much!
in RBTI it is recommended to rotate the foods, oils, etc. to prevent an intolerance or allergy. It also helps to get a wider variety of foods.
Have you seen the George Bray – Obesity Researcher – has endorsed RRARF?? See
JAMA. 2012;307(1):47-55 or
Yeah eating 3500 kcal (extra 1000 kcal) of 25% protein adds 3 kg of muscle.
Oh, and 3.4 kg fat.
Happy New Year
Totally saw that!
Cathy, what an incredible comment…Thank you very much for sharing. Hair falling out in 2 weeks, wow that’s a severe, and quick reaction! I am very confused about fructose now =(
Bob, for me fructose causes constipation.
I did not know this was my problem. I kept consuming more fruit
and, fiber only to make matters worse.
I recommend reading the book “IBS Free At Last” by Patsy Catsos. The book
talks about the different sugars in foods and, how they can effect “some” people
causing IBS. There is an elimination diet recommended. Then one can challenge
each type of “sugar” to see if it is causing trouble. Once you know your trigger/triggers you can then test for tolerance level. Meaning it isn’t total avoidance of problem sugar/sugars. One can determine a “safe” level.
This book was an answer to a lifetime of constipation.
I am a big fan of Patsy Catsos, as well. It took me a LONG time to figure out that the source of much of my digestion and elimination woes were caused by fruits and vegetables, things that I had been taught were HEALTHY. I learned from Ray Peat that eating indigestible fiber could feed the bad bacteria and increase serotonin, thus increasing cortisol, thus suppressing the thyroid. And I learned from him that the increase in serotonin and cortisol could lead to MANY problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, muscle inflammation, skin problems, insomnia, mood problems, brain fog, etc. But Ray also encourages people to drink fruit juices and consume well ripened fruit (and to avoid grains and most vegetables except well cooked root veggies). For someone with poor gut health like I had, drinking certain fruit juices and eating certain fruits caused some of the most horrible digestive distress I have EVER experienced. Doing research on that led me to learning about the low FODMAPS diet and Patsy Catsos. Now I am extremely cautious about eating ANYTHING that is not easily digested so I can heal my gut.
I have traveled the same road.
I too have to avoid most fruits and, veggies. I can eat a small
amount 2 to 3 times per week.
Mark Pimental has also written a decent explanation of bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine – the root cause of many cases of IBS, and makes similar recommendations. Peat’s work takes it a step further in understanding the hormonal basis for why people develop bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine in the first place.
I really like Anthony Colpo as well. His book “The Great Cholesterol Con” is a great read.
My own dietary path has been similar to yours. I had health problems some of which began and others of which were exacerbated after a round of hardcore anti-biotics about 3 or so years ago. I was very, very tired all the time and had thyroid problems among lots of other very strange issues.
I went on a vegan diet for several months, and while I felt great in some ways I was also very weak and tired, likely because I wasn’t getting enough calories. I don’t know how many pounds of veggies and fruit I was ingesting each day but it simply wasn’t enough. I dropped a ton of weight very rapidly, and looking at pictures at the time I looked more like a hospital patient with some sort of terminal condition than a healthy 30 year old male, but I was quite thin!
I only did it for a few months, but while I was on that diet I was pooping like I’d never pooped before. It was insane, I went to the bathroom more often because I had to poop than to pee. Stools were always loose and extremely easy to pass. In some ways I miss that but it can’t be normal. Too much fiber = not enough calories absorbed, I think.
After that I did a bout of IF and some other things, but eventually rolled around to your RRARF diet and decided to give it a shot. I started that around mid-2011, pounding potatoes and all sorts of other high-calorie starchy veggies, heavy on the coconut oil and a fair amount of meat, purposely eating more than I actually felt like I needed. My stools were pretty normal, and a lot of my health issues improved dramatically over when I was very calorie restricted. I gained about 40 pounds and physically felt way better than I felt before. I started feeling warmer which is an effect that has persisted as long as I keep my calorie intake high. I used to be cold when others were warm and now I’m often warm when others aren’t. But I’m also fat now!
After awhile I got tired of potatoes and started eating just whatever the hell I felt like eating. I just walked into the grocery store and got whatever I felt like. I didn’t go too extreme into junk food, but I wasn’t shy about the processed food. Processed food seems to be very digestible for me, but causes lots of pooping issues. I still ate as much as I felt like eating and gained more weight. My vegan low was 165 and my current weight is 230, so you get an idea of the incredible swing that has occurred over the course of less than a year! That weight is mostly fat, though I’m sure I have much more muscle than I did when I was eating vegan and feeling very weak all the time. During this period of overeating I did an RBTI test and consulted with Challen. I tried following his recommendations but the lemon juice part really seemed to make me feel like crap (achy and tired), so I abandoned that. I still try to avoid pork, and for awhile was eating my biggest meal at lunchtime. I am also still avoiding large quantities of water which is probably one of the most significantly helpful things I’ve done for my health in a long time. For me there is absolutely a correlation between my water intake and hypoglycemic symptoms.
Anyway, recently I started eating a lot of beans (black, refried, lentils) and that’s helped restore some normality to my stools. My biggest concern now is shedding this fat that I’ve put on by eating anything and everything in sight. I know I’m not supposed to care about that but I feel like I’ve been eating ad libitum long enough that if my body were magically going to reverse course and start losing weight it would have begun already. My only question now is how do I do it without causing the side effects that I’ve experienced in the past?
The best thing to do from here is to build an impressive physique underneath the current fat that you have. You will also, if going from being completely sedentary, lose some fat by doing this. I would also recommend spending a little, but not a lot, of extra time in a fasted state. You don’t have to make this weird, I would just eat bigger meals when you eat, and then wait until you are really feeling hungry before eating again. And when you eat again, eat big to the point of total satisfaction. So what I’m saying is to maybe do a little combination of interval training and high intensity circuit-style weight training. 3 times per week is plenty. I wouldn’t go beyond that. You don’t want to be losing fat because you are forcing a calorie deficit, but create a natural unforced calorie deficit by giving your body a stimulus to get leaner, improve glycogen storage, and so forth. I would continue to stress less and less about what you are eating in terms of processed vs. unprocessed or whatever. Being aware of sugar levels and how these are impacted by drinking water and such is a big help I find. You can keep your metabolism high and body cranking out heat all the time.
Other than that, just be patient. I think a year of consistent training like this while making steady progress/gains in your fitness while eating to appetite with an increased fasting period will probably transform your body completely once again. And you will find yourself looking pretty muscular and lean at maybe 200 pounds or so. Let us know how it goes.
Thanks for the reply Matt, greatly appreciated.
I have been very sedentary during overfeeding, but have done the kind of exercise you recommend in the past. I’m already starting to get back into it and will continue with that.
Also, I already decided to start a short (3 days or so) fast on vegetable broth. I know that’s not exactly what you were getting at, but I think my body is in a well-fed enough state to handle it, and I’d like to give my digestive system a short rest. From what I’ve read and my own experiences I find short fasts to have tangible benefits.
The other thing I need to do is get my sleeping schedule back in shape. Staying up after midnight and getting up in the middle of the night has become routine, so I’m going to focus on shutting off the distractions when the sun goes down, which leads to an earlier voluntary bedtime.
I have a refractometer that I haven’t been using lately but probably should to make sure I’m not drinking too much water. I was thinking of trying distilled during this fast. Do you find any benefit to distilled water?
I would not exceed 24 hours with your fast given the history you described above….. it’s not going to give you anything your looking for and potentially make things worse. your digestive system will have plenty of rest in one day.
your better off with 3 one day fast spread out over the month than one 3 day fast in your case.
Thanks Chief, I will take it under advisement. There is one other reason I’m doing the fast. I have some skin inflammation/irritation that I think may be due to food intake. It may be a specific food or food in general, but I did this same fast a year or so ago and noticed improvement. I want to see if it happens again or if it was just a coincidence. If my body tells me to stop early I will stop.
Extended fasts have their place. But are hugely counterproductive in certain circumstances. I just recommended a short fast for someone today for pretty much the first time ever. Urine brix of 8.0+ even drinking a gallon of water per day. Overweight. Severely coated tongue. Warm all the time. Borderline type 2 diabetic.
a gallon of distilled water ?
No. That would be a ton of the distilled variety. It’s amazing how much water some people can hold though.
I decided to go ahead and break the fast this morning around the 30 hour mark. Ironically I actually felt really warm this morning rather than cold. Had lots of trouble sleeping, but had some really vivid dreams and almost hallucinations kind of like when you’re not quite asleep and not quite awake. It was actually kind of cool, like a clarity of mind where all your senses become very alert. I had forgotten about that aspect of fasting. Next time I’ll go a bit longer.
Matt, I was thinking of doing the one-hour phone consult with you about this and some other issues I’ve been dealing with for a long time. Do you think you’d be able to provide additional help?
I can usually help people to figure out some things to try that will improve their health. I can’t make gaurantees, and I don’t even know what your issues are. All we can do is talk and see what we come up with, then monitor progress and continue to bounce ideas off of one another and read your biofeedback. It’s not an exact science here. More like advanced trial and error! But it always beats trying to figure stuff out on your own. If money is an issue let me know, we can work something out. I never let money matters stand in the way of someone getting helpful information from me.
I’ve learned a lot from reading your blog over the last year or so. I’ve also done quite of lot of self-experimentation over the last 3 years so I know there aren’t any guarantees. Paying you isn’t a problem, but I appreciate the sentiment. I went through the checkout and sent you an email.
Looking forward to talking to you!
Please read a scientific paper from time to time. Will prevent you from writing so much crap! Oh, and the awfully written Spanish comment -as a bit of 411 for you the name of the place is Colombia, not Columbia and having lived there for a decade its obvious you have no idea what you are talking/writing about. Sad to go through the net to find scientific papers and come across this – with followers! Though I have to give you credit for praying on other’s ignorance though. Smart mercantilism.
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and create a false email address and name. You are so saintly for setting me straight and letting us all know the true science out there with your impressive refutation of everything I’ve written in this post.
This post is a topic which has been consuming me day and night for years. The subject of stool and the havoc elimination problems wreak on the lives of so many people needs to be discussed more openly, vividly, and of course with humor. Great and widespread suffering could be alleviated if people would just lighten up. We all poo. And for some of us this physiological reality ruins our lives. With severe digestive problems, sometimes called IBS, sometimes suspicious of Crohns, multiple excruciating chronic fissures, and recent unintended weight loss down to 95 pounds due to the terrorizing fissure pain, confusion, diet experiments gone bad, a missing gallbladder that has only made my digestive woes more woeful, I am left sitting here wondering what to eat. Really.
What to try next to get some semblance of health back again, to achieve the perfect stool consistently day after day to give the fissures a chance to heal, gain some weight back, and ease this longstanding horrendous digestive distress. Doctors just look at you and suggest more fiber. After months and years of researching and experimenting, yesterday I stumbled on your site and this post in particular, am reading your book on digestion, and I think it’s very clear that you are thorough, intelligent, curious, open minded and rigorous in your examination of the diets and topics you investigate. And the majority of the people commenting on your site are as well. The references in your book are mostly research and researchers I have familiarity with and only adds to your credibility. I don’t know anything about the metabolic issues and problems you discuss as that is new territory for me, but I have no reason to doubt you are approaching that with the same integrity that you have the other topics you explore. With chronic cold hands and feet I’ve always wondered whether there could be some explanation for it, and all anyone has offered is it’s a circulation thing. After all, my thyroid test keeps coming back “normal”.
No one really knows what is best for everyone, not even rigorous scientists. And I don’t necessarily agree with everything I’ve read here either. But I don’t have any problem with disagreeing. The greatest minds are open and flexible, creative, willing to change positions when necessary, relentlessly curious, and it’s even better if they are willing to provide what they discover to others for their own benefit. From what I see so far, you are embodying all of this.
Now, I still need to go figure out what to eat :)
Oh, I just scrolled up a bit to see you sometimes do one to one work and bounce around ideas. Can you email me about that?
I have had chronic constipation for years. I was eating a food rich in refined sweet foods & low in fruit and veg or any other food with nutrients. Shocking! Anyway, I recently switched to eating a lot more food with actual nutrients i.e. vegetables, fruit, legumes, dairy, eggs, nuts, grains etc. (i.e. normal food). I did not notice any improvement with B.M.s so I took psyllium husks once a day for a week as recommended. Ouch! That was a nasty business and ended in blood, sweat and tears (the blood was literal, not figurative). It was actually Christine Cronau on facebook who got me onto eating more fat. I’m not fat phobic and wasn’t trying to avoid fat but looking at my eating patterns, there wasn’t enough fat there. I now add 1/2 cup of whole coconut milk to my smoothie in the morning and things have improved remarkably. My B.M.s are finally firm but soft and not painful to pass. The only issue I have left is that I still get gas and bloating and haven’t tracked down the cause yet. I’m thinking maybe milk solids or milk. I will have to do some further investigating to find out. In the meantime, at least the poop situation is sorted!
Don’t know if this is an active topic but I found it interesting and I had a question… hopefully someone will answer.
I’ve been low cal dieting for about 2 months, around 1500 caps a day. I generally burn about 3200 (according to Fitbit). I also have a cheat day once a week where I eat 2500 cal.
I noticed on the day i ate 2500 calories (generally not healthy food) I almost immediately had to go poop. Which I’m ok with but for the last two weeks I have had constipatiom like crazy… no real pain but no movements either… until I take a saline laxative.
Am I eating enough calories? Has this affected my “transit” time? I eat salads every single day so I feel like I’m getting plenty of fiber. Just don’t understand this. Any help would be appreciated.
It sounds like you are a long way from understanding all of this, unfortunately. Never reduce your calories or create an intentional calorie deficit. If you do, there will be consequences, and those consequences can be severe, including getting really fat when you can no longer continue on an unsustainable eating regimen.
As far as digestion is concerned, your body is reacting to starvation by slowing your digestive process and extracting more calories from the food you eat. So you are passing less and less and getting progressively more constipated. That will be the least of your concerns if you continue the path you’re on.
Irmz be thinking about shit all the time