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After last week of talking about what poop is and is not, people starting talking to me about their poop problems. Now I am by no means an expert in poopology (is that even a word), but I have learned a bit about achieving the perfect poop.

These are the two most common complaints that I have heard

Constipation

A friend I know called me up to ask what to do about constipation. Constipation is defined as having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week.  According to WebMD Constipation, it is a common problem  can give some very uncomfortable symptoms, such as stools are usually hard, dry, small in size, and difficult to eliminate.  My friend was having about one a week, which is not good. He was looking for a Doctor who could prescribe him a ongoing laxative to help him poop. I was shocked, why would anyone want to talk medication when they haven’t tried a common sense approach is beyond me. But some people believe in better living through chemicals.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea describes bowel movements (stools) that are loose and watery. It is very common and many people will have diarrhea once or twice each year. The most common cause of diarrhea is a virus that infects the digestive system. The infection usually lasts for two days and is sometimes called “intestinal flu” or “stomach flu.”  Others have diarrhea often as once a week, and is usually related to the diet.  Fat, carbohydrate or sugar malabsorption is the most common reason for loose or watery poops.

The magic word is fiber

The most common cause of all stomach problems is not enough fiber and water.  Much of our processed food removes the fiber, leaving it with just sugars, carbohydrates and fats. Our colon is a muscle that needs to be worked just like any other muscle: arms, legs or even our brain.  The colon works with a peristaltic action – like the way a worm moves. If we aren’t using this muscle to its fullest potential it will  becomes slack. By adding bulk the colon is able to grip on to the poop and process it better and faster. Fiber and water helps to bulk up the stool, collecting excess waste, hormones, bile and cholesterol and eliminate it efficiently, and ideally, regularly.

Now how can fiber help diarrhea. Eating fiber-rich foods helps regulate the stools so that it’s not too hard or too loose. Fiber in the body works by either pulling more water from the colon to loosen stools (for constipation) or by absorbing water into the colon to firm up stools (for diarrhea). Basically all around it’s a good thing

How do we integrate Fiber in our diet?

  • Eat more whole grains (if not possible switch your breakfast to oatmeal or a high fiber cereal)
  • Eat 5 fruits or vegetables (see my post of what is a serving of vegetables)
  • Eat less fat (it fills you up and exacerbates bowel problem)
  • Dried fruit

Two other thing that can help poop!

Drinking enough water: staying hydrated helps our digestive track work more effectively and routinely

Exercise: helps your body work the food through your body, plus its moves the blood around collecting toxins for waste disposal

According to the mayo clinic

“While there is little scientific evidence to support or refute the benefits of colon cleansing, critics say it’s generally unnecessary and at times may even be harmful. Although doctors prescribe colon cleansing as preparation for medical procedures such as colonoscopy, most don’t recommend it for detoxification. Their reasoning is simple: The digestive system and bowel naturally eliminate waste material and bacteria — your body doesn’t need enemas or special diets or pills to do this.”

In other words, if you want to solve your problems on the flip side examine what you or eating on the top side.

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groceries

Make a weekly meal plan and shopping list

This sounds so simple and it is. Tons of research has shown that people who plan what they eat, eat less and waste less. Because when you go the super market and just buy and buy and buy, you end up throwing a lot away. If you don’t know when you are going to use it, it often goes to waste. Now this does not mean that when you go to the store and see some beautiful fresh strawberries you should say, no it’s not on my shopping list. But think of all of the fresh and often expensive produce that gets pushed down the garbage. Guess what you not only paid for that food, but also went to store spending your time, and even more money in gas to buy it only to have the garbage man take it away.

Plus arranging your dinner according to a reasonable schedule means that is will more likely happen. EX. If I have a class on Wednesday night then I plan to have a super quick and easy meal like whole wheat pasta, or make one on Sunday that can be unfrozen like a lasagna.

http://www.pennywiseguides.com/money-saving-tips-grocery-shopping

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exercise

I don’t know if I even need to say this but I know I do. It is not really possible to lose any significant amount of weight without engaging in some form of exercise. Sounds easier than it is, most people at some point in their lives have started an exercise program. But for the most part they it never  becomes part of their lives hence only 1/3 or Americans actually exercise on a regular basis. In order to insert exercise into your, you must make it part of your life. So here are some basic tips to starting an exercise program that you can stick to.

1. Find and ideal time: when starting a new program pick a time, a specific time that you can stick to and that you are willing to forgo other activities in order to always do it. For example, I cannot exercise at night because I cant sleep. So I picked Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings to exercise between the hours of 7-8. Nothing gets in the way of my three hours of exercise. My Husband does not have time in the morning so he dedicates Monday Tuesday and Wednesday from 10-11. When you make a specific and consistent time span you are more likely to prioritize it over other things.

2. Make it Fun: nobody is ever going to do an exercise program that they don’t like. Find something you like to do and make it into a program. I love Yoga and kickboxing, other people like biking,  walking on the beach, or Dancing. By doing what you love is going to give you that fulfillment and also adds more to your life

3. Make friends: People like to do things with other people. when your doing things with a group its automatically more fun and since others are relying on you, it is more likely to actually happen. So meet up with a friend to walk in a near by park. Or get together with other to do a exercise video.

4. Do-able yet Scalable: It is important that you can actually do the activity and that it has the ability to  grow with you. There is no way that I could row 20 miles in a canoe, but I can walk for 1/2 hour. And when 1/2 hours gets to be too easy I can extend the time or run for 15 minutes and walk the rest. If you pick an activity far out of your comfort range it is unlikely you will continue doing it

5. Set Goals: setting specific goals helps you focus on what important and even start a little competition with your self. Whether increasing the exercise time by five minutes or using 1 more pound of weight or doing 2 more sets. Making you reach for something just beyond what you are doing and accomplishing it makes you feel good and more likely to repeat the action in the future.

I hope these tips will help complete a overall wieghtloss program. Just always keep in mind. You can Do this. No matter who you are or where you are. Being healthy is always within your reach.

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