What Your Bathroom Schedule Can Tell You About Your Overall Health

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It’s amazing what your bathroom schedule can tell you about your overall health. Something as simple as elimination habits can give you a glimpse into the workings of your body, hint at what might be going on inside, and help you address what needs to be fixed.

The Importance of Paying Attention to Your Bathroom Habits

Your bathroom habits can tell you more than you might think! For example, are you absorbing fat? Could you have a blockage? Are you getting enough water and fiber? All of these things can be revealed if you just take a peek at your poop. If there is no poop, that tells you something too.

How Often Should You Go?

You should go at least once a day, though twice a day is ideal. How often you visit the bathroom will vary a little from person to person, so pay attention to your body.

Is your stool hard or soft? If it’s hard, you should look at your fiber and water intake (you’re probably dehydrated and/or constipated). If it’s too soft and liquid, your food is moving through you too quickly.

Sometimes the consistency is more important than the frequency, but once or twice a day is a good baseline.

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What Frequency of Visits Says About Your Metabolism

In general, the faster your metabolism, the more you poop. Those with a slower metabolism may not visit the bathroom twice a day. They may only go once a day or once every other day (or even more infrequently). Regular exercise, a healthy sleep schedule, and a clean, whole foods based diet will keep your metabolism going at a steady pace—and keep you going to the bathroom regularly.

That said, digestion and metabolism aren’t as closely linked as it may seem. What you eat can affect how quickly your food moves through your body, and just because something moves through your body rapidly, that doesn’t necessarily mean you were able to efficiently utilize the energy from that food (which is what a healthy metabolism’s all about). Also, things that don’t directly relate to digestion—like your age, gender, weight, current exercise routine, health issues, and even your hormones—can affect your metabolism.

In other words, you can have a fast metabolism without pooping every day, and it’s also possible to poop every day (or more than once a day) but have a slow metabolism. The two processes are linked, but one doesn’t tell you all you need to know about the other.

Do Your Pooping Habits Change as You Age?

A couple of things happen as you age. First, your metabolism will probably slow down at least a little, which could decrease the number of times you visit the bathroom in a day. People also become more prone to constipation as they age.

Twenty-six percent of women and 16 percent of men over 65 report being constipated. This may be as a result of medication, trouble moving around, cognitive disorders, or simply not getting enough water or fiber in the diet. A few stretches in the morning paired with a diet rich in fiber and an increased intake of water should help in many cases.

What Your Poop Can Tell You About Your Digestive Health

The occasional change in size, shape, color, or smell isn’t usually a big deal and could just be related to what you ate recently. However, if you notice a sudden change that doesn’t go away, you may need to see a doctor.

Size and Shape

Your bowel movements should be torpedo-shaped and soft enough to pass easily. If they become skinnier over time, it could be a sign of something serious, like colon cancer or polyps.

If what’s in the toilet looks more like a bunch of rocks and it was difficult to pass, you’re probably in need of more fiber to help it pass through before the water is reabsorbed.


Brown is good! You knew that, though, right? Some other colors you may see: red, green, yellow, white, and black. All of these other colors (barring the consumption of foods or medications that would cause a temporary shift) could be indicative of something going on in the body that needs to be addressed. For example:

  • Red could mean lower GI bleeding.
  • Green could mean Crohn’s Disease.
  • Yellow could mean gallbladder trouble or parasites.
  • White could mean liver disease or pancreatic trouble.
  • Black could mean upper GI bleeding.

Check out our graphic about what poop and pee can tell you for at-a-glance info.


Your poop’s never going to smell like roses, but it shouldn’t regularly smell totally vile. If it does, it could be a sign that your body isn’t absorbing everything it should from your food. Underlying issues could include: Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, food allergies, irritable bowel disorder, or infection.


A little mucus every now and then may not be cause for worry, but if you frequently see mucus in the toilet when you visit the bathroom, it could be a sign of something serious, like an infection, Crohn’s Disease, cancer, or ulcerative colitis. If it is a serious problem, the mucus is usually accompanied by other symptoms, like pain or blood.

Mucus could also be a sign that you have candida, a yeast overgrowth that can be caused by antibiotics, birth control pills, or processed foods. It feeds on sugar and is often accompanied by symptoms such as insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, terrible menstrual cramps, bloating, anxiety, headaches, food allergies, and difficulty losing weight.

How to Increase and Improve Your Bowel Movements

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If you need to increase your bowel movements, try:

  • Drinking more water and starting the day with hot water with lemon
  • Eating more fiber (load up on fresh fruits and veggies)
  • Getting light exercise every day (just a few yoga twists in the morning could do the trick)
  • Try taking Mag O7 for a few nights to get things moving again, then decrease how often you use it

Pay Attention to Your Poop

Pay attention to how often you’re visiting the bathroom as well as how your poop looks and smells for clues as to what may be going on inside your body. If you’re not going often enough, try to increase your water and fiber intake and move around a little more so that you’re going at least once a day. If you do notice any sudden changes (aside from a temporary color change based on what you’ve eaten recently, like beets or more dark leafy greens, for example), it may warrant a doctor’s visit.




Last updated: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • Fredrique

    Loved this article! Unfortunately, despite my fast metabolism, I only go to the bathroom once every other day and I think this is just how my body works. I eat BDS (with the exception of nut/seed soaking, but I eat those rarely), drink a lot of water, and exercise almost daily (which does help!)…but still, nothing helps. Interestingly, my 17-year-old brother eats Goldfish, white baguette bread, and popsicles and goes every day right on schedule!

    I did find that peppermint tea helped me go everyday, though.

  • Shelby


    I’ve been a loyal follower of BDS for almost a year now (radiant beauty). Before BD i would go to the bathroom 2-3 times a day. Now i am going about 3-7 times a day. Normally well formed, sometimes loose.How much is too much? I feel i’m one of the only people in the beauty detox group that goes so much. If i take mag07 it’s a total nightmare as well. Am i just detoxing well and eating lots of fiber and eliminating the necessary contents often? I just read so much information about curing constipation with raw foods/vegan diet, and I feel I have the opposite problem! Am i fine or is this bad?

  • Peter

    Green is bad?!? But with all the greens I’m consuming wouldn’t that make total sense…now I’m worried.

  • Abi

    What would you suggest for a toddler that has a lot of loose poop on the diarrhea side?

  • JantheFan

    Hi, thanks for the interesting article. The GGS always goes through me very fast and when it comes out, it tends to be soft and liquidy – does that mean I’m not getting the proper nutrition out of it? Or is it just because it’s so easy to digest?

  • Evie Dawson @ Defense Soap

    Thanks for sharing this interesting article… I never thought this away… Considering the fact that Americans spend an average of 30 minutes in the loo every day “Bathroom Schedule” defiantly play an important role.

  • nags

    i am 22 years old ,i am going to poop more than 3 to 4 times a day what to do suggest me

  • http://Kayfabecleaning.com Brian

    I’m regular but irregular, I poop 2-4 times in the morning even before or during breakfast. Maybe again a time or two before or during dinner, soft not liquid, but at times it feels difficult to pas even though it’s soft? Sometime it will be soft but the initial first poop is hard as a rock and hurts(more often).

  • Mark McGreevey

    I work as a tourguide in the San Francisco area for years. I was driving buses and. Now private SUV tours. Lots of wine grapes in napa valley are just hanging there for the ancient roman idea of the grape cure.

    In any case now that I am 55 I notice that it is more often an issue that I cannot wait so long if I must poop but there I am often out somewhere driving and it is getting increasingly awkward for me. Or let us say annoying to have to plan bathroom stops so much. I almost want to cut down on the fiber because of it !

    Any suggestions aside from the five p’s? In the army they said: pisspoor planning prevents proper pooping.

  • Oz Lone

    Im 36, for over three years ive suffered loose stools and needing to visit the loo at an alarming rate of upto Six Times a Day!
    More recently I have noticed severe pain in mu lower back abdominal region when standing or walking and this is now an indication to go. When I go toilet the pain eases a bit but is still noticeable. My diet isn’t great. We do cook several times a week without processed ingredients but then at times we give in and order a carry out. I found Chilli, Onion and Spinach to be really harsh fast stool accelerants so I avoid Currys etc. My concern is…Do I have a condition? Is it curable? Whats my next step? My Doctor is a friend, im shy, ashamed and reluctant to approach her. Please help.

  • Kate

    During my childhood most of the day i didnt poop,it tooks me 3-4days before i visit the comfort room just to poop.but there are also times that i poop everyday.until now i have that kind of habit i think it is because im lack of fluid in my body cause i really hate to drink water.i just drink water after meals.and now im 20years old and im afraid it will cause to my body and health.please help me and give me some advice if i need to consult my doctor regarding this matter. Thankyou

  • Kat

    I am 18 yrs old I ve been suffering of loose motion with a severe lower abdomen pain for last 3 yrs.if I eat healthy food right after consumption I go to toilet.I go to toilet 2 or 3 times after taking meal and my stool is soft and liquid.I go to toilet even during meal or after meal.recently I have lower back abdominal region pain.I can’t sit or stand straight for more than 5 min .I consult many doctors some diagnosed that I ve stomach problem but in ultrasound reports clear that my intestines are swell but doctors didn’t gave me any proper treatment now I got fed up from medication I loose my heart and thought to live with this problem throught life because I conuslt many doctors of varios cities of my country and now I want to try for one more time .this situation made me weak and prevent me to concentrate on my routine work even I can’t pay attention to my studies.my concern is. Do have a intestinal problem or I have a stomach disease that doesn’t allow me to digest.?or what diet should I take.please guide me please..thank you

  • Me


  • http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog Venkat

    Its really help us to maintain our Metabolism in a properway.

  • Jana Cutanda Gul

    I always like to eat veggies and fruits but
    What annoys me when i go to comfort room the following day what i’ve eaten goes out as it is…is this normal ?