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going to the bathroom a lot poop

Source: Arman Zhenikeyev / Getty

It’s everyone’s most and least favorite subject. Dropping kids off in the pool. Going number two. Handling business. Seeing a man about a horse. Having a constitutional. The idioms go on and on. We are talking about pooping. Nobody wants to talk about it but also everybody wants to talk about it. We all feel so much better after going, don’t we? You feel light on your feet. You feel thinner. You feel healthier. You feel like you’ve literally flushed out yesterday’s toxins while also figuratively doing so. Even though people may be shy about this matter, it’s interesting how everyone’s ears perk up the moment one not-so-shy individual has something to say about it. Everybody wants to know about everyone else: how often are they going? What helps them go? What makes it difficult? What’s normal?


If you’re a bit backed up, it’s almost all you can think about, right? I know that’s the case for me. It’s one of the first things I bring up to a doctor at my checkup. When I’m constipated, my mind is only halfway on whatever it’s supposed to be on, and halfway on my next BM. When will it happen? Will I be near a bathroom? How can I help this along? What did I do wrong to deserve this degree of constipation? I’ll start cursing everything I ate the day before, vowing to never touch any of it. But…that’s not right. Some of that stuff was good for me! Like fiber-heavy cereal and fruits. But I’ll quickly turn on anything that I think causes a backup.


One majorly helpful way to get on track with your poops is to have them in the morning. It can alleviate a lot of the difficulty and stress around this activity. Here’s a look at morning poops: why they’re important and how to have them.


Your body is relaxed

Right when you wake up in the morning, your body is relaxed. You’ve been sleeping. That means your intestines have also been resting. When your body feels at ease, it’s easier to have a bowl movement—much easier than, say, after reading a stressful email that makes your body tense up.


It regulates digestion

It can be hard to properly assess your hunger levels when your bowels are full. Remember that your intestines are one long thing, and while some food is still being processed up top, some has been turned into waste, and is waiting at the bottom. When the bottom end is full, it can interrupt hunger and satiation signals, making it hard to know when you’re hungry and when you’re full. Pooping first thing in the morning sets you up to better evaluate how much you need to eat throughout the day.


It’s easier on an empty stomach

Doctors say that it’s easiest to go on an empty stomach. You should release yesterday’s waste before putting new food into your body, today. Unless you want to fast far into the day, it’s best to just go in the morning before breakfast. So then, you can start eating.


Have your coffee

You probably already knew this but, coffee helps you go! So when you wake up, have a nice big glass of water, and then move onto coffee. It’ll help get things moving. And you want to do this at home, before the day starts. Because if you wait to have coffee at, say, 11:30 am at the office, you may activate your bowels, but not be in a position to do anything about it. That’s uncomfortable.


Give yourself time

Get up good and early enough to give yourself time to go to the bathroom. Maybe get up an extra half hour early. You probably don’t need all of that time to go, but knowing you could take it if you needed it relaxes the mind, which relaxes the body, which helps you go. Being in a rush is not good for a bowel movement.


Don’t eat late at night

If you eat late at night, you’ll mess up your bowel movement cycle. When you wake up, some foods will still be undigested, leaving you feeling unsatisfied after your poop. Then your body may move that food along at a weird time of day, later, when you’re not in the position to go sit on a toilet for 15 minutes. So eat your last food early enough in the evening to give your body plenty of time to digest it by the next morning.



Stretching helps activate the body, and jiggle the digestive tract a little, waking it up and getting things moving. Consider a simple stretch in which you stand up straight, hold your arms above your head, reaching for the ceiling, then bend your torso to the left, and then to the right. This should shake things up, and you’ll probably need to run to the toilet quickly.


Holding it makes things worse

As we already mentioned, if you don’t go in the morning—when you’re in the comfort of your own bathroom, and don’t feel rushed—then you may feel the urge to go later, when you don’t have the option to go. So then you hold it. But holding it makes it worse, and can compound constipation issues.


A nice confidence boost

Your abs instantly look more defined after going. If you go first thing in the morning, before eating, then not only are you evacuating your intestines, making your tummy look flatter, but you also haven’t added any new food aka no new bloat. So you’ll walk out the door in the morning feeling extra svelte and confident.


Try a squatty potty

Squatty potties are all the rage for good reason. They align your sphincter in a way that lets waste smoothly move out of your body. There are some discreet, lightweight squatty potties on the market now that tuck neatly away beneath your toilet when not in use.


The embarrassment factor

Hey, some individuals don’t want to go anywhere other than home. Nobody wants to be the one who is guilty of stinking up the office or coffee shop bathroom. And in some cases, you have no privacy, because the bathroom is so near all your coworkers, so you can sense people keeping track of how long you’re in there. You don’t need to deal with this stress if you just go at home, in the morning.


Sleep enough

Remember how we mentioned that your body is relaxed and ready to go (to the bathroom) first thing in the morning? Well, that is only true if you slept enough. Not sleeping enough can quickly lead to constipation. So if you need another reason to clock in an extra hour of rest, consider your morning constitutional.


If you share a bathroom…

I had this problem in college. I shared a bathroom with four girls. We all got ready for class at the same time. There was no way I could take the time I needed to have my morning poop. So you know what I’d do? I’d get up a bit earlier, pack hot coffee in a thermos, and go to the gym to use the toilet there. There, there were rows and rows of stalls of toilets, so I could take the time I needed. Then I’d get in a quick workout. Kind of genius, right?


Don’t open your email yet

Remaining relaxed is critical to having a satisfying bowel movement. For many, the head and stomach are constantly communicating. That’s why stress can lead to things like acid reflux and, you guessed it, constipation. For some, it’s diarrhea. Either way, our emotions and gut are connected. So don’t open your emails until after you’ve gone to the bathroom.


Watch something relaxing

I personally put a mindless reality show on my laptop and watch that in the bathroom. Watching something in which the stakes are low just puts my mind at ease so I can go. Your poop time is no time to watch, let’s say, the world news. That will tense you right up.

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