- Learn how much stool might be in your bowels.
- Discover why cleansing your colon is a must if you want to lose weight.
- Find out the best colon cleanses for weight loss.
It’s said that we can carry between 5 to 20 pounds of weight in excess fecal matter in our colons. If you have modest weight loss goals, clearing that waste may sound like a fast and easy solution.
The reality is, weight loss and colon cleansing are a little more involved.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the relationship between the two, why a colon cleanse should be part of your weight loss plan, and the best colon cleanse to lose weight.
How much weight from fecal matter is in your colon?
The average bowel movement weighs up to one pound.1 The actual weight of any movement depends on several factors: your body size, what you eat, your daily water intake, and how often you go.
For example, the more fiber you eat, the heavier it will be as the fiber will hold water. Fortunately, this makes it easier to pass, and you’ll go more regularly and completely.
Of course, that one-pound number is the weight of any given release. If you eat regularly, there is a constant flow through your colon. It takes about 36 hours for food to move through your entire digestive tract and become a bowel movement.
So, there is always some amount of fecal matter – and weight – in your colon.
Perhaps the question we need to answer is…
How much excess waste is in your colon?
This question is a bit trickier.
We know excess waste can buildup in the colon. After all, before you go in for a colonoscopy, you need to fast to completely empty the colon. You may even need to take a laxative or undergo colonic irrigation to ensure the procedure can accurately observe the lining of your colon.
But how much is actually there? That’s a nearly impossible question to answer. There’s just no practical way to look inside (not affordably, at least) nor measure it.
Frequent gas, bloating, or irritable bowels may indicate residual stool. The uncleared fecal matter would feed harmful bacteria, the type that irritates the bowel and causes gas. Feeling tired, ill, or having chronic health problems could also be signs of a problem, especially as it would disrupt your overall digestion and absorption of food and nutrients.
Feeling bloated or heavy in the gut may also suggest uncleared waste. If you often suffer from constipation, that could be a sign of a buildup too.
The truth is, if you poop regularly, the amount of excess waste is probably small compared to your personal weight loss goals.
And frankly, the amount of excess stool cleared shouldn’t be your only concern when it comes to weight loss.
Are you retaining a lot of extra water?
Your colon does more than collect and hold waste. Its primary job is to remove and reabsorb water and salts (aka electrolytes). This makes the stool more solid. It also helps regulate the body’s water balance.
Getting a lot of sodium in your diet can disrupt the available flow of water. For example, the U.S. Department of Health’s Dietary Guidelines recommends no more than 2,300 mg of salt a day. On average, Americans consume more than 3,400 mg of sodium daily.
It’s not that we’re adding a lot of salt to the food on our plates. The problem is that processed and packaged foods are loaded with sodium.
This water weight can quickly add up to one to two pounds, possibly more.
How a colon cleanse helps you lose weight
Colon cleansing may not be the secret to fast or reliable weight loss. For some, the body simply might not have as much weight in excess waste and fluids. But that doesn’t mean you should skip the colon cleanse.
In fact, if you want to lose weight, you should probably begin with a colon cleanse.
Benefits of colon cleansing
We’ve written about many of the benefits you’ll experience when you do a colon cleanse. It supports a healthy digestive tract. You’re also likely to feel more energized, enjoy better nutrition, and may even notice your thinking is clearer and your memory sharper.
Colon cleansing also provides special benefits for anyone looking to lose weight.
Clear your bowels to give your metabolism a boost
The purpose of cleansing isn’t just for the weight you might lose by clearing excess waste. Instead, it gets you ready to lose the weight that you really want to lose.
For real weight loss, you need to get your metabolism going to burn fat.
Yes, exercise is essential. But to maximize the effect of your activity, you must first ensure you are getting the nutrients from your food.
By colon cleansing first, you clear away the waste and toxins that disrupt digestion and interfere with metabolism. You also create an environment that supports nutrient absorption, the fuel that keeps your metabolism active.
Helps to restore those beneficial, probiotic bacteria
Your digestive tract relies on helpful bacteria (probiotics) to digest and absorb food. Some produce essential nutrients like vitamin B12. All of them help with digestion, metabolism, and immune response.
They thrive on fiber. Waste that becomes hard or remains behind feeds a different kind of bacteria (the bad type). These harmful ones produce toxins that kill-off those that you most need for good health.
As colon cleansing clears your bowel of waste, it removes the bacteria that feed on that waste. This renews your bowel environment, helping those beneficial strains to reestablish themselves.
Helps to calm inflammation
Irritated bowels are inflamed bowels. Whether the cause is what you ate (like gluten), slow-moving digestion that causes waste to buildup, or excess waste that does not cleared entirely (i.e., due to a lack of fiber in your diet), inflammation in your gut poses a risk to your health. It’s also a problem for managing your weight.
An inflamed colon can’t do its job well. The swelling interferes with the smooth flow of fluids and electrolytes back into the bloodstream. The biochemicals involved with inflammation also create a toxic environment for those essential probiotic strains.
Colon cleansing helps to remove the causes of inflammation. It also helps to clear away harmful toxins and bacterial strains that may be present.
This gives your colon a chance to heal. It also eliminates a source of constant inflammation in your body, which is essential for good health.
Ways to cleanse your colon
By cleansing your colon first, you’ll get your body ready to really lose the pounds.
You can find many different ways to cleanse your colon.
There are laxatives.
Laxatives may work, but they can be habit-forming. Your gut becomes dependent on them. Many often use harsh chemicals or herbs that can irritate a sensitive bowel or create an urgency that becomes quite disruptive to your daily activities.
This practice (also called colon hydrotherapy) and colonic irrigation (which is slightly different) involves tubes inserted into your colon that rinse it with water. Although colon hydrotherapy has become popular and colonic irrigation is used before a colonoscopy, there are caveats. This is a procedure, so you want to make sure you find a practitioner you trust. You also want to confirm that the equipment is clean and sterile. And since you’re paying for a service, there’s also a cost.
A juice cleanse offers several benefits. For one, they can be tasty and easy to drink. Juices also supply vital vitamins and minerals that your body needs to heal— and antioxidants from the fruit help to clear away toxins. The fiber in the fruit also helps to “scrub” the colon.
Colon cleanse supplements.
You can find a wide variety of colon cleanse supplements online and in health and wellness stores. The most complete and effective for whole system support features oxygenated magnesium. It’s what we recommend and the foundation for Cleanse Infused Plus.
The oxygen softens the hardened stool. It also kills harmful bacteria and helps your body neutralize toxins.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that fuels your metabolism. It relaxes your muscles, which can help you pass built-up stool. Magnesium also draws water into the colon, helping to further soften stool.
Unlike many cleanses and laxatives, oxygenated magnesium is gentle on the system yet very effective. That’s likely why it has become so popular with so many people.
And taking an oxygenated magnesium supplement is a simple process. All you need is a glass of water. Plus, it can be safely used regularly. Adjust the dosage as needed without worrying about side effects like bowel dependence. Many people find it an effective treatment to restore a healthy bowel.
For weight loss, well, its gentle action makes it a great way to get started losing the pounds.
Losing weight will feel more effortless with a clean colon
There’s no way around this fact. Lasting weight loss and getting the body you want comes from making lifestyle changes.
A colon cleanse may clear out a few pounds, but if you go back to eating the foods that got you there, you’ll find yourself back where you started – no matter how many colonics you get.
To lose weight, look at the foods you eat. Are they natural, raw, and full of fiber and nutrients? If not, you should revisit your diet and the foods you eat daily. The process can be challenging, so you may find it useful to seek a nutritionist or nutrition consultant’s help.
Just remember, make the first step of your weight loss program a full system cleanse. By clearing out the “junk,” you may find you achieve your goals faster and also feel better as you do.
- Cummings, John H. et al. Fecal Weight, Colon Cancer Risk, and Dietary Intake of Nonstarch Polysaccharides (Dietary Fiber). Gastroenterology, 1992; 103: 1783-1789.