April 16, 2012
On Friday (three days ago), I posted this tweet:
Totally not trying to be gross, but I just pooed almost 10lbs, No joke. I feel freaking awesome. I used this: ow.ly/aglXD
— Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfield) April 13, 2012
So what's the story behind the “ten pound poop”?
Well, I got a Squatty Potty (pictured right). They sent me one to evaluate, so I tried it out on Friday morning, just before I was about to leave town for a sprint triathlon.
As you know if you watch my YouTube channel, I recently got a Tanita body fat scale. So although I don't normally weigh myself, I've been messing around with the scale, and happened to have weighed myself just a half hour before I decided to try the Squatty Potty.
I was totally shocked at what happened, and the reasoning behind using the Squatty Potty is basically this:
Your body is meant to be in a squatting position to properly eliminate stuff from your colon. You can control to some extent your need to defecate by contracting or releasing the sphincter on your backside.
But that sphincter muscle can’t maintain proper pooping function on it’s own.
Instead, your body relies on a bend between the rectum, where the feces is stored- and the anus- where the feces comes out.
Here's an image to illustrate:
When you're sitting, the angle is “kinked”, which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps your poop inside. Not only does this create straining and constipation, but it also inhibits complete elimination – which means that you can literally have old feces just hanging around in your lower digestive tract.
Turns out that kinking was definitely the case with me.
Just before that tweet on Friday, I used the Squatty Potty and had the most liberating, enlightening bathroom experience of my life. I just kept pooping, and pooping, and pooping – with zero strain. It just kind of slipped out.
I felt so fantastic afterwards, that I had to weigh myself to see exactly how much old poop I had hanging around inside me that I banished forever. I did exaggerate a bit in my tweet (I actually lost closer to about 8 pounds), but nonetheless, I felt like a new man – not drained of energy as you might think you'd feel after an experience like that, but actually invigorated and in a fantastic mood.
Who knows how all that crap got in there – but considering I ate highly processed junk food and had a very poor pizza and ice cream based diet for the first 22 years of my life, I have my suspicions.
Which leads me to the other part of my post (before I get to the sprint triathlon): the high fat diet I've been eating for the past year.
As you know, if you listened to last week's interview: “Is It Possible To Be Extremely Active and Eat A Low Carbohydrate Diet?” or if you've downloaded my Superhuman Food Pyramid, you know I'm a big fan of eating a high fat diet, for multiple health, hormone and performance reasons.
But I know I've also mentioned that I usually try to eat a higher carbohydrate diet during the week of a triathlon. However, this week, leading up to a sprint triathlon, I experimented with lower carbohydrate intake, and instead stuck to my typical diet and ate the following (copied and pasted from my personal diet and exercise log that I maintain for members of my Inner Circle):
-Fasted until noon, then 2 tablespoons oatmeal with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 30g protein powder, 4oz full fat coconut milk, 2 tablespoons almond butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
-Snack at 3pm: A few slices of boiled beets, 1/2 a sweet potato before a 4K swim, 30 minute bike, 30 minute weights.
-Dinner: Spinach salad with hummus, olives, flax seeds, olive oil, lemon juice.
-Snack: DEEP30 with coconut milk.
-60 minute tennis match
-Breakfast: Same as Monday.
-Lunch: Spinach salad with cod liver oil, sardines, olives, one avocado.
-Snack: DEEP30 with coconut milk, before 4K swim.
-Dinner: 3 eggs cooked in 2 tablespoons coconut oil, wrapped in nori, with side of cooked spinach and kale.
-Breakfast: Same as Monday
-Lunch: Spinach salad with flax seed crackers and yogurt cheese
-Snack: 1 Beyond Organics Amasai before swim/bike/run 2 hour brick.
-Dinner: 3 eggs in 2 tablespoons coconut oil with tomatoes, cucumber, onions.
-Snack: DEEP30 with Kefir, almond butter, Cocochia snack mix
-Breakfast: Same as Monday
-Lunch: Spinach salad with flax seed crackers and homemade yogurt cheese
-Snack: DEEP30 with Kefir
-Dinner: Coconut flour wrap with avocado, olives, cod liver oil and a coconut water.
-60 minute ride and 60 minute tennis match
-Snack: Coconut ice cream with 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Friday, day before race (slightly higher carbohydrate):
-Breakfast: Same as Monday
-Lunch on the road traveling to race: LivingFuel Supergreens with 1/2 bar dark chocolate and 1 coconut water
-Snack: 1 sweet potato
-Dinner: Italian restaurant – portobello mushroom with roasted vegetables, 8oz steak, spinach salad
-Dessert: Blueberries and almonds (at frozen yogurt restaurant – this is a good idea actually – just use the toppings and skip the yogurt).
Saturday, race day:
-2 hours before race to top off liver glycogen levels: 1 bar dark chocolate + 1/2 sweet potato
–30 minutes before race: 5 MAP amino acid capsules, 4 Extreme Endurance, 2 deltaE packets
So that's it.
I ate anywhere from roughly 200-400 carbohydrate calories per day – not exactly a “ketogenic” diet, but still far fewer carbohydrates than most endurance athlete nutrition gurus preach you should be eating before an all-out, purely glucose and glycogen burning effort.
I then went on to do a sprint triathlon – and swim 500 meters in 5:46, average over 25 miles per hour for a 12 mile bike ride, and run an 11:53 two mile effort to win overall and beat the next closest finisher by 90 seconds. And yes, as you can see from my collapse at the finish line below, I was definitely red-lined in carb-burning mode the whole time (although I ate nothing during the actual race).
Between my completely cleaned out digestive tract and my stabilized blood sugar levels, I felt fantastic the whole time (and not “drained”, as you might imagine after pooping 8 pounds and eating very few carbohydrates). As a matter of fact, later in the day after the triathlon, I went to the gym and threw down another hard workout.
So let's wrap things up.
Should you get a Squatty Potty?
Should you eat a high fat diet, even if you're getting ready for an endurance event?
Folks, these are small changes that will make a huge difference in your life, your health, and your physical performance. I'm not just talking about shedding some extra fat or getting sick less. I'm talking about getting your body to next level of superhuman performance.
Question, comments or feedback? Leave them below. And a big shout out to my 2012 triathlon season sponsors – I'll be racing every week for the next 4 weeks, and couldn't do it without their support.
73 thoughts on “How I Ate A High Fat Diet, Pooped 8 Pounds, And Then Won A Sprint Triathlon.”
Great post! Ugh, always knew there was more in there than we thought.
Well im sorry but gonna just say all of my poo thoughts my family totally makes fun of me! But we where camping my hubby and kids lets for a port a potty break! And i just got done saying i did not have to go.now the porta pottys were far away! Oh no i had to go and would not make it well i walked in the woods and had to squat! Mind you when i go normally i get anxiety for reason i now know is my major food allergies that i didnt know about! Well pooing outside was crazyncause i physcially felt great! Now i went camping last night and thought im crazy my thinks so too. Because physically feel alot better going outside! And saw this site now i know its squatting instead of sitting! Thats the differnce ! Not outside vs inside. So in a way thanks for helping me figure my ( shit ) out lol! So sorry but i felt that was mad funny
I will be doing this detox thank you! 💩
p.s. – typo – that is meant to say 80ish minerals btw.
This is pure entertainment simply reading the acronyms, the education – well, reminder actually, on proper pooping….is a bonus. A real poop remix….Big huge fan of coffee enemas. I love your outlook Ben, will try your diet out on Cath sized portions. Anything to fuel my Bikram Yoga. Just started my Jing Chinese herbs to increase Jing, Qi and Shen and did a leech therapy on my spleen but picked up some spores (bummer) along the way, so treating that with my kefir. Really enjoying this site. I heard that sucking on about 4 or so Himalayan Salt rock sized crystals is an instant energy booster also due to the 8ish minerals therein. Always inspired to learn, love to share. Peace Profound, Cathy.
Hate to be negative here Ben, but i've seen way to many posts on how amazing this Squatty Potty is. I've had a PhD do some extensive research on this "magic device" and it turns out there are only 3 studies that claim to provide proof that the squatty potty can improve defecation and these studies are of extremely poor quality and provide no evidence whatsoever. Again, no offense to anyone here, just trying to prove my point. For anyone interested the studies are explained at http://healthybutsmart.com/squatty-potty/
Have you tried it? I would try it. I swear by it. But I'll admit I'm an N=1!
do you work for this company and doing a sales pitch
The personal experience counts and not just some white coat opinion.
Ive used one for years. One of the best investments of my life. Increases evacuation of bowels by a significant amount compared to not using it.
i agree, squatting is the best position, i was having problems pooping and i noticed my bathtub was lower than my toilet seat, so i decided to squat at the side of the tub, obviously bottom facing tub just in case. Started at the tub and finished at the toilet, this was the best thing i did because i was pushing and pushing and nothing, go figure, you learn something new everyday.
Wow! Sounds like you need to grab yourself a Squatty Potty.
Bro, I squat, but without a Squatty Potty. Not only does it provide optimal dookie drainage, but it gives a nice pump to those legs. Been doing it for 20 some years now (a few years after being toilet trained) and my legs have always been a strong part of my body. Want max fitness AND a healthy dumping? Squat on your potty the hardcore way, the beastly way by using those muscles God gave you!
Happy squatting and let it all drop out!
Great to know what you eat, Ben! Myself, I eat very low carb as a T2 Diabetic. However, I learned One Great Tip from you today — "Blueberries and almonds (at frozen yogurt restaurant – this is a good idea actually – just use the toppings and skip the yogurt)" When I'm with friends who go for FroYo, this is the way I can handle it with no remorse. Thank you !
I was wondering if colon cleansing products you can find on the web could help the process or make it better?
Squatting is a great idea. That is what 3/4 of the world does already. In Asian countries, there are "squat" toilets that work well for everyone. Only the Americans, Europeans and modern Africans use the modern pedestal toilets. To improvise, just a 5 gallon paint bucket turned sideways.
Ben, by promoting the Squatty Potty, you're spreading a false picture of squatting. Humans weren't designed to sit on a toilet seat with their feet on a footstool. In the developing world they would laugh at that ridiculous method. This subject is discussed in great detail at http://www.naturesplatform.com/faq.html
I don't sit on the toilet seat when I use the squatty potty at all. I just squat, hovering above the seat…
That's still not squatting. Your knees aren't fully bent and your butt isn't resting on your ankles, so the benefit is much less. On a 1 to 10 scale, using a Squatty Potty is at most a 2 or 3. Try genuine squatting and you'll see the difference.
I'd say it's closer to a 7 or 8 but you could really damage yourself or your toilet trying to balance on most north american thrones. This is a safer option.
Has anyone broke the seat from actually squatting on it?
calm down turbo
I am a fan of squat pooping, but I don't have a special device for it. You can just perch yourself up on the can! Just literally step up onto the seat and squat. My husband and I call it "perching" haha. You don't have to buy a thing and don't have to explain to unfamiliar guests wtf that weird seat next to the toilet is :) It also makes for a longer drop, which makes a very loud noise that may freak out your mate on occasion which is fun.
To me it seems like more of a real squat. The Squatty Potty doesn't look like the knees come up enough, but I've never tried it so it's just a hunch. My natural squat is more like the Garland Pose, so maybe it's just me that squats that low. Oh by the way, my husband is a very largely built type of guy, think big-chested German, and he has no problem balancing.
You don't need a 'squatty potty'. Simply squat on your toilet. Same effect, with less contraptions in your toilet to worry about.
Yes, but the Squatty Potty makes it easier. ;)
I also just squat on the actual toilet… it's not hard but that's just me – I'm little and flexible. Maybe for some it's too hard to balance. I think the seat would make it more cumbersome, because it's one more thing to clutter the room, have to move and clean etc. I recommend at least trying it freestyle before you buy. To each his own!
By far, the best headline and opening paragraph ever.
Ben, wouldn’t leaning forward on the toilet have the same effect as the Squatty Potty? You can create the same angle between your torso and legs simply by resting your elbows on your knees… What’s the difference?
the direction of gravity in relation to your position of course, though it is similar and has a helpful effect sometimes
Im getting a squatty potty!
Save your money and use your child's potty if you really want to go for it ;)
The idea of squatty potty is awesome.. The day I heard about it I immediately went searching in my house for something that would imitate the rise of my legs.. I found a foot in a half tall chest that my grandpa made.. I probable will end up buying one or making one.. but for the mean time thanks grandpa.. Maybe you have something laying around the house too.. Save your money people!!
OK, Ben my husband thinks he married a crazy person. I am already a total food nerd. Now I use men's deodorant (Every Man Jack – the orange scent is not too "manly"), and when my husband walked in the bathroom and saw the squatty potty he just shook his head and said, "who thinks up this stuff and where do you find it?"
Thanks for the pointer, Ben. Received mine this week and put it to very good use already. The international shipping to Hong Kong is almost as much as the product price, but they added a free second one to my wooden order, so I can't complain.
any updates Ben i want to know if it worked again before i buy
Still working like a charm. ;)
Fabulous picture, did you run the whole bike course, and in socks! :)
I shared this info with my brother-in-law who specializes in bodywork, and he agreed with this. Also recommended a book on the same topic, "Out in the Open: The Complete Male Pelvis" by R. Louis Schultz. In the meantime, I have been using my daughter's pink princess stool. Its quite comical but if it does the job I'll go with it until I order a squatty potty. :o)
Yes, I used my kids blue toddler stool, but figured I'd at least *try* the squatty potty. Foot and pelvic angle were way different on the squatty potty…
The pooping biomechanics are spot on. Main reason why the hole is never deep enough when I go hiking! Excellent idea Ben! We all benefit from a solid clean out before a race, I think it lessens GIT disturbance without all the poop bouncing around on the run, no matter how good your core stability is.
Okay I just bought the plastic one. We shall see what all the talk is about.
Ben can I get my Squatty Potty signed by you? Something simple "To good health" Ben…
Great idea. On the flipside, it could create a direct association between my name and pooping, which could be a bad thing if you're listening to my podcast while out on a run.
What can I say, you make me laugh!!
Ben, I can't help but laugh out loud reading people talk about epic poops!!! All your info is awesome. Apparently anything goes on the net. Keep up the great tweets, emails, and seminars.
Just a thought… I know before I do any race… I end up thinking I'm going to start losing organs I empty out SO MUCH… do you think this could be the reason for your epic dump rather than the squatty potty? Have you used it with great success since then?
No. This was the day before, when I'm never nervous. Plus, the awesome poops have continued since then.
I recall when I was rockclimbing seriously, I would need to squat in the woods and lighten the load before we started up something demanding… and always after (it seemed) putting on one's harness.
I have owned a Potty Squatty since december last year. I bought it when it appeared on the Underground Wellness youtube channel and became their sponsor. In fact Underground Wellness was giving one away for free, but I did not win and decided to just buy one especially since I was given a 10 percent discount code. BTW shipping is high especially for international customers unfortunately. My dad who came to visit me from the U.K during the holiday season wanted one, but the shipping price was way too high. Maybe they will find a way to make their international shippment prices more reasonable in the future who knows.
Ben, after your epic dump report, I had to give the squatting position a try. Though I don't have the nifty squatting stool, I have 2 $1 stools with rubber feet that I picked up from Target years ago, which have been (until now) used to get to books high up in my library…Well, I set them up this morning and I went to town :) Very productive experience, after having some unsatisfactory bowel movements in the last couple of days. As a side note, having had the chance to take a couple of craps (sorry, running out of synonyms for "defecating") in the woods in the squatting position, I can confirm the position's efficacy. My set-up might now be pretty, but if you are not ready to invest on the squatty potty, this is a pretty low-cost solution to give squatting a try.
Nice dump, Susanna. Congratulations.
Hi Ben, congrats on the win! So is it really possible to have fecal matter from 8-10+ years ago just sitting in your rectum all that time?
I don't know if it was "old" feces, or just incomplete removal of relatively new feces, but regardless, my large intestines are now working at a much better function. It's great.
Can't you just use a toddler stool under the toilet to achieve the same angle?
The Squatty Potty is specifically built to put your feet and hips at an ideal angle, and it looks much better because it is built to fit to the contour of your toilet.
But, since not everyone is the same body height or width, or even leg length or foot size for that matter, the “ideal” angle thing becomes, well, er, a load of crap IMO.
That's why they sell Squatty Potties in different heights. I just told them how tall I was and they sent me the right one.
Interesting post, and CONGRATS on the race! I know you don't generally count calories, but this seems like a pretty low intake to me! Maybe about 2,000 calories, at least at the beginning of the week, with ~2 hours exercise per day. Am I just counting wrong (or getting wrong portions), or is this about in line with what you're consuming? Just curious! Also have a question about the TianChi I bought from you but am going to go back to that post to ask it now :).
It's closer to 3000-3400/day, Megan. These are "Ben Sized" portions…
I just love how athletes can freely talk about "poop" with a straight face. Your tweets and posts didn't phase me a bit. Might need to get one of these.
Hi Ben. You always promote real food, but from your log I see you ate meat only once per week (8oz steak on Friday) and it looks like you rely on protein powder as your protein source. It may be Organic, natural, high quality, but it still not a real food.
1) Sardines count as meat.
2) I had about 12oz of prime rib on Sunday, along with bacon and ham for breakfast. From an ancestral health standpoint, there was no need for my body to get much more animal than that the rest of the week.
3) Whey is just a by-product of the cheese-making product. When I'm eating protein powder from DEEP30, it was basically milk protein from a goat just a few weeks prior.
I just got one!! Can't wait to try it out although could be a while given that i'm in the UK!! :o) Wicked result in the sprint triathlon btw.. thanks as always for the great content. Angie
You'll like it Angie. We got the bamboo one and it looks good.
Do you offer a discount code for it ?
Squatty Potty occasionally does discounts. Click on link in article.
How much was the shipping price to the UK? My dad who lives in the UK wanted one when he came to visit me, but he could not justify the shipping price that made the product cost way more compared to American customers were paying.
I don't know exact shipping to UK. I'm in the US…
I got the $59.95 white model and the shipping was $61.95! Converted to GBP in total it was £79.34. I know it is a lot more but i figure that it's a good investment so decided to go with it anyway.. I hope that helps!