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):
-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.
-60 minute tennis match
-Breakfast: Same as Monday.
-Lunch: Spinach salad with cod liver oil, sardines, olives, one avocado.
-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.
-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
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.