Ever had the feeling you pooed out an entire days worth of food and felt a million times skinnier? Well the laxative diet is based on this concept, pooing lots to lose weight. WARNING – It is also classified as an eating disorder.
The basic concept of the diet is that you take laxative pills or drink laxative teas to expel any food or calories you have eaten before they can be absorbed and stored in the body. This is not why a laxative diet causes you to lose weight though. What the clever person did not realize when inventing this crazy diet is that you are not losing weight in the form of fat but in the form of water. It only expels food remains in the large intestine in which all the nutrients including calories, fat, protein and carbs have already been absorbed by the small intestine. This leaves your body extremely dehydrated, mineral and electrolyte imbalanced. They probably didn’t do their research on why laxatives work, but here you go.
Laxatives come in the form of drugs or natural substances found in particular foods. As drugs there are two different forms, osmotic and stimulant laxatives, which work in different ways. Osmotic laxatives work through reducing the amount of water absorbed back into the body from the bowl increasing the amount of water in your poos, this makes them softer and easier to pass. Stimulant laxatives work by speeding up the movements of the intestinal tract to essentially push the poo out and before water can be reabsorbed. The water excreted in your feces is actually needed within the body and that is why you have appeared to lose weight. The adult human body is about 60% water and this makes up a lot of a persons weight but I must stress that water does not make you fat!
If we were to make a pro’s and con’s list for the laxative diet I am afraid the losing weight on the pro’s side would be very lonely. It is a very dangerous and unhealthy way to lose weight that can cause a huge amount of damage to the body.
Using laxatives on a chronic basis to lose weight can lead to internal bleeding of the lining of the colon resulting in bloody stools. In the blood are red blood cells that are important for transporting oxygen around the body. This blood loss can cause anemia, a condition in which fewer red blood cells are present to deliver oxygen to vital organs. As a result you may feel tired and often short of breath – this can be quite detrimental to your lifestyle.
Another detrimental effect is diarrhea and the ever looming prospect of pooing your pants in public. When you have diarrhea your body eventually resorts to water retention (holding onto it all), so when you stop taking them your body bloats up again, within 48 hours. The diarrhea can add to the feeling of weakness and exhaustion, and you may even suffer from nausea. The severe dehydration caused by diarrhea means that your body has very low electrolytes (important for bodily function), which can slow function down significantly and make you very sick.
I’m not so sure that pooing your pants in public and being very ill supports the laxative diet as an awesome way to lose weight. When combined with the fact that you aren’t actually losing fat the laxative diet just has nothing going for it.
Anything is better than this… well maybe not the tapeworm diet.