Health

Can You Poop Yourself Slim?

Warning: If you're thinking of use laxatives for weight loss you might want to think twice

Hurrah, it’s beach season which means time to don the bikini and enjoy the sunshine. But Christmas, working long hours and well, eating all the things has probably taken a toll. Enter: thoughts about how to slim down before Saturday.

Is using laxatives a good way to lose weight quickly or is it a weight loss tool that has misery written all over it?

Let’s explore.

Should You Use Laxatives for Weight Loss?

The short and simple answer is no, no, no, no, no.

Regardless of whether the Kardashians take it (or maybe just promote it), there is no good reason to take laxatives for any other reason than constipation.

Why? Because a trimmer waist isn’t something you can buy over the counter. Unless you’re a Kardashian I guess.

Laxatives Are Not A Weight Loss Tool

Laxatives are made from either natural ingredients or a synthetic substitute. Either way, their primary purpose is to loosen stools and promote bowel movement.

How they became a dieting tool is because they sometimes also suppress appetite. Caffeine is often an added ingredient that promotes a depressed appetite and may work in the short term. But long-term use will only serve to damage your intestines, dehydrate you and, potentially, land you in hospital.

Not a good idea
Not a good idea…

Slim Fast

Losing weight via explosive bowel movements rarely has positive long-term consequences. Anyone who’s been to India or Bali and eaten the wrong thing only to find themselves on the toilet for the rest of their trip will tell you: sh*tting yourself slim will definitely take kilos off the scales and make your waist thinner, but really, would you choose that option?

Christine Cronau is a nutritionist who specialises in using the keto diet for health and weight loss. It’s like the opposite of taking laxatives – you fill up on foods that are nutritious and bingo – you lose weight. Sometimes quickly.

Cronau explains how laxatives have the complete opposite effect: “Using laxatives for weight loss can be dangerous because they can prevent us from absorbing essential nutrients and cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, dependency, and intestinal damage.”

So why would anyone choose this option? “Laxatives are often used by people who have eating disorders as a method for purging food after bingeing, which isn’t a healthy habit either physically or emotionally.”

General posture of someone who takes laxatives
General posture of someone who takes laxatives

Studies in Australia and New Zealand Have Found:

  • Approximately half of adolescent girls have tried to lose weight and practise disordered eating behaviours such as fasting, self-induced vomiting
  • As many as 75% of high school girls feel fat or want to lose weight

SOURCE: The Butterfly Foundation

Laxatives can cause severe cramping
Laxatives can cause severe cramping

Skinny Doesn’t Equal Happy

We know having a flat stomach isn’t the answer to a happy life but if what we see in the media and celebville are to be believed, it would seem like having a tiny waist, big lips and huge boobs is the answer to your prayers.

But they’re not.

The solution to feeling good about yourself is to understand that we’re all different. That means we come in seven billion different shapes and sizes, all of which are loveable. Laxatives don’t increase our social standing or loveability.

Deep down, we know being thin isn’t the answer to feeling good but we’re continually scrolling through images of fitfluencers and Instgoddesses who seem to have great lives and zero body fat and it can seem like the two are interrelated.

It’s a slippery slope and one that’s affecting teenagers and adults in this country in a big (and harmful way). Taking laxatives or using foods that have a laxative effect will not solve your problem.

If you’re even considering it, or know someone who is, seek help from a professional. 

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder or body image issue, you can talk to someone at The Butterfly Foundation. Call 1800 33 4673 and speak to someone today.

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