Can You Really Lose Weight by Pooping? It Depends on What You Eat

iStock
iStock

If you’re obsessed with either your scale or your bowel movements, you’ve probably wondered: How much of my weight is just poop? A teenage cousin of mine once spent an entire restaurant dinner arguing that he could lose up to 3 pounds if you just gave him a few minutes to sit on the toilet. As you might imagine, he was wrong. But not by that much, according to Thrillist, a site that’s been truly dominating the poop science beat lately.

You can indeed see the effects of a truly satisfying bowel movement reflected on your bathroom scale. (Wash your hands first, please.) But how much your feces weigh depends heavily on your diet. The more fiber you eat, the heavier your poop. Unfortunately, even the most impressive fecal achievement won't tip the scales much.

In 1992, researchers studying the effect of fiber intake on colon cancer risk wrote that the daily movements of poopers across the world could vary anywhere from 2.5 ounces to 1 pound. In their sample of 220 Brits, the median daily poop weighed around 3.7 ounces. A dietary intake of around 18 grams of dietary fiber a day typically resulted in a 5.3-ounce turd, which the researchers say is enough to lower the risk of bowel cancer.

A Western diet probably isn’t going to help you achieve your poop potential, mass-wise. According to one estimate, industrialized populations only eat about 15 grams of fiber per day thanks to processed foods. (Aside from ruining your bragging rights for biggest poop, this also wreaks havoc on your microbiome.) That's why those British poops observed in the study didn't even come close to 1 pound.

Poop isn’t the only thing passing through your digestive tract that has some volume to it. Surprisingly, your fabulous flatulence can be quantified, too, and it doesn’t even take a crazy-sensitive machine to do so. In a 1991 study, volunteers plied with baked beans were hooked up to plastic fart-capturing bags using rectal catheters. The researchers found that the average person farts around 24 ounces of gas a day. The average fart involved around 3 ounces of gas.

This doesn’t mean that either pooping or farting is a solid weight-loss strategy. If you’re hoping to slim down, losing a pound of poop won’t improve the way your jeans fit. Certainly your 24 ounces of gas won't. But to satisfy pure scientific curiosity, sure, break out that scale before and after you do your business. At least you'll be able to see if your fiber intake is up to snuff.

[h/t Thrillist]

Meet Horatio, the Old-Timey ‘Smart’ Speaker From Hendrick’s Gin

Hendrick's Gin
Hendrick's Gin

The tech news you almost definitely heard about this week was Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone 11, a characteristically sleek, user-friendly gadget meant to make your life as modern and efficient as possible. What you might not have heard about was the release of Horatio, a very genteel, relatively smart speaker from the creators of Hendrick’s Gin.

Horatio is not your father’s speaker. In fact, he’s more like your grandfather as a speaker. The tabletop device is made from brass, leather, and copper, and looks like the offspring of a phonograph and a candlestick telephone. He won’t eavesdrop on your conversations, but he also won’t necessarily answer your questions—his slightly snide, British-accented responses range from commenting on your outfit to telling you that it’s “a good day to carry an umbrella in one hand and a cocktail in the other.” If your cocktail happens to be a martini, you can rest it on Horatio’s built-in martini holder.

Hendrick's gin horatio speaker
Hendrick's Gin

The device was released by Hendrick’s new Department of Not-So-Convenient Technology, the intentional antithesis to virtually every other existing department of technology. While most people are optimizing their home offices with minimalist decor and lightweight robot assistants, Horatio is a mascot for those of us who miss the dusty, dimly lit, leather-covered comfort of Grandfather’s study.

He’s not unlike Hendrick’s Gin itself, whose manufacturing process is old-fashioned and utterly laborious. It’s made in a tiny Scottish seaside village on two types of stills, infused with 11 botanicals, and combined with rose and cucumber essences.

Hendrick's gin horatio speaker
Hendrick's Gin

To add to the intrigue, only five Horatios exist in the world. Each unique, handmade device costs $1113, and, unfortunately, they’re currently sold out. While you’re waiting for one to hit an auction block near you, kick back with a glass of gin and dive into the world of fancy Prohibition cocktails here.

Little Green Army Women Are Coming, Thanks to a 6-Year-Old Girl

tihomir_todorov/iStock via Getty Images
tihomir_todorov/iStock via Getty Images

For decades, kids have gotten a minor thrill from playing with little green plastic army men, a series of posed figures sold in bulk that can wage mass-scale operations in backyards and on bedroom floors. Recently, one 6-year-old girl from Little Rock, Arkansas wondered why there were no little green plastic army women soldiers among their ranks. So she decided to do something about it.

According to NPR, Vivian Lord wrote a letter to three different companies, including Pennsylvania’s BMC Toys, inquiring at to why there were no female versions of their Lilliputian platoon. “Some girls don’t like pink,” she wrote, “so please can you make army girls that look like women?”

It was not the first time BMC had gotten the request. In 2018, the company was contacted by JoAnn Ortloff, a retired U.S. Navy fleet master chief, who was hoping to find female soldiers for her granddaughters. After deliberation and upon receipt of the Lord letter, BMC Toys president Jeff Imel decided to move forward in contemporizing the line. Beginning in late 2020, the toys will include four female soldiers, including a captain and a woman wielding a bazooka.

A little green Army woman prototype figure is pictured
BMC Toys

Imel said the decision had to be weighed owing to the company’s small profile. He is the only full-time employee and making adjustments or additions to the toy line can potentially be prohibitively expensive. He told NPR he was encouraged after seeing the enthusiastic response Lord’s letter received in the media. BMC plans on a crowdfunding campaign in November to accept pre-orders and expand the assortment.

The little green army men date back to the 1930s, when production of the infantry moved from metal and lead to plastic. They were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2014.

[h/t NPR]

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