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As personal trainers, we get a lot of questions about the body including questions about being regular, and yes, I mean poop.  As a woman I’ve had the thought bubble above myself and wanted to share a recent Q and A that has given me some relief 😜

Q and A: I eat a lot of salad, but I’m still not regular. Do you have any suggestions to help me be more regular?

A. And yes we really get this question regularly (lol) and it’s really important. Most people are surprised to find out that salads are poor sources of fiber (and, they’re even more surprised to find out that salads are usually one of the highest calorie items on any menu).

A meal sized salad is about 3 cups of leaves, and depending on what kind and how tightly you pack it, it’s only going to have 1-2 grams of fiber.  Yep, 1-2 total, not per cup. 

Most adult women need 25 grams  of fiber per day.  You can see that it’s going to be essentially impossible to get enough fiber into your body to be regular if you’re relying on salad to get that done.  We’ll get to better sources of fiber later because there is more to being regular than fiber alone.

What else matters?
Besides fiber it’s important to focus on hydration, movement (for your movements), and, to a lesser extent, helpers.

Hydration: your large intestines are the last part of your intestines before the exit ramp.  Our large intestines are responsible for water re-absorption.  If your overall water intake is insufficient, then your large intestines need to squeeze all the moisture they can out of your waste leaving you with dry, hard to pass turds.  Enough said.

Movement: before modern plumbing and our modern world, we humans needed to get into a low squat to relieve ourselves, and our lives involved strenuous tasks that created intrabdominal pressure.  The days where life forced us to do these things many times a day are long gone, so regular exercise is essential.  This is especially true for squats, and difficult tasks that make you brace your stomach… any exercise where you might accidentally fart is going to be helpful.  Lastly, don’t forget about the rhythmic up and down motion of walking. 

Helpers:  helpers would be things such as coffee or rhubarb, which are both mild laxatives that are unlikely to create dependence.  Stimulant or mineral oil based laxatives can provide relief right now, but can also create dependence, which is another way of saying they cause constipation. We do not recommend laxatives.

🥗

10 Sources of Fiber That Beat Salads:


If you eat 3 meals a day, then try to get about 8 grams of fiber per meal (and this sample will create a calorie deficit and hit most women’s daily protein needs).  For example:

Breakfast:  1 cup Strawberries and fat free Greek yogurt for breakfast with a little bit of high fiber Kashi for crunch.
Lunch: 2 apples or 1 cup of raspberries and 4 ounces turkey Dinner: 1 cup sweet potato, 1 cup green beans, 4 ounces of something – shrimp, salmon, or the turkey from lunch.  


1.     Strawberries: strawberries have 3.5 grams of fiber per cup, and just about 50 calories.  Yes, lettuce leaves have fewer calories per cup, but when you add even a teaspoon of salad dressing your salad is now higher in calories.

2.     Apples: one medium apple has 4.5 grams of fiber, and less than 100 calories. (I dare you to eat two and not go poo. I wrote this little poem just for you…)

3.     Lentils: one tablespoon of cooked lentils has the same amount of fiber as 3 cups of spring mix salad – 1 gram.  If you’re not used to eating lentils, ease into them.  A little bit can go a long way!

4.     Green beans: 1 cup has 3.5 grams of fiber for just 30 calories.

5.     Raspberries: 1 cup has 8 grams of fiber for just 65 calories.

6.     Chickpeas: ½ cup cooked has 6 grams of fiber for about 135 calories… pretty much all beans are high in fiber, modest sources of protein and relatively low in calories.

7.     Oatmeal: 1 cup cooked oatmeal has 4 grams of fiber for about 150 calories.

8.     Popcorn: 3 tablespoons of kernels has 6 grams of fiber, and only 120 calories if air popped.  Warning: the stuff in the store in a bag that says “air popped” may have been air popped, but they also added a lot of fat afterwards, which makes it identical to movie theatre popcorn for calories. Pop it yourself in one of those silicone microwave things, and it’s done in 2-ish minutes.

9.     Broccoli: 1 cup has 2.5 grams of fiber and just 30 calories.

10.  Sweet potato: 1 cup has 4 grams of fiber and just 115 calories.

This list of high fiber foods pairs well with our list of high protein (and low calorie) foods.

Putting it all together

If you eat 3 meals a day, then try to get about 8 grams of fiber per meal (and this sample will create a calorie deficit and hit most women’s daily protein needs).  For example:

Breakfast:  1 cup Strawberries and fat free Greek yogurt for breakfast with a little bit of high fiber Kashi for crunch.
Lunch: 2 apples or 1 cup of raspberries and 4 ounces turkey Dinner: 1 cup sweet potato, 1 cup green beans, 4 ounces of something – shrimp, salmon, or the turkey from lunch.


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