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It’s a topic we often avoid but your bowel habits can reveal a lot about your overall health. Liana Bonadio, Nutritionist at reveals all…

What’s RIGHT?

Liana says we should be having a bowel movement one-three hours after every main meal. She explains: ‘You should feel a definite need to go to the toilet, but it shouldn’t be one you can’t resist. Your stool should pass quickly and comfortably and you shouldn’t have to strain. You should feel relief afterwards.’

SHAPE Well formed, like a smooth sausage. Or, small soft blobs with clear-cut edges.

Ideally stools should sort of bob up and down in the water.



What’s WRONG?

COLOUR Pale, yellow stools can indicate a lack of bile, needed to help excrete toxins.  Black stools should be investigated by your GP.

SHAPE Lumpy stools; they’ve been sat in the colon so long, they’re pressing on the walls and taking on the shape. Watery or mushy stools mean food is moving through the digestive system too quickly. You could be eating foods you’re intolerant to.

Stools that float can be a sign that you aren’t absorbing fats properly.  If it sinks very quickly it could indicate that your diet isn’t rich enough in fibre.

toilet GIF

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It could be down to…


Usually a result of poor diet, lack of hydration and lack of exercise. Drink plenty of water and incorporate fibre into your diet to help. Going less than once a day is constipation.

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Many people are scared to poo at work. It is essential to overcome this fear to maintain healthy bowels.


If you’re under 40 and struggling it may be a sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which involves recurrent abdominal pain, diarrhoea or constipation. Visit your GP to seek help and receive a diagnosis.


See your GP if you notice blood in your stool.