I don't want to gross you out, but now we need to talk about poops because they are a crucial part of digestion. Either diarrhea or constipation can indicate that you have problems digesting your food, which could ultimately affect your ability to lose weight.

Many people don't realize that they are suffering from constipation. When I say, “constipation,” I want you to think three things:

You're moving your bowels less than once a day. Ideally, you should be going twice a day.

You're having to really struggle. Ideally, everything should come out nice and smooth.

You're producing poops that are tiny or don't easily come all the way out. That is not good for your digestive tract or your overall health.

What is a poop you can be proud of? It is a well-formed poop that you don't have to struggle with. It comes out fully — it doesn't stop halfway through and leave you stuck. Nor does it dive-bomb to the bottom of the bowl. It sinks to the bottom of the bowl. It doesn't mark things up.

If you have an oily residue or slick slides, you are not absorbing your fat well. If you have rabbit pellets or you're straining, you don't have enough fiber. If you have floating poops, it could be from excessive gas, produced by an overgrowth of bad bacteria lurking in your intestines.

Now at this point, you might be wondering why I'm putting you through this kind of gross science lesson. The answer is, because if you don't eliminate properly, you'll be bloated and fat and setting yourself up for a permanent problem with both indigestion and obesity.

Okay, I'll get a little more gross and ask you to picture what would happen to a poop that just sat in the toilet for a few days. Ewww, right? Well, do you want that toxic mess sitting inside you? No, you don't, and that's why elimination is so important. If you aren't having poops you can be proud of, you are holding a toxic mess inside your body every single day. That uneliminated poop is releasing toxins that are reabsorbed into your body, leading to bad breath, hemorrhoids and acne, not to mention impaired digestion, inflammation and food intolerance. The net result is that you gain weight that you can't lose, and you feel sluggish, tired and old before your time.

Those toxins are also putting a terrific strain on one of your primary detoxification organs: your liver. If you tax your liver with excess toxins, you could impair its ability to do its other critical functions, such as metabolize fat, which will ultimately make it more difficult for you to lose weight.

Maybe this isn't the most pleasant topic, but it's an important one — and what we focus on, we can improve. So at this point, I'd like to invite you to take my poop quiz.

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