16

votes

Squatting, the paleo way to poop?

Answered on August 04, 2015
Created April 26, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Mark Sisson did a good post on this a little while ago.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/squat-poop/

It might have benefits on intestinal health: heamarroids, constipation and apendicitis. These problems are much more common in westernised countries, could they be caused by not squatting rather than diet? Sitting on a modern toilet is quite an unnatural activity. However it is rather a taboo subject in most societies.

What do other people think? Has anyone had experiance of living in countries where squat toilets are still common?

C48fe4294503a8492caaeded37b6a0f3

on December 30, 2013
at 05:28 PM

Genuine squatting is completely different from using a footstool like this one. See this link to understand why: http://www.naturesplatform.com/faq.html#footstools

Ffc3a5f25a2f8a90bbab93872619675b

(50)

on June 20, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Don't worry about it on a plane or portapotty or at work. Just try it at home... esp if you have pooping issues. Personally, I'm able to tuck my feed up on the toilet seat itself. I don't do it all the time... only if I'm struggling. :)

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on June 18, 2012
at 09:18 PM

Me too Herman, have you found a solution to this? Mine is the exact same, just not 30 minutes, but over the span of 2 hours. It's super annoying.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:41 PM

Haha! You're not supposed to look down while you're pooping! Backsplash is a no-no lol

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:52 PM

Great visuals- LOL.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on February 13, 2012
at 12:47 PM

My BMs are formed at the beginning but toward the end they are more liquid. Prior to paleo I struggled with incomplete evacuation but now I do not, but I definitely have to be patient, hence the LONG BMs. Ive tried various additions and subtractions of things in my diet and nothing seems to make me go faster. What happens is I sit on the toilet pass a couple solid ones within the first 10 minutes but still have the feeling of needing to go. However, I cant release the last of it until the 25 or 30 minute mark. It's literally that consistent time wise.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Haha, my mom used to make me do this is a child...oh the flashbacks!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 11:01 PM

"as long as you're not fat"- insensitive much? Many people who are deemed "overweight" are just as flexible and capable of getting into position that "normal weight" people can. Even if you are overweight, you have options to be assisted.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 10:59 PM

Haha, "asian squat"- my half chinese mom swears by this for constipation. Always recommended it to her patients when she was a nurse, and includes it with "but thrown up in the air to quickly pass gas" as her top advice. Always found this embarrassing when I was a kid, she would just go off on it when we were in the Chinese grocer, and all these ladies would be crowded around practically taking notes. Nearly 20 years later...best advice.

98644f52933aa8ddf7358f2407b42b04

on October 14, 2011
at 03:00 PM

No, no need to change your plumbing or replace your toilet. Its really cool stool that fits right under your existing toilet and you step on it to squat when you go. elimination has never been better. :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 28, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I do that too. I'll use the lid as a back rest because when I poo I'm usually half-asleep that early in the morning and my balance really sucks, lol.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on September 28, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Are your BMs formed? Liquid, dry? Do you have feelings of incomplete elimination after going to the bathroom? I find that any of these things point to something I ate preventing peristalsis; my digestive system is very sensitive from years of abuse to it. Even muscle relaxants can prevent it (as peristalsis *is* a smooth muscle contraction). Have you tried keeping a food diary and noting changes in your BMs? Good luck, hemanvt. I know you've been struggling for a while, and I hope things get better for you soon. :)

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on September 28, 2011
at 06:50 PM

Yes; don't allow for your morning poops to take that long. =P Mine fall asleep, too, sometimes. I find if I avoid all of my personal gut irritants and start my morning off with a small meal and a mug of green tea, I can go within an hour of waking, and within five minutes or so of settling onto the toilet. That is, if I eat *anything* that upsets my tummy (even if it doesn't overtly give me pain at the time of eating it), peristalsis will not occur and my tummy hurts for the rest of the day.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on September 23, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Is this it? http://www.squidoo.com/squatty-potty If so, did you actually replace a toilet in your home with this device? I'm thinking "there goes the resale value..."

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 05, 2011
at 02:46 AM

I find it disturbing that I'm thinking of paleo hacks everytime I go to the bathroom now.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on September 05, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Wow! It kind of makes pooping like an adventure sport! +1

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 28, 2011
at 06:01 AM

I think this is the first topic that made me laugh out loud. Thank you and laughing with you not at you btw. I'm not constipated on Paleo (yet:) poop over in 30 seconds no time to squat. Will practice however, you never know...

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on February 16, 2011
at 10:28 PM

I do the same often. And it makes a huge difference.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on January 06, 2011
at 07:34 PM

How high far below the level of the seat is it?

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 23, 2010
at 04:59 PM

I just recently starting giving this a whirl :-). It is a little painful on the ankles hehe and I've had a couple of mishaps (blushing). I don't know if I will adopt it permanently but I told my 6 & 8 year olds about it and they have been clamoring to have BM's and try it. I guess primal is as primal does.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 26, 2010
at 05:25 PM

Good article that.

F652b96a3bcf646d8dad56cb1d035101

(205)

on May 01, 2010
at 11:40 AM

I vote "Feet on the seat, Don't sit to Sh#t" should be put forward for the meta-rules *grin*

587538a2db229b2ec884ea04cc3dc75e

(462)

on April 27, 2010
at 08:18 PM

I'm impressed that you have the balance! Might try that myself.

A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

(951)

on April 27, 2010
at 02:50 PM

Or while you're on the plane! Imagine walking down the aisle with a blue foot and toilet paper stuck to your shoe!

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on April 26, 2010
at 02:45 PM

Might be a good lead in to talking about diet, though!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 26, 2010
at 02:34 PM

True :) that would be embarrassing to explain...

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26 Answers

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7
4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on April 26, 2010
at 02:15 PM

I'm in the "probably true, pragmatically difficult" camp when it comes to this.

It makes anatomical sense that squatting to poop would be the best position. If I'm on a long hike or in the woods and need to crap, I squat. But in normal life, it's kind of hard to pull off, and to be honest the difference between the two doesn't seem to be significant enough to risk falling into the toilet at work or just before you get on a plane or something.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on April 26, 2010
at 02:45 PM

Might be a good lead in to talking about diet, though!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 26, 2010
at 02:34 PM

True :) that would be embarrassing to explain...

A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

(951)

on April 27, 2010
at 02:50 PM

Or while you're on the plane! Imagine walking down the aisle with a blue foot and toilet paper stuck to your shoe!

Ffc3a5f25a2f8a90bbab93872619675b

(50)

on June 20, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Don't worry about it on a plane or portapotty or at work. Just try it at home... esp if you have pooping issues. Personally, I'm able to tuck my feed up on the toilet seat itself. I don't do it all the time... only if I'm struggling. :)

15
3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on July 26, 2010
at 01:43 PM

We are using this one and it works like a charm. Scrap wood, build-time 5 minutes. I highly recommend giving it a try. Height is approx 30cm/12". You can turn it around and use it for other toilet shapes as well: squatting,-the-paleo-way-to-poop?

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on January 06, 2011
at 07:34 PM

How high far below the level of the seat is it?

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on September 05, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Wow! It kind of makes pooping like an adventure sport! +1

C48fe4294503a8492caaeded37b6a0f3

on December 30, 2013
at 05:28 PM

Genuine squatting is completely different from using a footstool like this one. See this link to understand why: http://www.naturesplatform.com/faq.html#footstools

9
016d898536232b3f4afeec4ad8e05115

on May 01, 2010
at 01:31 AM

I squat in my vibrams for a no slip position with the seat up. Time saved approximately 20 minutes per day (Used to read the sports page on the throne), due to efficiency and almost no clean up. Hemorrhoid problems eliminated. I've dubbed my routine ; "Feet on the seat, Don't sit to Sh#t". Primal is not just a way of eating anymore.

F652b96a3bcf646d8dad56cb1d035101

(205)

on May 01, 2010
at 11:40 AM

I vote "Feet on the seat, Don't sit to Sh#t" should be put forward for the meta-rules *grin*

8
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 05, 2011
at 01:22 AM

Yep it's better. I live in China and discovered that rather than an IBS attack being a terrifying ordeal when forced to use a squatty potty, it was actually MUCH easier and faster than on a Western toilet.

In other words, IBS is such a terrible thing for westerners because we sit in such a bad, unassisted position for taking a dump.

You can do the squat on a regular toilet without any special equipment or shoes, as long as you're not fat. You just need your knees up by your chest to pressure your gut. Just tuck your heels onto the front edge of the seat and wrap your arms around your legs to hold the position. Everything will go much faster and much less painfully, and with fewer IBS aftershocks. It's really a godsend. IBS episodes can be will-to-live deathmatches, and you can drastically cut the time and intensity. Why wouldn't you??

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 11:01 PM

"as long as you're not fat"- insensitive much? Many people who are deemed "overweight" are just as flexible and capable of getting into position that "normal weight" people can. Even if you are overweight, you have options to be assisted.

8
9f990e19ed2b5730278e33695df188e3

(149)

on April 30, 2010
at 01:33 AM

I don't squat to poo, I elevate my feet by putting them on the trash can or a stool or whatever is available. This puts your body in nearly the same alignment. I heard about this a while back and gave it a try, and now I can't poop any other way!

8
Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on April 27, 2010
at 07:13 AM

Probably TMI, but I'll sometimes sit on the toilet with my feet up on the seat in a squat-like position (I blessed to be able to do an asian squat - genetics I suppose) - feels more efficient and comfortable. My husband just thinks I'm weird. :-O

587538a2db229b2ec884ea04cc3dc75e

(462)

on April 27, 2010
at 08:18 PM

I'm impressed that you have the balance! Might try that myself.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 23, 2010
at 04:59 PM

I just recently starting giving this a whirl :-). It is a little painful on the ankles hehe and I've had a couple of mishaps (blushing). I don't know if I will adopt it permanently but I told my 6 & 8 year olds about it and they have been clamoring to have BM's and try it. I guess primal is as primal does.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on February 16, 2011
at 10:28 PM

I do the same often. And it makes a huge difference.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 28, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I do that too. I'll use the lid as a back rest because when I poo I'm usually half-asleep that early in the morning and my balance really sucks, lol.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 10:59 PM

Haha, "asian squat"- my half chinese mom swears by this for constipation. Always recommended it to her patients when she was a nurse, and includes it with "but thrown up in the air to quickly pass gas" as her top advice. Always found this embarrassing when I was a kid, she would just go off on it when we were in the Chinese grocer, and all these ladies would be crowded around practically taking notes. Nearly 20 years later...best advice.

5
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Check out this video, Poopin' 2.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLZCoOwn0Jo

It shows how to achieve this on a normal toilet.

5
628978d2e1ae51dd97afd9c35f699b75

on April 26, 2010
at 06:19 PM

If your reason for being paleo is to return to a more natural way of living, I would say that squatting would be the preferred "style" of passing a bm. For me it comes down to drawing a line between a natural way of life and enjoying modern conveniences.

I lived in South Korea for a year and spent a little time in Asia after that. Many elderly Asian people think that a Western toilet is not hygienic because it causes you to get more poo on yourself as opposed to being in a squatted position. Most toilets there are of the hole in a floor variety, so squatting is definitely a way of life over there. I'm not sure if the differences in intestinal health in Western and Eastern countries would be completely explained by squatting, but it could be one of many factors to consider. I'm sure you can find an Eastern style toilet if you looked hard enough.

4
218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on September 05, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Paleo smaeleo, its the natural way to go period!

I live in Japan, squat toilets are still common in older public toilets and old houses. Newer public toilets usually have choice of both. Almost all new houses have western toilets with bidets/washlets/shower toilets when make cleaning up a breeze and the make toilet paper look barbaric. I always go for the squat toilet if there is an option though, its the most natural way to go without doubt and for public toilets, no part of your body has to touch any part of the toilet. I usually take off one shoe, take off one pant leg, swing the whole trousers to one side put the shoe back on and go. (takes 5 secs or less) I am flexible and have good balance so its very easy. Forever taking your shoes on and off in this country, you wear slip on shoes or loosely tied sneakers which allow a for easy shoes removal.

As for knee's you just have to build up strength and flexibilty. the more you do, the easier it becomes. I had an ACL recon so it took a long time to get the full ROM in my knee to comfortably squat gain.

3
2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

on October 23, 2010
at 05:02 PM

I've been trying the "squatty potty" "primal pooping"...my husband thinks I have officially lost my marbles. So far it has been pretty uneventful other than the one time one water droplet came all the way up and splashed me in the face. :-O

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 28, 2011
at 06:01 AM

I think this is the first topic that made me laugh out loud. Thank you and laughing with you not at you btw. I'm not constipated on Paleo (yet:) poop over in 30 seconds no time to squat. Will practice however, you never know...

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:41 PM

Haha! You're not supposed to look down while you're pooping! Backsplash is a no-no lol

2
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 10, 2012
at 01:38 AM

squatting,-the-paleo-way-to-poop?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:52 PM

Great visuals- LOL.

2
35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on July 25, 2010
at 06:30 PM

I found a looong article on this: http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html

It's hosted by a company that sells squatting platforms, so take it with a grain of salt, but just about every argument you could use in favor of squatting is in there, including about 40 references.

Given that colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world, I'd say this is a pretty important topic!

1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 28, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I lift up the seat and squat on the toilet base, no need for fancy toilets or stools.

1
7e1e011498fdfc61d9ae77a972bb41fe

(10)

on September 04, 2011
at 11:00 PM

I don't squat to go to the bathroom but I do like the Asian squat when I'm resting. My only concern is rising from the squat; my knees ache when I'm coming out of the squat. No one ever talks about how to come out of the squat. Are my knees just weak and not used to holding the squat position or am I doing something wrong?

8abc18280d07e8f468447bf95d4973bb

(0)

on July 30, 2015
at 04:20 AM

Maybe bad knees? I've been squatting ever since I was 6 and have never had an issue with my knees. 

1
D13278772f6612432bf53413fad4e7af

(801)

on August 26, 2010
at 02:50 PM

Good overview of the question at Slate.com today, complete with a reference to the Paleo diet...

http://bit.ly/bR5g1O

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 26, 2010
at 05:25 PM

Good article that.

1
9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on April 30, 2010
at 05:35 AM

When my son has a hard time passing a bm, I have him put his feet up on the toilet seat, and it solves the problem :)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 09, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Haha, my mom used to make me do this is a child...oh the flashbacks!

1
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on April 28, 2010
at 03:00 PM

I don't think my knees would allow it....

1
1aeb2cfacf9bc03644bcda640ce459ba

(154)

on April 28, 2010
at 02:28 AM

when i was in my vegetarian/vegan/raw life, i knew many who did the squat poo. i was never coordinated enough, thank goodness.jem

0
22ebe48a235308cd7811a1743239f8dd

on August 04, 2015
at 02:03 AM

I have been using the squat position for a few months.  I have a squat potty stool in my bathroom, and also a travel one!  I don't care how ridiculous I look, it gets the job done.

0
8abc18280d07e8f468447bf95d4973bb

on July 30, 2015
at 04:08 AM

I am 31 years old and have been squatting to poop ever since I was 6. I don't know what initially made me start pooping this way, but I've never been able to poop any other way. When I went to college I had the worst time trying to poop in the main bathrooms. I would have to sit down and I noticed that I wasn't able to push out my bowels without straning to get everything out. I always thought that I had an issue. Little did I know that this is the most natural way to defecate. America is so behind other countries that use squatting toilets that were implemented decades before the thoughts ever crossed American minds. If we were left to fend in the wild, we would have to go back to our natural way of doing things. Squatting to poop has to be the most comfortable way of getting a full release of the everything that's stopping you up.

0
7928aec0559659910cef63999aa37e0e

on March 01, 2012
at 05:57 AM

I have been pooping this way since I was a little girl. We always just thought I was wierd but I couldn't go any other way. Now at 35 yrs old I find out I am not alone :)

0
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on February 13, 2012
at 12:41 PM

I use the stool but I find that my feet fall asleep quickly and it obviously gets in comfortable in that position. Any one else have this problem and any suggestions to fix it? I'm actually pretty flexible so I dont think its a flexibility issue.

0
Aa1f07e23a47aed0d07b712645e0d213

(313)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:04 AM

LOL I brought this up a day ago in another thread, I wonder if I inspired your comment Chrissie LOL. This is the best way to go to the bathroom because when sitting down you are attempting to relax your muscles but these are the muscles which need to be involved in the process. S*itting down, sorry excuse my French LOL, pinches your nerves and muscles and prevents them from working properly as well as folds your muscles from expressing themselves correctly or functioning well. This also is the case for the muscles in your tract, which is not good to do when it is supposed to move stuff out. And this also effects the shape of your stuff, and impacts it, which is not good at all. When people have laughed about it when I talked about it and said it was just weird, I laughed because it is the natural thing to do and sitting down is just a function typical of modern society to find comfort and convenience in everything even at the expense of paralyzing the muscles we need to use.

0
313675b3b17b1627bd20a78916df275d

on February 09, 2012
at 10:27 PM

I really need to try this out. I am sick of the hemorrhoid! Thanks for the advice everyone!

0
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on September 28, 2011
at 05:01 PM

I have a issue with using this technique. My morning BM's usually last for 25-30 minutes and my feet start to fall asleep if I have them up on a box or stool. Anyway around this?

8abc18280d07e8f468447bf95d4973bb

(0)

on July 30, 2015
at 04:11 AM

I would say start practicing squatting against a wall. After stretching your  quadriceps over some time it'll be easier to bend and the knees. It'll start getting easier once you get use to the stretch. 

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on September 28, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Are your BMs formed? Liquid, dry? Do you have feelings of incomplete elimination after going to the bathroom? I find that any of these things point to something I ate preventing peristalsis; my digestive system is very sensitive from years of abuse to it. Even muscle relaxants can prevent it (as peristalsis *is* a smooth muscle contraction). Have you tried keeping a food diary and noting changes in your BMs? Good luck, hemanvt. I know you've been struggling for a while, and I hope things get better for you soon. :)

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on September 28, 2011
at 06:50 PM

Yes; don't allow for your morning poops to take that long. =P Mine fall asleep, too, sometimes. I find if I avoid all of my personal gut irritants and start my morning off with a small meal and a mug of green tea, I can go within an hour of waking, and within five minutes or so of settling onto the toilet. That is, if I eat *anything* that upsets my tummy (even if it doesn't overtly give me pain at the time of eating it), peristalsis will not occur and my tummy hurts for the rest of the day.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on February 13, 2012
at 12:47 PM

My BMs are formed at the beginning but toward the end they are more liquid. Prior to paleo I struggled with incomplete evacuation but now I do not, but I definitely have to be patient, hence the LONG BMs. Ive tried various additions and subtractions of things in my diet and nothing seems to make me go faster. What happens is I sit on the toilet pass a couple solid ones within the first 10 minutes but still have the feeling of needing to go. However, I cant release the last of it until the 25 or 30 minute mark. It's literally that consistent time wise.

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on June 18, 2012
at 09:18 PM

Me too Herman, have you found a solution to this? Mine is the exact same, just not 30 minutes, but over the span of 2 hours. It's super annoying.

0
98644f52933aa8ddf7358f2407b42b04

on September 23, 2011
at 03:13 PM

Ive been a "squatter" for two years now. I have a hard time going now without squatting. I just feels better. my favorite way is to use a stool i found online called The Squatty Potty. I had the natures platform but it was difficult to navigate. Try this www.thesquattypotty.com

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on September 23, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Is this it? http://www.squidoo.com/squatty-potty If so, did you actually replace a toilet in your home with this device? I'm thinking "there goes the resale value..."

98644f52933aa8ddf7358f2407b42b04

on October 14, 2011
at 03:00 PM

No, no need to change your plumbing or replace your toilet. Its really cool stool that fits right under your existing toilet and you step on it to squat when you go. elimination has never been better. :)

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