Increased pooping when going vegan
What is going on with my poop?
OK, sorry for asking the gross question, but it's really annoying me, and I'm trying to figure out if what I'm experiencing is normal.
I'm a middle-aged male. I've been a vegetarian for 20+ years, but I've always eaten a lot of dairy, mostly cheese. I started reducing my dairy intake about 3 weeks ago, and I'd estimate that 95% of the food I'm eating now is based around raw fruits and veggies, dried fruit, whole grain bread, legumes, tofu/soy milk, and nuts. I drink 8 cups (more or less) of water per day, 1-2 alcoholic beverages per day, 1-2 glasses of Gatorade per day, 0-1 cups of decaf coffee per day, and 1-2 sodas per week. I've never had any sort of dairy intolerance. I am currently about 30 pounds overweight.
Now I'm in the bathroom 5-6 times a day, and my stool is very loose. Sometimes my stool is not formed at all, and sometimes it's formed but very soft. It seems like there's a lot more coming out of my body than going in.
I'm going to the bathroom so much it's gotten painful. I'm hoping there is an end in sight and that my body will adjust, but it doesn't seem to be happening.
Has anyone else experienced this problem? If so, how long did it last? Any tips for getting back to a once-a-day, well-formed-poop kind of life without going back to lots of dairy?
Good for you dropping the dairy! Dairy products are highly addictive, so it's a big deal to be able to stop eating them.
As far as the poops, although you're going pretty often, it could still be pretty normal. Your body is getting rid of the waste left over from the cheese and milk, and getting accustomed to the increased fresh foods in your diet. Don't worry-- it should even out. It's hard to say how long it will take to level out from 5-6 times to a more regular schedule because it depends on your body and personal diet.
However, I think you should be aware that you may never return to your normal one poop a day. But, that normal was when your body had the natural binding power of dairy products, and without them, your stool will naturally loosen up.
Most of the vegans I know have at least two, but they are refreshing, cleansing poops, and they happen speedily and without need for any bodily effort.
One thing I could recommend is to think about phasing out gatorade and sodas. They are chock full of sugar, which our bodies just don't need. There also might be something in those sweetened drinks that's triggering your body to release more poop.
Another thing to consider is that decaf coffee is actually probably worse for our health than caffeinated versions. There are a few ways to decaffeinate coffee and the most common way is through a chemical rinsing process. The beans are rinsed with methylene chloride, which is known to cause cancer, or ethyl acetate, another chemical. Also, decaf coffee still has a small amount of caffeine in it, which could cause diarrhea. If you do not want to cut it out completely, I would recommend only drinking Swiss water process decaf coffee, which is processed only through pure water.
You might also think about adding complete whole grains, such as steamed/boiled quinoa, bulgur, barley, millet, etc. They will also help balance out your body and return it to a regular schedule, and they provide you with good complex carbohydrates. Whole grain bread can sometimes be deceiving and also often has added sugar. You can learn about the different options for whole grains here.
Just some ideas!
Good luck, and again... congratulations! I am sure you are going to start feeling amazing within just a few weeks. I was just like you, and when I stopped eating dairy products, it changed my world (and body in the process). With a few simple changes, I bet your body goes to its correct weight within a few months.