This Poop Chart Tells You What’s Happening in Your Gut and How to Fix It
- Paying attention to your poop can help you build a stronger gut, check your organ function and boost nutrient absorption from the foods you eat.
- The color, shape, texture and consistency of your poop tells you a lot about your digestive system and whether your diet needs adjusting. (Just glance in the toilet. This is not a hands-on exercise.)
- Check out the poop chart below to see where your bowel movements fall on the spectrum. Then, get tips to improve your digestion and gut health.
Right now, you may be ignoring one of your body’s informational super-sources: your poop. Your poop can tell you all sorts of things about your digestive health, including if you should adjust your diet, drink more water or see a gastroenterology specialist. Next time you’re in the bathroom, take a look in the toilet and then check the Bulletproof Poop Chart (below).
A small change could help you build a stronger gut, absorb more nutrients from your food and improve your good gut bacteria—positive changes that can lead to an even bigger impact on how you feel.
Read on to learn what different types of poop and bowel movements mean about your body. Then, learn how you can make adjustments to improve your health.
The ultimate gut health poop chart
If you’re curious about what your poop is trying to tell you, take a look at the Bulletproof Poop Chart. Based on the Bristol Stool Chart, this chart pairs examples with actionable tips. Then, keep reading for more details about the poop chart meaning and steps to improve your health and wellbeing.
Paying attention to your bowel movements is especially important if you notice gastrointestinal red flags like hemorrhoids, constipation, pain in your rectum or related symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (aka IBS). Here’s what it all means—and when you want to talk to your doctor:
Start with the consistency
The firmness of your poop suggests a wealth of information about your body. So, is your poop soft, hard or runny?
You’ve probably already noticed the extremes, like runny or hard (which may be accompanied by constipation or hemorrhoids). Now, notice the subtleties: Is it lumpy or smooth? Are there ragged edges or clear-cut edges? Does it come out in soft blobs or more solid pieces?
Compare the consistency with each poop chart meaning for more insights into what your poop says about your health.
If you’re having frequent liquid stools:
Check with your healthcare provider if you experience frequent diarrhea. Generally speaking, here are some tips to help firm up your poop:
- Fiber adds bulk to your stools and makes them easier to pass. Eat plenty of fiber-rich veggies to make sure you’re still getting the nutrients you need, but cook them so they’re easier to digest.
- Try eliminating grains, nuts, legumes, caffeine and alcohol. These foods and drinks can affect your digestive tract and stomach lining and impact the diversity of your gut bacteria. 
- Feed your biome with prebiotic-rich foods like sweet potato, carrots and asparagus. When it’s hard to get enough fiber-rich foods, reach for Bulletproof InnerFuel Prebiotic—it’s a prebiotic supplement with ingredients for immune support.†
- Experiment with fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut and (if you tolerate dairy) grass-fed kefir. These fermented foods contain bacteria and yeasts that may be beneficial for your gut and gastrointestinal health—but keep in mind that fermented foods don’t work for everyone.
- To help eliminate everyday toxins from your gut, occasionally take activated coconut charcoal between meals. Coconut charcoal binds with toxins and flushes them out.† (Be forewarned that activated charcoal can turn your poop black—more on that in our poop color chart below.)
- Take collagen protein to support your body’s tissues, including the lining of the gut. Bulletproof Collagen Protein Gut Health is specifically formulated for gut support with a blend of ingredients like prebiotics, probiotics and zinc carnosine.†
Once you start implementing positive changes, track your poop over time. If it begins to look more like a 3 or 4, you’re on the right track, and odds are high that your good gut bacteria are flourishing.
Floaters or sinkers?
Your stool’s buoyancy is especially useful info when you’re eating a lower-carb, high-fat diet like the keto diet because it’s a good test of whether you’re metabolizing and absorbing the fat you eat.
Generally, poop should sink. If your poop is solid and occasionally floats, it could just be that you ate an especially large amount of fiber that day, which isn’t anything to write home about. But if your poop floats regularly, it could be a sign that you aren’t digesting fat. Watch for:
- Regularly soft, floating poop
- Oil slicks from the poop that coat the toilet bowl (like the grease left in the box when you pick up a piece of pizza. Yeah. That’s gross. Sorry.)
- Mucus in your poop or white stools
If your poop is oily once in a while, it could just be a side effect from eating too much fat. If it happens regularly, check your diet. Did you just switch over to a higher-fat diet? If so, your body can take a couple of weeks to start producing enough lipase, the enzyme you need to break down fat. To help in the meantime, taking lipase for a few days as a digestive supplement may help.
Is there food in your poop?
Food in your poop could be totally normal, especially if it’s vegetable matter.
A lot of veggies—especially green foods—contain cellulose, which humans lack the enzymes to digest. The result is that they come out the same way they go in. The size and consistency depends on how well you chew your food.
Quick side note: Most seeds (like chia seeds and hemp seeds) have a cellulose covering that prevents you from digesting them, and they’ll come out intact. If you’re not just eating them for the fiber, be sure you grind them first to better absorb those nutrients. And for the record, there are much better sources of omega-3s than chia or hemp, like krill and fish oil (found in Bulletproof Omega Krill Complex).
A little bit of food in your poop is fine, but if your poop is mostly undigested food, something’s going on. It’s likely that you lack the good gut bacteria that break down fibers.
What color is your poop?
Keep an eye on your poop’s color. It tells you how well your body is processing the food you eat and can provide clues about your digestive health. Here’s a handy poop color chart for reference:
- Brown, yellow, or green poop: The gold standard for healthy poop. Things look good. The difference in colors depends on what you eat and how much bile you’re producing. Generally, poop ranging in shades of brown to green is a good sign.
- Pale, clay-colored poop: Light gray, clay-like feces can suggest a problem with your digestion.  If your poop is regularly pale and gray, get yourself to a healthcare professional.
- Red or black poop: Did you eat beets or licorice recently? If so, that may explain the change in color. Beets and some other black and red foods can cause your healthy stool to change colors because of their pigments (taking iron supplements can also lead to black stools). But if you haven’t eaten beets and you see red or black stool in the toilet, see a doctor about these irregularly colored bowel movements.
How often do you poop?
The final thing to note about your poop is frequency: one or two poops a day, or only three times a week?
- Less than three times a week: Take magnesium to help your body send more water to your bowels. Speaking of water, drink lots of it. Get your thyroid checked if things don’t become more regular.
- Three or more times a day: You should probably eat more fiber from vegetables. Fiber slows down food passage through your digestive system, which gives you more time to absorb precious nutrients. If you’re getting lots of veggies and still pooping three or more times a day, see a doctor.
If you’re on a fairly regular schedule with your bowel habits, that’s a sign that your digestion is strong. Your poops should also generally feel “complete.” That means you feel like you’ve evacuated everything, and there isn’t more to come out.
What to do if you don’t poop regularly
Not pooping regularly? Try integrating a few of these tips and tricks into your diet, and always consider consulting with your doctor or a gastroenterologist for advice, too.
- Drink more water: Staying hydrated keeps the stool in your large intestines soft, which makes it easier to pass. Not sure where to start? Check out our tips to stay hydrated.
- Add magnesium to your list of daily supplements: It tells your body to send water to your bowels, which helps everything move more smoothly. You should probably take magnesium, anyway—most Americans are deficient.
- Be sure you’re getting enough fiber-rich foods to help soften stools: Good examples are berries, avocados and broccoli. Set a goal to eat a plate full of salad greens (or add to smoothies) every day to up your fiber intake.
- Try gut health supplements: Bulletproof Gut Health Collagen Protein is your all-in-one gut health solution, since it features probiotics, prebiotics, gut health nutrients and collagen protein to support healthy digestion.† Or try Bulletproof InnerFuel Prebiotic if you just want prebiotics to feed your good gut bacteria, plus ingredients for immune health support.†
If you’re grappling with chronic constipation, see a doctor. Constipation is one of those situations that can have many different causes, from under-producing thyroid hormones to lack of bile production or nutrient malabsorption.
Poop is a treasure trove of information about what’s going on inside your body. It may seem strange, but taking note of your poop gives you valuable insight into your digestion, organ function, gut bacteria and more.
Keep tabs on your poop (or keep a poop journal, if you’re hardcore). It’s a great indicator of how small changes in your diet affect your gut—and healthy stool lets you know if you’re moving in the right direction.
If you’re feeling bloated, fatigued or just off, it may be time to check in on your gut health. Read on to learn about signs your gut is unhealthy and how to fix it.
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This article has been updated with new content.