Vegan Poop: 5 Things To Expect In The Bathroom When You Swap Animals For Plants

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There’s no easy way to ease your way into a post about vegan poop. After all, it’s not the best subject in the world, but it is something we all think about when we first switch diets.

Knowing your poop is knowing your health in most instances, so although it may be a delicate subject, it is one which needs a little more light shed on it.

The problem is knowing what’s normal and what isn’t, especially when we first make the change to becoming fully vegan. So, with this is mind, I bring you five things you may encounter when you remove animal products from your life and go vegan.

Let’s get started!

Increased bowel movements

One of the greatest benefits – aside from better general health, helping the planet, and saving numerous animals each and every year – is an increase in bowel movements when going vegan. For many, a diet heavy in animal products can have serious consequences when it comes to their digestion.

As they’ve never experienced any other way, it’s normal for omnivores to regard their poor gut health as normal. HINT – it isn’t! Not going to the bathroom regularly enough can cause all sorts of problems, so increased bowel movements on a vegan diet should be welcomed…even if they can be a little inconvenient at times.

So, what causes the dramatic increase in bowel movements for vegans? In one word – fiber. So many of us in the western world are fiber deficient, and lots of experts believe it to be one of the biggest public health problems facing us today.

The most common diseases which kill the greatest number of people every year are not handed down to us by the generations who have gone before; they’re lifestyle diseases.

If that’s the case, the good news is the potential for prevention is high, and increasing your dietary fiber intake is a great place to start. So, embrace the frequent pooping; it’s how your body should work.

You might want to stock up on vegan toilet paper, though!

Fewer bowel movements

Now, wait a minute, I hear you cry. Straight after telling you all about how vegans enjoy more frequent trips to the bathroom and all the health benefits associated with it, I’m going to contradict myself and talk about how some vegans may actually poop less. What gives, Lisa?

Well, for some, switching over to a vegan diet can actually cause constipation. While most people will fall into the bracket above and see an increase, a certain percentage of new vegans will find that they visit the bathroom less often when they first transition.

How can that be? Surely all that fiber I spoke about in the section above would work in the same way with everyone, wouldn’t it? The answer…not necessarily.

Drastically changing your diet, even for the better, can cause our bodies to react as they take stock of what’s happening and try to adjust. Contrary to popular belief, plant foods can actually be quite difficult to digest (see our article on vegan digestive enzyme supplements for more info). This is especially true if your body isn’t used to it.

After years of eating meat, dairy, and processed foods with very few plants it’s little wonder our guts can misbehave when we begin loading them up with fruits and veggies.

A slower transition to a plant-based diet can help lessen the negative effects: constipation, bloating, gas, etc. so try and incorporate vegan meals into your existing diet more gradually. Not only will this help your gut adjust, it’ll also lessen the intensity of any cravings for rubbish foods you may have otherwise had.

Another reason for some folks suffering from constipation is the fact that many new vegans still don’t actually get enough fiber. That’s right, NOT ENOUGH fiber! (1)

This may seem bewildering, but if you are going to opt for vegan junk food over a more whole food, plant-based diet, lack of fiber is likely to be a problem.

While the ethical vegan boxes are being ticked, the healthy side of things can often be found wanting when taking this approach. My advice is simple – stick to the fresh produce aisle when shopping.

Obviously, the occasional piece of vegan junk food isn’t going to kill anyone, but don’t base your entire diet around processed foods; be they vegan or not.

Oh, and don’t forget the importance of water. If you are eating plenty of plants, but still struggling in the bathroom, increase your water intake. Fiber needs water to do it’s thang!


Vegan diet means better quality poop

You’ve probably all heard the saying, you are what you eat! Well, that’s certainly the case when it comes to your poop.

So, what exactly does better quality poop mean? Well, one way of looking at it is to examine the now famous Bristol Stool Chart.

bristol stool scale
By Cabot Health, Bristol Stool Chart – CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As you can see, only two out of the seven stool types shown on the chart fall into what researchers regard as “normal”. The team, led by Dr. Stephen Lewis and Dr. Ken Heaton at the University Department of Medicine, Bristol Royal Infirmary, England, who compiled the chart looked at the time it takes for stools to form within the colon.

Types 1 and 2 show signs that your poop has spent too long in your body, indicating constipation, whereas types 6 and 7 clearly haven’t had very long at all to form any real shape or form, indicating diarrhea.

Type 5 is considered to be okay, but patients are advised to increase their fiber intake to help slow the transit time and allow the body to extract all of the goodness (vitamins, minerals, etc.) from the food we eat before it is passed as waste.

Vegan and vegetarian bowel movements will largely fall in the 3 to 4 range, meaning that vegan poop consistency is usually right on the money. Because of this, they will be easier to pass and bring a greater feeling of relief when you finish.

For anyone who has experienced an incomplete bowel movement, this can definitely be chalked up as another benefit to adopting a plant-based diet.


Your poop may smell worse (at first)

vegan poop smells bad

Now, none of this post has been particularly pleasant, but one thing people get especially squeamish about is smells. However, it needs to be addressed, so here goes!

Although it may be embarrassing, the smell that occurs when we go to the bathroom is usually a good sign. While we all hate it, the odor is actually proof that your body is ridding itself of harmful toxins and it’s also thought to be associated with the bacteria found within the gut.

The problem is that, again, everyone is different. So, what may be a “normal” smell for one person will be entirely different for another.

People transitioning over to a plant-based diet are likely to experience a change in smells, and it can sometimes get worse. This is because the body is cleansing itself of all the dioxins, hormones, bacteria, antibiotics, and other nasties associated with regular consumption of animal products. (2)

The good news is this will generally settle down, although it can take a little while. I remember when I first switched from the Standard American Diet to eating solely plants it was a shock. My guts were in turmoil, and it lasted for several months! (3)

I even seriously considered giving up and going back to how I was eating before, such was my embarrassment. Thankfully, things began to calm down and now I actually have fewer issues with bad smells as my body is generally cleaner and better equipped to process the food I eat quickly and efficiently.

Another thing that can help with the new vegan poop smell dilemma is to begin a plant-based probiotics program. Improving your gut flora will help your body adjust to your new way of eating and can also help lessen your cravings for certain foodstuffs, especially those with high sugar content. (4)

The thing to remember is if your smell changes dramatically for the worse, without any other changes occurring (such as switching diets), and remains this way for longer than a few days, a trip to your doctor is probably wise. Same rule applies for the frequency of your bowel movements too.

Drastic changes can be signs of underlying problems, so don’t let embarrassment stop you from getting medical advice. Your healthcare practitioner has heard and seen it all before.


Vegan poop is easier to, ahem, deal with

Now, this isn’t going to be easy to describe with any finesse, so apologies in advance!

As I’ve already discussed above, the quality of your vegan poop is likely to be good providing you follow a whole food, plant-based diet. Now, we already know that this is good for our health, but it also has another advantage too.

When you start eating more plants and eliminate animal products from your diet, you’ll find that your stools become less, well, sticky. Sticky stools are usually associated with fatty foods and those which are high in protein (ie. animal products), and they can be a real pain when it comes to cleaning up once you’ve finished clearing out!

Another reason you may encounter the dreaded sticky stool is an intolerance of some kind. While those who are lactose intolerant will automatically bring relief to their guts by removing dairy from their lives, anyone who has a problem with gluten may see things get worse when going vegan.

This is largely because many of us substitute animal products with more grain based foods when going vegan, so be aware of this when transitioning across. The fact is, many people who have celiac disease are actually unaware they have a problem. (5)

Therefore, if you feel as though you are eating healthily, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough exercise, but are still passing tacky, tarry stools, a visit to your health care provider for a celiac disease test is probably a good idea.

For most of us, though, adopting a plant-based diet means more angel poos. If you’re unsure of what that means, I’ll hand you over to the Urban Dictionary…

Angel Poo

A poo so perfect that (sic) requires virtually no toilet paper to clean your anus.

Urban Dictionary

If you can think of anything else new vegans can expect in the bathroom when they remove animal products from their lives, drop a comment below!

Woman holding her nose to depict a foul smell.
About The Author:
Lisa Williams
Happy Happy Vegan editor

Lisa Williams is a committed vegan, passionate animal welfare advocate, and keen follower of too many v-friendly food blogs to mention. She started back in 2016 because she felt there was a need for more straightforward information on plant-based living.

Back then, too many sites seem to either concentrate solely on recipes or be too intimidating or inaccessible for the v-curious, and she wanted to change that. The landscape is certainly a whole lot different now!

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff | Nutrition and healthy eating |
  2. PETA | Meat Contamination |
  3. David Grotto RD, LDN, Elisa Zied MS, RD, CDN | The Standard American Diet and Its Relationship to the Health Status of Americans
  4. |
  5. Serge Rezzi, Ziad Ramadan, François-Pierre J Martin, Laurent B Fay, Peter van Bladeren, John C Lindon, Jeremy K Nicholson, Sunil Kochhar | Human metabolic phenotypes link directly to specific dietary preferences in healthy individuals |
  6. Petra Rattue | Many People With Celiac Disease Are Unaware Of It |

243 thoughts on “Vegan Poop: 5 Things To Expect In The Bathroom When You Swap Animals For Plants”

  1. i’m currently trying out a vegan diet, to see how it goes for me. 3 weeks in my stool began to smell very bad, i thought it was strange, but after reading this i feel relieved.

        • Hey Marcus,

          A lot will depend on how long you have been eating raw and, of course, what foods you are eating. If you’re getting a good range of uncooked whole foods that meet both your soluble and insoluble fiber needs, your stools should be fully formed…although it may take a while for your body to adjust.

          • I became vegan and my shit turned green(which made sense). But I started pooping less, but pooping much larger amounts in one sitting and it started smelling worse, but after reading this, I’m relieved.

      • My poo has been a 6 consistently since going vegan three weeks ago. How long does it take to become normal after making the transition. I feel good but worry that maybe I have inflammation as the scale suggests or that my body is not absorbing the nutrients. My poo goes up in a mushroom cloud every time I flush! How concerned should I be?

      • I have been vegan a little over two months and notice my stool was cleaner. I actually Googled cleaner vegan stool and found this article.

    • I have been a vegan for months getting some detoxing and im a little bit scared nobody seems to be going through this thing that is happening to me i am having this um how should i say this uncomfortable feeling in my stomach also im feeling gassy farting alot but not eating beans to cause the gas i am having skin peeling even though i am vegan i was told that i would have beautiful skin really scared dont know whats happening
      and another thing i seem to have lost my period because i know when i have it you know what i mean ill get a little pain and stuff and i go to the bathroom wipe myself off and there will be the blood but its not coming out like a liquid anymore but i noticed when i ate a boiled egg which was stupid of me then the period will like come out and mess up pants and everything so then i would go back to vegan and get this like tired feeling which is the first time before i am feeling very sleepy that is not normal since i mostly feel up and ready i think i am going through symptoms like tiredness even though i am not seeing my period my family thinks its because i am eating vegan please help i want to know how to stay vegan and not get all this side effects.

      • Hi Shauntel,

        Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing your story, sorry to hear you’re having a bad time at present.

        Although I’m always reluctant to say things definitely are or definitely aren’t, I would guess that veganism isn’t the issue at hand here. I’ve never heard of anyone having the problems you are experiencing after going plant-based before so it’s probably wise for you to seek medical advice ASAP. Always better to be safe rather than sorry. Good luck and keep us all posted on what happens next.

        • I have been experiencing the same issue and I have been vegan/plant based for 1 year now. I understand what he is going through and it is very unomfortable 🙁

          • Nina, not he, she. I don’t know any guy who would describe having difficult periods. Looks like there’s quite a bit of trolling in this comment section…

        • Hi, I’m Vegan for about 2 months now. I noticed that my poop now is always a “sinker”. I used to be a sinker totally when I eat a lot of meat but is a “floater” when I eat more of vegetables with meet? Is there an explanation for this?

      • I am not 100% vegan although I mostly am due to food preferences. It may be possible that you are not eating the variety of vegan food necessary to cover all nutritional requirements. I eat the rainbow between fruits veggies and legumes. It can be difficult at first when going vegan to cook up variety being that you need to use your imagination to fill the lack of animal products. Get creative, there are many youtube channels that can help with this. There are less calories in vegetables and fruits so make sure you are eating enough. Also I would advise seeing a doctor/nutritionist that works with vegans in order to get a checkup and make sure there are no other underlying problems causing this issue. I get yearly checkups just to make sure my health is on track. Vegan or not this is important,

        • Shauntel,

          I agree with Lisa, go seek medical advice on your diet change.

          I also think that Janet is touching on a very IMPORTANT topic and it’s “nutritional requirement”. I think if you just started this vegan journey, it is premature to assume it’s due to veganism. I have been a vegan for 3 years and only began to notice the negative effect of being a HARDCORE vegan. Not only that but I was reckless and followed the RAW TIL 4 diet by FREELEE. I discovered her on Youtube and I regret it! Three years into this RAW TIL 4 diet and my body has been depleted of NUTRITION and have horrible bowel movements I’ve been ignoring for 3 long years! I thought that since I was eating healthy and following this super clean diet by Freelee that I should be alright. Well, WRONG! I now had medical appointments with a Hematologist, an Internal Medicine doctor and I’m due to speak to my Family Doctor tomorrow. Supposedly there is inflammation in my body, particularly my liver and I am also anemic and vitamin b12 deficient. I am online now to share my story with as many women desperate to lose weight. My advice is please ask your doctor for advice before starting any diet/lifestyle. Doctors are not nutritionists so I suggest you see a good nutritionist. I had no idea that my lose stools (# 6 on the Bristol stool chart) meant I was not absorbing the vitamins and nutrients my body was desperate for and as a result of not taking iron supplements I had no menstrual cycle for one month. That was scary! I ruined my health but I am eager to build myself back up by taking supplements and seeing as many doctors to bring down the inflammation in my liver. I also am going to eat right….as a vegan! Take care and thanks Lisa for this article.

          • Everything you’re describing is indicative of parasitism. Check for ribbon like stool, and stool with white or black specks. One thing everybody needs to understand is that eating animal flesh will fill your body with parasites. Not “may”, “WILL”. They thrive in the intestines and stomach from the dead flesh (and consumption of GMOs and sugar [once called white death”]). It is VERY important to do a parasite cleanse protocol after going vegan. I have been vegan for two years and am still trying to remove this filth from my body, which I am all but absolutely certain I got from eating mass quantities of pig flesh over a 6 month period in 2009. I am currently 5 days into a 6 day fast for this problem. Interestingly, I just did a series of enemas which all produced something; when there shouldn’t have been anything. Sluggishness, craving for breads & sugar foods, buzzing in the head, foul smelling stool, black or white speckled stool, etc are all indications of parasites. They line the intestines, eating the food we eat, hence the sluggishness and craving, then discharge their waste into out bodies. I urge you to investigate this further!

          • Get tested for MTHFR gene mutation. All the stuff you have are what I have and I have Mthfr. It can cause all of this including inflammation, b12 issues, folate deficiency, and anemia.

          • Hi, i have removed meat and dairy and 80% of sugar from my diet. My body has lots of inflammation i was always feeling mucus in my lungs .
            After a month with the chsnge of diet having a bowel movement there was mucus on the tissue no foul smell just mucus , day 4 should i seek doctor care or is that normal reaction how the body is cleasing.

          • I am just looking into going vegan and I reading up on how to make sure all of my nutritional needs are met. I read to take B12, vitamin D, and other supplements. One note was about women losing their periods from lack of a nutrient… I don’t recall which one, so something to talk to your doctor about or look up for yourself, maybe?

          • Take no notice of Sandy she is talking utter piffle, it’s crazy comments like yours that spoil articles like this, so every one who has eaten animal flesh will get parasites, come on give us a break, cook your meat well and you will have no problem, eat a balanced diet you don’t have to eat lots of meat, there’s only one reason veganism or vegetarianism and it’s because the thought of eating a slaughtered animal offends you, your choice, not because it will give you parasites or that it’s healthier, by all means talk to a nutritionist, believe me there are lot more healthy people who eat a good balanced diet, than Vegans or vegetarians

          • I recently changed my eating habits, I haven’t eaten meat in BBC about a month. I poop regularly. More than once usually, my concern is color. It’s about a 5 or 6 but the color of 7 should I be worried? I haven’t been taking any vitamins but I also cut out gluten and have been eating more organic eggs and Ezekiel bread.

      • Dear Shauntel,
        I am an old farm girl overcoming huge health challenges. I would definitely see a functional medicine doctor. Although we need good fats, like avacado, flax, nuts, seeds, etc. There is no need for saturated fat in the human diet.

        I used to be addicted to the casomorphines in cheese. I developed severe endometriosis from the high volume of hormones in the milk products. The endometriosis spread to my bowel and ureter and were basically strangling my encased organs. Menses became drips of pain and I couldn’t void or evacuate without pain. It took two surgeries to clean it up. Now, people are reversing this.
        by simply going, not vegan, but whole food plant based.
        I lost my gall bladder as well from the SAD diet. It’s like when there is too much saturated fat and too many toxins the body sets them to the side to deal with daily living. When the diet changed and there was no more saturated fat the body decides “oh well, I get to clean house now” however the stored fats were already calcified into stones. The yuckiness was already there, it’s just more noticeable as it leaves the body.
        I have been doing this for three years now. It is the best medicine I have ever taken. Coupled with Nutrition, fresh air, exercise, water, sunlight, moderation, and being centered in faith, I am off all medications with exception of an inhaler when there are forest fires and estrogen from the hysterectomy/oopherectomy the endometriosis caused. My heart disease is reversing. My kidneys and liver have all restored after tons of meds.
        It takes time and patience to reverse damage already incurred. The good news for you is that, after your doctor rules out anything dangerous, the inflammation will reverse itself. I no longer experience fibromyalgia or arthritis pain. I know longer suffer with COPD.
        I make my own bread from organic wheat, and I do eat grains. I was exposed to DDT as a child and it takes over a hundred years for that to break down in the soil and remains decades in the human body. So, I do have problems with non organic grains and processed foods.
        Your discomfort in transition, is worth the years of quality of life a whole foods plant based diet will bring you.
        Hang in there! It is worth the journey!

        • Omg Renee I would love to chat with you! I have many of the problems you have and switched back to vegan after a 17 year hiatus. Now im wondering how long before the damage reverses. This time im whole food only and organic only.

      • Hi shauntel, I too have experience the skin peeling, and realized it was due to an iron deficiency! Up your iron intake and see if that works, for it has worked for me. Have a great day!

      • Is soy a big part of your vegan diet? Sounds like you could have a soy allergy (I do!). Soy even raised my TSH levels and gave me hypothyroidism symptoms. Thankfully it was reversible once I stopped eating the soy, but it took a good 6 months for my bloodwork to come back normal.

      • Hi Shauntel!
        While I’m definitely not a medical professional, I have had years of nutritional education and the combination you mentioned of amenhorrea (lack of period) and flaky skin, I would say that lack of adequate fat intake could possibly be the culprit. Fat in our diet helps to balance hormones and keep hair and skin supple, so if you’re not getting enough fat (at least 20% of daily calories) this could wreak havoc on your skin, hormones, and general energy levels! Oily nuts like cashews and walnuts, nut/seed butters, coconut/olive oil, and avocados are great sources of healthy vegan fats. Another great way to add fat and protein to any dish is by adding hemp seeds which have a pretty neutral, slightly nutty flavor. I hope this helps!

      • Hi sounds like you have a hormonal imbalance. Try taking 250mg Dha golden algae daily ..this is omega 3, eat 2 Brazil nuts daily for selenium, sprinkle nori on your food instead of salt for iodine and eat a small handful of walnuts daily or make it into milk. This will at least help your skin. Drink at least 5 glasses of water daily too. Try Erin Schneiders glowing green smoothie. I would ask for thyroid function and PCOS tests from the doctor as I had similar symptoms when I suffered from these untreated. You may need treatments, which I advise accepting. You can knock symptoms back with some exercise too and ask the doc about vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements. Oh and eating a small avocado daily and following Dr Gregers Daily Dozen app will help your skin too. The other anacronym is GBOMBS..greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds daily. I went completely raw vegan for a while and found I needed to add flax oil to my green smoothie. Also it can be hard to eat all your calories this way. So please just cook some brown rice and corn and quinoa and also lentils and peas and sweet potatoes. 50 to 70% raw is still very good as long as you are eating a whole food diet. Almonds are fantastic for skin too and great to make milk. I mix almonds and walnuts to make milk. No matter what the doctor says is wrong all of this will help.

      • You are insane! Please start eating whole real food organic omnivore diet – vegan diet causing you gut inflammation and vitamin deficiencies especially fat soluble vitamins, that’s where skin peeling is from. Start eating balanced diet and you will get your period back:)

      • This sounds a lot like malnutrition.
        One of the hardest things about changing diets for me, has been re-learning how to cook and feed properly.

    • Hello,
      I’ve been eating a mostly vegan diet since May. I still have honey with my tea and an occasional chocolate. I’ve noticed that my stools are very pale almost yellow. Is this a normal occurrence?

      • Color will largely depend upon what you’re eating, as anyone who has eaten raw beetroot will testify! That said, there can be other reasons too. Check out this post for more info on stool color.

        • Hello! I’ve been eating vegetarian/vegan for a little over 2 years now. I’ve been noticing almost all my poops are floating. Is this normal?

    • eating vegan, your release can come faster than a speeding bullet…sit ups off the side of the bed and help you move more in a timely fashion…writing down your movement timescales…will help you overcome the time issues…because accidents can happen..expect the unexpected and you wouldn’t likely suffer an the eventuality of a fast bowel event..

    • Color was not addressed. Otherwise fairly thorough. Those dark green leafy plants will most likely turn your BM’s orange. It’s nothing to worry about. Just trying to spare others with this concern as I did unnecessarily worry over it.

  2. I’m currently on the national vegetarian week and have insane hunger and bathroom ? concerns so this article definitely helped with the latter. I think I just need to eat more for the hunger thanks so much for your write up. You’re right it’s not fun. To talk about but hey, we all poop! Thank you!!

    • Hey Shelley,

      Thanks for commenting and congrats on taking the leap for National Vegetarian Week! I hope it works out for you and you see the benefits of changing the way you eat (although a week may not be enough for that, to be honest!).

      As for the hunger, that’s something pretty much everyone goes through at first. If you haven’t already done so, try eating smaller meals more frequently. That way, you’ll experience less hunger pangs without going overboard with excess calories…something that can be a problem when people try and fend off the feeling of emptiness.

      Hope that helps and good luck!


  3. I’ve been 95% vegan (plant-based) for the last year or so. My bowel movements have increased to 3 (sometimes 4) times a day. My only complaint is that I have lots of gas and gurgling in my intestines. It appears very active in there.

    • Hey Xavier, thanks for the message!

      After a year on a predominantly plant-based diet, your stomach should really have settled by now if it was just a case of your body adjusting to all the additional fiber. It could be that you are sensitive to a particular foodstuff (lentils are often the culprit, but it could be something innocuous like broccoli too).

      Have you tried an elimination diet where you strip back what you eat and reintroduce foods one at a time? Might be worth a try!

    • It could very well be due to parasites. Don’t worry, they say 90% of people have them. I found a lot of my issues resolved themself once doing some anti-parasite protocols. I would try both of the following: get parasite herbs from dr. robert morse (both the “M” for microorganism and the “G” for gerneal larger parasites); take these for a couple weeks and then try doing a fasting. Fasting can be dangerous if done improperly, but if done correctly you’ll starve out those parasites and the body will kick them out.

        • 100% agree with you, however she/he/it is right.
          He is not vegan, he is vegetarian.
          However, you don’t need to be a vegan to not to buy and consume animal products. Someone is 100% vegan and someone just don’t consume animal products 😉

      • Vegetarian can be so broad, when i go to a restaurant and ask for whats vegan i know it wont have eggs dairy, red meat, poultry, fish, etc. If i tell them im a vegetarian, im occasionally recommended things i will not eat because they contain one of these ingredients.

    • That’s the same problem I have a lots of gas all day and it smell bad too.
      I have Ben vegan for to weeks now and I’m more in the bathroom than anything else.

    • I am a vegan as well and my bowel movement is 2 to 3 Times a day I heard that’s good that’s a way to know if your gut is in good health and if so your body can heal from any ailments

    • HI Xavier, I usually have more gas if I eat to frequent and combine many different plants that don’t work together. I.e. the digestion of some foods are quite hard and some digest fast and some slow that might clash and create gas. I would also soak dry fruits and nuts and be careful of combining them if you are doing that. It would be easier to help you if you could describe your diet, eating patterns, lifestyle etc.

  4. I’m still very new in this plant based lifestyle (like, a full two days) but I have already seen a huge difference in my stools.

    First of all, er… they’re more intense. They’re like in the 5, 6, 7 range in the bristol scale.

    And then there’s a smell!! It’s definitely increased, and I was worried there for a moment. But I know I’m jumping the gun too quickly. We’ll see!

    • Hey Kayleigh,

      As horrifying as it is, it’s completely normal and simply your body adjusting to its new fuel. Stick with it, things do calm down in time. Can’t give you a definitive amount of days or weeks, as everyone is different, but it will settle. Once it does you’ll feel heaps better. Welcome to the gang!

        • Hi LJ,

          Sure! I was simply referring to the fact that by switching from the standard American diet to one full of fruits, veggies, and other plant-based ingredients, we’re effectively changing the fuel our bodies run on; nothing more than that. It may be a bit of a flippant way of putting things, but that’s what I meant by it. Hope that clears it up.

    • I’m exactly the same as you Kayleigh. On a mixed diet I pooped once a day first thing the morning. I’m 8 days on a veggie diet (about 2 eggs per week) and am ‘visiting’ 3-4 times a day also with 5,6,7 on the Bristol Scale. Not too smelly though. A bit gassy in the afternoons.
      Non poop related feedback – I do feel like my body is having a good clear out – I am eating plenty of great whole foods, am not hungry (which I expected to be) and feel as much energy as before.
      So far, so good.

    • My stools are in the type one of the Bristol scale but no pain and no straining I believe if I drink more water it would be normal

  5. When I first went vegan a few weeks back, I was horribly constipated off and on. That has finally stopped, thankfully. Now, I noticed I’m pooping MORE. I don’t mean frequency, but quantity. (Think cow patties.) I can see bits of things in my stool like spinach, carrots, and whatnot – as if it’s not fully digested. The overall stool is loose and a very light tan color. It’s not unpleasant, and I could live with it as it is now. But, I think my fiber intake is skewed towards insoluble (wheat/seitan, whole grains, etc.) . I’m going to try adding more soluble fiber (nuts, lentils, oats, beans, etc.) to my diet and see if that doesn’t help bring me closer to a normal range. Overall, the transition has been an easy one. I was vegan throughout my teens, but now in my 30’s I’m going back to it.

    And thank you for acknowledging vegan junk foods. I fell down that rabbit hole as a teen living off Amy’s burritos. It is entirely possible to be vegan and rarely see a real vegetable. I’m doing my best to avoid being lazy, convenience food junky this time around.

    • Hey Willow,

      Thanks for commenting! Striking the fiber balance can be tough, but you’ll get there. Plus, there’s probably still an element of your body adjusting too. It sounds like your doing all the right things, so keep it up and keep monitoring everything. It’s worth it in the end.

      • Hello Lisa, I have been Vegan for over a year and vegetarian for a year before that and drastically cut down on meat the two years before that. I have easy, large poops but mine are almost always a huge cow patty (like a mountain). I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, a small amount of nuts, grains, etc…mostly stay away from vegan junk food. I have realized a ton of the benefits of veganism, but I don’t have this long smooth snake poop that is one wipe everyone keeps talking about. Mine like pile up and usually require several wipes. I can’t find anything that explains it. I don’t personally have a problem with them, and I do notice I rarely have much of an odor, but it does worry me that I don’t have what is called a normal poop.

        • This is extremely common amongst vegans, so you’re right not to worry too much, but it can also be rectified and you’ll get benefits from doing so.

          As mentioned in previous comments, looser stools are generally caused by a lack of soluble fiber. Not having enough in our diets means food moves through our bodies quicker than it should, hence the softness. Why is this a concern? Well, if the body is processing foods too fast it isn’t giving itself enough time to draw all of the nutrients out of what we eat, so we’re losing a fair bit of the goodness found in our fruits and veggies.

          Now, as vegans, we’re likely to be getting way more nutrients than most who follow the Standard American Diet, but we could still benefit and the body will balance out any excess. Upping foods such as oat bran, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds will help draw the water found in fruits and vegetables away and slow the transit time, which will allow the body to get maximum nutrition out of what you put in.

          Give it a shot and let me know how you get on.

          • Hi Lisa, this reply to another’s problem has helped pinpoint a possible solution for my problem. It started for me out of the blue. I had gone Plantbased 2months prior and had ‘The Perfect #3 Stool’.. then after a death in the family and 8 days away from home, junk food consumed for convenience – on return, things went wrong.. they became what looks like a combo of 3 & 4 with copious toilet paper use each time.. So annoying, expensive and time consuming.. Fine when bathroom visits where in and out in a flash but then to spending so much time cleaning up has been very inconvenient and even stops me leaving the house some days as I dont want to deal with it in public bathrooms… To think that Soluble Fibre could be my issue is incredulously simple and I am excited to increase my intake and see if it helps.. My Doctor ordered comprehensive Blood Tests, Stool Tests, an Abdo CT, Colonoscopy and Endoscopy because of this problem, yet not once mentioned ‘soluble fibre’ .. What a waste of my money and misuse of Australia’s Taxpayer funded Medicare system if this is the simple answer to my problem.. dont get me wrong, of course I am pleased all those tests came back clear, but if this is the answer then my Doctor should be educated enough to of quizzed me more about my diet and mention it as a possible problem. So thank you in advance, for the possible help you have provided here to my problem.

          • Thanks for taking time out to comment, Christine. It really means a lot.

            I shall keep my fingers firmly crossed for you. Keep us all posted on how you get on.

          • Hey lisa great site ive changed to a vegan diet for about a month but my bowel movements is the morning are so often and a bit of a butning pain but when i eat thing like chicken and rice the next day im not in pain at the toilet i love the way i look on this vegan diet but i cant deal with the diharrea how can i fix this?

          • Hi Will,

            Thanks for the compliment, glad you like the site!

            As with so many others who have landed on this page, I would first of all suggest that you up your soluble fiber intake, so increase foods like oat bran, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds and see how you go. There are no hard and fast rules on how much you should be getting, and everyone’s body reacts differently, but try and get around 30g of total dietary fiber (both insoluble and soluble) per day, with at least 6g to 8g of that coming from soluble fiber.

            Hope that helps!

          • If I eat oats and beans or nuts my poop comes out before I can get to the bathroom. Some is solid and some is not. I’ve been vegan for 3 years.
            I had my stool checked and everything is normal.
            There seems to be very little I can eat without getting stools that sometimes keep me home all day cleaning up. I can’t eat the processed vegan food either.

        • I hear ya! But consider… if you are consuming very little grain, then your poops would be less “held together.” You can always have your poop checked out by a professional (I had to do this when I had some bleeding years back lol). If your energy is good, sleep is undisturbed, and generally you feel no discomfort while “going” (not a healthcare professional here… so you listen to your intuition) I personally wouldn’t stress.

  6. Great article! Lots of good info! I did want to add that if someone has a gluten sensitivity or celiac’s disease, like I do, going vegan will change your life! Truly! I have more energy, less fatigue, fewer headaches, and I don’t have to eat as much when I do get hungry.
    P.S. I save a lot of money at the grocery store. Bonus!

    • Hey Kelly,

      Thanks for adding that; it’s such a huge point. I’m really pleased to hear the lifestyle is working out for you. It can be easy to forget just how good feeling healthy can be when you’ve battled something for such a long time. Hopefully your comment will give others the inspiration to give it a try too. Stay well!

    • I will start that today and let you know. So what about frugivores? Don’t they just eat fruit pretty much? Is the cow patty just a problem that is more specific to me or do all vegans who don’t eat enough whole grains have more cow patty poops? Thanks!

      • Good point. Frugivores will commonly eat other foods, though, including those that contain soluble fiber. Fruitarians, on the other hand, are more likely to eat only fruits, and yes they would suffer from very loose stools indeed. Your cow patty poops are not uncommon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t try to rectify what’s causing the problem. Glad to hear you’re willing to give increasing your soluble fiber a shot. Look forward to hearing how you get on!

  7. I have been vegan for about 6 years and have almost always been regular like clockwork. However, as the years have gone by I’ve noticed that my stools are sometimes very loose. I will add too since we are on the topic, the smell is rarely bad. Maybe someone needs to make a tshirt “my vegan shit don’t stink”. ? Okay, so my concern is inflammation and flora in the gut. I have a lot of pain in my body, some caused from injury or repetitive motion (running) but I’m not sure how to tackle this. I drink ACV everyday, and beginning a regime of circumin.

    • Hey Liv,

      I LOVE the t-shirt idea! Haha, that’d definitely work.

      With regard to inflammation in the body, incorporating a top rated turmeric supplement and all of its curcuminoids, including the wonderful curcumin, certainly won’t do any harm. Other foods such as your green leafies, tomatoes, nuts, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, and lots of ginger will also help. Olive oil (good quality, obviously) is also great for inflammation too.

      You could also try taking daily probiotics too to improve your gut flora’s health. I’ve got an article on probiotics for constipation, which is clearly something you’re not suffering from, but it might give you a few pointers on some of the better probiotic varieties that are currently available. Keep me posted on how things go!

      • I’ve been Vegan for two months and I feel great! About four weeks into my vegan lifestyle I started to experience constant gas, bloating and stomach aches. I added probiotics to help with that. It’s only been a couple of weeks since starting the probiotics and I feel back to normal. The probiotics have helped with the gas, bloating and aches. Are probiotics something I should plan to take for a long period of time? Also, even after probiotics my stool is still about a level 6 most days. What else can I add if I’m still experiencing level 6 inflammation?

        • Hey Nana,

          Great to hear things are going well for you.

          I actually take probiotics twice daily and have been for ages now, I just see them as part of my supplement regime and will continue with them to keep my gut flora in good shape. Many believe that once you’ve improved the good bacteria you can leave it to fend for itself, but the truth is somewhat different for a lot of us. The reality is that modern life throws a lot of challenges to the body, from the water we drink to the air we breath, so any help we can give it is worthwhile IMO. It is, however, entirely a personal choice.

          With regard to the inflammation, upping certain foodstuffs will help. Try and get more fermented foods into your diet, which will again improve your gut flora. Also, things like dark leafy greens, walnuts, beets, ginger, and turmeric can help, too. Lastly, don’t forget the effect that stress can have on your body. Take plenty of exercise, meditate, and get enough sleep. All will help your body beat the inflammation naturally.

          Hope this helps!

  8. Thanks for the info!

    I have been vegetarian for a year now and just a few weeks ago went vegan + no wheat.

    I feel real good BUT the stink in the bathroom has made me think something was wrong.

    What a relief to know “this too shall pass”.

    • Hey Caryl,

      Exactly. Nothing to worry about at all, we all go through it! Some will only experience it for the first week, others far longer, but your body will adjust in time…and it’ll thank you for it, too ? Stick with it.

  9. I have been vegan for 2 weeks now. This morning was my first poop that dudnt smell! I use to have issues with constipatiobconstipation for about the last year, im talking painful bowel movements. Now, im excited to go to the bathroom and i dont dread it, not tomention im making a difference! I feel so great! I do however really miss my sharp cheddar cheese and salami, that was my favorite snacks lol accompanied with some wine.

    • Hi Alex,

      Glad to hear you’re feeling better after making the change to a plant-based diet. Craving our previously favorite foodstuffs is extremely common, but the upside of feeling healthier is usually enough to see us through. If you haven’t already seen it, we’ve done a post on stopping food cravings. Hope you like it!

  10. I’m on day 5 of my vegan journey and having a great time with it except for the poop situation. I am experiencing a lot of gas and cramping as well as some constipation. My bowel movements seem to be incomplete. My tummy is not happy. I have always had a sensitive stomach but constipation has never been an issue. I am eating whole foods (fruits/veggies) and some processed vegan cheeses and breads, beans etc. Is there something in particular I should add to my diet that may help? Or do I just wait for my body to adjust?

    • Hey Danielle, thanks for commenting!

      Day 5 is still pretty early on, so I’d let your body find its way before getting too worked up about how your tummy is reacting. Depending on what your diet was like prior to going plant-based, the introduction of all the extra fiber can actually cause constipation initially, but that will level out once your body settles into its new fuel. I’d give it another week or two and see how you feel; the transition time can vary greatly from individual to individual.

      Take a look at this post on vegan constipation too. While you don’t need to worry about it at the moment, it will give you an insight into what may be happening in your stomach!

      Wishing you well with your vegan journey,


  11. Hey Lisa,

    So happy I stumbled upon your wealth of information. My husband and I have been meat, dairy, and egg free for 5 short days and we both already feel much better. My husband was having chronic bathroom issues and my Dad passed away quite suddenly. This led me to start researching a healthier way to live. My only concern is that a lot of our, lack for a better phrase, poop floats. This is a little disturbing. I had my gall bladder removed 11 years ago so I am mega concerned with liver function. When you make the switch can you experience the floaters?

    • Hi Rena,

      Glad you found the article helpful, and sorry to hear about your dad…that’s a tough one to deal with.

      So, to answer your question, floaters are not uncommon when you first transition across to a vegan diet. The main cause for this is the increased gas. Not only will you often feel a little bloated and pass wind more often, you’ll also get some of that gas trapped within your poop which will make it float. People who eat a lot of meat will also experience floating poop, but for an entirely different reason…too much fat.

      At this stage, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If, however, you go more than a couple of weeks and things haven’t begun to return back to normal, give your doc a call. It’ll probably turn out to be nothing, but better safe than sorry, right?

      Stay well!

      • Thanks Lisa for your response. One other bathroom question I have is about diarrhea. 🙂
        Is it common to have occasional diarrhea when switching to Vegan? Just want to add, I really appreciate that you are talking about this subject.

        • No problem at all Rena, happy to help out.

          The likelihood is that your body is simply adjusting to your change in diet. You’re at the early stages of making a very big change, so your stomach is probably still trying to work things out.

          The weird thing about the transition process is that some people will experience the complete opposite and feel constipated. The key reason for this is that there are so many determining factors that could be causing your body to react in such a way. This makes it practically impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer to such a complicated problem.

          Things such as what you are eating now, what you were eating previously, medication, stress, sleep, and numerous other factors can all play a part. Add to that the fact that we’re all different anyway and you can see why it’s so hard to give a definitive,”yes, that’ll definitely happen to everyone”…and you should be leery of anyone preaching such.

          The best advice is to listen to your body and really monitor how you feel. Also, don’t be scared to visit your doc to talk things through. That said, I’d give it a couple of weeks first and try not to worry about it. We all know what worry can do to our stomachs!

          Take care and keep it up!

          • Thanks Lisa! You rock!
            I just want to say I feel amazing! I can not see any reason I would ever turn to the dark side of meat, eggs, and dairy again!

  12. Hi , my husband and I are on day 3 of going vegan. We are very excited! But also afraid of failing, any tips? Also I have IBS so you think plant based diet is good for me ??

    Thank you!!!

    • Hey Ruby,

      Congratulations! You’ve already done the hardest part…starting! Too often we consider making huge life changes, only for them to remain in our minds as something we should have done rather than grabbing the bull by the horns and going for it. You and your husband should be proud of yourselves for actually being proactive and taking action. Well done!

      Also, don’t be afraid of failing. You only fail when you give up. If you fall off of the vegan wagon and eat something you feel you shouldn’t have, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just acknowledge the fact and start over. Obviously, this doesn’t mean not trying to stick with it and reaching for the ice cream every five minutes ? It just means don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. I’m sure you’ll both notice the difference in your wellbeing soon, and that’s usually more than enough to keep you on the right path. Plus, you’ll have the additional good feeling of knowing that you are no longer contributing to cruelty and that you’re doing your bit for the planet as well.

      With regard to your IBS, are you on a low-FODMAP diet or anything similar? Having IBS can make a vegan diet a little tougher to stick to, but it’s certainly not impossible. Even though a lot of our vegan staples are regarded as high-FODMAP, there are plenty of recipes out there specifically designed with IBS in mind, and you’ll likely find you are more tolerant of certain food groups than others. A lot of it will be about trial and error. Be sure to journal everything you eat and keep a record of how you’re feeling. This will give you far greater insight into any triggers you may have…it’s so easy to forget what we’ve eaten day-to-day!

      Plenty of people with IBS have successfully transitioned to a plant-based diet but, as I’m sure you’re fully aware, IBS is an unpredictable condition. Monitor your health and the food you eat and work with your doctor to find a happy balance for you and your tummy.

      I wish you all the very best with your new way of living and stay in touch and keep me posted on how things progress.

      Best of luck!

  13. I’ve been vegan since the spring now and have experienced much of what you’ve said. I’ve noticed a much greater frequency, more poignant smells, etc. However, the reason I looked this up is because lately my bowel movements have begun to hurt a little, like a bit of a burning sensation every time (and the increased frequency doesn’t make that any more fun lol). I don’t remember if it’s been this way from the start or not, but I know it’s been for a while. Is this something to be concerned about, should I go see a doctor perhaps?

    • Hi John,

      The obvious question is have you increased your intake of spicy foods since going plant-based? I know I did when I first transitioned, Indian food was a go-to for a long time (still is, if I’m honest!). If you have, this could be a likely culprit for the uncomfortable sensation you are feeling. If not, as with anything you’re unsure of health wise, a trip to the doctor is the most prudent thing to do.

      Wish you well!

  14. This article was very interesting. Thank you! I noticed a drastic change for the better in only 5 days. I never believed in a vegan diet but after some research and proof of the health benefits in others, I decided to try it out. I always suffered from constipation and feeling and seeing the change that occurred in my bowel movement in just 5 days felt amazing. I was concerned about the color and the odor, but it only makes sense with all the changes, plus all the bad stuff that’s left to be eliminated from my intestines. I have one question. Although I’ve embraced a much more healthy diet, is it normal to feel bloated a little or that little to no change in weight it’s happening? Or is 5 days a very short period of time to tell? Thanks!

    • Hi Ana,

      Five days is, unfortunately, way too soon to see any kind of noticeable weight loss. Although we’re constantly bombarded with “quick fixes”, the truth of the matter is that most simply do not work and to lose weight in a healthy way takes time. The good news is that following a whole food plant-based diet (an important distinction, as vegan junk food will NOT help you lose weight) makes weight loss a lot easier because you can snack on so many things that are actually good for you and won’t be detrimental to your long term goals. Whenever you feel the urge to munch on something, you can reach for some nuts, an apple, dried fruits (without added sugar, check the label!), a little homemade hummus with carrot batons…the list is endless! One of the hardest parts of losing weight is feeling deprived and hungry, but you don’t have to go through that if you’re sensible about what you eat. In fact, you can lose a lot of weight without ever feeling hungry! It’s one of the biggest benefits of switching to a plant-based diet.

      As for the bloating, that’s completely normal and likely due to the increased fiber in your diet. Things should settle down after a couple of weeks once your body adjusts, but you can help things along by improving your gut flora with fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi or look into taking a daily probiotic. Check out my article on them here if you haven’t done so already. It’s written with constipation in mind but it’ll give you an idea of some the better supplements available.

      Hope this helps a little!

  15. Hi, Lisa! Thank-you for having an article on this subject! I have been sugar-free for almost 3 years, vegetarian for 1 year, and now vegan for a month. (I cut out milk for 6 months, then cheese for 2 months and my last hurdle a month ago was butter.) My next step will be getting rid of wheat. I have lost 45 pounds so far on this dietary journey. Yay! All that said, on to my concern and the reason for me being here reading your article:

    I had surgery May 16th and was told by friends that the worst thing after surgery was that your first poop would be like giving birth… Knowing this, I prepped apples in baggies and carrots in baggies as I knew I would be very tired and not moving around much following surgery. I also ate a few other things like fresh salsa with corn chips and brown rice and drank lots of water. This did not help. I had a massive poop 4 days following surgery – SO BAD. It got stuck and ruptured some of my internal sutures. Sorry for the grossness, but I had to glove my hand and help release the poop so it could come out. Ever after that, my poop has been loose and orange. For the first month, I would have abdominal pain which would alert me to needing to poop. Not much pain now, thank goodness. My poop has bits of veggie or fruit skin in it, and immediately dissipates in the water when I flush. According to the Bristol stool chart, it is diarrhea. Yesterday I had my first dalliance in a long time – I ate casserole at a potluck that had cheese in it, and spaghetti sauce that had a bit of sugar in it. Today my poop is green. Sigh. I take probiotic supplements and am not sure what else to do. I have tested negative for C Difficile and Giardia. My doctor says if I can live with the orange color and don’t have other symptoms, not to worry about it. I have been searching the internet to find out if a whole-food, plant-based diet can cause orange, loose stool. Any advice?

    • Hi Louise,

      It seems like you’ve been through the mill lately, sorry to read about all your troubles – rough times! Hopefully you’re heading towards better health now, but I know that these things take time.

      On to your problem. It would appear that your passing stools pretty quickly, so I’d consider upping your soluble fiber intake (if you haven’t already, of course). Things like oat bran, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds will all help turn some of that water into gel during the digestion process and lessen the diarrhea symptoms somewhat. As for the color, this can be a number of things, including what you are eating (anyone who’s eaten raw beetroot will testify to that!). The most important thing is that your doctor isn’t concerned, but that shouldn’t stop you from going elsewhere if you’re not happy. Sometimes a second opinion is necessary to put our minds at ease.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more specific Louise. I hope things work out for you and you’re back to full health soon.

      Wishing you well!

  16. Thank you SO much for this incredibly informative article! I was beginning to get worried about the smell and this has made me feel so much better and motivated! I’ve been meat free for two
    weeks for the first time in my life and I can see my improvement in bowel movements and am motivated to move toward a vegan diet as well. thanks again for all the info!!

  17. I’m on my 3rd day being vegan and I feel so much better except for the burning during and after bowel movements. Is this normal and when will the frequency to go all day calm down?

    • Hey Amy,

      Things are likely to be a little unsettled so soon after ditching meat, but it wouldn’t hurt to visit your doc if the burning sensations are causing you considerable discomfort. Have you significantly upped your intake of spicy foods since switching to a plant-based diet? This is quite common, and can often result in the burning feeling you mentioned.

      As for the frequency, everyone is different so it’s hard to give hard and fast answers to questions with so many variables. Some people see little to no change in their bathroom habits, while for others things can take weeks to settle down as their bodies cleanse and readjust to the different fuel they’re being fed with. Again, if you’re worried, speak with your doctor, but day 3 is very early days so try not to be too concerned.

      Wishing you well with your transition!

  18. I have been on a meat free diet for about 7 days and my BMs are definitely more frequent and softer in texture. I also feel like I can see the bits and pieces of what I’m eating in the stool. I kinda feel like I need to keep going all the time. I have been eating lots more grains, brown rice,vegetables and nuts. But I’m also drinking Mothers nursing herbal teas too so that might contribute to the bowel changes. I’m going to try a probiotic and see what happens.

    • Hi Jen,

      Try upping your soluble fiber intake too. Oat bran, seeds, lentils, pulses, and nuts will help slow down the transit time of your digestive system. Getting the balance right can be difficult, but remember that your body is making loads of adjustments to the new food you’re eating.

      Good luck!

  19. Im also a very recent vegan convert. I did it mostly for my disgust at how animals are treated but also because of the health benefits. I have been drinking a lot of smoothies and eating lots of fruits and vegetables and today was the first day I noticed that my poop was green. I didn’t really pay much attention to it until I found this article. Thank you very much for writing the article and it’s good to see so many people going vegan. Secondly I already feel much better. More energy my knees don’t ache as much and I’ve definitely lost weight.

    Thanks for the article. Its great to be vegan!

    • Hi Dan,

      That’s great to hear, thanks for taking the time to comment; it really is appreciated.

      I found a similar thing when I moved across to a plant-based diet, albeit from a different angle. I started for health reasons and then learnt more about the abhorrent treatment of animals and the impact that raising animals for food has on the environment. Going vegan makes you feel better for the initial reason you decide to transition, but then you find other benefits along the way. It’s the lifestyle that keeps on giving! ?

      Glad you’re feeling better and welcome to the gang!

  20. Dam, Lisa really responded to every comment on here. Props! Going to try this plant based diet because poor animals!! And because the more you think of consuming dead flesh the nastier the thought becomes !

    • Thanks George…I’d better respond to this one too!

      Good luck with the change in diet, I really hope it works out as well for you as it has for me and countless others. Keep us posted!

  21. Great Article! After seeing WHAT THE HEALTH and other documentaries my wife and I switched to vegan. It will be tough for me because I am used to consume about 10 pounds a week of meat but I am already starting to see the benefits. So far I have lost around 4 pounds of weight in 6 days. So, we both started having more frequent trips to the rest-room and this article helped me understand the changes. Once again, thanks!

    • Thanks Abraham, and congratulations on your monumental lifestyle change…that’s quite a difference you’re making there. You’re still at the early stages, so the best is yet to come for you. Keep it up and well done!

  22. Hi my husband and I have been vegan for a little over a week and he has been having bowel movements at least 4 times per day and he is having pain in the bottom of his abdomen. Is this normal? Also he is a big guy and worried about getting enough calories and protein so as not to lose muscle any advice on how to know how much protein your getting and how to know if your getting enough calories

    • Hi Tynnae,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Yes, your husband’s increased bowel movements are completely normal, but any pain should be checked out by a doctor…I can’t give solid medical advice from a comment, sorry. Abdominal pain can be caused by a number of things (including gas, which is a regular culprit when first transitioning), and I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

      With regard to getting enough protein and calories, if you are following a whole food plant-based diet and eating enough to feel satiated, you’ll be fine. Just steer clear of the numerous vegan junk food options and refined sugar as much as possible. Be sure to include foods like beans, nuts, avocados, lentils, peas, and coconut oil to help with protein, calories, and fat. You can also eat more frequently when sticking to whole foods, so snack on healthy stuff every two to three hours if you’re feeling hungrier than you used to.

      To get a handle on exactly how many calories you and your husband need, check out this calculator.

      Hope that helps!

  23. Since starting my vegan diet 11days ago, I have light brown stool with pieces of food in it. It’s solid though.
    Also, today I craved sugar badly so I ate the healthiest vegan cookie I could find at a nutrition store.
    Is it normal to have these cravings?
    How much ruffage greens should I have?

    • Hey BBM,

      It’s totally normal to crave sugar…it’s the crack of the food world! That being said, you can quit it, but it’s definitely not easy. Check out my post on how to stop food cravings for more info.

      Eating more high fiber foods can result in particles being left in the stool as they are generally harder for the body to break down. Bacteria helps break down what we eat, so taking care of your gut flora can give things a nudge in the right direction. Try and get some fermented foods when you can – sauerkraut, kimchi, etc. Taking regular probiotics can also help.

      With regard to your leafy greens, it’s advisable to get at least four or five servings of dark greens in each week.

      Hope that little lot helps!

  24. Hello,

    I have been on a plant based diet for 4 days. I have also been going 3 -4 times a day which was crazy to me at first, but now i see is normal 🙂 It has been sort of intense in the 5,6 and 7 but now I know it will calm down. I was also surprised that my stool was actually green from eating so many vegetables. I have never seen that before. Thanks for helping us talk about our pooh,

  25. 5 weeks into my eating change, and I feel great! However, I naturally had to Google search this topic because, ah-ehm, they used to be daily, solid, and clean….and now they are urgent, not-so-solid, and, well, I’m cleaning up longer than usual, lol. (Here’s to hoping for the Angel-type once again!) But after reading this, I don’t feel so weird. Thank you, Lisa!

  26. Hi Lisa. Traveling to Italy next month. Been vegan for about a month now and not sure how to handle the food situation. Not sure how vegan-friendly restaurants are over there. Any suggestions ?

    • Hi Rose,

      It’ll largely depend upon whereabouts in Italy you are travelling to. Many of the bigger cities are very vegan-friendly these days, but if you’re heading for more remote regions things could get a little trickier. The best thing to do is plan ahead. Do lots of research on the area you are visiting and ask around on both local and vegan forums if you can. This list from HappyCow should get you started.

      Have a great trip!

  27. I’m so glad I found this article! I recently decided to go vegan after watching What the Health. I’m 5 days in and the changes in my gut have been distressing, to put it mildly. I always had solid BMs twice daily even on the standard American diet. Now however I’m in the 5-6 a day range, usually a 5 on the Bristol chart. At first I thought it was ditching the SAD cold turkey. I’m happy to know this is my body adjusting to my new eating pattern.

    • Hey Maeve,

      Thanks for commenting; I’m glad the article put your mind at rest. Hopefully things settle down for you soon, I know how traumatic this stage can be!

  28. I am confused after reading all of these comments. I am on the 25th day of eating Vegan. My energy is up , as I sleep less at night and I have lost 18 pounds . The problem is my digestion has slowed down. At first it was 3 or 4 times a day and now the last week I have been taking stool softeners and miralax just to go once a day . I am drinking the water and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. I even cut back on beans because I heard they can cause constipation.. Any ideas ?

  29. Good morning. I’ve been a vegan for almost 2 years eating some seafood on occasion. I am strict but eat a balanced diet. I don’t feel that I am eating too much fiber.

    My morning routine is to immediately have my poop session for approx. 15 to 30 min., eat breakfast, then return for about 2 min. to eliminate before going to the gym. When I get home, it’s back to the bathroom for a final bm. They are not the consistency of runny diarrhea but are loose and stinky!

    I feel great physically but somewhat concerned about the consistency and urgency each time.

    • Hi Ann,

      Do you do anything to combat inflammation in the body, like consuming turmeric regularly, for example? I’m not saying that’s what is causing your issues, as it’s obviously impossible for me to tell from a single comment, but it would be something I’d take a look at. Including more anti-inflammatory foods certainly wouldn’t hurt, so maybe up your intake of things like ginger, green leafy veg, berries, and nuts for starters.

      I would also suggest paying your doctor a visit, too. Explain what’s happening and say that you feel great but just have a concern over your BMs. Even if it’s just to put your mind at rest, that’s no bad thing.

      Hope it works out for you!

        • Good morning, Lisa! Your reply has already helped me. Thank you! I’ve added Life Extension Super bio-curcumin (turmeric) to my daily supplements along with small amounts of apple ginger kombucha (locally made), and adding turmeric to my food, and already seeing and feeling improvements. I appreciate your help and will continue to update you! Have a wonderful day!

  30. Hey this has been so informative, I’ve read a few articles where “people” say the whole gas and upset tummy should only last 48hours after converting to veganisim. I’ve now happily been vegan for 2 solid weeks, I still have on average 3-4 BMs a day I would say most would be classified as #7 to #5 and varries. I will start taking probiotics, I think might help the tummy grumbles. I guess I would be concerned with inflammation too, do you have any recipes that you could share to aid with this? Btw I love the fact so many people are talking about poop! Lol it’s truly something missing from all the other vegan information, I thank you! this is a service to all us “newbies”.

    • Hey Veganoobie – great name!

      So glad you found the article helpful. I can remember being concerned about the whole poop thing when I first transitioned over, so it was high on my list to write about when I started this blog!

      In terms of recipes, it’s probably easier for me to give you a quick run down of anti-inflammatory foods rather than recipes. That way you can seek out stuff you want to eat, as opposed to me recommend a recipe or two that you may not like. Here goes:

        Green leafy veggies

      That’s a few to get you started. Try and incorporate more of these into your diet, along with some fermented foods. Your tummy will thank you later.

      Hope that helps.

  31. Hi started a vegan diet 3 days ago because of a movie and book I read. I was getting to find that maybe it’s not that good since I poop more and it’s smell so bad. Before I was only pooping once every 3 days without smell now 3 times a days. But when I read your article I find relief because this normal not diarrhea poop. Ando maybe my body reject bad stuff from the inside because if this was not from pooping I feel very more energetic.

  32. Glad to hear it’s kind of normal. I’m 2 weeks into plant based and gluten free diet (having been GF & corn free for 3 yrs) and have had 3 days of #7 uncontrollable. I’ll add oats n such back in and see if it changes before I call the doctor.

  33. Could you recommend some daily vitamins you take? Right now I’m taking multi vitamins and nothing else but I do have some concerns?

    As far as my poop, it no longer has a foul smell. I eat a lot of fiber too! Thanks!!

    • Hi Peggy,

      Here’s what I currently take:

      Vitamin B12 (this is the big one that all vegans need to keep an eye on)
      Vitamin D (again, important, and many of us don’t get enough)
      Daily probiotic (great for ongoing good gut health)

      Occasionally, I’ll also take others, but these are the three supplements I make sure I take every day.

      Hope that helps!

  34. I’ve noticed my stools seem…. incomplete. In which I mean my food doesn’t seemed properly digested and I can pretty much tell what meal I’m passing by looking in the toilet. (Gross I know)
    I’m working on chewing my food more thoroughly. .. but is this normal? Has anyone else experienced this?

    • Hi Barbara,

      Have you tried tweaking your soluble fiber intake? Increasing your soluble fiber will help slow the transit of your food through your gut, which gives the body the time it needs to properly digest what we’ve eaten. Monitoring this, as well as taking more time to chew, may help.

      All the best!

  35. Hi! I’ve been a vegan for about a month! My stools have been sticky now for a while and I’m getting worried. Am I detoxing or does it mean I’m eating too much fat? I eat a lot of tahini in fact (on toast) and I use olive oil when I cook. I’ve cut out all gluten (still eat oats sometimes) about 2 months. A couple of months ago I was tested for celiac as it runs in the family, but they told me that I have not developed it (yet).

    Do you know what possibly is causing the sticky poop?

    • Hi Alexis,

      Fatty foods (including those with high oil content such as tahini) can certainly exacerbate the problem. Cutting out gluten will help if you have an intolerance, and you can still be intolerant of it without being celiac, so you’re probably doing the right thing there. Have you spoken with your doc about the problem? As you’re diabetic as well, it’s best to seek proper medical advice and push for tests if you’re worried. Have you been tested for Crohn’s, for example?

  36. I’m plant based since September 26th -oct 6th 2017 I cut gluten out of my diet I’m full plant based also I am having painful gas lately and also I don’t eat broccoli or califlour … my bowls are very very dark sometime in a ball shape … is that normal they used to be normal

    • Hi Sara,

      It all depends on what exactly you are eating. Without knowing precisely what your diet is, it’s hard to say one way or another whether or not you should be experiencing the problems you are having. Gas can be caused by a lot of different foods, but legumes are often the big one. Have you tried an elimination diet to find out what’s causing your gas? I’d recommend it, as if you can narrow things down to just one or two particular types of food you can adjust accordingly.

      Similarly, the color is also directly affected by what we eat. If you’re taking a lot of green leafy veg on board or eating a lot of beets, the color of your stool will darken considerably. As ever, if you are worried or in doubt, have your doctor check things out.

      Hope this helps.

  37. Hello Vegans! I am new to the lifestyle and it is an adjustment fully getting rid of the dairy portion, but I’m working on it. I have been mostly eating veggies with a little nuts, seeds, and rice here and there. I have been somewhat vegan for almost 2 weeks and have seen no weight loss, any suggestions why? Also my poop is more on the runny side in the morning when I first get out of bed, then gets more consistency as the day goes on. What am I not doing right? Thanks peeps! 🙂

    • Hi Janie,

      I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong! Too often the vegan diet is touted as a silver bullet for weight loss; it isn’t. It definitely works, and works well, but like all other “diets” it takes time and a little effort. Two weeks is nowhere near long enough to start worrying about things. Just stick with it, enjoy your life and your food, and things will fall into place (providing you’re not eating vegan junk food all the time, obviously). Also, it’s worth remembering that we’re all different, so some will lose weight faster than others despite eating exactly the same foods and portion sizes. Just the way it is, unfortunately ?

      With regard to the poop, it’s very similar to the above answer…two weeks is still pretty early, so your body is likely still going through a cleansing phase. Up the nuts, seeds, and legumes to get some more soluble fiber into your diet as that will help slow the transit of your poop through the body. This not only improves the consistency of your stools, it also allows your body to get more of the nutrients from the food as it slowly makes its way through your digestive system.

      Most of all, don’t stress about it. You’re on the right track!

      Hope that helps.

  38. I’m proud to say I’ve made the commitment to go vegan just a few days ago. Question: is it really that bad to eat more during fewer meals? I saw you said something about potentially taking in too many calories but the fewer heartier meals is the best I can do for now. The way my college meal plan is set up limits me to some extent, I can only go in the cafeteria 3 times a day at the most. As a result, I quickly learned that to stay full longer as a new vegan I have to increase my meals to about twice the size I was eating when I hadn’t eliminated animals products. I’ve pretty much been eating to my limit which I usually try to avoid but I figure it’s not too bad because I’m putting much healthier things in my body than I used to. First couple times I stuffed myself I experienced some discomfort but now I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. What’s your take on it and do you have any suggestions? So far I have made spinach a permanent part of my meal, and along with that a combination of various other raw and/or cooked veggies, pasta, chick peas, potatoes in some form or another, and soup. Just today I also started to incorporate fruit. Is there anything you’d take away or add, and what would you suggest for meal combos? I’ve just been winging it, taking in a whole lot of different things and hoping to get it right. I know I should do some more research but it would still help to have some advice. I found this article because I did notice an increase in the number of times I crap in a day. Before I was doing two a day at the most and today it was at least 5, and it’s mostly been around a 5 on the scale. No noted change in smell yet. I imagined it was because I switched my diet in a heartbeat but still wanted to check.

    • That’s great to hear, well done!

      Right, onto your question. The Internet, and the world in general, is fixated on optimal, but sometimes optimal isn’t practical. The thing to remember is that while optimal would be the perfect way for us all to go, if it isn’t feasible (such as with your college schedule) we can only do the best we can. This isn’t an excuse to not try, but it’s also important not to beat ourselves up if we’re not hitting the often unachievable targets set by others. Mini-rant over!

      If you wanted to spread your food out a little and eat less more often, is there a way you could snack throughout the day instead? So, you’d stick to your three meals, but also munch on easy to transport good stuff likes nuts and fruit. That way, you’d stave off the hunger pangs in between meals if you ate a little lighter. Just a thought, as again I don’t know how practical this would be for you.

      From what you’ve told me about the food you’re eating, everything sounds good, but do continue to experiment. Try and get a variation of colors into your diet as best you can and be sure you switch up that spinach every once in a while with other green leafy veggies such as kale, chard, salad leaves, etc. Eating different color fruits and vegetables broadens your nutritional profile, which will benefit your overall health. The main thing here is to avoid the junk. If you’re sticking to whole foods and varying them regularly, you can’t go too far wrong.

      As for pooping more after changing your diet, it’s entirely normal. The thing to keep an eye on is sudden changes in frequency when you’ve done nothing to initiate it. Monitor your bathroom trips and see how you go. Many vegans have multiple daily trips to the loo, which is more desirable than the opposite healthwise (if not all that convenient at times!). As always, if you really are concerned, visit your doc for peace of mind.

      All in all, it sounds like you’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work and let me know how things go.

      • Thanks! I’m not completely broke, so I can try that. I can’t believe how good I’m already feeling. Fully committing has been a good decision so far. I can’t imagine eating animal products again and I’ve poured out my favorite coffee creamer and threw away my cheese dip. I’m sure I’ll find something vegan I like. Yes I’ll be sure to update you on my progress.

  39. very interesting comments from all. To respond to the last comment on throwing out the coffee creamer, I recommend coffee with Soya milk especially in a coffee shop if they can do the soya milk.

  40. I have been plant based for about 2 years now, and had to search this topic because I have been dreaming of the ‘Angel Poo’ for some time now… I eat mostly whole foods , but am wondering if im missing something and if there is a resource out there that will layout what a healthy plantbased diet looks like (minus the tofu/soy products…) as I am not happy with my current state of bowel movements. When I have to go I REALLY HAVE TO GO…… NOW! thats if you catch my drift… they are always loose (the last 2 numbers on the chart) and if i have a ‘proper’ bm its like i have won the lottery !
    I try to eat as healthy as I can … wondering if too many cooked foods and not enough raw? LOVE curries with loads of veg. and also roast veg are a couple of my fav go to’s.
    Also I would like to know how others have this great weight loss and abundant energy? I want that too 😉

    If you made it this far , thank you for taking the time to read my rambling… and also thank you for putting this content out there so others dont feel so alne in their journey.

    • Hey Meghan,

      I totally understand where you’re coming from. The first thing I’d look at is your soluble fiber intake; it’s where so many of us go wrong and it could be the reason why you’re stools are too soft. Without adequate soluble fiber, our poop passes through the body too quickly and it also reduces the amount of nutrients being absorbed as well.

      So, we want to slow the transit time down to allow the body to draw all the goodness out of our foods, and soluble fiber is the best way to do that. Foods like oat bran, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds will all help, so try upping your intake of these if you feel you’re not getting enough.

      If you’re concerned by what’s happening, go and see your doc. I know it’s embarrassing and inconvenient, but it’s well worth the effort…if only for peace of mind.

      Good luck and take care!

  41. newly vegan here as well! and its good to know I’m not the only one googling for “vegan poops” LOL

    Its been about a month that I started to make the change to vegan…and Im talking going from fast food day in and day out to vegan! wow what a jump but WOW do I feel great!! so now its been 2 weeks of being 100% vegan. my poops have certainly increased, every morning like clockwork and sometimes a couple extra before lunch! there is hardly any smell and in fact I have much much less gas than usual. so I was googling for vegan poops because my poop is so loose…not water but like soft serve ice cream…alot of soft serve ice cream! a couple of years ago I went green smoothie crazy, every day a huge green smoothie packed with tons of veggies and fruit and my poops were loose like they are now…in fact I dont think they ever really firmed up back then and I was on the green smoothie phase for a few months. so, I’m not sure what to expect or if I’m still in the transition phase possibly..? I saw you tell someone else that 2 weeks is a bit early in the game to worry about much but like everyone else i was just curious!

    thanks for the article and information! go vegans! 🙂

    • Brilliant, Robin! Thanks for the comment, made me smile ?

      As I’ve mentioned to others here, soluble fiber could be the key to slowing down your food in the body and firming up those bowel movements. Try to add more foods like oat bran, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds to up that soluble fiber intake…that should help things. Keeping a food diary can also help; it’s amazing how quickly we forget what we’ve actually eaten!

      Best of luck and thanks again for commenting!

  42. I started a plant based diet and also have eliminated oils sugar and salt most of the time . I started having a soapy slightly metallic taste in mouth after I drink water almond milk etc and when I eat as well. It’s very strange and makes me feel as though I’m injesting soap . What could this be? I’m positive I don’t have any soap on cups etc. I also take remag magnesium for mag deficiency which was at a 2.1 one month ago along with a 1000 mcg b12 supplement 2 x per week and a vitamin d3 5000 daily . I also take armory thyroid 120mcg daily for hypothyroidism that was normal at my last check. Just wondering if anyone has experienced this or has any Invite as what can be causing this taste. Thank you!

    • Hey Jennifer,

      One thing I can think of is sodium fluoride could be present in your drinking water, but as you mentioned that you get it when you drink almond milk and eat it’s highly unlikely it’s that. Have you changed your toothpaste lately?

      It could possibly be a vitamin deficiency – maybe B12 or vitamin D. Have you had your levels checked recently?

      Other than that, I’m baffled! Can anyone else help Jennifer out?

      Keep us posted if you get to the bottom of it, I’m sure everyone would appreciate an update.

      Hope you get it sorted soon!

      • Hey Lisa ! Thank you so much for the reply. I use spring water only except in my keurig in the morning I use the tap sometimes if I’m low . I also started using a Floride free (toms of main) toothpaste about a month ago and also aluminum free deodorant. Trying my best to remove chemical out of my body products . I take a b12 supplement twice per week . Each one is 1000mcg. As far as vitamin d I did have levels checked along with my thyroid and they were around 44 so my doc suggested to take 10,000 in per day but I only take 5000. I think I will ask to have b12 checked if there is such a test. Today I’ve noticed that my sense of taste is starting to dull . The soapy taste is not as bad but not tasting things as I normally do. Very strange . I will make a doc appt to see if we can figure this out. My doctor doesn’t believe that I should go meat free but thankfully doesn’t say to much about it other than to take a b12 supplement. Thanks for your support and reply .

  43. Also wanted to add fix the post was about poop LOL since going i’ll plant-based I have had absolutely no issues and I’m out of four. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been going on a regular basis every day and not super constipated. This alone has made it all worth it!!! 🙂

  44. Hi Lisa,

    I’ve suffered from ulcerative Colitis for 2 years now. Ever since being diagnosed, I’ve done the GAPS diet (a ketogenic diet) recommended for people with IBD. This diet is basically a paleo diet with lots of clean animal proteins and organic vegetables. HOwever, this diet did nothing for me, so I am now giving raw vegan a try. I’ve been on it for about 9 days now, mainly eating ripe fruits (bananas, papayas, peeled apples, blueberries, grapes , pears and melons) for breakfast and lunch and steamed vegetables )squashes, carrots, broccoli, celery, potatoes) for dinner. The one thing that I immediately noticed is the fast and powerful detoxification process. Before starting this diet, I would only go to the bathroom once a day. Now I go at least 3 to 4 times in the morning and maybe once in the afternoons, and very soft. Is this part of the detox and adjustment process?

    • Hi Pat,

      It could certainly be part of the initial detox process, but it could also signify a lack of soluble fiber, too (nuts, lentils, oats, beans, etc.). Not getting enough soluble fiber means faster transit times through the body, which would explain the softness of your stools and the need to “go” frequently.

      Have you spoken to your doctor about the change in diet?

  45. I’m newish. I was concerned with the frequency of bathroom trips but after reading your blog about it I’m not tripping anymore. Haha

  46. hi, enjoyed every ones comments. I been vegan for 3 months. When I began I too was going a lot. Now I’m down to 1 or 2 per day. My question has to do with stomach pain. I limit my intake of beans to once or twice a week.because the gas was earth shakening. I started also having pain in my bladder, maybe IC caused by food irritation. I never had these before. Are they normal, was hoping all this would had passed by now.

    • Hey Anna, thanks for stopping by.

      I’d get myself down to the docs if I was you…better safe than sorry and worth the trip and the hassle for the peace of mind it brings. Sorry I can’t be more specific, but I think you’re best off getting yourself checked over by a medical professional.

  47. Hey everyone,

    Just a quick question. I was vegetarian for about 6 months and now have begun a vegan diet. I have watery loose stools now which I didn’t before. Is this ok? Will the diarrhea go away on its own? I don’t have a doctor and was just curious what everyone else has found. Thanks guys!!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      As mentioned previously, the first thing to look it as your soluble fiber intake – are you getting enough foods like seeds, lentils, nuts, oat bran, beans, etc? These help slow down the food we eat as it passes through our digestive system, which allows our bodies to absorb all of the nutrients and also draws the water from stools in the process.

      Naturally, if you’re concerned you should find yourself a doctor ASAP, but upping the amount of soluble fiber in your diet could well help out.

  48. Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to let you know for all those who are concerned about the bathroom smells – there is a fantastic product called Poo-Pourri available. I found it recently in a local supermarket but up til then was buying it online. It’s really natural, no chemicals etc. You just spray a few squirts of the natural oils onto the surface of the water before you go, and all the smells when you go, are held under the surface of the water. When you flush there is only the scent of the essential oils lingering in the bathroom. I was a bit sceptical before I tried it but honestly it really works and saves many an embarrassment when you are sharing a bathroom with others. I am not associated with the company in any way, this is just my experience of the product as a consumer and it really works. Thought it might be helpful for some of the readers here. Thanks for all the info on your page too. Very reassuring and helpful.

  49. Hi, I’ve been on a full vegan diet for about two years, and ever since I started my stools have never been solid, they always have looked like type 6. My diet consists of mostly beans, mainly lentils, and smoothies in the morning. I really don’t know what causes it, because there’s weeks that I don’t eat lentils, and my stool still looks like type 6. The most annoying part is that I think I’ve been bearing with anal fissures ever since I’ve been vegan. It always seems like I’m having diarrhea. I’m really puzzled by the issue, and now I really just want to fix it. Am I not eating enough fiber? I don’t any that many vegetables, so I don’t know if that might help fix it, but I’m thinking about going to a proctologist because I’m tired of my anus burning every-time I get in the shower. Maybe someone here has some advice cause I’m tired of just enduring the pain and discomfort.

    • Hi Frank,

      Sounds like you’ve been having a pretty rough time of it, sorry to hear that.

      Loose stools are extremely common on a vegan diet and can often be resolved by upping our soluble fiber intake (oat bran, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds), but it seems as though you’re already including them in your diet. What kind of percentage of your diet consists of soluble fiber?

      I’d definitely go and get things checked out, if only for your own peace of mind. I’d like it very much if you could keep us posted on your progress here. The more info of this kind we can share, the better. Equally, if anyone else reading Frank’s comment has experienced similar issues, please do comment…if only to offer support.

      Hope you get this sorted soon, Frank.

      Best wishes,


  50. Hi Lisa,
    I am curious about the points been listed in this article and I agree with the points. I wonder if you have any references claiming the transition of diet changes the smell of the excretion and the microbiotic of the GIS tract please.

    • Hey Jacqueline, good to have you here and thanks for your question.

      The change in smell when first transitioning is largely anecdotal, but from the hundreds of vegans I’ve known and spoken with (including myself), it’s very real! As mentioned above, however, the worsening of the smell isn’t permanent and usually settles down as soon as our bodies adjust to the new fuel it’s running on.

      The change in our gut profiles has been studied, though, and good pieces to start with can be found here and here.

      Hope this helps!

  51. Hi Lisa – I’ve been doing a low fat, whole plant based diet now since the end of January 2018. My problem is that I can’t stop going to the bathroom in the mornings. I can go 7, 8, 9 times before I finally stop. I have to run to make it and very rarely does it have a form to it. I feel like I’m prepping for a colonoscopy only every day. I even have taken anti diarrhea medicine to control it when I have early morning appointments. Will this ever slow down or become more controllable? I don’t want to quit the lifestyle as I’m loving it but I can’t keep doing this! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Laura,

      I can completely understand your need to get this sorted! Have you tried upping your soluble fiber intake as suggested previously in other comments? That said, it sounds like you’re at the extreme end of the spectrum. Have you been to see your doc yet? If not, I’d go and get things checked out. Better safe than sorry.

      Let me know how things progress. I’m sure you can get things in balance and continue to enjoy the many benefits of plant-based living.

      • No, I have been thinking I should see the doctor. Can you repeat what soluble fibers are? There are so many comments I can’t sort it out. I have tried the BRAT diet and that seems to help a little.

        • Soluble fibers are the type that slow the transit of food through the body, increasing the chances of us getting all the nutrients we need from the food we eat and preventing the dreaded diarrhea. While most plant-based whole foods will contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, some will pack more of a punch either way.

          Those higher in soluble fiber include:

          Apples, pears, dates and figs, quinces, oranges, sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, oats, barley, amaranth, flaxseed (linseed) and chia seeds. To get the most from flax and chia, make sure you grind them up in a pestle and mortar before eating them, otherwise they’ll just pass through your system.

          Hope this helps!

  52. Hey Lisa! This definitely eased my mind on how often I’ve been going to the bathroom since becoming plant based but can we talk about stool color?? Almost every time I go to the bathroom my poop has a lot of green to it. Is this normal? Is it just because I love spinach?

    • Hey Mary,

      Glad the article put your mind at rest a little.

      What you eat will most definitely affect the color of your stools (have you tried eating raw beetroot yet? ?), so the “greenness” is very likely to be because of the spinach. Completely normal, but if you want to check it out further you can leave the spinach alone for a couple of days and see what happens.

  53. It can take a while for the gut biome to heal from years of abuse due to a SAD diet. You can help it along by being extremely strict in avoiding all junk foods and adding probiotics. But one still may need to give it a year to make a full recovery.

    After initially pooping countless times after transitioning to a vegan diet my body has settled down to three or four large, complete poops a day. As for smell-usually there is hardly any smell at all. Think cow poop. I eat a diet heavy in fresh fruits and veggies, with daily servings of legimes, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Low fat, high carb. Zero cravings after the first months, which is probably due to a healthier gut biome. Anyone having issues in this area, just give your body some time and keep feeding it the highest quality foods you can. The problems will pass….

  54. Hi, I have a problem with smelly gas and have suffered off and on almost of my life. I was vegetarian for many years when I was younger. Went back to meat for about ten years but now going mostly vegan. I thought dairy was my problem but I still seem to pass smelly wind nearly all day now. My poo is sometimes very loose but my big problem is Mostly it’s sticky and I don’t feel I have “finished”. I have to keep going small amounts. Very rarely feel relieved. After reading all the comments and your replies I am thinking maybe I should try an acidophilus. But I have just started taking Aloe Vera liquid before meals twice a day. Just wondered if you know anything about this product and if you would recommend it? Or should I stop that and try the probiotic on it’s own? Thanks for the article.

    • Hi Angelina,

      Is your diet relatively high in fat? That can often result in stickiness. I’d also get checked out for Crohn’s if you haven’t already. Better safe than sorry.

      I’ve never used aloe vera liquid personally, but I’m sure someone reading this would have done. Any help for Angelina here?

      • Thanks for your reply. I have stopped the aloe Vera because it made me feel as if I wanted to poop all the time but I only passed a pea every time. So am now taking acidophilus- for a couple of days and must say I am feeling better. Not passed so much wind. Have also tried to cut down or out sugar and finding I don’t feel hungry as much either. I think it was the dairy that did it mainly so have gone strict vegan and think it suits me and the animals much better. When I was vegetarian many years ago there was so little in the way of nondairy substitutes but now with almond milk and vegan chees etc I am finding it so much easier. Thanks for your reply Lisa.

        • That’s great to hear Angelina! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us all know how you’ve been getting on.

  55. I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing this article! I’ve been vegetarian for a few months now (and I will say “mostly” vegan, because I absolutely love cheese) and having to poop multiple times per day is extremely unusual for me, so I was really concerned. I think I need more fiber, but still, it’s a relief to know that this is a normal experience.

  56. Hi Lisa,

    I’m hoping you can help me out.

    I’ve been a vegan for the past 4 years, but have just recently (past few months) been getting on-and-off very loose stools – like diarrhea. It think I am eating pretty balanced… What could I be doing wrong?

    Thanks so much.

    • Hey Emilie,

      This is a pretty common concern. While it could be a number of things, I’d start with mixing up the amount of soluble and insoluble fiber you’re taking in. More soluble fiber will slow the transit of your food through the body, which both helps with nutrient absorption and lessening loose stools, so up your oat bran, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, etc.

      Do a quick “find on page” and search soluble fiber for more info from the other comments. Hope this helps!

  57. Hi Lisa,

    I have been vegan for about a year now. Prior to going vegan I was having problems with constipation on and off. I absolutely love how easy it is now to have a bowel movement. My stools are nicely formed, smooth, and don’t require much pushing. It is nice to be able to sit on the toilet, relax and let it nature happen. I also have that feeling of having a completed bowel movement (as compared to struggling when constipated).

    One thing I have experienced though is more of an urgency since being vegan, and I wonder if that is common. Its one of those feelings like its right there and ready. I can hold off a bit, say 30 minutes, but much past that it just needs to happen (and sometimes at the most inopportune times). TMI: I’ve had a few soiled panties, and a full bm in my pants while stuck in traffic this weekend and that’s why I’m asking for advice.

    • Hi Daniella,

      Thanks for commenting and for your honesty. I can only speak from personal experience (I’d love to hear what others reading this have gone through, though) and tell you that, yes, I have noticed greater urgency, but not to the extent you described. I see this as more natural, but obviously hugely inconvenient at times.

      Sorry I can’t give you a more definitive answer. Have you spoken to your doc about it?

  58. Awesome article.
    Vegan 3.5 years and for someone who was severely stioped up, I now celebrate this new found freedom.

    I take pre and probiotics, eat fermented foods and take additional fiber.

    Great read.
    Thank you

  59. I’ve been vegan for over a year. For 1 year and 2 months to be exact.

    My poop smells really bad, still. And I have a loooot of gas.
    My poop is also very runny, mostly like number 5 or 6, sometimes like 7, but since going vegan, it was only like 3 or 4 for a week or so!

    I eat mostly whole foods, trying to have 2 cups of spinach, 2 cucumbers, 1 banana, 1 green apple and mango/pineapple smoothy every morning.

    Overall I eat balanced I think… not sure what’s the problem! I may need to drink more water…

    But how do i make my poops more consistent in terms of type?

    I poop every morning, twice sometimes and every night… and sometimes during the day.

    I eat two meals a day usually, with a snack in between.

    Please share what you think!

    • It’s a common problem, and it’s certainly fixable. As I’ve mentioned in the comments above, increasing your soluble fiber intake may help slow things down and let your stools form properly. Try upping foods like oat bran, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds and see how you go. Keeping a food diary can help, too.

  60. Thank you for that Lisa. It all makes perfect sense. Regarding vegan deodorant. I have found that Botanica products from Ireland are brilliant and are basically made from Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil. Use the cleanser then apply the cream and it really does work. I’ve bee using it since July before going vegan and it is fantastic.

  61. Hello, I have been vegan for a week now and I am extremely gassy. The smell is horrible. Is this normal. I do frequent the bathroom for poo time. But I noticed the gassiness more. Thanks

    • Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks for reaching out and congrats on your first week!

      Perfectly normal and nothing to worry about, things will settle down in time. The important thing to remember is that everyone is different, so bear that in mind if it goes on for a while. Feel free to get in touch again if you have any further concerns.

  62. Hi Lisa,

    First, I would like to say that I genuinely came here in search of exactly why my bowel movements had changed since I had been trying to eat less meat and more veggies. I think this article did an excellent job of informing me and has given me way more knowledge than I had before. It was also nice to hear people talk about some of the same things I’m going through!

    With that being said, I think it is essential to address that most common diseases that, although not directly passed down, have a higher pre-disposition in certain ethnicities and genders, etc. than others (i.e., heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes). Additionally, there is without a doubt that lifestyle choices have an effect on one’s health. There is no denying that. But, the way I interpreted from your article (please correct me if I’m wrong) insinuates that individuals with these predispositions diseases always have a choice as to their lifestyle. There are countless communities and even entire cities that face the horrible effects of living in food deserts. Inadequate access to proper and *fresh* produce sometimes is just not an option for many Americans. There are layers, and layers, and layers that add to why Americans have these unfortunate diseases.

    I am a black women who is above average as far as my level of activity and fitness. I rock climb about often in conjunction with cross-traininig. Although not rich, I do make enough to buy fresh produce and experiment with healthy eating. While I am very thankful for this, I do recognize that these privileges allow me to live this lifestyle (i.e., money, education, place of residence). For those who do not have this luxury, but still would like to try a meat-free/meat-reduced diet, rhetoric such as yours may deter them from even wanting to try a vegan lifestyle if their real-life health and food problems are being dismissed.

    Look, it would be great if everyone could move to a vegan diet or even animal product-free/reduced intake. Heck! It’s something I’m working toward myself. I would just hate for people to come across information such as this and resent the vegan community.

    Anyway, thanks again for the article!


    • Thanks for commenting, Asiah.

      Not sure what I’ve said in this article that would make people resent the vegan community, nor do I understand why you think I’m unaware of the fact that everyone is different and so are their situations and circumstances. This was, as the title suggests, supposed to be a light-hearted look at what might happen in the bathroom during/after a transition away from eating animal products. Really sorry if it’s offended you, but I really can’t make out why it would.

  63. Why do so many of you spell out your words completely, but when it comes to the word vegetables you call them veggies? It is vegetables. Type it out, you won’t faint.

  64. Thank you for a great article!!! I have had chronic constipation for over 30 years. Asking doctors to help me at every yearly physical. I was always ordered medication and never once asked about my diet or any suggestions that my diet may be causing the constipation. I had been taking merilax every other day for years.
    Two years ago this all changed. After my physical, my blood work indicated high cholesterol. First thing I was told is that I needed to go on a statin drug! After looking up the side effects, I decided to go vegan. I researched and bought cookbooks.
    When I started having a bm every day and sometimes more than once, I stopped taking the merilax and haven’t taken it in two years!! Going vegan straightened me out! They are always in the 3-4 on the chart. But they do always float and that is different from the hard, sinking balls I’ve always had before. I do admit that I enjoy french fries and potato chips almost daily.
    My cholesterol did go down not as much as the doctor wanted but enough to satisfy me.

  65. Hi! I just finished reading ALL the comments!

    Your article was great and the continued discussion just what I needed (though a few commenters might like to develop some meditation habits lol).

    Thank you for talking about BMs. I have to talk about mine all the time (early stage colon cancer). Being born in the US and raised by good, health-focused parents, grew up with the 4 square meals a day… into the health pyramid… and then we settled on trying out ALL the myriad of diet books (that are not diets but “lifestyles”) lol

    After graduation I got really in to fitness and majored in athletic training when I started University – switched later on to graduate in Communications, girl has gotta earn a living after all 😉 – all that I learned in my nutrition classes, I implemented into my life and BAM! Landed in the ER where I lingered hanging out with medical Drs for years. I found yoga and adopted a yoga vegetarian diet (dairy is encouraged and grain is your foundation), but 5 kiddos later, 2 unrelated cancers, several surgeries, and 2 autoimmune disease Dxs later… I wimped out and gave in… to the lazy path of the S.A.D… and I swore off Drs. I guess I felt like what was all the effort for? and I was exhausted.

    Then the poops happened. Well, the poops existed for years (7-8 times a day) but public accidents (yeah, Walmart… Costco… you DO NOT KNOW HUMILIATION UNTIL YOU POOP WHILE WAITING FOR SOME SLOW-POKE TO FLUSH AND GET OUT OF THERE! LOL), malnutrition and then bleeding sent me back in to a medical facility. Yay for HNPCC (aka Lynch). Pain and fear of death should not be your motive to change lifestyle habits, but those are certainly affective motivations, and now my hubby and I are working toward complete vegan lifestyles. We are down to an egg now and again. I still require B12 and vD and I take a probiotic. And I still require cholestyramine because of cholecystectomy from a very very long time ago… but I’m down to only at night, to absorb the excess bile until food the next morning. But the BIG thrill is my energy and my hubby’s mood. I may get push back from other readers/commenters, but I don’t force my kids to join in (3 are still at home). What we learned is that as we eliminated the meat, other animal products just loose their appeal. Actually, giving up meat was easy for us. It smelled bad to us after only a week… dairy took me awhile, but once that was gone my bowels sang out a grateful, “Thank you!” Because of MS and fibromyalgia, I eliminated all grains accept for oatmeal and eat a healthy serving of cooked dry beans (no cans… those things make ya gassy) and sprouted lentils (cooked affect me poorly). Also because of the MS I focus a lot of calories to natural fat (nuts, seeds, avocados) and I inhale greens! Man, I can NOT get enough… I suspect this will subside over time as my body heals and requires less, but I’m ok if it’s forever 😀

    The one thing I will maybe share as advice is: eat enough calories. Do not fear calories. And walk. A lot.

    Again, thank you for your article. It was fun to read. You are also a diligent responder of comments… and so positive and supportive to others. You go Girl! Here’s to the hope of “Angel Poops” cuz baby, eggs are gone after reading all this!

    • What an amazing comment! Thank you so much, Mindy.

      Really sorry to read about all the issues you’ve had over the years. To say it sounds tough would be an understatement of epic proportions, but your frame of mind is inspiring and it was a pleasure to read your story.

      Your comments mirror so many people I’ve spoken to and the slower transition is far from uncommon. Plus, don’t worry yourself over what others may or may not say; we should all do what we think is right and, personally, I think the non-preachy route can often work better anyway…especially with kids!

      Now, go get rid of those eggs!

  66. *Been process food and sugar free for 4 years
    *All plant based for 3 months
    *Poop is Type 4 every time
    *Farts a lot more but farts are awesome so its a win
    *My poop smell insanely good to me now, not sure if that makes me weird but there it is

  67. I’ve been vegan for just 3 months, but one of the best changes I’ve noticed is that I can eat spicy food again. For the past 10 years or so, before going vegan, if I ate anything with moderate to heavy spice (the hot kind of spice), I’d pay for it, painfully, about 24 hours later on the toilet. So, I grew more and more afraid of eating some of my favorite types of foods, Mexican and Indian. Since going vegan, I’ve brought jalapenos and other spicy things back into my diet, and there is zero burning or pain the next day when these items leave my system. I can’t explain it, but I’m glad to add spice back into my life, as well as a variety of wonderful, healthy food.

    Another benefit of going vegan is that my GERD has pretty much disappeared. Onions, garlic and tomatoes were the main triggers for this. Little did I know that these excellent foods weren’t really to blame, it’s everything else I was eating along with them. Now I could essentially make an entire meal out of onions, garlic and tomatoes, and I would feel completely fine afterwards, no reflux. A huge benefit, since I love these “Mediterranean” type items in my diet.

    • Great comment, Eddie. Thanks for taking the time to leave it ? Pleased to hear spicy foods are back on the menu…I’m a fan, too!

  68. I thought weight would drop off, instead I have put on a few kilos. I love the transition to becoming vegan, but am on your page because I was astounded at the odoriferous side of things ? so thanks for all this great info

  69. Hi..I have been vegetarian but not completely vegan for 2 months..this past week was bad with the gas and belching. I have been eating a lot of greens and peas/ beans. My BMs the last couple of days has been a 6 or 7 on the BM chart. Today I noticed think mucus in my stool. Is this normal.

    • Hey Michelle,

      I can’t offer direct medical advice, unfortunately, but if you’re in any doubt at all, give your doctor a call. Better safe than sorry!

  70. Hi Lisa. I am so pleased I found this post. I’m in the UK and have been vegetarian for nearly 3 years. I began a 99% vegan diet 4 months ago (I still eat dairy occasionally if options are limited). I’ve been drinking soy/nut milk for almost 20 years due to IBT from cow’s milk. My poop has always swung across the whole range of the chart but over the last couple of weeks it’s more towards the end of the chart. It also smells a lot worse which is causing me a lot of quiet embarrassment at work because I know it’s being noticed, which is making me feel anxious about going to the toilet, which is probably making it worse, as my bowel movements are a lot easier at the weekend, but still smelly. I eat the occasional ready meal junk food but mostly it’s fresh fruit, cereals, dried fruit and nuts, lentils, pasta, rice, quinoa and legumes. I have ground flaxseed or chia with my cereal everyday too as well as a vegan multivitamin. Is there anything you could suggest I eliminate or include in my diet which may reduce to smell and give me happy bowel movements again please? Sorry for the long rambling post. X

  71. Hi
    I started on the complete plant-based diet 13 days ago. From that day for the first time in over 16 years, I did not have to take any paracetamol for Osteoarthritis pain. I have severe OA R Knee, moderate both hips and lower spine. I also have inflammatory bowel disease, this too has not popped its head up in this time, not even the daily episode in my sigmoid colon. As an added benefit I am loosing weight and overall feeling much better in myself.

  72. Late 40’s early 50’s we just switched to plant based about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving 2019. Very hard at first. We I did eat meat to be nice to company I had stomach pains and constipation. Now our poop is soft and long. A foot long at least. It doesn’t smell and neither does our farts. I feel great. Before I would poop about 3 × a week and it smelled rotten

  73. Just 3 weeks into a vegan diet. After the first week I have noticed the lighter colour of my poop. Only decided to google this realisation when I was talking to a friend about it. Wow!

    I also find that my poop is less smelly now.
    Am also consistently Type 4 now. So it’s awesome 🙂

    Thanks for the informative article and also to all the comments on here. So much to learn!

  74. After going whole food vegan and eating, fruit, nuts, vegetables and 0 processed foods (outside of cooking some vegetables), my stools are so loose I can fire through the eye of a needle about 3 times a day (I eat twice a day). The smell is always foul and I’ve been at it for weeks. If I have some meat or some cheese the stool firms right up and becomes one of your perfect sausage poops.

  75. My poop smells VERY strongly of ammonia. I go between constipation and runny (sometimes a bit foamy) stools. I have been vegetarian since March and have substituted meat with Frys products which are mainly soya. I don’t have many beans and legumes at all. I’ve been to my doctor who advised me to eat meat which I don’t want to do. He sent me for a full blood count and iron test, both of which were fine. I am rather worried as the smell is extremely strong and just about takes my breath away.

  76. I have been on a Whole Foods Plant Based died for about 3 months.

    Quite early on I started having type 7 stools. It has not changed.

    I am worried that my body is not digesting and absorbing the nutrients. It seems like a lot of my food is not digrested because I see it in the toilet.

    What can I do to make them firmer?

    It seems that everything that I eat is very fiber rich.

    I usually eat a salad made of sweet potatoes, onions, mustard, cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and ground flax seed for lunch.

    I usually eat one small handful of blueberries, quite a bit of grapes, and an orange every day for fruit.

    For supper I often eat beans, but not every day. I try to eat rice a few times a week, at least. I eat potatoes often. I eat many different veggies depending on what is at the store or what is growing in my garden.

    I don’t eat wheat, because I found out that I had the celiac gene. Rice is the only grain that I eat.

    I fast from about 7:30 at night until 11:30 in the morning to help prevent

    Are my stools normal?

    Or is it unhealthy?

    How can I change my diet to help.

    You really didn’t say what to do in your article.

    Please help. I don’t want to eat meat or dairy or oils again, but I am worried that I might be under nourished.

    Please reply by email.

  77. Hello,

    I have been vegan for about 2 months now and my poop is very very sticky and I don’t know why. Could it be a reason when I don’t drink enough water ? Or is it more likely to be gluten? Or not enough fiber?

    Thanks in advance I m really struggling if this is normal in the beginning or if it’s any of the above.

  78. Hey! I’ve just started a vegan diet (mostly because I still sometimes eat chocolate chip cookies) a week and a half ago, but I’ve noticed that I don’t go to the bathroom as much as I did before. Every time I want to do a, uh, number 2, I find that it’s hard to get it all out and often times I have half the batch of waste still in my body… I’ve also been experiencing loads of bloating and gas, which doesn’t look very good considering that I dance and for class we have to wear tight-fitting leotards and bloating just isn’t so pretty. Sucking in my stomach also leads to some ‘soreness’ around the area if you get what I mean? I’ll stop now this is an essay but please help!!

    Thanks so much in advance! 🙂

  79. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for all the info. Now, a poopy question: my stools are quite loose and sticky, regularly sticking to the toilet. In other comments you suggested eating more leafy greens, seeds, nuts, legumes… But I already eat a lot of those. I don’t think I eat too much fat, so that doesn’t explain the stickiness either. Do you have any suggestions? Could I be eating too much fibre, rather than too little? I’ve been vegan for over 2 years and also drink a healthy amount of water on a daily basis.

    Thanks in advance!

  80. Okay, so since I went vegetarian (almost vegan but a little dairy here and there) my poops don’t float anymore, and they used to. Shape wide they seem bang on, but lack of floaty is slightly disconcerting. Any thoughts?

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