3-Day Meal Plan to Help You Poop

By: Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D., Digital Meal Plan Editor

Pictured Recipe: Rainbow Buddha Bowl with Cashew Tahini Sauce

Feeling backed up? This 3-day vegetarian meal plan can help give you the relief you need, thanks to healthy high-fiber foods and plenty of fluids—both of which help to move things along, naturally. We left out processed, high-fat foods from the meal plan as they have a tendency to plug you up even more when you're constipated. Plus, they don't do much good in the body at any time. Instead, the plan focuses on plant-based foods, like fresh fruits and veggies, beans and whole grains, for the extra boost of fiber. We've included healthy probiotic foods (like yogurt) that deposit helpful bacteria into the gut, as well as prebiotic foods (like oats and wheat) that feed the good-gut bacteria. Relieving constipation and maintaining a healthy digestive system isn't just about the foods you do and don't eat—other strategies, like exercising each day and dedicating some time to simply sit on the toilet, can also help you get on a regular poo schedule.

Read More: What Causes Constipation and How to Fix It for Good

Daily To-Dos to Help You Poop

White Bean & Veggie Salad

Pictured Recipe: White Bean & Veggie Salad

Each Morning: Drink a warm beverage, like coffee or caffeinated tea, to get your bowel muscles moving. Exercise can also stimulate your gut (in addition to being good for your mood and the rest of your body), so go for a jog, run up and down your stairs or try simple jumping jacks to get things moving. Set aside 5 to 10 minutes to relax and sit on the toilet, even if you don't feel like you need to go.

During the Day: Get your fill of fluids by drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water and aim to get 30 grams of fiber throughout the day. If you're not used to eating high-fiber foods, start slow and increase you fiber intake by 5 grams per day. Or try incorporating just one of the meal ideas below each day until your body adjusts to handling more fiber. Too much fiber too soon could cause stomachaches and possibly diarrhea.

Each Night: Before bed, combine 1 to 2 Tbsp. chia seeds with 1 to 2 cups water, fresh lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper. This chia concoction (we call it Chia-Fresca Cocktail) forms a gel-like consistency in your gut and will work its magic overnight to make your morning bathroom routine smoother. The cayenne pepper contains capsaicin—the compound responsible for giving peppers their signature spice—that also acts as an intestinal stimulant.

Read More: Top Fiber-Rich Foods for Good Gut Bacteria

Day 1

Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl

You can thank whole grains, like the whole-wheat bread at breakfast and the quinoa at dinner, for the extra fiber today. Whole grains not only provide fiber, but also prebiotics that feed the healthy gut bacteria that help with digestion, boost immunity and even protect from certain cancers.

Breakfast (250 calories, 9 grams fiber)

White-Bean Avocado Toast

• 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
• 1/4 avocado, mashed
• 1/3 cup canned white beans, rinsed
• 1 tsp. olive oil

Top toast with mashed avocado and white beans. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch each of kosher salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.

• 8-oz. cup of coffee
• 8-oz. glass of water

A.M. Snack (68 calories, 1 g fiber)

• 2 dried apricots, chopped
• 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt

Mix apricots into the yogurt.

• 8-oz. glass of water

Lunch (325 calories, 12 g fiber)

• 4 cups Green Salad with Edamame & Beets
• 16-oz. glass of water

P.M. Snack (21 calories, 3 g fiber)

• 1/3 cup raspberries
• 8-oz. glass of water

Dinner (503 calories, 16 g fiber)

• 3 cups Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
• 8-oz. glass of water

Before Bed (54 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 Chia-Fresca Cocktail

Daily Totals: 1,220 calories, 150 g carbohydrates, 53 g protein, 44 g fiber, 55 g fat, 1,786 mg sodium

 

Day 2

Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

With 7 servings of fruits and veggies throughout the day, you'll get both fiber and tons of helpful nutrients (like vitamin A, folate and vitamin C) to keep your body properly fueled.

Breakfast (289 calories, 7 g fiber)

• 1 cup Coconut Overnight Oatmeal
• 8-oz. cup of coffee
• 8-oz. glass of water

A.M. Snack (42 calories, 2 g fiber)

• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 8-oz. glass of water

Lunch (325 calories, 12 g fiber)

• 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich
• 16-oz. glass of water

P.M. Snack (30 calories, 1 g fiber)

• 1 medium plum
• 8-oz. glass of water

Dinner (466 calories, 16 g fiber)

• 1 serving Rainbow Buddha Bowl with Cashew Tahini Sauce
• 8-oz. glass of water

• To enjoy later in the evening: 2 cups air-popped popcorn tossed with 1 tsp. olive oil & seasoned with salt and pepper to taste

Before Bed (54 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 Chia-Fresca Cocktail

Daily Total: 1,206 calories, 181 g carbohydrates, 41 g protein, 41 g fiber, 42 g fat, 1,053 mg sodium

 

Day 3

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

Clocking in at 56 grams of fiber for the day, the meals on Day 3 pack in plenty of fiber-rich foods like raspberries, beans and chia seeds, which will do double duty during the day by keeping you feeling full and satisfied while moving things through your system smoothly.

Breakfast (256 calories, 11 g fiber)

• 1 cup Blueberry-Almond Chia Pudding
• 3 dried apricots
• 8-oz. cup of coffee

A.M. Snack (51 calories, 2 g fiber)

• 1 small peach
• 8-oz. glass of water

Lunch (360 calories, 13 g fiber)

• 4 cups White Bean & Veggie Salad
• 16-oz. glass of water

P.M. Snack (32 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1/2 cup raspberries
• 8-oz. glass of water

Dinner (472 calories, 22 g fiber)

• 1 serving Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing
• 8-oz. glass of water

Before Bed (54 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 Chia-Fresca Cocktail

Daily Total: 1,225 calories, 177 g carbohydrates, 41 g protein, 56 g fiber, 47 g fat, 917 mg sodium.

 

Watch: How to Make Chia Pudding 4 Ways

Don't Miss!
The Top High-Fiber Foods You Need in Your Life
7 Must-Eat Fermented Foods for a Healthy Gut
8 Foods to Help You Debloat
7-Day High-Fiber Meal Plan: 1,200 Calories
See All of Our High-Fiber Meal Plans
Healthy High-Fiber Recipes