My girlfriend and I have a fairly well-rounded diet. We eat a lot of vegetables, beans, and grains, some dairy and a moderate amount of meat (maybe one serving per day). I would assume our diet to be at least as high in fiber as the average or recommended diet. We both eat at least 3 meals per day and often she eats a slightly larger meal than I do. I have a thin frame and hers is average.

But here's where we differ. I defecate generally once or sometimes twice per day, and my output is usually at least a foot long and floats. I think it looks pretty healthy. But she only defecates around once every other day and it is only a relatively small amount of hard deer pebbles.

Where does all her waste go? Does she have incredibly efficient enzymes that are making use of the roughage rather than tossing it out? Either way it doesn't seem very healthy for her stool to be so compact, but no amount of fruit or fiber bar eating seems to change the situation.

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    Hi Brimby, and thanks for joining. I'm a little bit confused however: what is exactly your question, regarding health? Just the size of what you're doing?
    – Shlublu
    May 2, 2015 at 0:47
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    @Shlublu I think it's about phisiology of digestion: which organic and biochemical factors influence the gut microbiota activity, given the fact that the same diet is followed by two healty subjects. Good question, upvoted.
    – Attilio
    May 2, 2015 at 20:26
  • @Attilio I didn't vote it at all as to me it wasn't clear - which doesn't mean the question was unclear. I got what you said.
    – Shlublu
    May 2, 2015 at 22:18
  • I guess I'm not even sure what I'm asking. I was just hoping someone could explain where the difference between us (me & gf) lies. Something very similar to what Attilio suggested, except that I specifically wanted to hear if some people actually digest a certain amount of fiber/cellulose from their diet.
    – Brimby
    May 5, 2015 at 6:38
  • @Brimby Given that she's not producing waste in proportion to what she ingests, have you considered the possibility that she's not human? You've likely suspected it all along. ;) May 10, 2015 at 1:52

2 Answers 2


Modern evidence-based medicine won't be able to fully answer your question, but there are indications that bacteria, or more exactly, the individual gut flora heavily influence your fecal weight or stool mass. E.g., in obstipated patients, other types of gut bacteria were found than in the control group, which still can't tell what is cause and what is effect. Stool transplantation is also an emerging therapy for various diseases (see also here and here), so while there is no better explanation for your question, I think the difference in composition of gut flora may be a good candidate to explain individual variation.


Here's how poop gets made. In the intestines, some molecules are removed and sent to where they need to go. The leftovers collect and come out as poop. The density of the poop is a function of the degree of moistness. It seems that your poop is moister.

If she has a tendency to a slight bit of constipation, and wishes to remedy this, she could increase her roughage intake, and drink MORE WATER. Reference: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-constipation-prevention

  • Hi @aparente001! We expect answers to be backed up with references, as explained in this meta: meta.health.stackexchange.com/questions/1/… - Would you edit your answer in a way claims can be vetted by the community? Thanks!
    – Shlublu
    May 2, 2015 at 16:50

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