Some people believe that taking laxatives can help push food out of the system faster, quickly emptying an overstuffed gastrointestinal system. Here's the problem: Laxatives, which treat constipation, help to empty the colon, explains Raymond. However, the food you've just consumed is in your stomach, and it still needs to travel through the small intestine before it even gets to the colon. That process can take hours—even a day (and you'll be absorbing calories during this time, which makes laxatives ineffective and dangerous as a weight-loss aid). So while this medication may make you feel like you need the bathroom, it won't make you feel any less full.
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