If you’re piling on the beans, whole grains, fruit, and veggies and you still aren’t regular, it may be time to consider an over-the-counter laxative. Laxatives come in two main varieties. The first is osmotic laxatives, which draw water into the colon. That softens the stool and makes them easier to pass. Stimulant laxatives move the stool along by helping the colon contract.