Elimination diet? Tick. Offending foods removed? Tick. You’re still bloating after meals and feel really uncomfortable after eating? I’ve been there and it still happens, sometimes. It’s so frustrating to feel as if you’re still eating something that doesn’t agree with you after all that hard work. Did you know that how you eat your meal also plays a big part in the way you digest food? There are ways around it and guess what… it requires a little more discipline!
TAKE YOUR TIME
I have spent my life being told that I eat too quickly. It’s a habit that I just can’t seem to shake; I try to chew thoroughly and place my knife and fork down between mouthfuls but on about day 3, I’ve forgotten what it is that I’m supposed to be doing. Eating quickly is really hard on your body. Digestion starts in the mouth, the chewing action not only breaking down the food but also releasing digestive enzymes in your saliva. To eat quickly and therefore not chew thoroughly means that you’ve skipped a whole part of the digestive process; it’s like trying to feed a wad of paper through the shredder all at once without sorting it in to smaller piles first.
MAKE IT COUNT
Concentrate on eating, not on what’s going on in Eastenders or that video of a dog dancing on Facebook. Have you ever heard of the expression ‘spreading yourself too thin’? This can apply to eating your meal, too. If your brain is to register that you’ve actually eaten a meal, it needs to realise that you have. If it’s concentrating on other things then it may not be paying attention to the fact that your stomach is filling up, and therefore wont realize you’re full. This can result in overeating, which leads to slowed digestion, bloating, gas, feeling sluggish, and impaired bowel movements.
EAT AT A TABLE
…or at least seated with an upright posture. If you’re scrunched up on the sofa then how do you think your digestive organs are sitting? Give them enough space to do their thing.
This is only something that people seem to do on Christmas Day. Try not to finish your meal by laying/curling up on the sofa. Walking stimulates your midsection and therefore your digestive system. 15 minutes should do the trick.
TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK…
That is the question. I am from the school of not drinking. At least 30 minutes either side of a meal is a long enough gap. It is believed that liquid dilutes your stomach acid, making it harder for the food to be digested.
Give these tips and tricks a go and see if you feel any different…