When it comes to weight loss goals and techniques, many people tend to focus a lot of energy on how much exercise their getting on a daily basis and how many calories they’re putting into their bodies, but sometimes it’s less about what you’re eating and more about how well your body is digesting that food. If something is getting backed up in your system then it’s likely to slow your metabolism and give cause for your body to start storing reserves of fat. The better your system can move food through it can determine how long it might take you to lose weight that you’ve gained. This is one reason why so many people consider flushes or detoxification through juice and water cleanses to empty out their intestinal tract. It may not sound very glamorous, but keeping your digestive system clear and healthy can make a drastic difference in how easy you find it to lose weight.
Grab Some Water
One thing that can help your digestive tract is simply upping your intake of water in order to hydrate your system and flush out toxins. The more water that’s running through your intestines, the faster and easier your body will find it to let go of the bad and retain the good. It can also help your body to break down things that it’s having difficulty with by diluting them to a point that your stomach can better process it. It’s not an overall quick fix for every digestive problem, but it can make a big difference in how much difficulty you have digesting certain water soluble foods. Unlike the enzymes that your body used to dissolve foods, water won’t work quite the same way because of its low acidic quality, but it can drastically improve conditions like constipation, which often arise from dehydration.
On The Run
As mentioned above, exercise is often thought of as a regular tool in the battle against excess weight gain. This is obviously true, but it may have other uses when it comes to weight loss in how it aids your digestion. Doctoroz.com writes:
Physical activity speeds up digestion, increases blood flow to all your organs, and stimulates muscles in the GI tract, helping your organs work more efficiently.
This certainly gives you a reason to hop on the elliptical trainer, or go for a run in the mornings, especially if you’ve been finding yourself backed up lately. A good workout at least once a day, whether it be cardio or weight training can go a long way to improve overall muscle and organ health, which in turn will keep your digestive tract running smoothly. If you’re not one for exercise or find that you spend most days trapped in a small office somewhere for work then you might want to consider light activities like walking. Even just getting up for your seat on your break to stretch your legs and take the stairs down rather than the elevator at the end of the day when you’re trying to get to your car can help.
When you were younger your parents probably gave you multiple speeches about how important it is to properly chew your food. Of course, this is fairly important, and at the time it probably had more to do with your safety and possible choking hazards than anything else, but now new information has introduced the concept that chewing enough actually promotes good digestion. Keri Glassman of sheknows.com advises:
Some researchers claim that the more you chew your food, the less you eat. Chewing foods slowly also increases the digestive enzymes in your mouth, which allow for better overall digestion as the food moves through your digestive tract.
This makes sense if you think about the fact that many enzymes live in your saliva and you salivate when you chew your food. The longer you spend on each bite of steak or potatoes, the more enzymes will be released and the faster and easier your body can break down each morsel of food. This isn’t to say that you should sit and spend ten minutes chewing every bite you take, but taking the time to chew properly and not just bite and swallow on the go is important to the overall health of your system.
You know that large portions aren’t good for you if you’re working on losing weight, but they’re also bad for your system when it comes to healthy digestion as well. Think about how an excess of cars on a freeway can back up traffic, cause jams, accidents, and make a journey take a lot longer to complete. Your body is a little like that, and the more that you put into your mouth, the more that will need to eventually find its way back out. If you’re cramming in handfuls of food it’s going to take a while for everything to make its way through you system. Dr. Susan E. Brown of betterbones.com advises:
Excessive intake of food greatly burdens the entire digestive system. Ancient Ayurvedic medicine recommends consuming the amount of food that will fit into two cupped hands at any meal.
Taking the time out to properly portion your food can seem like a pain, but once you’re used to a general size, you’ll find it easier to stick to this plan without having to weigh or measure anything anymore, and it won’t seem like you’re missing out on anything.
Cut The Cold
Drinking cold water can be good for burning calories because it forces your body to bring it up to your internal temperature before it can be processed, but the same isn’t true of digestion. Reader’s Digest explains:
Food is digested more efficiently if it’s around body temperature; therefore, cold fluid can slow down the digestive processes. If you must drink while eating, try hot water or herbal teas.
Fortunately, cold drinks won’t slow down your system by nearly as much as overeating or not chewing properly, but it’s a good thing to remember when you’re looking to get your digestive system back in line.