There is always a lot of emphasis put on what we should be eating but very little guidance on how we should be eating it. You may not have realised the impact on how you are consuming your food is having on your energy, mood, and digestion but we will explain further.
Have you ever felt like you are doing all the right things when it comes to your diet but are still feeling lethargic, and experiencing poor digestion? It isn’t uncommon, and you aren’t alone in these feelings. It is just as important to remember how we deliver foods to our systems as well as what food we are filling our systems with. We might be causing issues within our digestion with daily habits that we aren’t even conscious of!
Let’s look at a few habits that may be causing you discomfort and how to correctly deliver food to your systems.
A lot of our lives are centred around food from the moment we wake! What’s interesting is that we can put so much time and effort into the meal preparation and cooking but the complete opposite when it comes to eating it. Most of us will race down a meal so we can get back to our lives. You can completely miss the experience, and flavours and effort by washing down each bite with liquid and not chewing properly and generally eating too quickly. These habits aren’t unusual, and a lot of people will feel the same, but they will be creating continual digestive discomfort for you down the road.
To obtain optimal health start ensuring that you slow down and chew your food properly for every meal. Experiment with taking smaller bites and chewing at least 30 times, or until your mouthful of food is liquefied or lost all its texture, before swallowing. Now, we know this is easier said than done, and are sure it sounds nothing but boring to you, but we assure you the payoff will be worth it. It is going to be a huge change and will probably feel silly the first 60 times you do it but remember; it takes, on average, 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. Stick with it and encourage others around you to do the same.
Many people don’t realise that digestion starts in the mouth. The teeth tear the food into smaller and smaller pieces and then each piece can be mixed with the enzymes of the saliva. If you skip this crucial process, you are far more likely to end up a ‘food baby’ after your mealtime. Research shows that by slowing down your meal you will not only feel more satisfied with your food and therefore be eating less over all you will also receive more nourishment and suffer far less gas and bloating.
It should go without saying that water is key to a healthy lifestyle, and you should aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. Water ensures the proper absorption of nutrients and supports the movement of food through the intestines. If you don’t have enough water in your system it can lead to hard stools and constipation, along with abdominal pain and cramps.
So, water is important. This isn’t news! How we consume that water though might be news to you. We all know the feeling of being dehydrated and gulping down as much as we can handle just in case we forget later as well! The downside of drinking your water this way is that your body can’t adapt to a large amount all at once, so it ends up passing through you with doing it’s job. All the fluid in your body exists in a delicate balance, so the flow of liquid stays at a slow and steady pace to maintain that balance.
To support your body in the best way possible sip your water slowly, but continuously throughout the day. We believe that the best way to achieve this is with a 2-litre bottle. If you fill it from when you wake up and make it last until one hour before you go to sleep. That way you don’t need to count how many glasses you are having, and you also don’t need to keep refilling and you can see visually how much water you have. It is likely that you will start to notice less bathroom urgency, and maybe even less visits than usual, as well as more steady energy levels and focus and less bloating.
Experience your food
There are so many different traditions when it comes to mealtimes. In some of the healthiest cultures of the world a meal would begin with a prayer, enjoyed around a table with the food largely being the main topic of conversation. It may sound silly, but research shows that this is still the best, healthiest way to eat.
If you want better digestion your body needs to be in a state of rest and a digest state of being with your nervous system fully functioning and your blood flowing to the core, as opposed to the extremities. If you are eating on the move, or while watching emotionally intense media then it is likely that your body will be performing in high alert mode, so won’t be able to properly digest that meal. As humans, we are often rushing, and multitasking and meals can end up as a secondary event when instead it should be your primary focus.
Try, where possible, to sit down and eat your meals away from any distractions. Take a moment to enjoy your food; smell it and appreciate it before you start. Then proceed to eat your meal, perhaps with gentle conversation and music.
Looking at these all at the same time might be overwhelming so start by looking at one and achieving it. You will start to see improvements in your health before you know it. If you have any questions, you can either find Ioan or Kind Evolution on LinkedIn and drop us a DM or you can book a 1-1 with Ioan now and talk through these steps in further detail.