We may not think twice about our digestive processes until we find ourselves suddenly in bed, curled up in pain after a few too many rounds at the buffet. Bloating, gas and indigestion can be extremely painful, and they are significant signs of problems in the digestive tract. Even if you aren’t experiencing digestive issues, you may be unaware of the fact that your body is struggling to process food.
Not only does proper digestion benefit your overall health, it also has a lot to do with your ability to lose weight. In many ways, your digestive system and any attempted weight loss have to work hand in hand. Here are only a few reasons why improving digestion makes it easier to lose weight and maintain a healthy physique.
1. Good digestion requires drinking more water.
It’s been said time and time again, but it’s true: drinking water is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good health. There is also nothing more beneficial to good digestion. Water detoxifies your digestive tract and keeps your stool moving. Drink water first thing in the morning to prepare your stomach lining and to cleanse your colon. If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, your digestive system will slow down.
The great thing about drinking more water is also the added weight loss benefits. Drinking water helps to reduce inflammation, which prevents the body from bloating. It also fills the stomach and makes you feel less hungry. Water after exercise helps restore fluids and is an essential part of any gym routine.
2. Fatty foods have to go.
One of the first things your doctor will tell you if you’re having digestive problems is to limit your fat intake. Fatty and fried foods are difficult to digest and often do not process all the way down, which makes them very hard on your digestive system. Foods that are deep-fried, high in saturated fat, meat-based, or dairy-based are major culprits.
By reducing your intake of fatty foods and switching to healthy fats, you kill two birds with one stone. Your digestive tract will thank you, and you will likely see a dramatic change in your overall health, especially when it comes to weight loss and seeing the effects of exercise.
3. Fiber fuels digestion and weight loss.
Fiber regulates the digestive system. It slows down the absorption of food and gives the body time to process glucose and maintain blood sugar levels. Balanced blood sugar levels have positive effects on mood and physical health. Fiber also softens stool and increases its weight, making it easier for the digestive tract to get it moving.
Another reason to love fiber is because it makes it easier to lose weight without feeling hungry. Fiber fills you up, and it does so without adding too many calories to your diet. Some excellent fiber-rich foods are apples, mangos, strawberries, raisins, almonds, walnuts, bran flakes, pinto beans and black beans. These are all very nutritious items in a number of ways, so adding them to a diet program will only increase your general health and make it easier to stay full between meals.
4. Eating slowly is essential to proper digestion.
Wolfing down food is horrible for your digestive system. It is also one of the biggest reasons people overeat. If you eat too quickly, you will swallow food that is not sufficiently chewed. This makes it very difficult to break down and digest the food particles, resulting in gas, bloating and indigestion. Eating slowly has also been shown to reduce the amount of food people tend to eat in one sitting. It takes awhile for the brain to recognize that the stomach is full. Savoring food gives you more time to feel full, allows the digestive system to function properly and prevents unnecessary weight gain.
If you’re not sure about your digestive health, try researching or rating your digestive system online, and see a medical professional if you perceive signs of digestive issues. Digestion is simple to regulate, but it takes discipline and consistency to see results. If you work at it, however, you can reap the benefits of healthy digestion and an easier path to weight loss.