how to improve your digestion
Feeling overweight, bloated, exhausted and constantly running on low energy levels is not a nice feeling. Sometimes this isn't just as simple as "I've gained weight & need to get fit", it could be something more complex than that; namely your Digestive System.
The food we eat is digested in a period of 20-30 hours by our body, but if you have had a large intake of processed foods/fast foods over the past year in lockdown this process in the body may be struggling. Common signs that your may have poor digestion are:
IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome)
What causes poor digestion
A poor diet isn't the sole cause of developing poor digestion. Other factors such as being overworked, stressed, developing an infection, drinking too much alcohol and a lack of fiber are also seen as the major causes in a poor digestive system.
During the Covid-19 Lockdown many of the above factors have affected us as our lifestyles have changed in an instant. We are exercising less, sitting more, grabbing quick & easy to eat meals, and drinking a lot more alcohol as we don't have social lives anymore (Don't worry I don't blame you its just a fact of life in 2020/2021!).
It's important to understand how we gain weight in order to understand how to lose it. If you gain weight after 10 weeks of over eating and not training, you will most certainly lose the weight over a 10 week period of exercising and eating well. If on the other hand, you gain weight (particularly in the mid section) over a period of 12 months through a combination of eating largely processed foods, inactivity & stress then the solution may not be so simple. Your Digestive System may be compromised so please try some of the following tips to get you back on track again.
how to improve your digestion
1. cut the fat
Cut down on greasy fatty food such as burgers, chips & fried foods etc. They are harder to digest and can cause stomach pain and heartburn. Try to eat more lean meat (Chicken, Turkey & Fish) and grill/oven cook foods instead of frying. Fish contain large amounts of healthy fats and this is fine as we are trying to eliminate "Trans Fats" from the diet.
Not the most obvious answer here, but high stress levels can affect the digestive system. Many people experience an unsettled stomach before an exam or a big event, but sustained stress can affect the connection between the brain and the gut, causing ongoing problems. While it's not as simple as flicking a switch to just turn off stress, we have to try a focused approach to reduce our stress levels otherwise nothing will change. Exercise, improving sleep, taking time for our lunch so that we don’t rush our food, and just doing less will all contribute to reducing our stress levels and have us feeling a lot better.
3. get fruity
Different fruits contain a wide variety of vitamins (Vit A, C, E, magnesium, potassium, folic Acid) but they have one thing in common; they are all very high in FIBER. Ensuring you stick to your 5-A-Day will keep you well on track with this provided they aren't frozen/processed or taken in liquid form.
Probiotic bacteria are the ‘friendly’ microorganisms that live in your intestines and assist in normal digestion. There are many different strains of probiotic bacteria and each strain has a slightly different role in keeping you healthy. One of the major benefits of this bacteria is the way they help to digest the foods you eat and absorb the nutrients contained within them. If your probiotic bacteria are lacking in any way due to an imbalance in your gut flora (also known as dysbiosis), you may need to top them up with a probiotic supplement.
5. Alcohol detox
No-One ever likes to hear this, but if you think your alcohol consumption has been fairly high (Over 14 Units/Week) then you may need to go Cold-Turkey for 30 Days to allow your body to detox. Yes it's difficult, but your body, and gut will thank you in month!
If you would like any help putting together your food plan or workout plan feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org