Most people don’t connect digestion to weight loss but it’s actually crucial, and a few tips for enhancing digestion can make all the difference in how fast weight loss happens. It makes perfect sense if you think about it, really. Digestion efficiency affects how many vitamins and minerals we absorb from our foods, which tells us we’re satisfied and we have all we need. It also affects how insulin is secreted in the body. Too much influx of insulin will be digested quickly and leave our glucose cells emptied out, needing more sugar, which of course you know leads to that sweet tooth craving, which usually leads to weight gain. By just adding a few things to your meals and taking away others, you’ll easily be able to digest your food better, absorb more minerals, and control your insulin. Also, poor food choices are often hard to digest, so they get stored in the body and can cause tons of health issues that lead to weight gain. Constant constipation will also lead to weight gain, as will eating the wrong foods for your health. Try following some simple tips for enhancing digestion that will make all the difference in your weight loss. Chances are, those pounds will start falling off easier in no time.
1. Keep It Simple
When arranging your meals, one of the best tips for enhancing digestion is to keep things simple. Don’t combine a lot of fat with a lot of carbs, and try not to eat too much fat with sugar. Fat is actually crucial for your digestion and your weight loss, but combining with some simple veggies is a much easier process for both. Protein also digests better with fat than carbs do, and the key is to not include a tons of ingredients during one meal. Keep things simple. Some eggs, veggies and a pat of butter or coconut oil are great. Or, perhaps a salmon salad with low starch veggies and a drizzle of olive oil. Eliminate starchy carbs for the best effects whenever you eat fat. Instead, keep carb dishes simple, such as a sweet potato with a lean piece of chicken, or a smoothie with protein powder, greens, and low sugar berries. Easy, simple, and great for digestion! This gives your body more time to absorb nutrients since it has less work to do to try to break down all those macronutrients at one time. This leaves you full sooner and makes fat less prone to storage. Plus, since less sugar is consumed, it means your cells don’t have to concentrate on processing it all and can instead focus on digesting all those great amino acids and healthy fats from your foods, along with those fabulous veggies you’re eating.
2. Avoid Sugar
Can you tell I’m not a fan of the white stuff? Truly, if you want to lose weight, the white stuff has to go, hun. I’m talking white sugar, natural liquid, or powdery sugars (even though they aren’t white, like brown rice syrup, honey, rice syrup, brown sugar, coconut sugar), and all refined flours, which are digested just like sugar. First, all these forms of sugar have the worst effects on your insulin levels of any other food. They body is literally exhausted when it has to process refined sugar. This not only leads to consistent sugar addiction, but it also changes how insulin is produced in your body, and more and more is produced over time. Do you know what insulin does? Its job is to store fat- seriously. Insulin isn’t evil though, and it can actually be used for our advantage when we eat to take care of it. The best way to do that is by eliminating sugar. This means that during digestion, no refined sugar (or natural foods high in sugar) have to take up the energy of our cells. They can instead focus on absorbing all the nutrients from our foods, helping our bodies to absorb them, control our blood sugar, and help us maintain a more even appetite. All this corresponds to more weight loss, much faster.
3. Don’t Drink Your Calories
Another tip for enhancing your digestion is to stop drinking your calories. For starters, drinking caloric drinks like protein drinks from whole milk, peanut butter, bananas, etc. are all high calorie ways to gain weight, despite using healthier ingredients. Liquids hardly have to be digested at all, and while this can seem like the better option, it isn’t always for weight loss. Don’t drink high calorie beverages and try to make your protein drinks healthier, or do what I do and make them so thick that you have to eat them with a spoon. Try to use much healthier ingredients as well. Eating a healthy protein shake is actually great for your digestion, easier on your body, and better for your weight loss.
4. Don’t Eat Too Fast
Be sure you take time to chew your food. Seriously, this is so important. Undigested food can lead to digestive issues, but can also lead to weight gain. Why? Because when you eat a meal and gulp it all down, you’re not giving your body time to feel full, which means it’s much easier to eat too many calories. If you just chew your food, you not only burn calories just by doing so, but you also allow your body to feel satisfied sooner. It also prevents a bellyache, which is never any fun!
5. Avoid Fat and Sugar Together
The body digests lean protein in a way that burns fat fast, but sugar and fat are a little different. Both of these are digested at opposite ends of the spectrum. For instance, sugar is digested faster than any other food, natural or not, and fat takes longer to digest than any other food. If you’re eating sugar, your body digests it very quickly, and guess what? That fat you ate with it gets stored immediately, because the body has to digest the sugar first. This doesn’t mean you should eat sugar and avoid fat though. For one, this creates the insulin problem we just talked about, which leads to a lifetime of weight gain, but also because eating fat can actually burn fat when you eat it alone, or with lean protein. It satiates you better than sugar, and keeps you fuller longer too. Just be sure you select healthy fats and avoid trans fats, animal fat, or heated plant fats, with the exception of coconut oil, which holds up to heat very well.
6. Large Portions
Nothing hurts my stomach worse than to eat too much, and it’s not only bad for your digestion, but also bad for weight loss. Try eating half of what you normally do if you often feel too full to do anything after your meals, or if you find yourself eating just to finish your plate, way past being full. Fix yourself a smaller plate, and if you’re truly hungry after allowing 20 minutes to pass after you eat, then go back for a little more. This makes digestion easier and weight loss seamless.
7. Don’t Eat Diet Food
If you’ve ever read any of my other articles, you’ll know I’m not a fan of processed diet food. Not only is it full of harmful ingredients, but with ingredients like soy protein isolates, artificial sweeteners, and sugar-free alcohols like maltitol or sorbitol, your digestion can be a mess! These cause bloating, gas, cramps, and they’re also not good for you. Plus, diet foods have very little nutrients despite their nutrition claims. Those teeny tiny frozen diet dinners are the worst, along with all those processed protein bars. They leave you hungry an hour later, and forget about their calorie count! Those calories are made of hard to digest junk food ingredients, and won’t satisfy you or help with long term weight loss. You should be able to eat whole foods and still lose weight. Trust me, you don’t need processed diet foods, and your digestion will only thank you.
Certain digestion tips can make all the difference in your weight loss and these are some of my top tips. For easier digestion if you have IBS, I also suggest drinking hot teas like peppermint, fennel, and chamomile herbal teas, which reduce cramps and bloating while enhancing digestion. Even though these won’t help you lose weight, they can combat bloating and make things easier. If you suffer digestion problems and can’t lose weight, what do you think might be the reason?