After battling with some digestive issues of my own I thought I would share some techniques that I found extremely helpful in order to avoid the bloat. If you haven’t found much luck by focusing on foods that you should/shouldn’t eat, try giving these structural habits a try. Maybe you’re like me and your problems are more routine based rather than food based.
Wake Up Routine
Just like a car that has been sitting around for awhile you wouldn’t start it and immediately take it for a drive expecting it to work at peak performance. All those moving parts have been still for awhile and need time to warm up. So is the case for your body. Hopefully you are waking up from about 7 hours of pure stillness. While microscopically your body has been working hard to revive you back to health from the previous day, your muscles and tendons are quite stiff. Same goes for your digestive track. Ease into the day and give it time to start processing again.
I like to start with warm lemon water. Then I wait about an hour before having a chocolaty all-in-one supplemental smoothie. Both are water based and provide a lot of hydration. Slowly getting the gut ready for the day.
I’m a big proponent of warm foods, mostly because I found my system works best with easy to process foods that have been slightly cooked helping with the digestive break down. I usually go with a blended soup. It’s easy to prepare once and have it the rest of the week. Plus it’s already broken down, so it’s really easy to digest.
Space out your meals
Normally you should wait 3-4 hours after eating before consuming anything else. This gives your body enough time to process your meal without overworking it. An overwhelmed stomach tends to rush through digestion and store it as fat for later while it has more incoming food. By letting it finish the first meal before starting on the next you are preventing body fat storage. Less body fat for you/ less stress on your digestive system. What a win/win!
But if you’re like me and can’t go without snacking some days then try these tips. I usually have fats/protein for snacks. They fill you up so you only need a small amount. My go to snack is guac and celery. But I also like cucumber topped with salsa and tuna. Definitely don’t go over board, and only eat them if you are truly famished. Make sure you always have something available just in case. You don’t want to let yourself be stranded in the office or at home without a hunger SOS.
For dinner I’ll have a regular looking meal. Mostly vegetables and fats, topped with some protein and starchy vegetables. This is the biggest meal I’ll have in the day but I gradually worked up to it so my digestive system is prepared to handle it.
This is where I found the most help. I make sure that I stop eating about 2 hours before I plan on going to sleep. I know this can be a bit difficult to predict, but do your best. This way I give my body plenty of time to break down the meal. When we sleep our body gets to perform healing tasks that it can’t normally do when we’re awake. So if you go to bed with a belly full of food it has to waste this precious sleeping time to do tasks that can be done at any point in the day and you lose out on key restoring properties. You might even wake up feeling sluggish.
- Start with water based drinks.
- Lemon water
- Vegetable juices
- Move into pre-processed foods (ones that have already been broken down)
- Mashed potatoes/squash
- Guac with celery
- Then you can eat a regular meal
- 1/2 vegetables
- add avocado, olive/coconut oil/fish)
- 1/4 protein
- 1/4 starchy vegetable