What and when we eat decides the digestion is to follow but more crucial is 'how' we eat. If you eat the right way, it could lead to better absorption, metabolism and eventually, weight loss. Keeping in mind to chew food properly, avoid water during meals, sitting with your legs crossed and taking short strolls post meals can effectively improve digestion, metabolism and health. Give the how some importance and see the difference.
There is a fair amount of focus on what to eat with people trying everything from calories, fats and carbohydrates. There are a lot of different types of weight loss plans with many experts giving tips on how to lose weight. Even though all of this is important, food or diet has to be viewed in a holistic way. There is more to eating than just calories or different kinds of food.
Four Aspects Of Eating
There are in total four aspects to eating. We should understand each one of them and to plan and eat better. These four aspects are quite simple, but it is very important to keep them in mind at all times. They are:
-What To Eat
-When To Eat
-How Much To Eat
-How To Eat
When we look at eating, we all tend to focus on what to eat. In fact most of the diet advice, diet consultation and diet plans talk only about what to eat. There are calories, fats, carbohydrates and antioxidants. We get so focused on these that we forget the basics. Let us look at one of the most important aspects of eating which we tend to ignore. I am going to focus on the most important of the four.
How To Eat
How to eat is something that may sound funny but it has a great bearing on our health and also on our weight. There are some guidelines or tips which go a long way in ensuring health:
Focus: When you sit to eat, make sure you are focused only on eating. It is as important an activity as work. Do not eat while watching television, working or driving. Make sure your smart phone, tablet or other devices are not around you.
Chew Food: When you eat, make sure that you take smaller bites and chew every morsel properly. Most of the digestion happens in the mouth. When we do not chew properly, food which is partly broken down goes into the stomach. This impacts digestion and absorption leading to higher fat retention and lower nutrient absorption. The tip here is to ensure that a major meal like breakfast, lunch or dinner takes at least fifteen minutes to finish.
Eat in Silence: We all seem to think that dinner time is family time so we gather around and chat over dinner. This is incorrect. Even if you sit together at the dining table, eat quietly. After you finish and clear up, you can chat.
Prepare Yourself: Before you start every meal, your mind has to be calm and focused on the activity of eating and digestion. We have to leave behind our worry and stress. To do this, before you eat, sit quietly for three to five minutes with your eyes shut and relax. Then start eating.
Sitting Posture: Your sitting position is very important. Ideally sit crossed leg on the floor. If you cannot sit on the floor in a cross legged position, then sit on a sofa or chair with your legs up and folded. There are lots of digestion related benefits of eating in this posture. After you eat do not immediately stand up and start working or rush somewhere. Wait for a few minutes. Then take a leisurely stroll for around five minutes and then get back to your activities.
Avoid Water: Do not have water, soft drinks, sodas, tea or coffee during your meals or after your meals for around 45 minutes. It is counterproductive for digestion which remains incomplete and again leads to weight gain and digestive problems.
Lay Down for a Bit: If you are at home, then after your small stroll, lie down on your left side making a pillow of your hands; for around fifteen minutes. This will not only help you relax well (especially in the afternoons) but also ensure healthy digestion and absorption.
Bedtime Cushion: After your supper or dinner, do not immediately go to sleep. Ideally there should be a gap of at least two hours (three hours is ideal) between your last meal and sleep time. This again will ensure that digestion remains healthy and not sluggish.
Follow these guidelines religiously and you will find that your digestion and health will start improving just in a few weeks, even though you have not made too much of a change in your diet.