Bad Eating Habits that we are Guilty of that Needs Changing
Most of us are unaware that what we do after we eat a meal can greatly affect us and how our body consumes what we just ingested. Some of us might even be totally unaware that the activities we do after we eat is bad for our body. In order to properly give our digestive system a functioning moment for it to do its job, we need to be aware of the possible things we do that can hinder it from digesting our food properly.
There is nothing worse that to have your meal become undigested and wasted of its possible nutritional sources. So knowing how to properly compensate ourselves after eating is essential and valuable. Let us delve into this matter more and focus on the possible bad habits that we need to avoid after we have consumed our meals.
After Meals Bad Habit Breakdown
Since most of us are essentially unaware that there are certain “bad activities” that we do after eating, we owe it to ourselves to know them. By figuring out these nasty habits, we can now either stop it completely or if not, alter it to a healthier and more acceptable way.
As I can clearly see it, there are three major regions in our daily lives that have certain activities which can alter our food digestion. By pinpointing out these actions, we can further solve this problem in a holistic manner. This holistic route is the best possible solution that anyone of us can take. Not only will we solve the problem but we also can make ourselves become healthier during the whole process.
Your Daily After Meals Routine
This so called “after meal routine” includes what you do and your plan of activities DIRECTLY AFTER each meal you take. This can either be what you do on a daily, occasional or even “on a whim” type of instance. Here are the four major bad habits that we need to be aware of.
Start applying the “No Swimming after eating” policy
Now before you go and say “I don’t always swim each time I eat so why is this here?!” listen to me for a bit. Ever wonder why this rule is given and being reminded countless of times? This same reason also applies to what we do after we eat each day.
If you are a fan of “taking a shower right after eating” then that is one bad habit that you need to stop. Like swimming, taking a bath forces our bodies to use up more of its blood supply in order to regulate our body temperature. The problem here now is that our digestive system also needs an ample amount of blood supply in order to function properly.
If we shower after eating, it will cut down the blood supply from our stomach to our skin because of our brain’s biological signal to address the more “needed” issue which is body temperature regulation. This will result in slower digestion and an even weaker digestive system.
Remedy: If showering is unavoidable for you, there is a quick fix for this dilemma. ALSO similar to the “no swimming after eating” rule, wait for an hour or so before you shower. This will allow you digestive system to have its fare share of blood supply in order to do its job properly.
You Snooze, You Lose
Nothing is more relaxing and tempting than to take a quick nap or catch a few hours of Z’s after a full, hearty and delicious meal. Let’s face it, all of us are guilty of this. But this “guilty pleasure” must alarm our “guilty conscience” because this is another bad habit that we need to stop.
There are three major reasons why we should avoid sleeping right after meals. First is that it makes our digestive system loose its full capacity to operate. This is because of the fact that our muscles tend to relax when we sleep, including our digestive ones as well.
Another reason is that it causes the acids from our stomach to rise up to our esophagus. This is commonly known as acid reflux. When this happens, it can damage our esophageal lining by slowly burning it. Things get worse if you sleep directly after you have consumed your evening meal. Because all throughout the night, your stomach and esophagus will have this burning sensation. This can lead to having a feeling of bloatedness, stomach pain and can even be the cause of your irregular sleeping pattern.
The last effect can be felt on your diaphragm. Sleeping on a full stomach adds additional weight to your diaphragm. This may result to either snoring or even sleep apnea.
Remedy: The best way to avoid sleepiness after eating is to distract yourself from it. Do light activities like reading, watching television or anything that can rake your mind from sleeping. If you really need to sleep (like in the evening), you can do so. But just make sure that you wait for a good one to two hours after eating before “hitting the sac”.
Let’s face it, smoking is extremely dangerous to our health. But for the sake of understanding how it will affect our digestion, here is a quick rundown. There are numerous health hazard from smoking but here are three major issues that you can get from smoking after eating.
First is that the nicotine content of a cigarette tends to bind with oxygen in our body. Digesting food also needs a good amount of oxygen to function properly. By smoking, we are further depriving our digestive system of its oxygen fuel making our food digestion slower and less absorbent of nutrients.
The second issue is that smoking lets our body absorb more carcinogens. In fact, there is a study that smoking one stick of cigarette after eating is equivalent to ten stick in just one go.
Finally, smoking is another enhancer of acids in our stomach. Puffing a cigarette can increase our chances of having acid reflux episodes or even worsening it.
Activities You Do During or After You Eat
This time around, let us focus on the things you do “out of your routine” that can also aggravate your digestive issues. It can either be during eating or after eating. Here are two primary examples of activities that needs a makeover.
Change Your Clothes
Who would have known that what you wear while you eat can make an impact on how your body digest its food? If you like tight fitting clothes while you eat, well now is the time to do a wardrobe change for the better.
Wearing tight fitting clothes add additional pressure to your stomach, abdomen and even your diaphragm. Constricting clothes like these tend to decrease digestive mobility and can even cause heart burn because of acid reflux.
Remedy: Wear comfortable and loose clothes when you eat and even afterwards. If you are to eat outside and changing clothes is impossible then change immediately once you get home.
Don’t “Move Around” Too Much
Other people have that particular thinking that “exercising or walking after meals can burn fats faster”. What they fail to realize is that exercising or walking right after meals can be a health hazard. It is even more worrisome if done at night time.
The main reasons why this is a habit that needs to stop is firstly because exercising increases the need of blood supply. This activity will once again deprive the digestive system its needed blood supply. Second is that exercising increases your body temperature. Like what was previously explained, an increase in body temperature means an increase in blood supply as well.
Third reason is that exercising releases the hormone melatonin which is our “hormone of sleep”. This is a double, no make that triple edged sword if you ask me. Because after exercising, you tend to take a bath and fall asleep. You will basically hit three bad habit all at the same time.
Finally, that rigorous activity will cause the food you eat to irritate your digestive tract. It will cause stomach pain, acid reflux, cramping, loose stool, nausea and even vomiting.
Remedy: If you really want to exercise, do it in a light manner. You can do walking as your exercise two hours after meals.
Post Meal Eating and Drinking
What we consume after we had our meal can also affect our digestion. So we must be vigilant as to what we eat and drink. Here are some examples of food and beverages that we thought was safe but in reality is actually a hindrance to our digestion.
Hot Beverage NO-NO’s
Another guilty pleasure that most of us are unaware of is drinking hot coffee or tea after a full meal. Originally, drinking these type of beverages is meant to decrease the chances of bloatedness and acid reflux. Even though these are correct, the con’s outweighs the pro’s this time around.
In reality, these drinks releases tannic acid and polyphenols which prevents the absorption of iron into the body. This will induce possible iron deficiency and anemia if not stopped. In addition, its acids causes protein contents of our meals to harden which can make digestion even harder to accomplish.
Remedy: Try to make at least an hour gap before drinking these hot drinks. If inevitable, use green tea for you beverage.
Cold Water Caution
Let us simply put it this way. When we drink cold water, it clumps up the food we just ingested into our stomach. Having clumped food will cause slower and harder digestive process.
Remedy: Drink lukewarm water throughout your meal. If you want to drink cold beverages, do so after an hour of your meal.
Skip on Fruit Desserts
Eating fruits anytime of the day is not applicable all the time. One of these instances incudes eating fruits after meals. The reason is because there are two particular function that fruits are known for when digested.
One is that fruits need a special enzyme in order to be fully digested. When eaten after meals, fruits are the longest to be fully digested to the point that it sometimes stays in our gut and is not digested at all.
Another is that the simple sugar from the fruits we eat takes a longer time for our body to digest. So if we eat it after meals there is a big possibility that the simple sugar won’t be digested by our body.
Remedy: Eat fruits during the morning and in an empty stomach. Because fruits are quickly and best digested that way.
You can help yourself when it comes to proper food digestion and absorption. Just by simply changing your bad habits that we sometimes are unaware of, we can make a big difference. We just need to start now and strive to stay in that healthy routine as much as possible until it becomes our daily habit.