You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt some of the following unpleasant symptoms:
-abdominal weight gain
What do all these symptoms have in common? They all stem from problems in the digestive tract. If you’re trying to lose weight, you must take care of your digestive tract, and that means first getting to know your system, which many people are ignorant about; we simply put food in our mouth when we are hungry and seldom think twice about how the food we eat affects our digestive tracts.
But our digestive tract is home to much of our immune system. If you don’t take care of your digestive tract, not only may you gain weight, but your health may suffer as well.
Did you know that even before the first bite of food you chew, your digestive tract can already be working? Thinking about food itself can cause digestive juices to be released in the body! And your mouth has digestive juices that help break down food right from the first bite. One tip for weight loss is to chew your food more slowly so that the juices have more time to help break down food into nutrients your body can use.
If you experience heartburn or indigestion don’t reach for the antacid in the cupboard. Most people do not have enough acid in their stomach. This is one main cause of heartburn; it’s not too much acid that causes heartburn, it’s not enough!
Also, try to reduce the amount of starches you eat with proteins. For example, a steak and mashed potato may sound heavenly for dinner, but your digestive juices have to work very hard to break down just the steak. On top of that, your juices are having to work overtime to break down the potato into simple sugars.
Heartburn and other problems associated with digestion often occur because of the combination of high-starch foods and protein. This isn’t to say you can never eat starches with protein, but do try and go a couple weeks with restricting your high-starch intake when you eat fish, chicken, beef and other proteins. You’ll likely feel better and possibly lose weight.
You may want to take daily probiotics and digestive enzymes to help support your digestive system.
Obviously, eat plenty of whole foods, mostly plant-based, aka vegetables. An easy way to get plenty of veggies (which contain weight-loss supporting fiber) in the morning is to make a juice. In a high-quality food processor, add some kale, carrots and spinach and toss in a handful blueberries and a pinch of a natural sweetener like stevia.
If you’re going to eat starchy foods like a baked potato, try to eat it with not only vegetables like kale and spinach and arugula but also healthy fats like avocado and sliced almonds. The healthy fats will help slow down the digestion, which is what you want for steady energy and to eliminate cravings for sugars or salty treats later.
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