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Friday, January 6, 2012

31 Days of Weight Loss Tips: Day 6 Understand Digestion

 Photo by Spectacles on Flickr
Digestion is rarely considered when diet and exercise plans are devised for weight loss. Promoting efficient digestion could be the missing link for many people who have been struggling with losing those unwanted pounds.

If your body can't break down food efficiently, it can lead to fat storage and a gut full of heavy, rotting gunk.

Digestion is the process in which the body totally breaks down the food we eat. This process begins in the mouth as soon as we take a bite of food and begin to chew. Saliva then starts to break down the food before it is passed down to the stomach. From the stomach the food moves to the small intestine, then to the large intestine and then finally to the colon.

The whole process can take up to 30 hours -- a rather long and energy-draining function.

Ever feel sluggish and devoid of energy after a heavy meal? Well, our bodies having to focus an incredible amount of energy on digestion has a lot to do with it.

Digestion is more efficient if we eat certain foods together and avoid eating others together, for example combining starches and proteins in the same meal is best avoided.

Food that isn't digested well can putrefy and rot in the stomach, causing bloating and indigestion. Food  then has a more difficult time passing through the intestines, often clogging up their some 30 feet. And because the food is rotten, no nutrients are being passed through the body, making a bad situation even worse.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to promote efficient digestion. Here are some tips:
  • Practice proper food combining
    • only eat one concentrated food at a time (starches, proteins)
    • only eat fruit on an empty stomach 
    • don't eat several types of meat in same meal
  • Eat vegetables first in any meal
  • Eat light breakfasts
  • Save heavier meals for dinner
The tips listed above will be covered in more detail in blogs later this month. 

Diamond, Fit for Life, 1985
Snyder, The Beauty Detox Solution, 2011

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