Healthy Digestion = Healthier Body Composition

It really can be that simple. To get your gut healthy may be another matter, but it’s worth it because a healthy digestive tract really equals weight loss, improved muscle mass, less stored fat AND healthy immune function, good energy, and a general sense of well being.

This leads to a luscious life.

Pretty crazy huh? Our digestive tract is the place where the outside world meets the inside world. Dr. Mark Hyman calls it the “inner tube”. If you think about it, the food in our digestive tract is still “outside” our body until the food gets broken down and absorption takes place. Let’s take a look at why healthy digestive function helps you to lose fat and build muscle just in time for your summer bathing suit.

Let’s say you eat my beautiful chicken and fresh vegetable salad. And…let’s say you eat wonderful meals like this all the time and you manage your stresses well and life is just darn good. Your saliva will begin breaking down the carbohydrates, in this case the veggies and fruit, then your stomach will begin the protein digestion (the chicken and sesame seeds), and your small intestine will break down the fats with the help from the bile from your gall bladder (the olive oil, sesame seeds, fat from chicken). OK, before I lose you with all this fun digestion talk here are the great benefits of healthy digestive function:

  • your body will actually break down all of the foods appropriately
  • you will absorb all of the nutrients from the food – many are needed for weight loss
  • the “second brain,” your gut, will produce a lot of your feel-good brain chemistry
  • as a result, you will feel happy and well balanced, i.e. no cravings
  • the proteins will be used to build your bones, muscle and many other things – BUILD MUSCLE (just wanted to make sure you got that)
  • the healthy fats will be used for hormone balance and healthy brain function, etc. – REDUCED CRAVINGS
  • your immune system will be strong so you’ll be healthier
  • you’ll sleep better because you’ll be balanced and then you’ll build muscle while you sleep
  • and…you won’t be overweight because everything is balanced

OK, this is pretty simple but it’s generally how it works when you pay attention. Here’s a recent example of how powerful this can be for weight loss…

A new client came to see me and all we did in the first week was add one supplement to improve digestion, some fat to balance out the diet, and manage the frequency of the meals a little better. She had been gaining one to two pounds per week up until this point, and after one week with these minor changes, she lost two pounds. She actually ate more food and foods that she thought were “no-nos” for weight loss and still lost weight. Pretty cool, huh?  Imagine eating more, losing weight and improving energy.
Here are a few tips to improve your digestion right now:

  • Take the time at mealtimes to sit and eat slowly.
  • Avoid talking while chewing.
  • Drink a full glass of water 30 minutes before a meal but not during or up to 30 minutes after a meal. Small sips of water during a meal is OK.
  • Take hydrochloric acid and/or digestive enzymes as needed to help you digest your food.
  • It is important to rotate your foods and not eat the same ones over and over again.  By eating a variety of foods (eat a rainbow everyday), you decrease your risk of acquiring a food allergy.
  • When you are eating, that is the only thing you should be doing (i.e. no reading, watching TV, negative conversations, standing at the kitchen counter, etc.)
  • Chew your food until it is liquid and then swallow; stop swallowing chunks of food!
  • Light a candle at the evening meal to help slow you down.
  • Put your utensil down between bites.
  • Keep the conversation positive ~ negative conversation impairs digestion.
  • Sit at the table about five minutes after the last bite to relax.
  • Sit down to eat whether eating a meal or a snack.
  • Enjoy your food.