Sometimes it’s not what we eat, but how we eat it, that affects our body in a negative way. Whether you heard this before, want to believe it or not, there is no denying that our bodies and our minds are directly connected.
Some of my clients are drinking green smoothies, eating salads, making those healthy meals, and are still finding themselves with that uncomfortable bloated feeling. While there may be some underlying conditions that are contributing to the bloat which we always investigate, it is also important to explore what is happening when we are eating those nourishing foods.
Here are a few daily habits that might be contributing to your bloat!
1. Eating while on your phone, computer, or watching tv. While it may not be obvious, this habit has a big impact on our digestive system. Our brains can only do one thing at a time. If we are taking in information via electronic devices while we eat, all of our attention and focus goes to the bright shiny object. When we are focused on anything but our food, we secrete less digestive enzyme, digestion slows down, and we have a harder time breaking down food. Which leads to bloating. Not to mention that those who eat in front of a screen are likely to consume 18% more calories. For a 500 calorie meal, that’s 90 more calories.
2. Eating too fast. I am so guilty of this one. I believe it comes with being a mom. You just become a speed eater. Eating too fast does not allow us to properly chew our food. Our mouths are the only place that the food gets broken down mechanically into smaller pieces. Large undigested food particles are not supposed to make their way down to our small intestine. When they do though, that can lead to bloating and even constipation.
3. Eating when stressed! I am not necessarily talking about emotional eating, but rather daily intake of food while feeling stressed out. When we are stressed, our body does not know if its because our kids are being super annoying or because we are being chased by a tiger. Its only job is to prevent us from getting eaten. And so all of our bodily efforts are placed towards helping you run away, and away from digestion. Digestion slows down, nutrients are not absorbed, and we can be come bloated.
So what is one to do:
1. Turn off all electronics when eating. Focus on the food. Even if its just for the first few minutes of the meal.
2. Slow down your eating. Try putting you fork down, even one time.
3. Take deep belly breaths right before the meal. Even 5 deep belly breaths can make a big difference.
Curious how your daily habits might be contributing to your belly bloat?