It seems like how to have a better digestion has become a hot topic lately. And it makes sense – when it isn’t functioning smoothly, we feel awful! It makes us feel heavy and sluggish, and it can even be painful. Here are some tips to help you get your digestion operating at its best.

Slow down

Were you one of those kids who rushed through meals so you could get back to the important business of video games and bike riding? If so, your parents were probably always telling you to slow down and chew. That’s excellent advice for adults, as well. When you’re eating too fast, it can take a little time for your brain to catch up to your stomach—meaning you may not realize you’re full until you’re completely stuffed. And overeating, of course, makes the job of the digestive system much more difficult.

Stay present with your meal

Do you remember on The Jetsons how food came in pill form? To fix a meal for the family, Rosie the robot maid just had to push a button to dispense the capsules. These days, it seems like many of us wish that were possible. With our hectic daily routines, the thought of actually pausing long enough to enjoy a meal seems impractical. But it’s actually very important.

When we pay attention to what we’re eating, we’re less likely to eat mindlessly, like we often do when we eat at our desks, for example. This means we’ll be less inclined to overeat – and we’ll have better digestion as a result.

Finally, when we’re not making food choices based on which option can be conveniently eaten while hunched over a keyboard, we will probably choose better foods. It may seem challenging to find time in your schedule, but remember, even taking 10 or 15 minutes to eat a real lunch in the break room is better than scarfing down a candy bar at your desk.

Chill out.

Our bodies evolved to be able to switch gears and jump into stress mode so we could get away from mountain lions – they’re not intended to be stressed out all the time. But that’s the situation many of us find ourselves in these days. When we’re stressed, our digestive metabolism literally slows down, meaning it’s much harder for us to digest our food if we’re worrying about the next 15 tasks on our to-do lists. So before you eat, take a few slow breaths and bring to mind something that helps you relax. If possible, put on your headphones and listen to calming music, or call a friend who always makes you laugh. If you find yourself beginning to eat too fast, pause and slow your breathing again.

When we allow ourselves to relax and enjoy our meals, we’re making it possible to get the emotional nourishment that eating provides, as well. This means we won’t feel the need to make up with quantity what we lack in the quality of our meal experiences.
Not only will this make for better digestion, giving your brain a short break will help you be more focused when you go back to your work, as well.

Eat quality, natural foods.

Our bodies know how to process real food – it’s what the digestive system was designed to do. But they often can’t make heads or tails of artificial ingredients. Processed foods are usually just empty calories that don’t contain nutrients our bodies can put to good use. It’s like filling your car with diesel – you clog it up without giving it what it needs to run properly. Eating quality, natural foods keeps the engine functioning smoothly and is a major contributor when it comes to having better digestion.

It’s also important to maintain a good macronutrient balance. Giving your body the right nutrients, in the right amounts, will help to keep all the moving parts happy and healthy.

Listen to your body.

At the end of the day, we all have unique bodies. Even some healthy foods might upset your digestion, though others may seem to have no problem with them. If you’re noticing unusual digestive symptoms, ask yourself if you’ve eaten anything out of the ordinary lately. If you have, the next time you eat that food, pay attention to how you feel afterwards. Be aware of how alterations in your routine – like what time of day you eat, for example – affects your digestion. The wisdom of the body is an invaluable resource if we learn to take in what it’s telling us.

Warm Regards,

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014


The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss

Get My Book!

Get Your FREE Video Series

New Insights to Forever Transform Your Relationship with Food

P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our FREE information-packed video series, The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough, you can sign up for it HERE. It’s a great way to get a better sense of the work we do here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. If you’re inspired by this work and want to learn about how you can become certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, please go HERE to learn more. And if you’re interested in working on your own personal relationship with food, check out our breakthrough 8-week program designed for the public, Transform Your Relationship with FoodHERE.

About The Author
Emily Rosen

Emily Rosen is the Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations in addition to her role as Senior Teacher. With an extensive and varied background in nutritional science, counseling, natural foods, the culinary arts, conscious sex education, mind body practices, business management and marketing, Emily brings a unique skill-set to her role at the Institute. She has also been a long-term director and administrator for Weight Loss Camps and Programs serving teens and adults and has held the position of Executive Chef at various retreat centers. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to teach, counsel, manage, and be at the forefront of the new wave of professionals who are changing the way we understand the science and psychology of eating and sexuality. Emily is also co -founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.