10 steps to Cope with Digestive Distress

10 steps to Cope with Digestive Distress

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Dr Manoj Kutteri

As the heat rises, digestive problems become more recurrent. A few tips to regulate food habits during summers & stay healthy.

Make simple modifications to manage your temptations

When it comes to healthy eating, one can’t just jump in with guns blazing. If you do, you will probably feel overwhelmed, deprived, and be more likely to closet-eat. When you are outside and feel to go for a quick bite, opt for an open sandwich; so, you reduce the carbs to half, choose grilled chicken or fish instead of fried, and order a side salad instead of fries.

Manage eating when in stress

Sometimes we feel that the only way to take away the stress is by boozing or munching. Such emotional eating can also take a toll on your digestive system and make you carry extra pounds. The best alternative to this is exercise, which releases endorphins, which has a proven benefit change your mood.

Read the food labels

Create a habit of reading food labels when you are doing shopping. “fat-free” or “0% trans-fat” might look like a wise choice. Don’t be fooled. “Fat-free” usually means “full of sugar.” It is important to crack those catch phrases by reading the nutrition facts and the ingredient list. Always watch out for trans-fat content, saturated fats, and sodium and sugar levels. Healthy foods are usually found on the outer edge of the grocery stores.

Focus on quality and not quantity

Knowing the portion size is an essential part of creating healthy eating habits. The palm of your hand is a fantastic measuring tool. Use it to measure a protein, complex carb, and vegetable portion for every meal. Once you have this mentality of compromising on the quantity, the path gets much easier.

Overcome the peer influence

Most times we are influenced by our friends, co-workers, commercials, print ads, and billboards. This is a very common experience for all of us that we pick on some bad habits because of the peer group. Act like you know something they don’t, and be a trendsetter.

Practice brushing after each meal

Brush your teeth or use mouthwash after a main meal. Most people do not feel like eating right after they do this, and this can help reduce the cravings a little. This has been also proven beneficial in overcoming unhealthy eating habits.

Avoid late night binging

Some people indulge themselves in late night eating, which is usually out of loneliness, boredom or depression. Stock up your fridge with only healthy snacks. It is desirable to munch on fruits or nuts than calorie-filled snacks.

Never do shopping when you are hungry

It has been proven that shopping while you are hungry will result in impulsive buying. It is also a good habit to make a list of items when you go to the store rather than picking up items at random. This will not only help to prevent you from wrong eating habits but also makes the shopping cost-effective.

Avoid eating on the move

Most of us find ourselves walking and eating, or stuffing down a meal to get to our next commitment on time. If you are taking less than 20 minutes to eat a meal, it is considered as fast eating. Satiety usually comes 30 minutes after eating, so provide ample time to feel the satisfaction when you are in front of a meal.

Choose the right food for your body

Plan your main meals on starchy carbohydrates – the complex carbohydrates provide you a good fiber choice when choosing the main meal, which can be a lot stress-free for our gut. Instead, having foods made of refined flours, try opting for good quality complex carbohydrates, which help you, prevent those glucose spikes. This can also provide the right nutrients that your body demand. Avoid salted snacks can be often tempting and addictive. An excessive intake of salt increases the blood pressure, increases chances of stroke and risk of dementia. It can also alter the proper functioning of the digestive system. Average intake of salt in a typical Indian meal is about 15gm per day and our body requirement is less than 5gm per day.

The writer is Wellness Director at Atmantan Wellness Centre

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