People may have become so accustomed to incorrect eating that they may have forgotten what a correct meal feels like. They decide to take up a diet without first questioning whether or not their basic eating habits may be at fault.
Here are a few basic guides to assure proper digestion and healthy appetite:
- Eat three regular meals daily.
- Eat fresh foods in season.
- Do not eat unless you are hungry.
- Do light activity, such as walking after a meal, to promote digestion.
- Do not drink water or liquids during meals as these dilute digestive juices, reducing digestive efficiency.
- Negative emotions, mental excitement and heavy exercise hinder digestion.
- Chew your food very well, as digestion starts in the mouth.
- Eat only until your hunger is satisfied.
A normally healthy person should eat enough without producing a feeling of heaviness, or a sense of tightness in the solar plexus. After eating, there should be no rumbling of the stomach. Nausea, taste of food on belching, and lingering taste of meal are all signs that the meal was too heavy.
Foods that are easily digested, such as salad greens, should not be taken at the same time as foods that are slowly digested.
By applying these guidelines, one can improve digestion, cut back on between-meal snacks and when the time comes, make dieting much easier.
The biggest mistake in dieting is to attempt to accomplish too much too soon. Most people who are on a diet do so to lose weight. It must be remembered that weight gain usually occurs over a period of weeks, months or years, and a gradual, intelligent and conscious dieting plan is superior to trying to lose all the weight at once. It will usually come right back on if you return to your original diet habits.
Although a diet may seem like a punishment, meals should be a pleasant and fulfilling time. The ultimate objective of any diet is to change improper eating habits. Thus, a consistent program which gradually changes the overall diet will succeed in restoring your proper weight.
Some people believe that bread must be avoided in order to diet and lose weight. But the average slice of bread contains only about 45 calories, and is a source of protein. A lump of butter – which is all fat – adds almost 70 calories; one teaspoon of jam or jelly, another 75 calories. The culprit is not the bread, but the extras.
Your body may react to the restriction of certain foods that it has enjoyed for many years, and sometimes this may be reflected in slight nausea, headaches or a run-down feeling. This may mean that you are dieting too strenuously. A thousand small steps that succeed are better than one big step that fails. So, keep your goals realistic, stay in touch with your doctor, and keep your resolve firm. The rewards will be more than worth it.