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Digestion Issues: What’s Wrong With My Digestion & How To Fix It?

Digestion Issues: What’s Wrong With My Digestion & How To Fix It?

Why your body has problems digesting fat and protein

Are you having digestion issues? It seems to be a universal desire–to be fit and healthy, to feel energized, and never get sick. We want to look good, feel young, and be happy. With all the fitness centers, exercise programs, fad diets, and weight loss programs, why is it so hard to achieve or maintain good health? 

Why You Need To Eat A Balanced Diet 

There’s no denying the direct link between our health and the food we eat. What we lack is understanding how the food we eat is being digested. When you understand how your body works and what it needs then the practical steps to take back your health become clear and easy to do. All you need is a little knowledge and some good old-fashioned, practical know-how. 

You’ve heard me say before that food is fuel for your body. And that the type of fuel you put in is as important as putting the right fuel in your car. Your body needs macronutrients to properly fuel every part of your body. So it’s important to understand macros and the role of eating balanced meals consistently. Otherwise, you are burning your body out. 

So What Are Macros and Why Do They Matter?

Macronutrients, or macros, refers to the large amount of nutrients your body needs in order to survive and function properly. Nutrients are the substances that provide nourishment that is essential for good health. The three macros your body needs are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.1 

Why macros matter has to do with the role they play and their source. Are the macros coming from high-quality, whole food sources, or are they coming from processed, low-quality foods? It matters because input equals output

Input Equals Output

When you consistently eat a well-balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein (if you choose to eat those), healthy fats, and water, you’re giving your body exactly what it needs. Your body then rewards you with energy, vitality, and wellness. That’s because it can digest and process those macronutrients easily. When that happens, then all the other necessary chemical reactions can take place in your brain, your glands, your bloodstream, and every system has the fuel it needs to perform at its best. Giving you optimal health and well being. 

On the other hand, if you consistently eat a low-quality diet of mostly processed foods, your body will suffer.2 It simply cannot sustain your health. Think of it like this. How well can a car run if the fuel is watered down or tampered with? It’s just not going to perform like it should and sooner or later, it’s going to break down. 

Here’s what’s happening in your body when you eat the wrong macros. 

  1. Your digestive system has to work harder to process low-quality foods. 
  2. Your body has less than optimal resources to do the work because it’s depleted of healthy macros already. 
  3. There is little useful nutrition in fried foods, or foods with saturated fats and trans fats, or sweetened drinks, refined sugar, and refined grains. 
  4. You experience painful digestive problems.

Eventually, other systems in your body break down, such as your hormonal system, neurological system and immunological system. 

Digestion Issues

How do I know if I have a digestion Issues with fat or protein? 

If you have frequent bouts of diarrhea, bloating, or feel queasy after meals, or if you have abdominal pain and cramping after you eat, it’s likely that your diet is to blame. These are just some of the signs that you’re having digestion issues with fat and protein. Low-quality diets deplete your body of the enzymes necessary to break down these nutrients. 

This may surprise you. Statistics show that over 62 million people have some type of digestive issues.3 Symptoms can vary from discomfort to pain, from diarrhea to constipation, from weight loss to weight gain. Abnormal stools, skin rashes, and gallstones are also common. Your symptoms may change from day to day causing you to think it’s random. The truth is, the common element causing all these digestion problems is diet. 

Why Fad Diets Fail

No matter what fad diet plan you have heard about or tried, they all require restrictive eating plans. They restrict what you can eat, how much you can eat, and even when you can eat. Harsh diets are also known for depleting your body of the vital enzymes needed to digest and process your food. Without the necessary nutrients and enzymes, you are at risk of burning out your metabolic rate which only makes your health worse.4 Obsessive calorie counting can lead to a lack of nutrition.5 Methods like these are not sustainable long-term so you end up gaining back the weight you lost. Fad diets fail you, but you feel like a failure instead. 

For these reasons many have turned away from dieting and turned towards a more practical approach that some call intuitive eating. I like to think of it this way. Intuitive eating is when you take two ingredients and mix them together to make smart decisions on how and what to eat. What are those two ingredients? Common sense and awareness of your own body. 

Counting Calories

Calorie counting has its place, but don’t get stuck there. Too often people get hung up on this and become obsessed. That’s never a good idea. 

Your body needs a certain amount of calories each day to function. And every body is different, so you need to figure out how many calories per day is right for you. The idea is to know how many calories you need to eat per day and stay within that limit while eating healthy foods. But watch out! Don’t think you can get away with eating your 2,000 calories in chips and pastries and call it a day. Instead of choosing foods based only on caloric value, think instead about choosing high-quality, healthy foods, and minimizing low-quality foods.6 Then take note of how you feel after eating and throughout your day. Do you feel good, full, satisfied? 

When you notice signs of improvement, whether that’s having more energy, mental clarity, weight loss, or just an overall sense of wellbeing, keep going. These are encouraging messages from your body saying, “Thank you!” 

You’re in Charge! 

There are things you can do today to start taking steps to regain your health. And the good news is that they don’t require any fad diets or extreme cardio workouts. Food is your tool for good health. Use it. 

  1. Figure out how many calories you need and then make better food choices. We have a metabolic health scale, the InBody 570, which helps determine your metabolic caloric rate. 
  2. Continue to switch out the processed foods for whole foods and take notice of how you feel. Being aware of how foods affect you gives you both the knowledge and the motivation to choose the best fuel in your body. Giving yourself the optimized energy you want to live life to the fullest.
  3. Call us for help.  Whatever your need is, we are here to give you what you need, to support and guide you. Because we understand that getting healthy and staying healthy takes work and resources.

At Holistic Family Practice we offer educational classes and support about digestion Issues for the whole family. Check out our website for more information or give us a call. We’re here for you!  

Endnotes

1.  “Human Metabolism, Energy, Nutrients | Learn Science at ….” https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/nutrient-utilization-in-humans-metabolism-pathways-14234029. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

2.  “The Best Diet: Quality Counts | The Nutrition Source | Harvard ….” https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/best-diet-quality-counts/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

3.  “Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States | NIDDK.” https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/digestive-diseases. Accessed 1 Jul. 2020.

4.  “Major fat-burning discovery – Harvard Health.” https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/major-fat-burning-discovery. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

5.  “My Fitness Pal Calorie Tracker Usage in the Eating … – NCBI.” 18 Aug. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5700836/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

6.  “The Best Diet: Quality Counts | The Nutrition Source | Harvard ….” https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/best-diet-quality-counts/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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