That bloated feeling is the bane of our lives, no?
Days when nothing looks good on because you feel huge, and your stomach has taken on the shape of someone approaching the end of pregnancy – and this is despite the fact that you literally ate four oat crackers and a salad yesterday!
According to nutritionist and author Robyn Youkilis, many of us are suffering from a messed up digestive system these days, resulting in anything from bloating to stomach pains and discomfort.
But the good news is that according to Youkilis’ book, Go With Your Gut, you can more or less banish the bloat by just doing this one simple thing: Chewing your food more.
The nutritionist explains how we are all subconsciously sabotaging our digestive process by skipping meals, eating when we feel stressed and not chewing food properly.
So far, so guilty.
This, Youkilis explains, all has a profound impact on both our energy levels and silhouette, and she explains how healing your digestive system will inevitably lead to more restful sleep, blemish-free skin, strong hair and nails, tons more energy – and – a much trimmer waistline.
The solution? No extreme diet needed, apparently. All you have to do is think about what you eat, breathe, and, most importantly, chew. A lot. In fact, Youkilis recommends that we chew each mouthful of food up to 150 times before we swallow.
“Doing this will leave you looking slimmer and feeling healthier,” she explains to MailOnline.
The reason you should chew your food so much more than you are currently doing is that your mouth is in fact where the whole digestive process begins.
“Saliva contains important digestive enzymes that can only start working if food spends a little time in the mouth before being swallowed,” says Youkilis. “Chewing breaks down food, increasing the surface area on which the enzymes can work. This allows the body to receive minerals and nutrients from food and properly utilise its contents. Swallow too soon and you skip half the digestion process.”
The problem with not chewing food properly is that when poorly-chewed bits of food enter the digestive tract, they can set off a chain of events, putting the body in crisis management mode. And this, the nutritionist argues, created unnecessary stress for your digestive system, triggering an inflammatory response, often manifesting itself in the shape of gas, bloating, acid reflux and heartburn.
Yikes. We will have to take extended lunch breaks to make time for all this chewing. But it will all be worth it for bikini season, it seems.