Eating fuels your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain your tissues and organs, keep your cells running properly, and ultimately give you the energy to live your life to the fullest. But what happens when you’re constantly feeling sick after eating?
You’re about to dive into a plate full of delicious food. You get started, savoring the first bite, but then quickly devouring the rest, your plate whipped clean. You find yourself wishing you had more. But then it starts. The bloating. The gas. The abdominal pain. A familiar mix of symptoms that make you feel like crap and you have no idea why. Find out what and how you’re eating can play a part in why you don’t feel good after you eat.
5 reasons you don’t feel good after you eat
1. You’re stressed
Whether you realize it or not, stress greatly impacts digestive function. When you feel stress or anxiety, your body goes into fight or flight mode, a natural response that increases your heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and tightens muscles. In this state, the gut becomes vulnerable to inflammation, permeability (leaky gut), reflux, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and even food allergies.
The fix: So the next time you sit down to eat, take a deep breath, relax, and be present while you eat—don’t multitask. This will go a long way in helping you properly digest and absorb the nutrients from the food you eat.
2. You’re not chewing properly
Did you know that digestion begins in the mouth? Even before you take a bite, your salivary glands are activated, secreting key enzymes that will break down your food. While you don’t really have to worry about that, you do need to be mindful of actually chewing your food. As your teeth tear up food, saliva softens and breaks it down to make it easy for the next stage of digestion, which happens in the stomach. But if you don’t chew your food enough, the breakdown doesn’t happen thoroughly, resulting in more work for the rest of the digestive tract. The act of swallowing huge chunks of food without chewing until your food pretty much liquefies can result in gas, bloating, and stomach pain.
The fix: Be sure to chew your food around 20 times before swallowing.
3. You have food sensitivities
If you are constantly experiencing pain and discomfort after eating, it’s time to do some investigating. Take note of what you eat at every meal and log it in a food diary. After a few weeks, it’s time to see if there is a pattern. Does bloating happen anytime gluten is involved? Does gas hit you hard anytime you snack on cheese? Is your afternoon coffee causing your evening diarrhea?
The fix: Whatever you discover, it’s time to give your body a break and stop eating the foods that trigger negative reactions.
4. You’re laying down after meals
While it might feel good to lay down immediately following a meal, you’ll quickly realize it feels a lot worse than if you were to have gone for a stroll or remain upright. This is because laying down puts the body in a position prone to indigestion and heartburn.
The fix: Give yourself at least two to three hours before bed to digest dinner. To help digestion, stay upright after eating. You can even go for a walk after you eat, which research has shown helps speed up the time it takes for food to travel from your stomach to your small intestine.
5. You’re overdoing it on carbonated drinks
Drinking carbonated drinks in excess can put stress on the digestive system and cause uncomfortable bloating that doesn’t seem to dissipate. Such symptoms can occur after drinking more than just one glass of a carbonated beverage. This is because when you’re drinking carbonated beverages, much of what you’re ingesting are large pockets of air. These pockets can get trapped in your stomach and cause bouts of abdominal pain and gas as a result.
The fix: Rather than opting for a bubbly beverage like sparkling water or kombucha, opt for something flat without bubbles. This will be easier on your stomach and actually aid digestion and ease of elimination, something carbonated beverages don’t encourage.
Eating is supposed to be a pleasurable experience, not a painful one. If you’ve been experiencing abdominal pain, gas, bloating, brain fog, and irregular bowel movements, it’s time to consider making some essential changes! Your body will thank you.
How to Improve Your Digestive Health
Since your digestive system is a long and complex system, starting from your mouth and ending at your anus, there are many things that can go wrong along the way. We know that how we live and eat has a direct impact on our digestive system and how well it functions. By incorporating these biohacks for a healthier gut, you may be able to help your digestive system function more efficiently.
If you regularly experience symptoms of feeling sick after you eat and still aren’t sure what could be causing it, it’s best to consult with a doctor to help you determine what it could be.
Final Thoughts on Why You Don’t Feel Good After You Eat
- Eating is supposed to be pleasurable, so if you experience regular pain, gas, bloating, brain fog and IBS, it’s time to consider what is at the root cause of your symptoms.
- Top reasons you may feel nauseous after you eat include a potential undiagnosed food sensitivity, chronic stress, or not chewing your food properly.
- Improving your digestive health will help your digestion function more efficiently and can improve your overall health.