Understanding the link between exercise and digestion

Just about everyone knows that the things we eat affect how we look – whether or not you are have a regular exercise program.   However, figuring out how to manage your diet with the goal of losing weight can be an entirely different matter.

Having a basic understanding of how your digestive system works, and the role that your stomach plays in the process, is important if you want to make progress.

A closer look at the stomach

The stomach is made of smooth muscle fibers, a type of muscle that contracts involuntarily. When you eat, your stomach receives signals to contract, which allow it to push the food into the intestines so that it can work its way through the rest of the digestive system.

Normally, your stomach is about the size of your clenched fist. When you overeat, your stomach is able to stretch to accommodate the food, and it will eventually contract back to its normal size.

However, when you overeat on a frequent basis, your stomach expends too much energy on expanding and contracting. This leads to less efficient functioning, and may even cause your metabolism to slow down.

Smaller, More Frequent Meals Are Key

For this reason, the ideal diet for weight loss and fitness is comprised of smaller meals eaten frequently throughout the day. Smaller meals do not result in stretching of the stomach while eating frequently keeps the stomach and digestive system working constantly. This will result in a more efficient digestive system and optimally performing metabolism.