We all know friends or people around us that often complain about feeling tired or not having enough energy. It seemed that our modern life has given us a lack of physical energy problem. I believe that our modern busy life is the source of this problem, but not just for the reasons that you might be thinking; a lot of stress, too much work or not time to rest. I was lucky that by changing just one living routine habit, I got a huge boost to my physical energy. This was unexpected and I am here to share the experience with my readers.
Your body works as a machine
First I want to start by explaining a lit bit about our own body. Sadly many people barely understand how their bodies work. They just depend on their Doctors to tell them when something is not working properly or to tell them, what to do and what medication to take, so they can feel better again. But most of the time, we are not paying attention to a very important source of information. Our own body usually talks to us. It is important to remember that when something is not working properly, then our body will give us clues of what’s going on. But even if you are trained in the Medical field and work as a Registered Nurse for years, like me, you might still miss understanding some of these clues.
I won’t go in details and try to explain signs or symptoms of possible health problems, or to tell you what are some of the possible clues, that your body could give you if something is not working right. Instead, I wanted to focus on one thing, and that is, that our body works as a machine and as every machine, it uses energy in everything it does. Now Let’s talk about our digestion system and how much energy it consumes. The digestion system in our body is about 30 feet in length in adults, it is divided in; the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, the liver, the pancreas, and the gallbladder. Now let me put this question in your mind, how much energy is needed to complete the digestion process? well, let me tell you, the simple answer is a lot of energy.
Normal digestion takes between six to eight hours to be fully completed. Now this estimate refers to a normal meal and only apply if you are walking and moving around after eating. If you are eating a big meal after Thanksgiving, for example, well, in that case, that digestion process will take longer. The point here is to acknowledge that your body will be working not to stop for several hours during your digestion process. The body needs that several big organs participate in the digestion process; as for example; your liver and your pancreas. After the digestion is completed, no rest yet, your small and large intestines will then start moving the food bolus through the 30 feet of your bowels. They do that by a process called peristalsis, which is a series of wave-like muscles contractions.
It takes between 24 to 72 hours to get that food bolus to the point where it can get out of your body and by now I guess you know from where. Understanding that a normal digestion process is making your body work not stop for several hours allows you to have an idea that even when you are sitting watching TV after a good dinner, you are not resting at all, at least not all of your body is resting.
Too many proteins and fats at dinner
Now let’s talk about dinner in America, remember when I mentioned that our modern life is affecting our energy level, yes it does, but not just for the reasons that I mentioned before; stress, too much work or not having time to rest. I believe that one critical reason is that we are eating big dinners. Dinner has become the time when family members get together after a busy day. Many people tend to eat a lot during dinner, a normal dinner in America includes lots of proteins and fats.
Now the combination of animal proteins and fats make the digestion process even harder for your body, as animal proteins and fats are very hard to digest. The reason why I started thinking about this came to me after my divorce. My ex-wife and I usually went out every night to buffets and to eat big fatty dinners. I remember feeling tired all the time, but I didn’t put too much attention to this lack of physical energy. I didn’t understand the clues that my body was giving me. I thought well maybe what I need to do is to start working out often and rest more. I followed that path and I started working out more and taking naps. But these actions didn’t help me at all, I was still suffering for lack of energy and I didn’t know what else to do.
After my divorce I found myself living alone, being by myself didn’t give me the motivation to go out for a big dinner. Instead, I started eating cereals, fruits or small snacks. After two weeks of doing this new dinner regimen, I felt so different, with lots of energy and with the ability to do so much more. After 4 weeks of this, my face was even started looking more relaxed and rested, my friends started asking me, what I was doing. I just came to the realization that the only change in my life was not going out for a big fatty dinner. As a Registered Nurse, I have a good base knowledge of my body and organs function. So I came to the conclusion that I was saving lots of energy by getting light dinners and my body was just giving me a “big thank you“.
Save energy while sleeping
Now after this amazing result, I started thinking more about the digestion process. I became concerned about what could happen if I eat a big dinner and then I go to sleep after one or two hours. First I understood that in two hours my digestion is far from been completed. When I went to sleep and lay down in my bed, I was giving my body extra work to do. Let me explain this in more detail. When your body lies on a bed, you are in a horizontal position. In this position, the digestion process slows down, as the passing of the food bolus is no longer helped by gravity or by your walking movements. In this position, your bowels are forced to put more effort into the peristalsis process.
As the digestion takes a longer time to be completed, then your body needs to put more effort and energy to complete the process. Think in this, two cars with the same engine that gives them 30 miles/gallon start a 90 miles trip, which trip consumes more gas ?; a) A car going a 90 miles per hour or b) A car going a 1 mile per hour. It is obvious that the car going a 1 mile per hour will consume more gas, just imagine having a car working for 90 hours. The more time working the more energy is needed.
Now back to my story, by doing the opposite and only eating small snacks at dinner time. I was able to reduce the work and the time that my body was putting on my digestion process. My sleep was better and my body machine was able to save lots of energy. I understand that doing something like this will be difficult for many people. But I still think that it is important to share this experience. I got a huge boost in my physical energy and the reasons why I think this happened are simple, saving lots of energy and having a good night sleep. I really hope that this information could help many other people, who are now suffering from lack of physical energy due to big fatty dinners.
There are many reasons that could explain why a person is suffering from a lack of physical energy. Having a health problem as; a disease, anemia or lack of proper nutrition could all drained your energy. I wanted to share my personal experience in hope that you review this information with an open mind.
Today there are a lot of things that we don’t know about our own bodies. I believe that reducing the amount of work that your body does every day will provide clear health benefits. We need to understand that our bodies do a lot of work that we don’t see. Doing changes that promote saving energy will bring more rest to your body. I encourage my readers to take action and see for themselves the benefits of having a body that rests better at night while you are sleeping. Having a good night sleep is, in my opinion, a great start for a day full of energy.
By having small snacks for dinner or not having a dinner meal at all, you will start a diet regimen that will bring energy and other health benefits. I want to end my post by saying that many people who suffered from acid Reflux disease or Gerd problems have been advised by their Doctors to avoid heavy meals at night for years. But remember that before you start any diet regimen, please always review it with your Doctor. In resume these are the benefits of having a light meal at night;
- Give more rest to your digestion system by avoiding proteins and fat meals at night.
- Improve the quality of your sleep by resting not only your brain but also your gut and many organs that are associated with the digestion process.
- Use this idea as a diet regimen that will improve your energy level.
- Reduce the risk of suffering of Gerd or acid Reflux later on your life.
- Promote healthy habits, this idea is not only good for you but also for all the members of your family.
I wish you the best and God bless you.