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Is Your Health Suffering Because Of This Critical Mistake?
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim on May 15, 2013
Here's an e-mail that I received over the weekend from a fellow who I consulted for this past winter:
"Hey Dr. Ben:
To follow up, I am ecstatic to report that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING has gotten better since we last spoke.
I have been religious about not snacking after dinner. You know that I was skeptical that this alone could fix my belly, but I stand humbled.
I have lost 28 pounds and counting, but what stands out is how comfortable I feel inside. Gone is the bloating and no more stomach pain. I wake up feeling better rested, just like you said I would.
You called it profound simplicity and I can't agree more. I'm not reaching when I say that you've changed my life for the better.
You have full permission to share this in your newsletter. Call me a believer!
In case you missed the tip that I emphasized with Tony, it's this:
Don't snack before you go to sleep for the night. Give your digestive tract at least a good hour or preferably a few hours of rest before you go to bed.
Seems like a simple thing and not nearly enough action to create change in your health status. But it's a profoundly simple choice that can make all the difference to your body's ability to stay healthy and even
recover from chronic health challenges.
Your body has to work hard to digest everything that you put into your GI tract.
Your stomach and intestines have to generate a continuous flow of contractile waves to push things through.
Specialized cells that line your stomach have to produce acid to help break down food into usable nutrients.
Your gall bladder and pancreas have to produce additional digestive juices and enzymes to help ensure breakdown of fats and carbohydrates.
The walls of the top third of your small intestine have to regulate passing of nutrients into your bloodstream.
Your circulatory system has to carry these nutrients from your small intestine to your liver, where these nutrients have to be packaged for delivery to the rest of your body.
These and many other steps that make up the process of digesting and assimilating nutrients force great energy expenditure.
All of this work decreases the quality of rest you get, which translates to your body not being able to produce optimal amounts of healing hormones like growth hormone, testosterone, and erythropoietin.
Put another way, snacking before bed directly diminishes your body's ability to repair and rejuvenate damaged cells. Instead of spending the night rejuvenating itself, your body spends a good portion of its sleep time digesting excess food.
The take-home message is this: if you are looking to overcome a specific health challenge or you're just interested in feeling as healthy and fit as possible, it's vital that you avoid the habit of eating right up until sleep time.
If you're not already doing this, then I encourage you to give it a try over the next 30 days, and please feel free to write in to let me know how it goes!
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