We’re all aware of the adage “You are what you eat” but what we choose to put inside our bodies before each meal also has a significant effect on our overall health both physically and mentally.
I am here to tell you about the nine things you should be avoiding on any empty stomach roughly two hours after your last meal. I know this can be a little confusing but don’t worry I’ll be breaking down the do’s and don’ts. Also as a bonus wait until the end of the article to see what you can do when hunger strikes.
Although they are a great solution for treating pain and inflammation, taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as Asprin, Paracetamol, and other anti-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause serious health problems if they are taken on an empty stomach. The dangers include gastric bleeding, upset stomach, bleeding ulcers and an overall un-effectiveness. If you are taking anti-inflammatories on a regular basis, there is a great chance you can develop these symptoms. In this case, a trip to your physician is necessary if you experience any of these above symptoms for further treatment.
- Advice: The lactic acid in milk helps to reduce the adverse effects of NSAIDs. If you cannot get your hands on a glass of milk, you can drink plenty of water to gulp down the drug. Sometimes taking NSAIDs with antacid and calcium supplements seem to help ease an upset stomach. Switching up the time of when you take medicine from morning to afternoon or evening seems to help with any discomforts. Anti-inflammatories should never be taken with alcohol. Keeping all these things in mind while taking NSAIDs should get you feeling better in no time.
Skipping on breakfast again and reaching for a cup of joe might not be such a good idea after all. Even drinking decaf coffee adds to producing more acid in your stomach that can result in some significant medical issues. Having a constant increase of acid in your stomach can cause damage to your stomach and digestive tract. Other problems like acid reflux, heartburn, and heart burns can also occur. If you find yourself under the weather, it might be due to the lack of serotonin, which is a chemical that our bodies need to produce to maintain the balance of moods.
- Advice: If you can’t shake the habit of having breakfast before your morning coffee or even after, then the best alternative would be to add cream or milk. The fatty acids in the milk will help to reduce the adverse effects. There are so much better all natural choices out there now so make sure you grab natural coffee the next time you go grocery shopping. Almond milk and coconut creamers are also an excellent choice and so yum.
Out on the town and having a few drinks with no food in your stomach raises the alcohol absorption by a factor of 2. You are likely to get intoxicated twice as much in a short period. It also means that it will take twice as long for you to get rid of the alcohol out of your system. You are more likely to wake up with a hangover the next morning. The increasing amount of alcohol in your body will always leave a negative effect on your body. Even though it might go unnoticed now, it will surely catch up, in the long run, causing severe damage to your liver, kidneys, and heart.
- Advice: If you just can not refuse a drink why not go for a chilled noncarbonated drink instead or better yet next time try eating a small sandwich or having some alfredo pasta, something rich in butter and fats. Waking up to a hangover? No problem, having some delicious french fries or pizza with lots of electrolytes. Hydration is essential!
Chewing gum on an empty stomach tricks your food into thinking you are eating a real meal. It results in an increased amount of digestive acid which destroys the lining of your belly. A regular indulgence of gum can also lead to gastritis. It is a scientifically proven fact that those chewing gums are more likely to make bad eating choices, going for junk food and sweets rather than something a bit healthier. Chewing gum religiously can also cause jaw and dental problems.
- Advice: Sugary gum can lead to cavities so choose either a no-sugar option or gum with natural sweeteners in it like honey or sugar cane. There are plenty of vegan options out there for you to choose from. If you can’t give up your chewing habit, make a mental note to not chew for more than 10 minutes.
Going to bed on an empty stomach brings our glucose levels down and increases our hunger pains causing superficial sleep and an overall disturbance to our sleep cycle. Lack of sleep and hunger causes an increase in some hormones like ghrelin which helps to boost appetite and might even result in weight gain. Feeling fatigued and having no energy is quite reasonable for those who have acute sleep deprivation while the more chronic hungry insomniacs suffer from a weakened immune system that can ultimately result in cancer for some cases. Going to bed hungry does not mean less sleep but can be bad news to those trying to gain muscle.
- Advice: Binging before bed is also a terrible idea. Dairy products are your best bet here, try a warm glass of milk an old age remedy for inducing sleep. Magnesium and calcium found in dairy products can help tremendously
Intense training causes your muscles to expand to stretch which means a high caloric diet containing protein and carbs is a must. The myth that working out on an empty stomach can result in weight loss, while there might be little to no truth to that statement, in this matter you are more likely to experience more muscle loss than fat loss. Lack of energy will ultimately result to lack training intensity.
- Advice: Try switching up your hardcore exercises to something a bit lighter like aerobics. If you are experiencing some digestive issues, have a snack or two before your training and a hearty meal afterward to help reduce any over production of gastric juice in your stomach. Take it easy on yourself for a while to get your health back in check and then return to your regular workout routine.
At one point in your lives, we’ve all old buying way too much food out of hunger. This feeling of wanting more food just turns into “wanting more” whether it be food or clothes, shoes especially shoes! The starving person tends to spend more money on things they didn’t need in the first place.
- Advice: Make a shopping list of all the things you truly need and stick to it. Another great tip would be to leave your credit card at home and carry cash on you instead. It is a fact that those who shop with cash on hand are less likely to splurge on things they don’t need and find themselves saving money. Coupons and discounts vouchers are always a good idea to help you save some cash on your next shopping spree.
Drinking citrus juice
Drinking citrus enriched drinks on an empty stomach can irritate your tummy which can be dangerous for those who are suffering from gastritis and are in danger of developing it at any given time. Consult your family physician if you feel as if you might be at risk of developing gastritis.
- Advice: Freshly squeezed citrus juices can bring nothing but benefits to your health if it diluted properly in a healthy ratio of 1:1 or if your stomach is a bit more sensitive try a 2:1 ratio with two parts water and one part of your favorite citrus fruit.
Scientific research shows that hunger makes act irrational and less composed. It is because the brain and body need the energy to perform normally. The lack of food results in low levels of energy causing us to be angry or as I like to call it hangry (hungry + angry).
- Advice: If you can’t find yourself exiting the argument try sitting down with a warm drink and offer some to your opponent as well for that matter. Sit down and try to talk it out. Chances are you are less likely to argue after sipping on that warm drink. Feels like a hug doesn’t it? Next, try having a light meal or snack before entering into a conflict. Don’t let your hunger throw you off!
The promised bonus: What you can do when you’re hungry
You are probably thinking what the most obvious solution for hunger other than eating food is? You would be surprised at what you can do besides eat when you are hungry or can’t get access to food quick enough.
- Solve Problems. The ability to concentrate and perform normal tasks becomes harder on an empty stomach. Our ancestors had a legacy of solving problems to provide food for themselves. It was due to the hormone ghrelin which works overtime in starvation mode, stimulating brain activity to help battle tasks along the way.
- Make Choices. Can’t decide what to wear or where to go? Try making those decisions on an empty stomach. The famished brain is more likely to make to faster decisions from being impulsive. Be careful not to use this tactic when dealing with more pressing matters of family, finances, and health.