Driving Digestion

A recent article on weight and diet suggested that being overweight may drive us to eat more. Perhaps there is something about the body's storing food as fat that takes nutrition away from places it is needed for energy, thus creating a feeling of hunger.  Certainly, experience shows that eating based on 'comfort' rather than need can have that effect.

A different perspective may also be useful to consider. That is, exercise can stimulate appetite in a positive way. Some worry that exercising will make you hungrier; they fear you will eat more and gain more weight rather than losing it as a result of exercise.

Focus for a moment not on the process of eating but on digestion. Exercise can drive your digestion process along. As you exercise, you breathe more deeply. That deeper breathing presses on the organs and intestines, massaging the digestion process along. Being too full in the mid-section can also have the effect of making it harder to breathe as deeply as you want while exercising. It may tend to make you feel out of breath prematurely. The flip side of that coin is that exercising and breathing more deeply will remind you on a physical level of the need and desire for space inside your abdomen - space for the diaphragm to move for deeper breathing.

It is not uncommon for someone who exercises to feel less hungry upon completing the exercise. At meal time, you may well be more hungry because of the work you have done.  But watch for the positive reduced hunger outside of meal times. Watch for the positive effects on digestion of your exercise, the feeling that all you need is a good drink of water.

One famous saying suggests you exercise on a full stomach to get heavier, on an empty stomach to lose weight. Try the latter and see how much more energy you have and how hungry (or not) you feel after you exercise.