Q: I tend to feel very full after eating a meal, but I eat very small portion sizes. A colleague at work suggested that it might be my digestion. Please help. –Amy
A: Your colleague might be right. Since overeating has been ruled out, it makes sense to look at digestion next. First, avoid drinking fluids within an hour – before and after – a meal. Water, juice, soda – all fluids can dilute stomach acids, interfering with the digestive process. If you’re accustomed to drinking with meals (it’s a common weight-loss strategy to drink a full glass of water before a meal), it might take some getting used to, but you’re sure to notice the difference immediately. Another strategy is to chew each and every bite carefully. “Pre-digesting” your food in this way takes the pressure off the rest of your digestive system. Finally, pick up a complete digestive enzyme at your local natural products store (some pharmacies carry them as well). Take the recommended amount before you eat. These supplements provide the enzymes that your own body isn’t making to digest your food. By following these steps, your stomach and digestive organs will learn to function better and over time, you’ll notice a significant improvement in the way your body digests food.