MECHANISM OF DIGESTION, REDUCTION OF FOOD INTAKE & WEIGHT LOSS: A-Z DETAILS!
A woman follower (Name hidden) asked like this:
“I am very much attached to food, early morning when I wake up, the first thought that comes is that of food, what should I prepare and what different should I prepare. Cannot stay without eating even one square meal. Hunger becomes extreme if I try to skip eating . My mother scolds me that I am a foodie and it will be difficult for you in your later days when you don’t get food on time and enough quantities due to circumstances. I know I shouldn’t be too much attached to food. Also, when I see a food show or read a food blog, my mouth starts salivating. These thoughts are daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I cannot skip it. I know this question looks strange. But how do I come out of this attachment to food.”
It has been habitual for you since you failed to be careful in the young age.
The parents also are the cause for this habit of eating excessively.
They always wish their child should eat more in their childhood for growth. So, they push more and more dishes to them during childhood or student age. If the child eats less, they become angry or upset.
This later becomes a habit.
Read about the healthy foods and food habits here. Food intake is purely habitual and it can be corrected gradually.
HOW DIGESTION HAPPENS IN THE BODY (MECHANISM OF DIGESTION)?
(1) Digestion involves two types:
Mechanical (chewing and breaking the food) and Chemical (digestion through acid, enzymes, etc).
(2) FIRST STAGE OF DIGESTION – MOUTH:
The mouth is the starting point of digestion. When you chew the food, it breaks the food into pieces to get easily digested. The saliva in mouth that contains an enzyme amylase that begins the breakdown of carbohydrates and makes the food that can be easily absorbed for further digestion.
(3) SECOND STAGE OF DIGESTION – G.I TRACT:
Then, the food moves through your Gastro Intestinal Tract (G.I tract). In this long passage, your digestive organs break the food and mix it with digestive juices such as enzymes, stomach acid, bile, etc. This stage of food is called BOLUS.
(4) THIRD STAGE OF DIGESTION – STOMACH:
The stomach secretes Hydro chloric acid and some enzymes to digest the food in the stomach and it breaks down the bolus into a liquid form that is called now as CHYME.
(5) Why some people are affected by ulcer in the stomach?
To prevent the Hydrochoric acid digesting the stomach itself, there is a strong mucus layer inside the stomach. If the food is not taken properly or more pain killers are taken, this mucus layer itself is damaged and hence the acid affects the wall of stomach that causes ulcer.
(6) The stomach muscles called RUGAE contract and expand making the food suitable for further digestion.
(7) GASTROPARESIS: Why some people have problems in digestion in the stomach?
If the nerve called Vagus nerve is damaged, the stomach and intestine can’t contract and enlarge properly that makes the movement of digesting food difficult. This is called GASTROPARESIS.
GASTROPARESIS can be treated by taking some medications that stimulate the muscles of the stomach. Eg: Metoclopramide (Reglan), Erythromycin, Domperidone that can be taken with the advice of a doctor.
(8) FOURTH STAGE OF DIGESTION – SMALL INTESTINE:
Then, food passes from the stomach to the small intestine through the valve called pyloric sphincter.
(9) From the entry point of the small intestine, the food enters the duodenum.
(10) Here, the liver mixes BILE to break down the fatty particles present in the food. If the liver is not functioning well, digestion of fatty particles becomes difficult or impossible.
(11) In addition, some digestive enzymes are secreted by the pancreas also to further digest the food.
(12) The food takes 6-8 hours to cross the passage explained above, ie, from the mouth to Small Intestine.
(13) The absorption of nutrients and minerals from the food happens in the small intestine.
(14) FIFTH STAGE OF DIGESTION – LARGE INTESTINE:
Then the food enters the colon, ie, large intestine for further digestion.
(15) SIXTH AND FINAL STAGE OF DIGESTION & ELIMINATION:
Finally, the digested food is added with water and get eliminated.
This is the brief history of the mechanism of digestion.
EFFECT OF EATING EXCESSIVELY
From the above mentioned mechanism, you would have understood how much our body works to digest the food taken by you.
If a person takes more quantity of food since the childhood, the stomach that receives the food and stores for some time, becomes enlarged IN SIZE in due course of time.
So, after months of starting to take more food, the stomach becomes enlarged. This increases the inducement to take more food to satisfy the enlarged stomach.
Even if you take the recommended quantum of food, your stomach will not get satisfied because it will still be more than half empty and it is capable of receiving more food.
This gives a feel of insufficiency even after taking sufficient food. So, you take more to feel the satisfaction.
Thus, you will permanently take more food to satisfy your stomach’s longing to fill itself.
WHAT TO DO TO REDUCE THE FOOD INTAKE? WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS?
First, you should decide to sincerely take steps to reduce the intake.
You should stop eating three times a day in large quantities. Instead, take less quantum of food six times a day.
How? See this sample schedule.
SAMPLE SCHEDULE OF SIX TIMES FOOD A DAY:
When you take some light food and milk at 7 am in the morning, you will feel hungry within 2-3 hours. So, you can take another small food at 10 am. Then, another at 1pm (little bit more with grains). Then, some snacks at 4pm. Then, again some dinner at 6.30pm. Finally, take some snacks at 9pm.
This will help you to take food whenever you feel hungry, but, the quantity will be less. That’s all.
You should take care that you are not taking more calories than burnt calories. So, the quantity of food intake should be less.
You should avoid taking any other solid intake in the middle except mentioned above.
However, you may take some water or small quantity of juice, if your stomach craves for food in the middle.
This may be difficult for a few days, say, for a month. After that, it will be stabilized. In due course of time, the size of the stomach will also shrink and stabilize gradually.
After that, your stomach will not ask for more food.
TREATMENTS TO REDUCE THE FOOD INTAKE & WEIGHT LOSS
There are many treatments to reduce the food intake. A few are given below:
(1) Gastric banding (Laparoscopic process)
(2) Gastric bypass (called “Roux-en-Y” gastric bypass, or RYGB).
(3) Sleeve gastrectomy.
(4) Duodenal switch (biliopancreatic diversion)
Out of them, the first one Gastric banding is an easy process without a major surgery. This banding reduces the size of the stomach and it can be removed at any time after you regularize your food intake and achieve weight loss.
After months, the stomach will gradually come down in size and adjust to your small intake of food.
However, any treatment should be taken after consulting your doctor.
If you are fatty, THIS ANOTHER POST may be helpful to you to reduce the weight.
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