8 Things You Should Never Do After Eating

Written by Maruti Sridhar

We’re in the ‘age of rush’, where a meal is just a scheduled checkpoint of the day. Today, workaholics are more common than ever. Regardless of what we’ve to do, we just get through our food without really enjoying it. However, this begs the question – is this conducive to activities planned for after eating?

In case you’ve ever wondered, well, worry not. We’ve got some answers! Here are eight things that you should probably avoid after a meal.

1. Loosening Your Belt


It’s a special occasion and all the food is laid out; a table full, in fact. Tonight is a feast and you’re all game. Once you’re partially done with your meal, your belt starts to give you trouble. Loosening it might help as you’re not yet done with all the courses of the meal. However, this can prove quite dangerous as it causes problems in digestion.

It may cause your intestines to twist. More than that, as fitness conscious as we are in this age, it’s best to remember that loosening your belt can provide more room for the accumulation of food. This might seem like a good idea, but there will be nothing but groans and sighs of regret once you get that hated paunch. It’s best to eat until you feel comfortable with your belt on.

2. Sleeping


Who doesn’t enjoy a good weekend meal where you turn to your bed right afterward? It might seem relaxing but we’ve all experienced still being full after a good siesta. Your body is unlikely to digest your meal when you’re asleep, which explains the feeling. And for those who take a post-lunch nap frequently, do you really feel well rested and relaxed after the meal? Most probably not.

3. Smoking


It’s a common fable that smoking one cigarette after a meal is equal to smoking ten otherwise. Regardless of whether this is conjecture, with all the risks involved, do you really want to be smoking after every meal?

4. Bathing


Bathing after a meal is not conducive towards digestion. Blood tends to flow to other parts of the body other than the stomach during a shower. Hence, it’s best to avoid ablutions until the meal is truly digested.

5. Eating Fruits


Our body is wired in ways we cannot imagine. Did you know that alcohol gets digested before food (1)? Likewise, fruit is digested before other sorts of food. Hence, fruit after a meal is not a good idea. You do not want to give your digestive system the gift of fruit while it’s in the process of breaking down your meal. It might lead to improper digestion.

6. Drinking Tea


Tea leaves are renown to be acidic, which hampers the digestive process. Protein from your meal will be hardened by the acid, making it difficult to digest. Furthermore, tea is likely to interfere with iron absorption. Hence, it’s best to stay clear of tea immediately before and after a meal. If you suspect you’re suffering from an iron deficiency, watch out for signs of chest pain, pale skin, extreme fatigue, cold hands and feet, and dizziness (2).

7. Walking Immediately


It is often said that walking immediately after a meal can work wonders for burning calories. Hence, it is used the world over as an exercise regime. However, it is also said that any form of physical activity after a meal promotes indigestion and acid reflux. Some might consider it to be a strike of misfortune to be amongst a generation which espouses a sedentary lifestyle. Having said that, it might be a good idea to take a leaf out of the newer generation’s book and just relax after a meal.

8. Drinking Cold Water


Drinking cold water after a meal can lead to poor digestion. It can cause the food to bind closely, making it difficult for absorption. This leads to problems absorbing nutrients and separating waste.

There are other factors to avoid as well, such as any form of physical activity. This might seem counterintuitive but studies show that this is indeed a bad idea (3). There are plenty of old wives’ tales out there about eating and exercising, such as avoiding a meal before swimming, but this is nonsense. Keep these eight pointers in mind and you can’t go wrong when it comes to digestion and overall health.

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