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Eating Advice to Boost Gut Health and Beat the Bloat

Are you making a simple mistake that is getting in the way of digestion?

Are you feeling like your gut health needs a little work? You might be making a simple mistake that is preventing it from doing its job, according to one expert. Clarissa Lenherr is a UK-based nutritionist specializing in gut health and IBS. She regularly shares tips and tricks to help people "beat the bloat." In a recent post, she addresses digestion, revealing a common error that people make. "Here's an easy gut health tip that you're probably missing out on," she writes at the start of her Instagram post. Body Network's Resident RDN, The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and co-author of the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies, also weighs in. 

Your Gut May Need "A Break," She Says


"Give your gut a break," encourages Lenherr. "The gut needs a break to do all the wonderful things it's supposed to do: Digest, break down, absorb, utilize nutrients, help with our bowel movements."

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"Constantly Eating" Can Prevent Digestion


"If we're constantly eating and not giving our gut that time it needs, we can stop these wonderful processes between meals," she continues.

Wait 3 to 4 Hours Between Meals and 12 Hours Overnight


"Consider three to four hours (between meals) and overnight. Consider 12 hours between dinner and breakfast to give your gut the time it needs," Lenherr recommends. 

Our Expert Weighs In

Diet Diva/Facebook

Collingwood explains that the gut digests and moves food along from stomach to intestines.  "Depending on volume and type of food, this can take about 3 to 4 hours for the gut to completely clear out between meals," she says. 

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Don't Fast for More Than 12 Hours

Shot of smiling young woman eating yogurt while sitting on stool in the kitchen at home.
Shutterstock/Josep Suria

Collingwood agrees that having a period of time each day without food is "natural and good for digestive health" and "overnight is the best time" for it. At a minimum, she suggests 10 to 12 hours of sleep overnight. "No need to go fasting for more than 12 hours," she notes. "Once you are up for the day, eat within 1 to 2 hours to get your metabolism started."

💪🔥Body Booster: If you want to promote digestion, wait 3 to 4 hours in between meals. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more