Guilty as charged, I spend much of my time after meals laying down in my bed, refusing to do anything else with my life. And yes, I know that isn’t the wisest thing to do after I’ve stuffed my belly to the brim with food, but I’m not alone. There are some pretty bad habits that people have gotten into after eating a meal, and while I’m part of the group, these habits should ultimately be broken.

Here are some of the most common ones, and exactly why you should stop doing them.

1. Sleep

Simply put, laying down after eating causes your stomach to burn excessively, leading to discomfort and sleeping irregularities. I know eating can be exhausting and that you deserve a rest after tackling that huge skillet cookie, but resist temptation for at least a few hours.

2. Smoke

No matter how satisfying a good smoke after an even better meal may seem, your body needs to digest properly after eating. If you go ahead and smoke right after, the nicotine binds to the excess oxygen that is required in digestion, allowing your body to absorb more carcinogens than usual.

3. Shower

As tempting as that post-meal shower concert may be, your body adjusts the blood flow to reach your skin more quickly to compensate for the change in temperature. This means that there’s less blood available to help you digest your food, which can slow the process or render it inefficient.

4. Eat Fruit

juice, pineapple, Fruit, tropical
Sam Jesner

Looks like you can’t have your daily serving of fruit as dessert anymore. Since they require different enzymes to digest, it’s best to eat fruit on an empty stomach to allow maximum absorption. If you eat it right after a meal, it won’t be able to digest properly and will be lumped together with that fab steak dinner you just had.

5. Drink Tea

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Julie Lau

While you’re totally welcome to spill some shady #tea after eating, you shouldn’t drink actual tea – it interferes with the iron absorption, binding to the compound before your body has the chance to take it in. Wait an hour or so before making that nightly cuppa chai.

6. Exercise

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Denise Uy

Props to you for being able to lift some weights after lifting a hefty burger, but you might want to get your exercise in before you sit down to eat. Not doing so can cause acid reflux, hiccups, and even some nausea and vomiting.