One of the common complaints I get from my clients and something I go through personally, is bloat. We have all experienced it and it’s the worst feeling. Whether you eat too much, have food intolerances, don’t drink enough water, or have digestion issues, feeling bloated can make us feel blah. Here are some tips to combat bloat which I try to incorporate in my everyday routine:
Let's start with some prevention strategies:
Eat only when truly hungry.
Allow your previous meal to fully digest before eating the next meal or snacking. This means to wait at least 3 hours between meals!
While eating, chew well and don’t talk while chewing.
Don’t eat fruits after a meal. It will be gas forming and produce bloating.
Try chewing on a slice of ginger with lime juice or lemon 20 minutes before a meal.
Use digestion stimulating spices when making your food. Try black pepper, ginger, and cumin.
Try adding digestive enzymes, especially to heavy meals.
Take probiotics regularly.
Pay attention to how your body reacts to dairy and wheat/flour products. If you feel bloated after ingesting them, you might need to reduce your intake or remove them completely.
Try aromatherapy. Bloating is more likely to appear if you are anxious, stressed, or worried. Try peppermint, orange, rose, cinnamon, and basil. You can also get a stress-relieving or balancing essential oil mix at most health food stores.
What NOT to do when trying to avoid BLOAT!
Don't Overdo Carbonated Drinks. The fizz in carbonated drinks (even diet drinks) can cause gas to get caught in your belly. Instead, drink water flavored with lemon, lime, or cucumber or just reduce the number of fizzy drinks you consume each day. Try peppermint tea for a soothing beverage that may help reduce bloat.
Don't Overdo Chewing Gum. Chewing gum can also lead to swallowing air, which can cause bloating. If you've got a gum habit, alternate chewing gum with sucking on a piece of hard candy or eating a healthy, high-fiber snack like fruit, vegetables, or lower-fat popcorn.
Watch Out for Sugar-Free Foods. Consuming too much sugar alcohol in artificially sweetened foods and drinks can lead to bloating.
Limit Sodium. Highly processed foods tend to be high in sodium and low in fiber, both of which can contribute to that bloated feeling. Get in the habit of reading food labels. When buying processed, canned, or frozen foods, shoot for no more than 500 mg of sodium per serving in any product -- or a total of 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
Go Slow with Beans and Gassy Vegetables. If you're not used to eating beans, they can cause that gassy feeling. So can the cruciferous family of vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. That doesn't mean you should give up on these super-nutritious, high-fiber vegetables. Just work them into your diet slowly until your body adjusts to the compounds that can initially cause gas.
Eat Smaller Meals More Often. Instead of three big meals per day, try eating smaller meals more often. This can keep you free of the bloat that often follows large meals .Eating more frequently can also help control blood sugar and manage hunger.
I hope these tips help you lead a less bloated life! Summer is around the corner and we want to feel comfortable in those swim suits!