Do you struggle with bloating? Do you wake up in the morning with more definition than you end the day with? Do you sometimes wake up feeling like you gained 5 pounds overnight? Do you ever have a distended stomach even after a small meal?
While bloating is a very common ailment that people experience on an all too regular basis, it is not normal. Bloating is a sign that something is off in the body. Bloating is not the problem, it’s a symptom of the problem. To stop the bloat, you must address the underlying problem.
With the days heating up and summer days ahead, getting ahead of the bloat will help you enjoy every moment in the sun with confidence.
There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing bloat. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might be struggling with bloating.
- Eating too much. This is a fairly obvious one. When you eat too much, the stomach has to expand to fit all the food.
- Swallowing too much air. Whether you are drinking through a straw, chewing gum, or eating too quickly; having too much air coming into the stomach can cause distention.
- Eating certain foods. There are certain foods that can create more gas (bloat) in the stomach such as beans, lentils, fatty or fried foods, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, and even some vegetables like broccoli cauliflower, and cabbage.
- Digestive issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) are often accompanied with bloating as one of the main symptoms. This is often created by an imbalance within the gut flora, also known as dysbiosis.
- Infection. Certain gut pathogens like yeast, parasites, and fungus can create excessive bloating.
- Constipation. When there is a backup in the digestive system, it creates more air in the intestinal tract, adding to gas and bloat accumulation.
- Fluid retention. The body can hold on to excess fluid for a few reasons. Most think that it’s just from eating salty foods, however, other reasons include stress, hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and even more serious issues such as diabetes and kidney problems.
The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to start reducing your bloat today! Here are my 3 tips to beat the bloat.
First off, drink water. Water is honestly magical and 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. The body needs water in order to function properly. Water is also critical for keeping the digestive system moving properly. Without adequate hydration, the digestive system can become sluggish which adds to the bloat and can add to constipation.
The rule of thumb is that if you are feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated. While half your body weight in ounces is the general guideline, I honestly feel people need more than that. Especially when taking into account caffeinated beverages that increases dehydration. I tell most of my clients to get in 80-100 ounces of good ole plain, filtered water. Now if you recall from previous articles, filtered water is important to ensuring that you are not adding in extra toxins that your body needs to deal with.
Increase water intake also helps to give you more mental clarity and can give you energy without having to reach for an extra cup of coffee. Water is essential! So drink up!
BUT! There is a catch. Do not drink 30 minutes before or after meals. This is so that you do not dilute your stomach acid. Drinking too many fluids during a meal can dilute your stomach acid and increase bloating (along with other digestive issues). If you absolutely need to, take a few small sips during a meal of either water or a herbal tea.
Second, CHEW YOUR FOOD. One of the most common reasons that people are struggling with bloating more today than before is that meals are being rushed. People are either inhaling their food instead of taking the time to fully chew eat bite. Digestion starts in the mouth through the act of chewing, so when you swallow big bites of food without chewing, the stomach now has to work even harder to break that food down which creates more gas and thus increases bloat.
The added bonus of chewing your food (20-30 chews per bite!) is that it will slow you down. When you slow down your eating, you give your body a chance to signal your brain that you are full. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register when it is full, so if you are inhaling your meals in less that 10 minutes, your brain isn’t even given the chance to say that it’s full. So slow down and chew your food!
Third tip is to cook foods that can be harder to digest. Beans, lentils, and legumes all need to be cooked for a rather long time to help break down phytic acid. Not only is phytic acid an anti-nutrient (inhibits the absorption of certain nutrients like iron, zinc, and calcium) it is also responsible for the excess gas produced by those foods. Cruciferous and sulfur-containing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts are better digested when cooked than in their raw form. Simply cooking – steaming, roasting, or sautéing, can help to make them easier to digest and thus reduce gas and bloating.
Try these three tips starting today and watch that bloat start to leave your body.
If you are still struggling with bloating and digestive issues, then it’s time to look for some of the underlying issues such as dysbiosis, hormone imbalances, or food sensitivities that could be contributing to your bloat. The body can actually store 10 to even 20 pounds of excess crud in the body from these imbalances. By addressing them, you could watch those pounds disappear without having to count calories or workout hours on end. It’s not a quick fix, it’s just about rebalancing the body to its optimal function.
If you are ready to truly beat the bloat schedule your complimentary discovery call with me today!