We’ve all been there and we all dislike the way it makes us feel.
Before you figure out how to kick bloating in the butt, you got to figure out what your specific symptoms are because bloating usually means something different for all of us.
You may feel bloated after eating a big meal- often feeling like you have a “food baby”.
Or you may be a part of the population who suffer from digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, often feeling symptoms of bloating as a side effect.
For others, it may just be that your super sensitive to the feeling of bloat- your stomach feels heavier or additional pressure although it actually isn’t.
For me, I know bloating is mental at times. Say I put on a pair of jeans I freshly washed and they feel tight around my stomach- I automatically think, I must be bloated!
But other times, I genuinely feel bloated, especially after my cheat days.
No matter what causes bloating for you, it’s annoying and uncomfortable.
Time to nip it in the bud!
Let’s talk five easy tips you can incorporate in your day to day to help kick those feelings of bloat far, far away.
- Add more fiber!
If you’re feeling constipated, you’re likely feeling bloated and/or gassy. Try increasing the amount of fiber you are eating.
Fiber rich foods include whole-grains, fruits & vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocado and beans/legumes.
Women need about 25 grams of fiber daily!
Remember to find a balance, too much fiber can lead to digestive discomfort.
- Beware of the sugar-free craze.
The majority of foods on the market that are labeled “sugar-free” or “low in sugar” such as sugar-free candy, soft drinks, gum, yogurts and protein powders have sugar alcohols in them.
Harmless they may appear, but these sugar alcohols such as xylitol, mannitol and sorbitol are broken down by our gut microbiota and as by-products of digestion, cause gas, bloat, and occasional diarrhea if eaten in excess.
And keep in mind, excess can mean something as little as two pieces of gum for some individuals!
We differ when it comes to the amount of sugar alcohols our gut can handle.
- Keep the salt in check.
Salt and water follow each other in the body.
If you’re eating tons of foods high in salt- including processed foods such as baked goods, canned items, deli meats/processed meats, cheeses, or just eating out in general, you’re likely consuming excess salt.
You may feel this the next day after your cheat meal- especially if your meal was pepperoni pizza or a cheeseburger and French fries- foods high in salt which can increase water retention.
- Eat smaller portions.
This is a huge one for me.
I noticed when I have my cheat meal and eat slowly and a smaller portion that doesn’t make me feel over-stuffed, I don’t feel bloated!
But If I go all out and eat whatever I want on my cheat days, especially calorie dense, salty foods- I’m super bloated for 2-3 days following.
Enjoy yourself on your cheat days, but keep portion sizes in mind. You should feel satisfied after eating, not stuffed.
- Break a sweat in the gym.
I know, I know, exercise seems to always be the solution, right?
But seriously, exercise such as walking or jogging can help decrease gas, which can potentially decrease feelings of bloat.
Sweating is a great way to get rid of excess water accumulated from high salt intake or post cheat meal.
Not to mention, exercise just makes you feel great in general.
So throw on those running shoes and get to moving!
And lastly, don’t forget, bloating is normal.
We will all feel “tighter” in the mornings and maybe like we gained a few after we eat or drink fluids throughout the day.
So keep on kicking that bloat in the butt, but if you feel like you’re losing at times, give yourself a break and realize some things are natural and it’s A-OK. <3