Do you ever pull on your jeans in the morning and feel that you've grown a few inches around your mid-section? Everyone experiences bloating at some point. And even if you go for daily runs and are eating right, many factors can cause that bloat, super-fit people also go thru it. However, if you are bloated most of the time then it's worth digging deeper to examine the cause of your condition.
During my coaching sessions, this is a common issue that most women face. Often it is down to their daily habits and practices. Some of the most common reasons that I have come across are:
1) Food Habits
As we age, our body is constantly changing at a cellular level. Changes in metabolism and the way we absorb and assimilate food can have an impact on our gut. Sometimes you may not be able to digest dairy products the way you once did. When the body cannot break down lactose efficiently, the sugar makes its way into the gut where the gut bacteria feeds on it, leading to gas and bloating. So have a look at the dairy items such as cheese and milk that you consume on a daily basis. An effective way is to try the 'Elimination Diet' where you remove foods from your diet that you suspect your body cannot tolerate well. It could be dairy or gluten or other food sensitivities that you can even get tested for. I often advise my clients to maintain a food diary where they journal what they eat and notice patterns when they get bloated.
2) Salt Intake
Most of us are consuming more salt than what is required. Salt is hidden in lots of foods, even sweet and baked goods such as muffins, croissants have a good amount of salt in them. Packet crisps, fast food, fried foods are all made with extra salt to go big on taste so you get hooked onto them. Having too much sodium in the body can lead to water retention causing a lot of bloat.
Who doesn't love a nice cold beer at the end of the day! However, you need to understand that alcohol is inflammatory in its properties. And then we go ahead and make it worse by mixing it with sugary sodas, carbonated drinks making it a perfect concoction for a nice big bloat! what do you expect if you are feeding this to your body everyday?- meet your new best friends -intestinal gas, acidity, bloating & stomach discomfort. So if you want to feel better you need to move to action and take steps towards limiting your alcohol intake and taking responsibility for your health.
4) Sedentary Lifestyle
I have said this a million times, we are not meant to plonk ourselves on the sofas for hours on end. Making movement part of your daily life should be like a ritual. A stagnant body is no good, even small doses of exercise helps and can deflate the bloat. So get up and move everyday- get your own glass of water, cook your own meals, water your own garden, get your own groceries, do your own dishes, do whatever that makes you move. Aim to move every 30 minutes even if it's for just 5 minutes. No one got what they wanted by being lazy.
You can tell the difference between a gassy tummy and a constipated tummy by the tautness of your Buddha belly. Constipation can cause a lot of bloating, it is important here to understand the reason for being constipated rather than just treating the bloat. Re-assess your diet- are you overloading on fibre or are you eating a lot of carbohydrates for your body, up your water intake if its low, workout regularly. Failing natural interventions, try out a gentle laxative. If it persists, please see your doctor then and make an informed decision.
HOW TO EASE UP THE BLOAT
1) Consider trying an 'Elimination Diet' where you remove foods that your body cannot tolerate and digest. These are then later re-introduced after identifying the non-suitable food groups. You can do this with the help of a Nutrition professional who can guide you.
2) Get tested for Dairy/Gluten Intolerance
3) Green Tea
Green tea can work really well for bloating. Invest in a good quality loose green tea. It is rich in antioxidants that can help reduce belly bloat due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
4) Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
Fix your diet
Fix your Sleep
Fix your stress levels
Fix your movement
Fix your thoughts
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