Bloating is so common and it can leave any of us feeling self-conscious and demotivated. You’re not going to feel good about yourself or feel like training when you’re feeling puffy. Whether it comes with a visibly swollen stomach, or is just causing you pain or discomfort; bloating is caused by gases produced when we eat or drink. Gas is produced in the colon and works its way through your body before being absorbed or discarded. However, for some people there might be something slowing it down or stopping it all together which becomes the problem. To fight belly bloat, try these tips:
Drink more water
When you're not getting enough fluids, your body retains water to prevent dehydration. By sipping water throughout the day it lets your body know that it doesn’t need to store it and actually reduces water retention. A great way to increase your water intake is to include foods with high water content like watermelon, celery, grapefruit, and cucumbers. Drinking water is also a great way to prevent constipation, which is another cause of a bloated belly.
Exercise may not be the first thing on your mind but it can also push out gasses and improve your overall well-being. Aiming to get 30 minutes a day of physical activity can prevent constipation and get your stomach muscles activated. Even though you'll feel like lying on the couch, simple exercise can be a key factor in easing the pain. Go for a walk or a run or do some simple bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges or push ups.
Be aware of gassy foods
Your body will react differently to some foods and drinks. Some foods create more gases in your body than others such as beans, broccoli, pears, onions, and carbonated drinks and if you don’t have a clear path for the gas to move through your body then you are going to feel bloated. Limit theses things where you can. Dairy can also cause gassiness for some people; if that’s you then cut down on the milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese, and look for dairy-free substitutes.
Cut salt and sugar
Limit your high-sodium foods like processed meats, cottage cheese, bacon, soy sauce, and chips because salt is a big cause of bloating. It cause you to dehydrate and retain water. This will have an effect on all of your muscles, and it is bad for your heart. Extra salt isn't the only way we take in too much sodium so stop yourself the next time you reach for the salt. Also, try to limit the sugar in your diet, especially from fruits and fruit juices. They form more gas when they ferment and cause bloating.
Increase your fibre
Fibre helps your body move things through the intestines more quickly which will prevent constipation and bloating. Add food like berries, avocado, kiwi fruit and other high-fibre foods in your meals and snacks every day. However, be aware of how much you’re eating, otherwise you'll feel even more bloated than before.
Eat some pineapple
Eating pineapple can help as a temporary fix to bloating because it is high in an enzyme called bromelain, which helps break down protein and eases digestion. Try adding it to a smoothie, as a cold pressed juice or simply having it in a fruit salad. Just remember that pineapple is high in natural sugar so don’t have too much as it will cause bloating otherwise.
If you are eating too fast than you are swallowing added air with each bite. This can cause both indigestion and bloating as the pockets of air try to travel through your body. Chew your food and slow down when you eat. Take a minute to appreciate your food. You will enjoy it more and actually feel fuller when you are conscious of what you’re eating.
Alcohol is a big cause of bloating because it causes dehydration which can lead to water retention. We’ve all seen a bigger belly appear after a big night out so for your health and your stomach’s sake, cut out or at least cut back on your alcohol intake. Also, follow it up with lots of water.