How to Banish Your Bloat
If I had to say the one thing I am asked about most often by my clients, it would be how to relieve their bloating. And I can’t say this surprises me.
That dreaded feeling of abdominal pressure or swelling in the belly - and the accompanying distention that suddenly makes your pants feel two sizes too small - can be not only annoying and uncomfortable but also super frustrating when you are trying to do everything right to be healthy and lose weight.
So how do I help clients lose that bloated feeling?
I wish I could say there was a magic solution that worked for everyone—but the truth is, there are so many different things that contribute to the health of your gut. Before you can figure out a solution to your problem, you need to try to pinpoint what’s causing it in the first place.
Here are some of the most common triggers of bloating…and what you can do for each to beat the bloat!
1. You're eating the wrong things (for your own gut)
I’ve talked about this irony before. Sometimes eating the seemingly healthiest foods can actually be making you feel the absolute worst. If you have a food sensitivity or intolerance that you don’t know about or are suffering from gastro issues like undiagnosed IBS or celiac, certain fruits, veggies, dairy, or gluten may be wreaking havoc on your system.
What you can do about it: Figuring out which foods might not be working for you can go a huge way towards making you feel better—because you’ll know what to stay away from. An elimination diet can help you finally get to the root of your problems and set you on the road to feeling better…and a flatter belly!
2. You're eating (or drinking) too many common triggers.
Aside from your own specific gut issues, there are certain foods and drinks that are common culprits that make all of us feel (and look!) bloated.
Refined sugars and carbs, gluten, dairy, carbonated drinks, coffee, alcohol, and even chewing gum can contribute to that Buddha belly. Even getting too much fiber, something that in moderation is super healthy and great for digestion, can cause the belly to bloat.
What you can do about it: This is an easy one. Reduce or eliminate these common offenders, and see if that puts a ban on your bloat. A bit of trial and error and awareness can help you figure out just how much of a trigger you might be able to handle before the bloat sets in.
Replace them with food and drink that actually does good things for your system. You can drink loads of water to flush out toxins, add flax seeds to your smoothies and oats, and reduce your salt intake. You can also try naturally fermented foods if your body can handle them. I’m saying this because you may need a prebiotic before you introduce a probiotic. Examples of good natural fermented foods include pickled veggies, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, to build up good bacteria in your gut.
3. You're stressed out.
You might be surprised to learn that something emotional (like stress) can be the direct cause of a physical reaction (like bloating), but there’s science behind it.
When you are under a lot of stress, your body diverts its resources to protect you from the ‘threat’, whether it’s real or perceived. Digestion ends up falling pretty low on your body’s list of priorities, so blood flow is diverted away from the intestines. Hello, bloated belly!
What you can do about it: Life gets busy, responsibilities pile on, and often times, we don’t even realize quite how stressed out we might be. Keeping a journal of when you are experiencing your worst bloating symptoms, and what’s going on in your life at the time may help you identify stress as the common denominator.
Recognizing your stress, and then finding ways to manage it - offloading some responsibilities, managing your schedule, making time for self-care, and meditation - may just be the key to a happier belly.
If you are ready to wage your own personal battle against the bloat, I’d love to chat! SCHEDULE a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Call with me to learn more about my approach and to find out how I can help.