A protruding belly and an uncomfortable sensation in your gut are often the signs of bloating. This is an embarrassing health problem as your tummy seems too big and your clothes begin to show up your belly. If you have been dealing with this problem in a while or you have started to get it just recently, it’s time you do something about it.
To help you out of this weird problem, celeb trainer Harley Pasternak (who has been associated with stars like Kim Kardashian, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Alicia Keys and Orlando Bloom among many others) has suggested some simple solutions. These solutions are easy to implement and won’t cost you any wasted dollars.
The Main Reasons behind Bloating
One of the main reasons behind bloating is that people often end up eating more at meal times. The logic behind it is that when you are eating, it can be up to 20 minutes before you realize that you have overeaten. The satisfaction signals received by the brain can often be late and you may stuff yourself more than necessary. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to bloating, so you may want to keep it to the minimum.
Simple Solutions to Control Bloating
Most women feel bloated when they are about to have their menstrual cycle. In premenstrual syndrome, you can be a victim of fluid retention of up to 3 or 4 lbs which may also lead to problems like swollen feet and hands. This type of bloating passes on itself and you should not try to control it with an OTC diuretic to remove fluid as it can deprive your body of vital minerals. The minerals that are flushed out also include potassium and magnesium that play a key role in removing bloating.
Drink Water Consistently
According to Harley, you should counter the bloating occurring as a part of premenstrual syndrome by drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of water every day. Though drinking more water on hot summer days is harmless, not drinking enough water during winters can be harmful. Hence, keep it to a minimum of eight 8-oz. glasses on a daily basis no matter what month it is. You should also remember that you can also use any other unsweetened beverage in place of water too.
Reduce the Salt
Salt and salt-filled snacks are delicious but they increase your body’s retention of fluids so try and cut them out from your diet. You should not cut them out completely but eat them as per your recommended sodium intake as suggested by Pasternak. To reduce your salt intake, you may want to stay away from processed and fast foods as they contain too much salt. If you are too fond of salty flavor, you may want to try various herbs that enhance the taste of a meal without adding in the extra sodium. Also, make it a habit of tasting the food before you add more salt to it to avoid over intake of salt.
Lactose or Casein Intolerance
Some people feel uncomfortable (and bloated) especially after they have any dairy product. If you feel the same, then you may be intolerant to lactose or casein. To test it out, you should cut all dairy products from your diet for a few weeks. If you feel better, you may want to let go of dairy products forever. If you can’t let go of dairy products and you are lactose intolerant, you can go for mild medications like over the counter lactose enzymes to help digest dairy products. You can also boost your intake of kefir and yogurt as they are full of probiotics and assist in digesting lactose. On the other hand, if you are casein intolerant, you should let go of all dairy products and replace them with options like plant-based milk, sheep milk, and goat milk.
Eat Fiber Cautiously
Fiber has been proven to help in reducing weight and controlling appetite. But this doesn’t mean that you should eat it in bulk. Too much fiber can make you bloat and increase gassiness as fiber products like lentils and beans include a type of sugar known as oligosaccharides that is not easily digestible. It is only digested by the bacteria present in your intestines and this process can cause a lot of stomach gassiness and bloating. Some other fiber-rich foods such as cabbage, whole grains, and prunes can also be hard to digest. A simple solution to this problem is to increase your fiber intake slowly and steadily along with making sure you drink plenty of water to aid digestion.
Limit the Sweets
You should also try not to overindulge in sweets no matter how tempting they seem. When you eat too many sweets at once, you will end up retaining more salt which will cause bloating. This is because eating too much sugar leads to a spike in insulin which also retains salt in your body rather than flushing it out. You should avoid soft drinks as much as possible and stay away from sugar alcohols like mannitol and sorbitol too. Staying away from artificial sweeteners is also recommended by the author of many fitness books as they contain many ingredients that are hard to digest and produce intestinal gasses that lead to bloating.
No Extra Air
Swallowing air can also lead to gassiness and bloating. To avoid that, you may want to make sure that you drink and eat slowly. It would also be good if you avoid chewing gums or sucking hard candies as these habits also lead to intake of air through the mouth. Avoiding drinking through a straw is also an idea that can help as it also leads to intake of too much air.