Bloating: My Top Tips to Beat It
Just like all of you lovely ladies, I know feeling bloated can be hard on your self-esteem. Whether you're about to go out, head off to work or you’re putting on an outfit that you love, bloating can be both upsetting and uncomfortable.
As this is something many of us deal with, I have put together some tips to help you beat bloating for good.
What is bloating?
Bloating is the temporary and forced expansion of your lower abdominal region. In other words, it looks and feels like your belly is pushing itself out at the bottom. There are actually a number of reasons why this could be happening.
What causes bloating?
The most common causes of bloating are:
- Hormones, periods and some forms of birth control, such as the Pill
- Gas build-up
- Food intolerances, allergies or deficiencies.
These common causes of bloating can actually be linked in one way or another.
How to Get Rid of Bloating
It is really important to understand that, depending on the type of bloating you have, different remedies may help to get rid of bloating.
1. Hormones, periods and the Pill
There are a lot of things going on during your pre-, intra- and post-period cycle that can be responsible for bloating.
This whole process is caused by hormones and that's exactly what the Pill is — typically a combination of oestrogen and progesterone. Rises in oestrogen, thickening of the uterine lining and water weight (water retention) can all play a role in that bloated feeling we get during this time.
My tactics for reducing bloat during your period:
- Reduce your salt intake. Excess salt can lead to fluid retention.
- Drink a little more water than usual.
- Try to avoid eating deep-fried food. This can affect the digestive process.
- Primrose oil (or tablets) can reduce the impact of hormonal fluctuations during this time.
- Supplementing with a standard dose of zinc and magnesium may also help to regulate hormone activity.
2. Prevent gas build up
Everyone has gas. Yes, you read right, everyone! Firstly, having gas is not a bad thing — it's completely normal —but it can be increased as a result of eating the wrong food or even swallowing too much air. This doesn't necessarily result in passing gas all the time though. Sometimes the build-up of such gas can be painful, uncomfortable and even a little smelly. Whether you let gas build up, or it builds up by itself, it is definitely a frequent cause of bloating in many people.
Things you can do to ease this are:
- Drink peppermint tea with meals as it can help relieve gas and bloating.
- Stay away from overly hot beverages.
- Try to avoid drinking quickly through straws as this can cause excess air to be swallowed.
- Don't eat too much or too fast in one sitting.
- Try eating smaller portions more often and remember to eat slowly.
- Medication such as headache or pain relief can cause gas build-up, especially when taken on an empty stomach. Try to have these types of medication with food and be sure to keep your intake at safe dosages.
3. Maintain hydration
Did you know being dehydrated can cause bloating? If you feel like your body is holding onto water, it is very likely to be doing so for a reason. If you don't give your body enough nutrients or fluid, it will typically hold onto what it has, as a ‘survival method’. So if you believe you're feeling water-bloated, or are holding water in general, try to actually drink more bit by bit.
If your body has an abundance of nutrients and water, it is happier! Your systems can work better and not hold onto nutrients and water unnecessarily, which can cause bloating.
Keep your fluid levels up so that you can help your body keep bloat away.
4. Be aware of food intolerances, allergies and nutrient deficiencies
Food intolerances, allergies and nutrient deficiencies can put stress on your digestive system.
An example of this is lactose intolerance which is when you have an inability to digest lactose, a type of sugar found in dairy products. If you have an intolerance for any food or nutrient, such as lactose, it will almost always cause symptoms such as bloating, flatulence and even diarrhoea.
Tips to avoid food intolerance or allergy-based bloating:
- Try to avoid the food or use alternatives.
- If the issue is an enzyme deficiency (such as lactase with lactose intolerance) try using an enzyme supplement that helps support healthy digestion.
- Organic apple cider vinegar can help kick-start digestion so your stomach can manage your meal better and minimise bloating. Try having 1 tablespoon in a glass of water before a meal.
Bloating can be helped
Girls, I know bloating can be confidence-crushing and it is something that can affect us all. Try some of these basic bloating remedies to help, flatten your belly and get you feeling confident and healthy once again.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.