10 Simple Tricks To Stop Bloating
We’ve all had those days where our stomachs feel huge despite us eating right and exercising regularly. So what gives? Well, one of the main causes of bloating isn’t how much you eat; it’s eating certain foods which your body struggles to digest. This leads on to gas bubbles being built-up in your intestines, causing you to feel bloated. Check out these 10 simple lifestyles choices you can make in order to flatten your belly for good:
Not enough fiber, fluids and physical activity can lead to constipation. In order to avoid it, eat a diet high in fiber (which for men is around 38 grams a day) from a range of foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Also, aim to drink between six to eight glasses of water a day and exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week.
This, along with wheat allergies, can cause gas and bloating. However, you need to get this confirmed by your doctor – too many people self-diagnose themselves and needlessly rule out healthy dairy and whole grain foods from their diet.
Make sure to take your time and enjoy your food. Your meals should take around 30 minutes. Also, remember that digestion begins in the mouth and you can lower the chances of bloating by chewing your food more.
There’s another benefit to slowing things down too, with studies suggesting thoroughly chewing food can lead to you eating less because your body feels more satisfied.
Alcohol causes dehydration, which can then lead to water retention in the stomach. For your health and belly’s sake, stick to one pint or glass of wine followed by a huge glass of water.
Chewing gum can also lead to swallowing a lot of air, which causes bloating. If you’ve got a gum habit try swapping it for a hard candy or eating a healthy snack like fruit, vegetables or low fat popcorn.
Many sugar-free drinks, gum and other candies contain something called sorbitol. Whilst it’s good for cutting calories, sorbitol isn’t a digestive, making it extremely difficult for stomach enzymes to process. Companies are now forced to label products that “may result in a daily consumption of 50 grams of sorbitol”, but experts believe just 10 grams of the stuff can cause stomach trouble.
Have you ever felt like that pizza you ate on Friday night is still hanging out of your belly by Saturday afternoon? Well, it’s very possible. High-fat foods delay the stomach from emptying, which may cause bloating and a overall sense of fullness.
However, don’t eliminate all fats from your diet. The foods rich in heart-healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil and avocados actually produce less gas. Mix these with lean proteins like chicken and fish to aid better digestion.
Instead of the traditional three meals a day, try eating smaller meals more often. That way, you can prevent the bloated feeling you get after a large meal (think Christmas Day). Eating frequently also helps you control blood sugar and manage hunger. So why not try and aim for five or six meals a day, whilst making sure the calorie count is in line with your needs.
We’ve all been made aware of the fact that too much salt can damage our heart health, but it also causes your body to retain fluid like alcohol does. In addition, sauces and dressings are a hidden culprit, especially at restaurants. To play it safe, order them as a side and stick to olive oil or vinegar as a light seasoning.
If you’ve ever had that feeling of needing the toilet before a big race or presentation, then you’ll know the internal effects of stress. When you’re anxious, your body releases hormones which stimulate the digestive system. The end result of this is more gas, bloating and, in some cases, the runs.
Practice meditation or simple mindful breathing techniques to offer some relief. If that doesn’t work, you may want to consider attending cognitive behavior therapy or hypnotherapy.
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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.