How to get rid of bloating
This week has been a record breaking week of sorry digestive systems in my clinic; I’ve seen more clients with bloating, IBS, diverticulitis and constipation than I have for a long long time so I’ve put together 5 handy questions to ask yourself and 10 action steps you can implement right away. See how you get on and feedback on the comments section at the end of the post.
Digestion is essential and central to every process in our body so whether your aim is weight loss, slow down, optimize your health and wellbeing or improve a more serious health challenge, you’ve got to start with you gut.
Between flatulence, distended stomachs and sharp shooting pains, it’s hardly a glamorous point of conversation, and one you’re probably not likely to bring up in the office. But this seemingly taboo topic is one that affects almost all of us at one point or another, and I completely understand how debilitating it can be on your life so here are some pointers:
First things first, if you experience bloating or bouts of gut pain or irregular bowel movements, then ask yourself these 5 questions to steer your course of action…
- Is it worse when you are stressed? Did it only begin after you went through a great deal of change, positive or not so positive and when you go on holiday – does it go away?
- Does it only happen after you eat lunch? If so, what are you eating for lunch?
- Does your tummy bloat only after an afternoon snack? What are you choosing that time of day?
- Is it related to your menstrual cycle only?
- Did it start after an episode of food poisoning or after a holiday where you had a very upset tummy?
Your body communicates through symptoms and lets you know when it is happy or not. A food that bloats you is, in that moment, not your friend, and your body is simply letting you know.
Remind yourself that just because it bloats you today, it does not mean you will never eat that food or drink that drink again. It simply means, right now, in this moment, it does not serve you. So take a four-week break from whatever you suspect and see how you feel. You will feel so different when you feed your body precisely what it wants. So here’s how to reduce bloating….
10 DIGESTION TIPS
1). SLOW DOWN AND CHEW!
Digestion starts with your nashers so allow them to do the job they were born to do and chew.
2). EAT IN A CALM STATE
Easier said than done I know, but take a couple of deep breaths before you start your meal if you are coming from a stressed place as your body will be able to digest your food far easier as it won’t be in panic mode! When your body is stressed, digestion gets puts down to the bottom of its list of priorities so that your body’s energy can be spared and diverted to where it is most needed; usually your extremities and away from your gut so your body can fight or flight if it needs to
3). LOOK AND CONNECT WITH YOUR FOOD
Avoiding working at your desk or watching TV whilst you eat can be a bit of a habit shift but entirely worth it and allows your brain to process what you are doing.
4). TRY ALOE VERA GEL TO START YOUR DAY IF YOU HAVE A PARTICULALRY IRRITATED GUT
Aloe vera is so soothing and on an empty stomach, can work wonders to really calm down any gut irritation.
5). STARVE THE ‘BAD BUGS’
Eliminating refined sugar from your diet for a minimum of four weeks can help to positively alter your gut bacterial profile in a healthier direction.
Gut bacteria have specific nutritional requirements and the bad bugs thrive on sugar, so by removing their fuel, you cut their ‘nutrition’ and they find it harder to thrive.
6). INCLUDE FATS AND/OR PROTEIN WITH EACH MEAL
You are likely to eat less and be satisfied with less total food for that meal if you include fats and protein, than if you simply eat carbohydrates on their own.
7). DRINK WATER INBETWEEN MEALS, NOT WITH MEALS
Drinking water with meals can dilute your digestive enzymes thus essentially weakening your digestive toolbox. Try and keep to drinking your water in between meals.
8). OMITE A FOOD YOU FEEL YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT FOR A TRIAL PERIOD OF 4 WEEKS
Typical culprits are dairy and gluten. The first seven days will be the most challenging but persevere; it’ll be entirely worth it.
9). OMIT THE SUSPECTED TRIGGERS
You may know that a certain food e.g. grains or dairy isn’t your friend and you react negatively to it. If you suspect you are reacting to a food, omit that food from your diet for a period of four weeks strictly. If it makes no difference, bring it back. If it helps, leave it out for three months and then try it again. Or if you are happy to go without it, then do so.
10). DRINK CHAMOMILE TEA OVER COFFEE OR REGULAR TE
Chamomile is one of the best remedies for constipation and complete evacuation. This is because it softens the waste and helps the bowel wall relax. Either drink lots of tea, or take capsules with each meal.
What is your favourite recommendation out of the above? Let me know in the comments section below 🙂