Okay. You workout on a regular basis. You make healthy food choices (in spite of all of the delicious temptations all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston). You’re doing everything RIGHT and STILL you feel bloated? UGH! We get it. Few things feel worse than a gassy stomach, especially in this sticky, hot summer weather. So what are we to do about it?
It turns out that tweaking a few things in your diet and your day can free your belly and beat the bloat. And guess what? Turns out that hitting the gym can help fight the fluids and get your tummy back on track. Read these belly blasting tips from some of our favorite sources.
Blasting the Bloat Tip #1: Fiber Up!
According to WebMd, skipping the fiber can cause you to become constipated. The website recommends that “To avoid this, eat a diet high in fiber (25 grams per day for women and 38 for men) from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Also, drink plenty of fluids (aim for 6-8 glasses a day) and aim for physical activity for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. If you’re eating a low-fiber diet, gradually bump up the fiber level, making sure you also drink plenty of fluids for better tolerance.”
Blasting the Bloat Tip #2: Drink Up!
Fitness Magazine reminds us to stay hydrated. “A lot of people skip sipping on water when they are bloated, when in reality they should be doing the opposite. ‘People tend to think that when they’re holding on to water they should cut back drinking it, but that’s not the case,’ says David Grotto, RD, a Fitness advisory board member and author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life and The Best Things You Can Eat. Retaining water is actually your body’s way of holding on to fluid so you don’t dehydrate. If you’re having a bloating problem, that’s the time you want to push fluids, not restrict them, says Grotto. Since lemons are a natural diuretic and a gentle laxative when added to warm water, consuming the liquid can help reduce the amount of salt retained in the body. Just make sure you drink from the glass and not through a straw, so you don’t take in any extra air.”
Blasting the Bloat #3: Be PRO-active!
The Today Show explains that adding foods high in natural probiotics can set your digestive system back on track. “Look for probiotic-rich foods first and consider a supplement only after consultation with your doctor. Your own digestive habits, medications you take, and your overall health can impact that decision. Foods rich in probiotics include plain, regular or greek yogurt (look for added probiotics when you can), kefir, miso soup, kimchi and sauerkraut. Non-probiotic de-bloaters include cucumbers and ginger.”
Blasting the Bloat Tip #4: Get REAL and Give up the GUM!
“Sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol are bloat-inducing sugar alcohols found in diet sodas and sugar-free gum. Avoid them unless you like the puffy look.” And it’s not just sugar-free gum that causes problems. “When you chew [any] gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your gut and causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion,” explains Prevention Magazine.
Blasting the Bloat Tip #5: Get your SWEAT ON!
LiveStrong recommends hitting the gym. “Cardio exercises may help relieve abdominal bloating. When you exercise, it can help gas pass through the digestive system. Participate in a form of cardio exercise for a minimum of 10 minutes to find relief. Besides walking, you can participate in swimming, cycling, jogging, step aerobics or stair-climbing. Increase the time of your cardio workouts until you are exercising 25 to 30 minutes three to five times per week.” And beyond cardio, the article continues, “Since you are likely to feel bloated in the stomach area, core-training exercises can help you feel less self-conscious about your belly while experiencing symptoms. Examples of exercises you can do to work the abdominals include sit-ups, crunches, bicycle maneuver, pelvic tilts and pelvic lifts. Perform each exercise a total of three sets of 12 reps. You should do abdominal exercises at least two to three times per week.”