FEELING BLOATED IS THE WORST
In this post, I’m going to show you 4 ways to beat bloating for good (and 4 reasons why you might be feeling bloated).
There is often nothing more confidence ruining than feeling really bloated.
I know that when I’m very bloated, I often can’t squeeze into clothes that usually fit me (which is literally the worst feeling in the world) and I sometimes have a lot tummy pain too.
Bloating and puffiness can also often be paired with abdominal pain or gas… which is never fun. That’s why I’m going to share some of my best tips for relieving bloating – so that you can beat it forever!
These tips will help you to identify the reason for your bloating, so that you can deal with the bloat and so that you can get a flatter tummy once again!
What is bloating?
Simply put – bloating is just the temporary, forced expansion of your abdomen region. And there are a lot of reasons why bloating occurs.
The top 4 reasons
REASON 1 – IBS (irritable Bowl Syndrome) and digestive issues
REASON 2 – Gas build up
REASON 3 – Food intolerances or allergies
REASON 4 – Hormones and period
REASON 1 + WHAT TO DO
If your bloating is caused from IBS and digestive issues
If you struggle with bloating, stomach pain, gas or any IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) symptoms after eating, then chances are that you are probably eating something that your body has a tough time digesting.
Some foods are more difficult to digest than others and so cutting a few of these foods out of your diet or simply preparing them in a different way may resolve your tummy issues once and for all.
Raw vegetables, legumes, grains (especially grains with gluten), cruciferous vegetables, tomato skins, leafy greens and potato skins can be some of the toughest things to digest.
When I find myself feeling bloated and in pain after eating too much raw food, grains or legumes – I choose to eat a lot of butternut, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato (peeled), mushrooms, banana, papyaya, avocado, eggs, lean fish and vegetable soups until I’m feeling better. These foods are all examples of foods that are pretty easy to digest.
4 STEPS TO TAKE
1. Identify the foods that your body is having troubles digesting
2. Eat a balanced diet with not too much of the “problem foods” that are not easily digestible
3. Avoid foods that cause major problems for you (for me foods that cause big issues are too much broccoli & tomatoes as well as wheat, brown rice and legumes – but problem foods may be different for every person)
4. Focus on eating mostly easily digestible foods
It’s important to remember that everyone’s bodies are different and we therefore all digest food differently. To cut all foods out of your diet that could be “difficult to digest” would make your life very challenging – because there wouldn’t be much left to eat! If you suffer from IBS issues, then try one food out a time to see how your body reacts.
If you feel good while eating tomatoes or raw vegetables then keep eating them, if you feel bloated after eating tomatoes or raw vegetables then try peeling the tomatoes and cooking your vegetables.
You might like to try my yummy tummy healing soup recipe – I’ll link it here for you.
REASON 2 + WHAT TO DO
If your bloating is caused by a build up of gas
I know gas can be a bit embarrassing (even though we ALL get it sometimes – even if we won’t admit it) but I will talk about it so that you don’t have to (I’ll take one for the team).
Gas is not actually always a bad thing, it’s actually completely normal to get gas sometimes. So don’t be embarrassed (okay I’ll admit – I also still get embarrassed).
Gas can be caused by eating unhealthy food, eating food that you have an intolerance/ allergy to (read about this above) or simply by swallowing too much air while eating & drinking.
However, gas can cause discomfort, tummy pain, bloating and embarrassment.
Gas can also be caused by IBS issues and digestive complications (read about this above).
6 STEPS TO TAKE
1. Fennel is great for relieving unwanted gas. Add fresh fennel to soups, salads or oven roasted vegetables – all of these are so easy to make!
2. Drink real peppermint – an easy way to do this is by drinking tea that contains dried peppermint leaves (not just a flavouring) like green tea with mint or plain peppermint tea. It’s pretty easy to find these in the shops and it’s easy to keep at home or at the office.
3. Eating or drinking too fast can cause gas. Drink & eat slowly and chew your food properly.
4. Avoid very hot drinks like tea & coffee, try to let them cool a bit before drinking hot drinks.
5. Avoid fizzy drinks, soda’s and sparkling water. These can cause more gas and burping.
6. Don’t eat too much food at once – overloading your plate and your tummy with food in one sitting can cause more gas. Keep in mind that your body needs time to digest food and it only has so much space, some of the food that you eat needs to empty (or digest) before there is space for more food.
REASON 3 + WHAT TO DO
If your bloating is related to food allergies or food intolerance
4 STEPS TO TAKE
1. Avoid the food you are intolerant to or allergic to (identifying the food that is causing discomfort is the first step to), eating food that you are intolerant/ allergic to is never a good idea because it not only causes initial reactions but can also cause secondary reactions that are often a lot more dangerous. An initial reaction to food allergies may be bloating or other digestive issues and a secondary reaction may include headaches, sore throats, sinus infections and blood poisoning. Secondary reactions can be once-off or on-going.
2. Organic, raw (unprocessed) apple cider vinegar is a good remedy for a hydrochloric acid build up which can result in serious bloating. Hydrochloric acid can be caused by eating foods that you are allergic to or have an intolerance to. Besides bloating, other symptoms of a hydrochloric acid build up can include gas, heartburn, stomach aches & pain as well as other digestive issues. Take 1 or 2 tablespoons that has been diluted in a small glass of water, you can take this 3-4 times a day.
3. Drink lots of water!!! This will help to flush anything that your body doesn’t agree with out of your system.
4. Eat and drink healthy alternatives. For example, I am allergic to dairy (it causes me to have instant sinus infections as well as chronic migraines and sore throats) and so I drink almond milk or diluted coconut milk (diluted with water) as a healthy alternative. I also have an intolerance to wheat – if I eat any wheat at all then I struggle with bad bloating, gas, stomach aches & cramps and other digestive issues. I like to eat products made from rye, quinoa, oats and rice instead of wheat. I also have an allergy to the husk of brown rice – I can eat white rice, but if I eat brown rice I get blisters all over my mouth, tongue and palate (and they don’t go away for about a week) and I also have all sorts of digestive issues including bloating. I therefore only eat white rice and white rice products.
REASON 4 + WHAT TO DO
If your bloating is hormone or period related, it’s important to
7 STEPS TO TAKE
1. Drink lots of water
2. Stop sugar intake altogether (sugar, sweets, candy, desserts, ice cream, chocolate) because sugar causes inflammation in the body and during your period (or during different times of your cycle) your body is actually more inflamed than usual – causing PMS symptoms
3. Avoid or cut down on naturally “high sugar” foods. Natural high sugar foods include carbs like breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, starchy vegetables, banana’s and fruit. No – carbs are not bad or unhealthy, but removing the higher sugar ones from your diet for a few days around your period can seriously reduce inflammation in the body which reduces pain, discomfort, cramps and most importantly – bloating.
4. Try to avoid unhealthy fats like deep fried food
5. Increase healthy fats in your diet like avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, coconut oil, fatty fish, eggs, cold-pressed oils and olives – healthy fats help to reduce inflammation in the body which could help to reduce any PMS symptoms dramatically, including bloating.
6. Cut down on salt intake a bit (or try to only eat sea salt – which is unprocessed salt)
7. Taking an evening primrose oil supplement during your period or throughout the month could also help to relieve hormone related bloating. There are also lots of other health benefits of taking evening primrose oil. It’s so good for you!
I know that being bloated can be pretty confidence ruining, but it is unfortunately something that is pretty common and has probably happened (or will likely happen) to all of us at one stage or another.
These tips will help you to identify the reason for your bloating and deal with the bloat, so that you feel healthy once again!
I hope that this info helps you out!
Liezl Jayne xo
Photographs by Ross Charnock for liezljayne.com – styled by Liezl Jayne