Ever had that feeling where it’s as if you’ve gained 10 pounds in a single weekend?
Or have you ever suddenly found that your waistband is a tad too tight? Or how about those evenings where you feel particularly full and gassy? Bloating is probably to blame.
All women experience bloating at some point in their lives, and most will agree that it’s an unpleasant feeling – not to mention how unsightly it can look, as well.
So what actually causes that dreaded puffiness? We all know that eating too much (like say, a big feast on Christmas Day) can cause a swollen tummy but for some people, bloating isn’t just an occasional inconvenience. If you frequently suffer from bloating, it could be caused by a variety of different reasons; from something you ate or drank that didn’t agree with you to suffering from constipation to retaining fluid. Even the way you eat could be a contributing factor.
The good news is that feeling uncomfortable doesn’t have to be the norm. Learn how to stop bloating with these tried and tested, simple tips. From the foods you should be munching on and the ones to avoid, to the daily habits and supplements you should embrace, these expert tips will help alleviate a bloated tummy.
The easiest way to learn what’s causing your bloating symptoms is to read up on potential causes and try to alter your diet or eating routine. More often than not, a few simply lifestyle chances are the key to how to stop bloating. That’s why we’ve rounded up the most common culprits and the easy solutions to help you beat the bloat.
Keep reading to say goodbye to bloating symptoms for good…
Fermented foods such as kimchi, pickles and soybeans can do wonders for tackling the bloat.
The prebiotics contained in them are an excellent source for the good bacteria already found in our gut, as well as keeping the bad bacteria at bay. Tucking into fermented foods, therefore, will help you create a lovely happy environment for your tum!
Healthy fats found in foods such as avocado, fish and Brazil nuts are great at minimising the afternoon bloated tummy by helping you to lubricate the bowel and pass stools easily.
The fats can also help to eliminate sugar cravings as they reduce the glycaemic index in your foods. Perfect!
Digestion starts with your fork so take time to enjoy your food. Chewing every mouthful thoroughly puts less pressure on the stomach to break everything down. Try to spend thirty minutes eating a meal - you'll probably find that you'll eat less too as your stomach will have time to tell the brain that it's full.
Now this feels like a back exercise - and indeed it is - but it works wonders on tums that need a bit of tightening. Take an exercise ball and place it between your lower back (in the dip above your bottom) and the wall as you stand up straight. Now keeping arms at your sides, bend your knees and slowly dip down to let the ball roll up to between your shoulder blades. Now straighten up. Repeat about eight times and really feel things tighten.
Wellbeing expert Dr Marilyn Glenville reckons high quality probiotics are super-important for all women as they boost your digestion, improve transit time through the bowel and help with hormone balance. She suggests looking for a probiotic that contains a minimum of ten million viable organisms per capsule so check those labels!
Staying hydrated will really help with digestion. Aim to drink at least one and a half litres of water every day. If you struggle to drink enough, buy a litre glass water bottle to keep on your desk. Fill it up every morning then pour in to a glass to take small sips throughout the day.
Natural remedies like peppermint oil have been proven to soothe the symptoms of a sore, knotted stomach by relaxing the muscles. Make sure the peppermint oil capsules are coated though - taking pure peppermint oil won't do your tummy any favours! Holland and Barrett's enteric coated tablets should do the trick.
We're often told to cut out stodgy foods for weight loss, but the fibre found in potatoes and rice is vital for keeping everything moving! Lighter lunchtime options include dried fruit like cranberries or apricots, or a pear for dessert.
Never underestimate the power of massage - a fingertip touch can iron out the tum and relieve bloating. Using your favourite body oil, try massaging in a 'square' around your navel for a few minutes morning and evening. Although, don't push too hard after eating a meal.
If you're finding that stress makes you feel bloated, try some acupressure from expert Sky Alexander to help you ease tension and pain in that tummy area.
- Find the 'Sea of Energy' point located in the centre of your abdomen two finger widths below your belly button.
- Press with your middle and index fingers applying pressure gently then more deeply for at least a minute.
Carbonated drinks - even sugar-free ones - play havoc with the gas in your stomach. Top up on naturally flavoured water instead by squeezing half a lemon in to your glass for a refreshing thirst-quencher.
For healthier natural flavour-enhancers like olive oil, balsamic vinegar or black pepper. Homemade condiments such as salsa are great too. A sprinkling of salt might make that salad taste good but sodium encourages dreaded water retention.
How much food are you putting on your plate? Cup your hands together in front of you like the picture; the space in the middle is a portion size. A healthy flat tum friendly lunch would include lean protein, fresh fibre-filled produce and plenty of water. Go easy on the gassy beans.
That old adage to never talk with your mouthful really does ring true! Inhaling excess air when eating is one of the main causes of bloating. Step away from your desk while you eat too - shovelling your lunch down and checking emails distracts the brain, so you'll waste calories.
A diet rich in potassium should sort that uncomfy, full feeling. Bananas, broccoli, potatoes, melon and fat-free yoghurt will counteract salt-heavy processed foods, flushing the system through gently.