Unzip your jeans after a meal to let your bloated belly out? Or wear shirts that disguise it? Don't feel bad, I used to do the same thing years ago. In fact, this is probably one of the most common complaints I hear from my clients, particularly women: "My belly is constantly bloated". While there are more than a dozen reasons from food allergies, to improper food combining to not chewing food enough, I have compiled some tips in this post to help you combat the bloat.
Please note, that if you are constantly bloated, following one of these tips for a few days may not do the trick. Every person is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another.
1. Chew your food
Most people chew 4-7 times and swallow. If this describes you, then you are literally swallowing chunks of food. Digestion begins in the mouth, in fact there's an enzyme in your saliva called salivary amylase that starts the digestive process (your stomach doesn't have teeth)! Count your chews next time you eat, then swallow when your food is a paste. Not only will this reduce bloating, but it helps to prevent food allergies, improves absorption of nutrients which results in MORE energy, weight loss, improved sex drive and much more -- all just by chewing.
Here's the deal: When you chew, this signals your brain to start producing enzymes and stomach acid, if you don't actually eat something, this excess acid/enzyme mixture not only gets depleted in the long-term because you don't have an endless supply, leading to bloating in the future when you actually eat AND excess juices in the gut without food causes more gas resulting in.... bloating! I'm not even going to touch on the fact that gum is a source of artificial sweeteners which are neurotoxic additives that the "phood" industry thinks is safe for human consumption and studies prove leads to weight gain.
2. Eat probiotic-rich foods
Better yet, take a probiotic supplement. No, this doesn't mean eating your daily prune-flavoured Activia (sorry Activia people), this means eating real probiotic-rich foods like organic yogurt (PineRidge Farms or Organic Meadow - both great brands), kefir and immune system health and literally affects sugar , a heartburn or always bloated. If you have bad breath and need to chew gum, you actually need to address your gut health (contact me! : ). Bad breath often stems from an unhealthy gut.
3. Do NOT cut out carbs
Interestingly, when I did a little Google search to find out what others are suggesting as tips to get a flat belly and fight the bloat, many suggest cutting out carbs. Whoa! Not a good idea, in fact, cut out carbs and you are just asking for trouble. Cutting out any one macronutrient is bogus and a surefire way to send your body into a metabolic stand-still. Complex carbs contain both fibre and water - both key components to digestion and elimination.
What have you found to be some of the best dietary or lifestyle factors for your digestions?