Do you have a bloated stomach? Stop stomach bloating with these helpful wellness tips to help keep your abs feeling tight!
Having tummy trouble? Headed to an event this weekend and want your abs to look and feel their best? Stomach bloating is something I get asked a lot about as a health and wellness coach. No one likes feeling bloated: it causes physical discomfort and hurts your ability to live life to its fullest. The good news? Experts say stomach bloating is a condition you can avoid pretty easily. I’m not talking about extra pounds of stomach fat, I’m referring to the temporary abdominal distention that plagues most everyone from time to time.
Here are a few quick suggestions to help digestion, reduce bloating, and make your gut a happy, healthy one.
Stop Stomach Bloating. Beat the Bloat and Keep Your Abs Feeling Tight with these health tips:
- FIBER. Too little fiber can lead to constipation, which can result in bloating. Avoid tummy trouble by eating a diet high in fiber (25 grams per day for women and 38 for men) from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. But be careful, too much fiber may actually cause bloating too! Ive known a lot of people who overdose on fiber and their good intentions turn around to bite them by causing belly bloat. Use the recommended dose as a guide and figure out how much you need to keep your bowels moving and your tummy tight.
- Drink Up! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids (aim for 6-8 glasses a day) to aid in digestion.
- Exercise. When you aren’t moving, nothing else is either! This is why when we sit too much or travel things tend to get backed up and puffy! Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week. If your schedule is busy and you have a hard time fitting in 30 minutes of continuous activity, try doing 10 minutes in the morning before leaving your hotel or home. Any movement is better than none and will go a long way in helping you manage digestion. Even a walk can prove beneficial, do whatever allows your stomach to feel its best. When I am feeling a bit on the bloated side I like to do cardio to aid in digestion and core work to help “pull things back in”. To help with bloating, I filmed this home exercise video. This quick 8 minute routine that combines cardio and core for a fast on the go workout to help ease stomach bloating. Repeat the series 2-3 times through for a longer workout – it’s a great solution to belly deflating on the go!!
- Rule Out Foods You’re Allergic or Sensitive To. While this may seem like a no-brainer, food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances can cause bloating, gas and stomach discomfort. Wheat and dairy are common culprits but it is best if you don’t self diagnose. If you think you have a food allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance, see your doctor for allergy tests and how you can avoid allergy and sensitivity-aggravating foods.
- AVOID Sugar-Free, low fat, artificially sweetened sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are lower calorie forms of simple table sugar. Because they are digested in a different way than sugar, many people find that they cause bloating. Sugar alcohols are most often found in chewing gum, soda and as filler in many processed foods (all that “low-fat” and “non-fat” stuff is dangerous!). Look for the “-ol” at the end of the word to recognize a sugar alcohol. Examples: Sorbitol, and xylitol. Toss out sugar free foods, chewing gum, and diet sodas to beat belly bloat.
- Eat smaller meals more often. Eating more frequently can help control blood sugar, manage hunger, and keep you free of the bloated feeling that often follows large meals (think post thanksgiving fullness – not something you want on a regular basis!). Try five to six small meals each day and make sure the quantity of food and calories are proportionate to your needs. To create a daily meal plan that includes the recommended amounts of all major nutrients, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate web site or schedule a visit with your favorite nutritionist. Corrine Dobbas and Jae Berman are two of my favorites in SF!
- Try healthy holistic foods and drinks to deflate. A few studies suggest that peppermint tea, ginger, dandelion, prunes, pineapple, parsley, and yogurts containing probiotics (“good” bacteria) may help reduce bloating. Probiotics can be especially helpful as they nourish the healthy bacteria in your intestines and keep things running smoothly. You can find probiotics in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and cultured dairy-free yogurt. You can also take probiotics in a supplement form. Or you can try my delicious detoxing apple cider vinegar drink! These are safe foods that are good for you when used appropriately, so give them a try and see if they help you de-bloat.
- Take it easy on the beans. When it’s down the wire—such as several days before a big event—you may consider avoiding certain foods that are otherwise healthy for you. Beans and cruciferous vegetables can cause more gas than other foods, so stick to other vegetables and plant-based sources of protein when you need to cut bloating down even further.
- SLOW DOWN. Eating too quickly and not chewing your food can cause air swallowing that leads to bloating. If you are a speed eater, it might be a good idea to make it a goal to slow down and take the time to enjoy your food. Aim to make your meals last at least 30 minutes. When you take your time to thoroughly chew and taste your food, your snack or meal becomes more satisfying and you can avoid belly bloating.
- Watch the salt. You knew this one was coming, you will want to limit your salt to avoid bloating. Get in the habit of reading food labels and being a mindful consumer. When buying processed, canned, or frozen foods, shoot for no more than 500 mg of sodium per serving in any product — or a total of 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Look for labels that say “sodium free,” “low sodium,” or “very low sodium.”
- Dont Stress. De-stress!! Too much stress can cause constipation, stomach upset, or stomach bloating. Along with resolving any lifestyle factors that may be contributing to anxiety (like too much caffeine, not enough sleep, or poor diet), here are some ideas for effective natural methods to ease and prevent stress. Getting rid of a tummy troubles may be a simple as a few deep, intentional breaths.
The suggestions above should not replace the advice of your doctor or health care practitioner. Should your stomach bloating last more than a few days, make an appointment with your doc and seek medical care! Do you have any helpful ways to keep stomach distress away? I hope the suggestions above gave you a few ideas on what to do the next time you face tummy trouble. Eat well, exercise, and manage your stress and you should have a happy healthy belly for life!
Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.
Other Things To Check Out:
- Since people always ask: this is my favorite protein powder. Its all natural, plant based, low in sugar, and tastes delicious!
- Why your diet is making you fat.
- Best guided foam rolling exercise videos on youtube