Get Rid of Bloating! | Reasons Why You Bloat & How to Stop It
Have you ever found yourself googling “how to get rid of bloating?”
Welcome to the bloat world with the rest of us experiencing bloating every now and then. Bloating is a condition that happens when your gastrointestinal tract is filled with air or gas.
70% of your immune system is located in the gut, so gut bacteria play an important role, and if a normal digestive function is interrupted, good bacteria decreases and you end up with excess gas and an expanded abdomen. And that’s how bloating and bloated belly happens.
We all have it more or less, especially after eating a certain food or some of us even out of nowhere. However, there is a difference betweeen normal bloating and abnormal bloating.
More than often, when we wake up we have a flatter tummy. Then as the day progresses and we eat and drink, our bellies swell a little bit. By the time we go to bed, we may even have a little “food baby.” This is normal as your body is adpating to your daily intakes.
This is usually the bloating that is also accompanied with stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and/or constipation. Whenever you are not feeling well, your body is screaming at you that something is not right. Listen to it! There is a strong difference between feeling full after a big dinner and feeling as if your stomach is going to explode.
Why We Bloat
There are many reasons for bloating however the top reasons are:
- Eating too fast. We are usually multitasking as we eat, not really paying attention to our food. We also tend to eat in a hurry which means we are more likely to swallow air in the process!
- Eating too much sodium. Salt aka sodium retains extra water within your body.
- Alcohol and carboated beverages. Not only are sodas and beers packed with useless calories, they are notorious for making you bloat thanks to the air bubbles within the drinks.
- Hormones. During your ovulation phase and menstrual cycle, your estrogen will rise. This causes you to hold onto extra water! There is nothing you can do about this.
- Food sensitivities. One of the biggest culprits to bloating are food sensitivities, the main one being gluten! This was an issue that I had when I learned via a genetic test that I was gluten sensitive. Everytime I would eat pasta or bread, my belly would hurt a little.
How to Fix Bloating
The main way to fix your bloating issue is dependend on the reason why you are bloating to begin with! If we are using the reasons for bloating above, here are some tips to fix it:
- Eat slowly. Stop being in a rush and looking at the tv or phone as you eat-instead pay attention to your chews so you can be mindful.
- Limit your salt. Stop adding extra salt to your meals and aim for foods/meals that are low in sodium. Most prepackaged meals and snacks have lots of hidden sodium contents in them! Read the nutrition labels so you can get familiar with this. If you have eaten too much salt, drink more water to counter-balance the effects.
- Ditch alcohol and bubbly drinks. The air bubbles will only puff you up more so avoid these drinks and aim for water instead. If you are not a fan of plain jane water, add some fruit to your water for natural flavor.
- Balance your hormones. Although I mentioned above that there isn’t quite much that can be done during your period to help with bloating, it is always helpful to get your hormones checked if you feel something isn’t right. This can be done via a simple blood test from your doctor.
- Figuring out your sensitivities. The best way to do this is through a DNA or genetic test. I have used quite a few, but 23&Me is my favorite one. Make sure you get the health panel included-not just the ancestry test. Find out what foods trigger you and omit them from your diet. Gluten is normally the main one, but others such as soy, dairy, etc can also bother some people. Once I stopped eating gluten, my bloat stopped miraculously!
I hope this has been helpful to you guys in determining why you are bloating and how to get rid of it!
Your trainer and friend,