We’ve all been there. Feeling gross, uncomfortable, and like we gained an entire pant size overnight, or for me, over a plane ride sometimes! I learned SO much about my body, food and fitness while on my personal journey.
Losing 110 pounds wasn’t just a scale thing. It was like taking an 18 month class on ME. I’ve learned that bloat is not normal at all. Neither is constipation, pain, or poor digestion in general. I also learned how to prevent a lot of issues through the food I was eating.
1. Eat Much Smaller Meals. Surprisingly, many people eat only 1-2 times a day, and they pack a lot of calories into those meals. Ideally 5-6 small meals, all about the same calories each, is where you want to be. I don’t label my foods breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack etc. Just Meal 1, Meal 2, and so on. The key is to get the meals in every couple of hours, and eat until you are 80% full at most. This allows for better absorption of nutrients and takes less energy from your body.
2. Chew Your Food More. Eating more slowly can actually help a lot. When you chew slower, you allow less gas to enter the stomach. Plus, you’ll be more likely to actually realize when you are full, and prevent over eating, as I mentioned above.
3. Skip Processed Foods. Seriously, this one is huge. If man made it, just don’t eat it. There are so many additives and fillers in processed foods, like bread, crackers, cake, etc. that are also found in household products! The same thing that whitens bread and cereal, is also used to make your yoga mat. Can you imagine eating your yoga mat and not getting bloated lol? The same thing made to make tofu, can be found in your sheet rock. NPR says over 500 foods contain these chemicals. It’s really just best to skip processed foods all together.
4. Skip the Bubbles. No I don’t mean the Champagne, although I guess that qualifies lol. You want to keep the carbonation to a minimum. As someone who used to drink a lot, but changed that when I got healthy, I do love a good club soda, or ginger beer, or my fav, Kombucha, now and then. I love the bubbles, but they DO bloat! They may not contain the calories and sugar of a nasty soda, but the bloat will still be an issue. Save those for the a few fun times, and stick to water the rest of the time. If you get bored, check out my post on How to Flavor Your Water.
5. Be Choosy with Your Veggies. Cruciferous vegetables can actually cause bloating. Those are things like cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, and more. You can check out this list on Wikipedia for more. Most veggies actually have the opposite effect, and help keep you clean and bloat free, but if you notice that you have issues after eating these, maybe take them off your list! This also goes for beans and sugar substitutes as well.
6. Add Bloat Reducers Into Your Diet. I became obsessed with ginger everything when I was doing a healing diet. It’s one of the things that actually helps! Well cooked veggies, low sugar fruits, green tea, peppermint and more. Top recommendations I found were avocados, cantaloupe, eggplant, asparagus and cucumbers. I eat cantaloupe every morning and ginger tea every afternoon!
7. Take In More Fiber. This does NOT mean “Wheat Bread”. Hear me when I say REAL fiber. The goal each day is to get around 30 grams. That obviously varies on weight and size, but that is a general rule of thumb. If you have not been eating enough fiber, and you just start adding it in, it honestly might have the opposite effect at first. Over time though, it will make a big difference if you take it regularly. If your are doing smoothies, oatmeal, or Shakeology, you can actually add in this Digestive Health fiber boost, which is a huge help!
8. Find Out if You Have a Food Intolerance. If you make all these changes and are still having trouble, it’s very possible that your body is rejecting something that appears healthy. If you have ever heard of FODMAPs or Autoimmune Protocol, you might be familiar with the idea of an elimination diet, where you remove all foods that could be causing an issue, and introduce them back in one at a time. I did this for 100 days and I learned SO much using a few great books:
If your bloat goes beyond the normal, it might be something to consider!
I hope this list helps, and as always, I’m just an email away if you have any questions! Make sure you add yourself to my monthly newsletter for tips, recipes, personal updates and special offers =)