There’s been a 4 day weekend, a lot of food, maybe some alcohol and more than likely bloating. Urrgh, it’s the worst; that feeling of being on the verge of a food coma, your abdomen swollen to the size of Jupiter and your jeans refusing to do up. Fear not, the dreaded bloat can be cured.
The key to reducing bloating is digestion. Digestion is essentially how our body breaks down the food we eat into useable nutrients, when we eat a poor diet or over load our body with food, it is left struggling. Poor digestion results in bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation/diarrhoea, amongst other things.
You Are What You Eat
To get your digestive system running at optimum you need to nourish it. That means eating whole foods; if it runs, swims or grows in nature it will to be packed full of nutrients but if it is packaged and processed it’s likely to be laden with nasty chemicals, preservatives and additives that will play havoc with your gut health.
Look for ethically sourced lean meats, a rainbow of fruit and vegetables, whole grains (but don’t overdo the fiber as it can be hard for the body to digest), nuts and seeds.
Water’s the Word
Drink plenty of water, around 1.5+ liters a day; it is the best way to hydrate and flush out toxins. Although your body can store water weight, ensuring it is consistently hydrated will give it permission to flush out excess water and toxins. Avoid carbonated drinks as the bubbles will lead to further bloat and gas.
If you get bored of plain old water, feel free to add herbs/fruit/vegetables like mint or lemon or cucumber. Herbal teas are also great options, look out for cleansing ingredients like aloe vera, dandelion root, fennel, ginger, lemon balm, peppermint and turmeric. I personally love Pukka ‘cleanse’, Pukka ‘turmeric gold’, QI ‘detox green tea‘, Yogi ‘detox with lemon’ and English Tea Shop ‘slim me’.
The sugary Easter treats have left their mark in the form of inflammation, thankfully there are many potent anti-inflammatory foods:
–Herbs and spices: cayenne, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, sage, turmeric and thyme.
–Omega 3’s: oily fish, flax oil, chia seeds, walnuts, soy beans and spinach.
–Probiotics: yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, tempeh, miso soup, microalgae (feed gut bacteria) and kombucha tea. I recommend taking a good quality multi strain probiotic, I take Healthspan’s Pro5.
When in Doubt, Sweat it Out
The best way to get back on the health wagon is to hit the gym. Actually you don’t even need a gym; go walk the dog, get on your bike, put some music and dance, follow a video on YouTube [try this 15 min fat burn or this 20 moves in 20 mins challenge ].
Getting your body moving will not only leave you feeling euphoric but (sorry if this is t.m.i) it will encourage bowel movements and therefore a flatter, less bloated stomach. Win win.
Please do not embark on some crazy diet or period or starvation. Yes, you may have over eaten but don’t feel bad or guilty or like you need to not eat for days to counteract the over eating, you’re human; we make mistakes, we eat too much cake. Under eating does not counteract over eating, it make things worse.
Love your body and it will love you back.
It’s ok to just let go and enjoy yourself now and then; life’s for living, chocolate’s for eating (bloat or no bloat). x