Feeling bloated is so unfair. Even if it is not visible, it can feel like you are carrying around a rock. It can ruin social engagements. It can make you irritable and want to isolate.
Because people who hustle don’t have time for bloating to cramp their style (ha, see what I did there), I have gathered all the intel on what to do when it comes about and ways you can prevent it from coming back.
Top 6 do’s and dont’s for beating and keeping bloat away
Read the tips below and also watch my recap video which just dropped on YouTube!
Top strategies to debloat
- Get rid of the carbonation – including carbonated water. Carbonation comes from blended with water, and when you drink it your stomach puffs out. Stick to still water with lemon. Also, nix the diet soda. That both bloats your stomach and makes you more hungry.
- Skimp on the salty food – it’s not so much salt itself as the high sodium content in many processed and preserved foods that can contribute to bloat. This is especially true with deli meats, potato chips (yeah, even the health food store ones), frozen and canned foods, and nuts with salt added. Also watch out for some condiments. Besides the high calorie content as noted in my condiment caloriebomb post many are high in salt. Common examples include soy sauce, ketchup, pickled toppings, and even many hot sauces. So what are you supposed to eat? Many of these have lower sodium options. Another good practice is to simply start using less. We have a tendency to dunk and drown but you want to still be able to taste the actual food. And finally, make your own toppings with my list of the top 10 calorie-friendly condiments. Using low-cal foods like vinegar, yogurt, and hummus as a base can instantly whip up a delicious dip for those summer veggies. In fact, I will be doing a post dedicated to dips in the near future!
- Say no to artificial sweeteners- Read my article, the Fantastic Promise of Zero Sugar, for a deeper dive on why “non-sugars” can trick your body and actually make you hungrier (see also the linked NIH study). The problem is that these foods are only partially digested, so getting the undigested part through is really hard on your gut. And a stressed out digestive system rebels by bloating as a defense mechanism.
- Walk it off – getting moving and doing some cardio will move that bloat right out of your system. While you may not feel like kickboxing, taking a long walk can definitely alleviate your pain by facilitating blood flow to your stomach
- Namaste it to nothing – Yoga poses, especially those involving twists, help with digestion and bloat. Particular poses to try – cat-camel, triangle pose, and bow pose. You can read this article from Claire Grieve, leading celebrity yogini, for more examples of poses.
- Drink water, more than you think you need- Dehydration is a leading cause of bloating, but did you know you can eat a lot of water-rich foods, as well? Adding lemon will also help fight bloat and give you extra vitamins. Drink at least half of your weight in ounces of water to maintain hydration. Pro tip: If you feel thirsty, you are dehydrated already. You want to beat feeling thirsty to stay hydrated. Eat one of these debloating foods – Watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini, cucumber, broths and soups are all mostly water, so eat and drink up to reduce bloat! Mint tea is also a helpful antidote. Watermelon salads are all the rage on lunch menus, so hook yourself up with one of those at the next business lunch.