6 proven tips to reduce bloating

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By Ilse de Graaf

Bloating, a woman’s worst enemy. How many times have you tried on and purchased an amazing outfit because you looked and felt great in the changing rooms but when it comes to pulling it out of your wardrobe days later you try it on and it feels completely different, it feels unflattering and misshapen. That, my dear ninja, is because you are bloated.

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Bloating normally occurs after you have eaten, it feels rounded and swollen which will usually subside after a couple of hours once your food has digested. But for some people, bloating is a constant battle. Bloating is usually caused by excess gas production or disturbances in the movement of the muscles of the digestive system, it can cause you to feel uncomfortable and in some cases can even be painful. Bloating is not to be confused with water retention, they are two separate issues and I cannot claim that the below tips will help with water retention.

Eat slowly and chew your food properly
Digestion starts in the mouth, something I find myself repeating due to its importance. If you chew your food properly it really gets those digestive enzymes flowing and will make your guts job much easier. Chewing your food is also linked to reducing the amount of air that you swallow whilst eating, swallowing air can be a factor in causing bloating. Eating on the run is the worst culprit, if you rush your meal, not only can it cause excess bloating, it also means you inevitably eat more as your body doesn’t have time to process the fact that you are full.

Rule out food intolerances
Food allergies and intolerances are more common than you think.  You could be eating foods that you are intolerant to everyday and not even realise, you just accept the side effects (such as bloating) as part of everyday life. Some common foods that you may be intolerant to are as follows:

Lactose: Lactose intolerance is associated with many digestive symptoms, including bloating. Lactose is found in dairy products.

Eggs: Excess gas/wind and bloating are common symptoms of an egg allergy.

Wheat and gluten: Many people are intolerant to gluten which is found in wheat, spelt, barley and other grains. This can cause many severe symptoms, including bloating.

A great way to rule out food intolerances is by eliminating these foods for a short period of time and keeping a food journal of how you feel. You can also speak to your doctor as they may be able to offer you a test or to give you some advice.

Avoid gas inducing foods
Some foods are more gassy than others, you know what I’m talking about Ninja (the day after having a curry or a lentil dish – eek). Foods high in fiber tend to give you excess gas, another major player is legumes such as beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains. This is again where keeping a food journal comes in, you can note down how certain foods have made you feel and then you can start having them in moderation or eliminating them from your diet completely.

Don’t overeat
The obvious one, overeating! Overeating is a fast track way to feeling bloated, your food just sits there like a rock, whilst your digestive system figures out what to do. If you are a person who likes to eat a lot to sustain yourself, try eating smaller portions as separate meals throughout the day or snacking on healthy snacks instead of having one big meal. People who experience bloating often have an increased sensitivity to food in the stomach meaning that eating smaller meals can be very helpful.

Add probiotics to your diet
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help balance and maintain digestive health, they also boost the immune system. You can get probiotics from many different food sources such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, pickles and yoghurt. Kombucha is my favoured source of probiotics, you can easily brew it at home and it’s a simple addition to your day, you can just have a glass in the morning before you start your day. It comes in many different flavours so you have a lot of variety and won’t get bored.  If the aforementioned foods don’t appeal to you, you can also take supplements.

Avoid becoming constipated
Constipation is a common and unpleasant digestive problem and increase feelings of bloatedness. Adding more soluble fiber to your diet is usually the ticket to avoiding constipation however in the case of bloating, fiber can often make things worse. Drinking more water and adding movement into your daily routine will help combat constipation.

Although bloating is often associated with diet and intolerances, it can also be a symptom of serious medical issues, therefore if you have persistent and continued bloating please talk to your doctor.

Did you know that I am offering a New Masterclass which will teach you 3 secrets on how to get and stay motivated during your weight loss journey so that you can reach your goals?! To find our more or to reserve your seat, sign up here.

Thank you so much for reading Ninja, have a great week!

xx Ilse

Founder & Coach
Weight Loss Ninja