As an Online Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach, one of the most common complaints I hear from friends, family and clients alike is “I feel SO bloated sometimes!”
In fact – a lot of times we get so used to feeling a certain way that we start to think that feeling bloated is NORMAL.
Bloating suggests that your eating habits & digestive system could use a little bit of TLC. In this post I share with you my best tips and tricks to combat bloating.
1.) Eat SLOWLY: Eating slowly will not only prevent you from swallowing excess air (which will certainly cause bloat), but it will also help prime the food in your mouth for proper digestion in the stomach. You see – our saliva is made up of an enzyme called salivary amylase. This enzyme actually helps break up food particles in the mouth – so that by the time it reaches the stomach – the stomach doesn’t have to deal with large chunks of food! If you don’t chew your food well enough – it enters the stomach in large particles that haven’t been broken down all that well and this can lead to sub-optimal digestion and BLOATING.
I recommend aiming to chew your food 20-30 times before swallowing!!
2.) Avoid drinking a lot of liquid with your meals: I know I know – you’ve probably heard that you should aim for a certain amount of water per day – and while that is all good and true – you don’t want to be chugging water (or any liquid) around your meal times. Why? You see – drinking liquid dilutes stomach acid. Stomach acid is a GOOD thing because it helps kill bacteria (& parasites – yickkk!) and break down our food. If food is not properly broken down it can lead to a host of digestive issues – one of them being BLOAT !!
3.) Avoid eating lots of raw veggies: Raw veggies contain a lot of water and are often a little bit harder on the digestive system than cooked veggies. If you like raw veggies – no need to give them up completely of course – but pay attention to how certain vegetables and preparations (i.e. steamed/raw) make you feel!
4.) Pay attention to your body – you may have nice food sensitivity. Without getting too far down the worm hole about Leaky Gut – and other gut dysfunctions – it’s very possible that you may have a food sensitivity. Now – there is a difference between a food ALLERGY (ie. a histamine response – when let’s say someone is allergic to peanuts) vs a food sensitivity which may have developed from sub-par digestion over time. If you are suspicious of food sensitivities – you may try eliminating the food item in question and seeing how you feel. If you want a more precise way to test -I highly recommend a food sensitivity test called the MRT test – which unlike other food sensitivity tests – tests for all END POINT immune reactions. For more info feel free to give me a shout!
5.) Consider a digestive enzyme. Sometimes the body needs a little support if things are not in balance. In my opinion, one of the best supplements you can get for your digestive health is a good digestive supplement. I like the one by NOW Brands !
6.) Check your protein powder. As amazing as whey protein can be – for a LOT of people it can be a cause of some major BLOAT. One of my favorite whey protein alternatives is Beef Isolate – (it doesn’t taste like beef I swear!!!). Beef Isolate is a high quality protein that does not have the same tendency to cause bloating/GI distress as whey. My favorite Beef Isolate Protein is Equip !