There are few things that are as uncomfortable as a bloated stomach, and you have likely been through it before.
That lousy feeling you have, you feel insanely uncomfortable in the clothes you usually wear, and you do not feel confident anymore because it seems like your stomach grew three sizes instantly.
Women have a predisposition to bloating in particular because the colon is 10 centimeters longer than that of a guy, it is always competing for space with the other organs in the abdomen area.
There is some good news though
you can actually reduce bloating from happening in the first place. It all has to do with your lifestyle adjustments, including the things you eat, although there are still instances when you will have the occasional bloat.
In that case, here are 9 ways you can reduce the chances of that happening.
Avoid chewing gum
Did you know that chewing gum increases the chances of bloating? This could be due to two causes:
- The bacteria that reside in the intestines producing gas when you eat certain foods. The consumption of foods with artificial sweeteners (all those whose names end in -ol) seems to excite these bacteria and encourage them to produce more gas, such as eating sugar-free gum.
- When you chew gum, you can swallow air, and that contributes to intestinal gas.
If you must chew gum, make sure to have eaten something substantial before to reduce the chances of gas forming. Otherwise, it is better to just avoid it entirely.
Consume smaller meals
While this sounds obvious, it, unfortunately, isn’t. Thanks to the ever-increasing pace of society, we are constantly surrounded by abundance 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and we take advantage of that abundance.
Just observe most people serving themselves at a buffet setting. Chances are they will put too much food on their plate, and wonder why they feel bloated afterwards.
The best advice we can give is listening to your body and being in tune with it, and only feeding t what it is comfortable with. To see this in action, watch a baby when they drink milk. They will only take it to a certain point, then refuse it completely when they are full.
Use the same principle when eating. You will eat less and feel much better.
Limit your intake of gassy foods
Bloating is mainly due to excessive levels of intestinal gas, which the body produces when you consume certain foods that populate the digestive tract. In other words, you know them as ‘gassy foods’.
There are studies done on different foods, which found their effects on the body in terms of gas production. When you eat them in high amounts, they contribute to the problem of bloating. You can substitute them for healthy fat forms or protein-rich foods, which are better digested by the body and do not result in intestinal bloating.
Reduce salty foods
Unfortunately, high salt content is a major reason why we increasingly struggle with bloating, and it all has to do with water retention. In addition, high salt content in food will lead to other issues with your health, far beyond the uncomfortable feeling of your clothes such as high blood pressure and heart issues.
Avoid the salt shaker, and pay close attention to the food you eat. Eat more foods you have prepared as well since you will know the salt limits you need to avoid to stay healthy, something which prepackaged food will likely not give you.
Consider consuming probiotics
If you are sure that food is the cause of your bloating, you can consider trying probiotics but first talk to your doctor about it. The essence of probiotics is to add friendly ‘bacteria’ to the intestinal tract, which help to improve the bacterial balance in your gut and reduce the chances of bloating and excessive gas.
The effectiveness of this method is not entirely known, as bacterial strains are quite many and they can have different effects on different people. While sweetened yogurt might not be the best choice due to added sugars, you can consider eating fermented foods such as kombucha and kimchi or taking in supplements.
You do not need to sign up for an expensive gym membership or buy tons of exercise equipment. Even something as simple as going for a brisk stroll is highly beneficial.
In fact, exercise offers your body so many benefits other than staying fit and shedding pounds, it also boosts your concentration and mood, and helps boost your immunity, helps you to relax more, among other things.
All these things will make you happier (which is why you tend to feel happy after taking a stroll around the neighborhood, or doing your favorite dance). The point is to find an activity you enjoy, and start incorporating it in your lifestyle.
Consume more water
At this point, you are likely asking why you even need more water when you are currently feeling like you are carrying ten tons of water in your belly. However, water serves to flush out toxins and gas that is present in your cells, and helps them to function more efficiently. That even includes helping them to excrete waste matter, and eventually removing it through stool matter, urine and sweat.
Rule out food intolerances
When you eat foods that your body is intolerant to, it leads to excessive gas production so make sure to rule these out. These foods can include lactose (present in dairy), eggs, fructose, gluten and wheat, and so on.
Reduce your caffeine intake
While caffeine is great for helping you remain alert, it also increases the production of acid and irritates the gastrointestinal tract. It is understandable if you cannot avoid it entirely, but it is best to limit your intake and consume it moderately like taking two to three cups of coffee a day. If you are prone to bloating, consume even less of it.
Bloating is an annoying problem to deal with, but it is manageable as long as you have the right strategy. Above all, you need to take care of the foods you eat, as they contribute a lot to your state afterwards.