Bye Bye, Belly Bloat!

"After I eat, I end up looking 6 months pregnant!"
This is a common complaint from clients, tired and frustrated over the discomfort caused by bloating & distension.
First up... What is Bloating?

Bloating is excess gas formed from the breakdown of food trapped in the digestive tract. It causes a temporary increase in abdominal girth. It can be painful and uncomfortable and isn't always associated with eating too much.

Bloating is caused by a variety of things. Sometimes it can be due to relatively simple lifestyle behaviors like eating too quickly, sitting too long, eating large fatty meals or avoiding going when you actually need to go! And don't get me started on wearing clothes that are too tight.

And while a small degree of bloating is completely normal, sometimes there can be more significant disorders causing the issue: coeliac disease, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, pancreatic insufficiency, gastroparesis, constipation, and hypothyroidism are just a few we always want to ensure are not the culprit.

Taking a good case and potentially some testing will pick up if you bloating is associated with a more significant disorder, so be sure to talk to a professional and rule things out.

What can you do about it?

1. Implement good eating behaviours

Sit down to eat your food, take a few minutes before you dig in and take breaks while eating. These basics allow for your digestive enzymes to be stimulated. More enzymes, means food is broken down more effectively and there's less time to build up gas. Chewing your food really well also helps. After food, I like to just relax for 5 minutes prior to racing off & digest, yeah.

2. Avoid snacking

Our body needs a couple of hours to properly digest a meal. But if the food never stops coming in then the flow of digestion is interrupted. Try containing your eating windows to 1-hour and only eating three meals per day.

3. Move it baby!

Walking helps the later digestive process and reduces bloating. Sitting for long periods allows gas to build up and adds to the bloat factor.

4. Change what your eating

Often foods high in fats, highly processed foods and sugars are hard to break down. Ensuring you're having plenty of fibre - fresh fruit & veg, grains and legumes. Fibre will feed your good gut bugs and reduce an overgrowth of bad bacteria.

Sometimes even healthy foods can make us bloat, and I often have clients say, "I eat so well and still bloat", here is where you need to monitor what is it your responding to? A symptom or diet diary is a great tool. It very quickly shows a trained eye if it's FODMAPS, gluten or chemical sensitivities your body is reacting too.

5. Use herbal teas, tinctures and prebiotics

Herbs and supplements are a great 'go to' for quick relief. I love iberogast for bloating, and there are many herbal teas that can help: Peppermint (although avoid if reflux is in the mix too), lemon balm, chamomile.

Prebiotic fibres are great to feed good bacteria. I'll often use PHGG (Partially Hydrolysed Guar Gum), reduces methane production in the gut, improves gut motility, and increases butyrate which helps reduces gut pain and the sensation of bloating.

6. Manage you stress When we are eating in a fight flight state (stressed), our digestion is all but shut need to get away from that tiger remember! Calm your mind to calm your body. It's as simple as a few rounds of big belly breathes. Try it out!

For more support with your belly health, get in touch for a quick chat. We offer FREE Break the Ice Calls. 10 minutes to hear about your health needs and check in if we are a good working fit!

Click here to make a booking!

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