Although two of the most popular occasions for overeating are on Thanksgiving and Christmas, many Canadians actually overeat frequently—in fact, it is very easy to do. At times, delicious food can be hard to resist, but the worst part is the awful, uncomfortable feeling in your midsection that follows: your stomach feels puffy, tight and eventually you have to loosen or undo your trousers for a bit of relief. This feeling is also accompanied with digestive discomfort and a few unpleasant noises coming from your body. This feeling, my friend, is called bloating—and here’s how to put an end to it once and for all.
A few factors that may contribute to you being bloated are:
Intolerance to foods
Many people lack the enzyme required to properly digest lactose which is found in dairy products. Therefore, when foods with dairy are consumed, you are left with that bloated feeling. Another intolerance you may have could be to gluten. To determine if you are lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant, refrain from having these types of foods for about a week and take note of how your body reacts. If the bloating has dissipated, you may want to keep these foods at bay.
While our bodies do require an adequate amount of salt to function, an excess amount can leave us with that dreaded, bloated feeling as our bodies retain the fluids to dilute the excess sodium. Reduce the amount of sodium you consume and if you’ve had an excess amount, drink lots of water, which will aid the body in flushing out the surplus sodium and reduce the feeling of being bloated.
Eating too quickly
Remember how our parents would always tell us to slow down while eating our food? Well, they were onto something—we actually need to. Eating or drinking too quickly puts air into our bodies, which results in bloating. This can also happen when chewing gum. To eliminate bloating, slowly chew your food to prevent air from being caught in your stomach and refrain from having gum.
Increased fibre intake
Of course, foods high in fibre are important to keep you full longer and improve regularity. However, increasing your fibre intake rapidly can result in a bloated feeling as more gas is being released, leaving you feeling bloated. If you’re looking to increase your fibre intake, do so gradually to prevent this uncomfortable feeling.
Yes, eating your veggies is important and of course recommended. However, it is hard for your body to break down certain vegetables. Some of the veggies that can be harder to digest include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts. To make these foods easier on your stomach and easier to digest, cook them instead of eating them raw. Aim to steam your vegetables to prevent bloating.
Another reason you may feel bloated could be due to an increase in bacteria in your stomach. Don’t be alarmed by the word bacteria, everyone has bacteria in their stomachs. If you have more “bad” bacteria than “good,” then this could be making you bloated. To increase the “good” bacteria, increase the amount of sour foods you consume or add a probiotic to your diet. Sour foods like kefer and yogurt (raw and unpasteurized is the best) are also great additions.
**Upon trying some of these methods, if your symptoms continue or worsen, schedule an appointment to see your doctor.**
Trudie German’s certifications include those from, National Academy of Sports Medicine, TWIST BOSU and Resistance and Reebok Spinning. Aside from her work with her clients, Trudie also placed 2nd in her very first figure competition through the Ontario Physique Association (OPA) in May 2011.