I remember the days when I'd overeat and find myself slumped on the couch feeling bloated and tired. Today, I enjoy bloat-free eating and feel fantastic, and I credit much of this to eating less meat and dairy and more plant-based foods.
If you're not quite ready to give up all your steak-and-potato dinners, I am happy to share with you some key tips to avoid the bloat. Being bloated can make everything feel like a chore — zipping up your pants, sitting at your desk and even sleeping.
For many of you, feeling bloated is a daily, painful occurrence that can hinder you from living a full and happy life. The good news is there are ways to lessen (and even eliminate!) a bloated belly.
Here are 10 simple things you can do to beat the bloat:
1. Avoid starchy foods.
Avoid white bread, pasta, rice and fried foods, and especially anything made with whole-wheat flour, which is naturally hard for the stomach to digest.
2. Just say no to carbonated drinks.
Pop and energy drinks are just bad for you. The combination of sugar/artificial sweeteners paired with those fizzy bubbles is a sure-fire way to trigger bloating.
3. Be dairy-free for seven days.
Dairy is one of the most common culprits when it comes to stomach and intestinal stress, because it's one of the hardest things for our bodies to digest. If you eat dairy everyday, try a week without it and see how you feel.
4. Watch out for sodium.
Large amounts of sodium = water retention = BLOATING. Beware of high sodium levels in sauces, salad dressings, cured meats, salty snacks and fast food.
5. Drink water.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t drink enough water. Water keeps you hydrated and helps keep bowel movements regular.
6. Eat smaller meals more often.
Not only will this make digestion easier, over time, it can help speed up your metabolism.
7. Cook your vegetables.
If you get gassy when you eat raw veggies, try lightly steaming them. Cooking vegetables will reduce your vegetables nutrients BUT it's still better to have cooked veggies rather than none.
8. Get at least 30 minutes of movement a day.
If you suffer from chronic bloating try adding at least 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine. This plus eating well will help your digestive system run smoother and keep your bowel movements regular.
9. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach.
During the week, try not to eat after 8pm. Have a cup of herbal tea or warm water instead of eating. You’ll sleep better and your stomach won't feel bloated in the morning.
10. Listen to your body.
If you feel bloated or crampy after you eat something, this is your body’s way of telling you it's not happy. Take note of which foods are leaving you feeling bloated and try to avoid them as much as possible.