Ever feel super bloated? Yep, we have too. Bloating can be caused by anything like eating carbs, exercising and many other factors. And, unfortunately women tend to bloat MORE than men because of fluctuating hormones. So. That sucks. Luckily, there are definitely ways to beat bloat quickly.
Why do we get bloated?
Well, it just depends. If you’re weight lifting, then you know that your muscle fibers break down with small tears when you are building muscle. Then, while you are resting, your body repairs that damage. Water weight is part of this muscle building/recovery process. Luckily, this weight gain from working out is just temporary.
Another reason for bloating is our carb intake. Carbs actually hold onto water. Why? Because carbs convert into glycogen and glycogen is stored in water. For every gram of glycogen, your body holds onto about 2.7 grams of water. This is why you can gain a few pounds overnight even when you didn’t eat an entire pound worth of calories (3500 calories). It’s just water weight, no need to panic. Easy come, easy go.
While we’re on the subject of carbs, this is actually a similar reason women get bloated right before their period. Women tend to eat more calories, typically from carbs, the week before because our fluctuating hormones make our appetite larger. And, obviously with more carbs comes more water retention.
Other factors include sodium intake, not drinking enough water, fizzy drinks, and eating too fast.
Easy ways to get rid of bloat
Okay, now onto the good stuff. How do we beat bloat?
- Drink water right after a big meal. This helps flush out excess sodium.
- Eat slowly. Instead of scarfing down your meals, give yourself a good 20 minutes to eat and enjoy every bite. This will help keep you from swallowing too much gas-producing air.
- Reduce your sodium intake. Seasonings like these
are all SALT FREE!
- Take a 15 minute walk post meal. Walking after you eat, aids digestion.
- Avoid eating too close to bedtime. This goes along with the point above. If you lay down right after you eat, you are slowing down digestion. This means your meal won’t be broken down as quickly and you’ll be more likely to wake up feeling bloated.
- Avoid diet foods/drinks especially if they have artificial sweeteners. Our bodies can’t digest certain low calorie sweeteners very well (or at all). This can cause them to stay in your stomach and make you bloated.
- Avoid carbonated drinks. I personally LOVE carbonated drinks, but I try to limit them to once a week at most to avoid the bloat. Plus, I’m usually too focus on hitting my water intake to be thirsty enough for any other beverage.
- Drink more water. This is one of the key things I have implemented to beat bloat. It has helped me so much. Here are my favorite ways to get myself to drink more water. I aim for about a gallon a day! If you don’t drink much water, it becomes a precious commodity for your body. Then your body holds onto the water instead of letting it pass through your system.
- Pay attention to foods that cause bloating. I love cauliflower rice and cauliflower “potatoes,” but it makes me bloated. So instead, I mix it half and half with real potatoes (this recipe). Broccoli or any cruciferous veggies tend to do this. You don’t need to avoid them. They’re still great for you, they just have tons of fiber that’s hard to break down, so if it makes you bloated just limit your intake a little. Another type of food that can cause bloating: dairy. We almost completely avoid dairy now.
- Eat foods that are natural diuretics! Examples include: citrus fruits, pineapple, peaches, cucumber, grapes, asparagus, beets, pumpkin, green beans, spinach, cilantro, parsley, garlic, onions.