Learning to Reduce Bloating
One of the most common complaints I hear from Nutrition clients is that they feel like they are bloated all the time. Feeling bloated is a big red flag that your body is having a lot of difficulty digesting food. Chronic indigestion can lead to many other health complications and is something that should be dealt with as soon as possible. Let’s look at the causes and cures for bloating.
- Food Sensitivity: Perhaps the most common cause of bloating is a food sensitivity. All this means is that your body has a difficult time breaking down specific food. The biggest offenders are gluten, dairy, raw nuts, fruit, alcohol, and preservatives. We’ll detail these foods in a minute. Just because you have a sensitivity does not mean that you need to avoid those foods forever.
- Gluten & Grains include bread and bread related foods such as pasta, crackers, tortillas, many cereals, and a lot of sauces.
- Dairy includes milk and all milk products like cheese, ice cream, butter, and yogurt
- Raw nuts are snacks like almonds, pecans, cashews, and pistachios
- Fruit can be a big offender, but dried fruit tends to cause the biggest issues.
- Alcohol especially beer (because it contains gluten) can be a major offender
- Preservatives are found in almost all packaged food unless otherwise labeled
- Food Sensitivity Course Of Action: Does this mean that every person that’s bloated needs to avoid all of these foods all the time? No. Absolutely not. We suggest 2 action steps to helping deal with the issue.
- Get a Food Sensitivities Test. You can ask your doctor if they will run the test for you, or you can buy an at home testing kit HERE. Use promocode “grindstone” at checkout for a 10% discount.
- Buy digestive enzymes at your local health-food store. If your body has trouble breaking down a specific food, it is often because your body isn’t creating enough of the enzymes it needs. Taking an enzyme with each meal, can help relieve bloating and gas. HERE is an example of a simple enzyme blend that we like.
- Completely eliminate whichever food or food group you suspect is making you feel bloated for 7 days. After 7 days, add in just that food and see how you feel. If the bloating comes back, avoid that food as much as possible. If it doesn’t, just limit the amount you eat to every few days.
- Overeating: Eating too much in one sitting is asking for a bloated belly. If you’re giving your stomach too much work to do at one time, it’s going to get overloaded. Make sure that you’re spacing your macros out into several small meals over the course of the day so you don’t end up forcing yourself to overeat at any given meal.
- Dehydration: Your digestive track needs water and minerals to do its job properly. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day (not all in one sitting) so that you don’t end up dehydrated and bloated.
- Exhaustion and Stress: Your body needs its beauty sleep and so does your belly! Being overworked and under-rested is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you’re sleeping 7 – 9 hours per night as often as possible and engaging in relaxing mindful activities at least once a day. Keep in mind that as far as stress reduction goes, a good hard, sweaty workout can be just as beneficial as 10 minutes of meditation. So find what works for you and your mind and your belly will thank you.
If you have specific questions about bloating, feel free to ask your coach in your weekly check-in.