Even if you’re eating right and working out hard enough to shed the pounds, you can still feel bloated! Bloat is something that haunts most of us who walk this planet, and can be an incredibly frustrating part of any healthy journey. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of what might be causing your bloated tummy, which is why we’re here to help today!
Know the Difference
Feeling bloated has a few different looks, and sometimes it can be unbearable or more of a nuisance for others. How do you feel when you’re bloated? Do you feel it’s something that just creeps up towards the end of the day? Waking up in the morning feeling slim and sleek, but then feeling like you have small food baby by nighttime is totally normal. Think about it; you spend 7-10 hours sleeping at night, which also means you’re not eating or drinking. Waking up in the morning feeling thinner is simply because you haven’t taken anything in yet. By the end of the day of course you’ll be a little more bloated than in the morning, simply because you ate food and drank water. Don’t hate on this feeling too much – it’s natural and happens to everyone. If you’re feeling bloated everywhere and all the time, this is when you should be investigating what lifestyle habits need to be altered. Feeling like your pants (or even rings) are too tight are often a sign of being bloated/inflammation, and usually can be resolved with healthy eating routines!
Dehydration is a major contributor to bloat. Regularly maintaining a healthy water intake reduces bloat and inflammation throughout the body. This is especially important as the days get warmer or you find yourself more active. Not continuing to keep up with environmental changes leads to your body retaining water to prevent it from dehydrating. So keep drinking that water!
Steer Clear of Processed Foods and Salt
Steering clear of foods high in sodium is a general rule of thumb that most of us abide by. But sometimes sodium is hidden in foods that you might not even realize. How can we even keep up with all the new ingredients that we don’t even know how to pronounce? In general, just try to avoid processed food! This includes foods that are precooked, canned, or even pre-seasoned. Even if you’re getting something from the hot bar at the grocery store, you’d be surprised how much salt was added to make food flavorful. An easy way to avoid excess sodium is to cook fresh meals at home and go light on your salt! Fresh foods are always a sure fire way to get the needed dose of sodium, without going over kill. High sodium foods cause water retention, which again causes that annoying bloat we don’t want!
Look for Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Diets higher in anti-inflammatory foods might also help reduce unwanted bloating. Anti-inflammatory diets are high in omega-3 fatty acids, uses olive oil to cook with rather than butter, full of vitamin D, use whole grains, have a good variety and intake of fruits and vegetables, and include good sources of plant protein. Some anti-inflammatory foods also tend to be great sources of water and dietary fiber, which makes for healthy bowel movements to help with unwanted bloating. Processed foods, pork, dairy, and added refined sugars all can contribute to irritation in the body and may cause bloating. Aim for leaner proteins and a diet rich in variety!
Need help organizing your diet? Take the metabolic quiz to find a meal plan that fits seamlessly into your life and works to reduce the dreaded bloat!