Bloating can be very annoying and quite painful experience, so today I want to share with you a few tips on how to get rid of bloating and keep your belly flat. These tips are my personal experience and what has worked for me, I am not a bloating specialist. If your symptoms are constant, please always go and talk to your GP as it could well be something else.
How to get rid of bloating
Chew your food slowly
Honestly, this might be a very obvious thing, but we all are guilty of eating on the go or quickly at our work desk. Digestion really does start in the mouth, so chewing your food slowly and being more present while eating can significantly help with bloating.
Eat regularly and be regular
If you stick to 5–6 small meals per day you are more likely to be 'regular' too. Constipation and bloating are best friends, so try to eat small and often to ensure regular bowel movements. If you are constipated, reach out for prunes or figs and loads of water rather than laxatives. Chia seeds or flax seeds also help me to be more regular as well as toilet squatting, but I will tell you about this another time :o)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink before each big meal. The trick here is that the vinegar will kickstart your digestion so that your stomach can cope better with your meal.
I was very lucky to have experienced abdominal massage for free at the beautiful LifeHouse Spa a few weeks ago. The massage is done with warmed organic castor oil and it’s a healing and soothing treatment for your belly inside out. According to LifeHouse Spa, it is good for detoxing, digestive issues such as bloating, IBS, Crohns, Colitis and hormonal disorders such as Endometriosis, PMT and painful periods. I have to say that my digestion was spot on after the massage and it lasted for a good few days. You might be thinking that belly massage sounds a bit random, but you would be pleasantly surprised. You basically lie down and warmed organic castor oil and a heat pack (hot water bottle) are applied to your belly for 30 mins. During this time, you get a very relaxing head, foot, leg or facial massage. The oil is then removed and the treatment is completed with an abdominal massage. They suggest the massage should be taken every other day over the period of a week, but I felt the difference even after one treatment. You can find out more here.
Don’t eat 2.5–3 hours before bed
Once again this is just my experience, but each time I eat late at night and then go to bed shortly after, the next day I am like a balloon and my digestion is super slow. When I eat dinner around 7.30 pm and go to bed around 10-10.30pm, I wake up the next day feeling hungry, with a nice flat belly and my food gets digested much quicker throughout the whole day.
Don’t eat fruit after your meal
Just to keep the reasoning behind this as simple as possible, imagine you have a proper meal which might take good 2-3 hours to digest. You then throw on top some fresh fruit which digests much faster. As it is sitting and waiting to be digested, it will start fermenting which might result in gas and bloating. I usually keep a minimum of 2 hours between meals and fruit snacks.
Get tested for food intolerances
You might be surprised to hear this but food intolerances can arise at any age or point in your life. My close friend only recently discovered her egg intolerance after eating them for more than 40 years. Food intolerances are not life-threatening, but the symptoms can be unpleasant and include bloating, skin rashes, eczema, headaches, digestive pains or even just feeling tired all of the time. Symptoms can arise at any time - as soon as 20 mins after eating or the food or as long as 3 days. I learned all about this on my recent trip to LifeHouse Spa as they do food intolerance testing using a small blood sample taken from a finger-prick. Results are discussed straight away and then advice is given on how to move forward. You can read more about food intolerance testing here or simply call them up on 01255 860050.
My mum swears by it (sorry mum!) and mums know best, right? I have read a lot about activated charcoal and its benefits, so it may be worth exploring further?
If you have spare cash to invest then you might want to try buying digestive enzyme tablets. They basically help to break down difficult to digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats that can cause bloating and wind. Get some from your local Holland and Barrett or pharmacy to make sure that you get proper advice on how to use them.
Get some probiotics in your diet
Probiotics are very important for gut health and digestion. But rather than getting capsules, try to incorporate some more natural probiotic foods into your diet. Think sauerkraut, yoghurt, miso soup, kombucha, kefir, kimchi and sourdough bread.
I hope you found my tips for how to get rid of bloating helpful. I would also like to say that stress can bloat me massively, so try to keep cool and relaxed as much as you can.
Also the November group for our Clean Eating Challenge is now open. This is the last group for this year, so if you haven't done the challenge yet now is the high time to join. Get healthier, slimmer and happier in time for Christmas. More info here
Much love and a flat happy belly!