Beat That Belly Bloat!

Kirkland Personal Trainer Gives Tips on How to Avoid that Belly Bloat!

A bloated belly can make any of us feel 5 or 10 pounds heavier than we actually are (ladies—guys experience this too, though maybe not as often). Bloating can occur when we overeat but also when we certain foods. These foods pass into the colon, where bacteria feed on them, producing the gas bubbles that make your stomach swell.

Here’s a list of 5 things you can do to beat the bloat:

  • Get some exercise: Feeling bloated can discourage us from exercising but push through; even 15 minutes of brisk walking can help the situation. (A brief walk after dinner is a great way to help digestion). Regular exercise 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week has been shown to help those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Consider a probiotic: Bloating may be a result of an imbalance in bacteria in the intestines. This is especially true if you have been taking antibiotics. Try a plain yogurt that lists lactobacillus and bifidobacterium or a probiotic supplement.
  • Cut down on your salt: This is a key way to cut down on belly bloat. Look for these suspicious culprits (canned soups, deli meats, cheese, olives, prepared frozen meals, and most restaurant food—that’s why it tastes so good!). Try adding herbs and spices to enhance flavor and replace salt.
  • Slow down: Eating on the run, whether is in the car or standing over the sink, it’s not good for us. When we don’t take time to chew properly, it just means more work for our stomachs and digestive system. Try to take at least 15mins to eat sitting down comfortably.
  • Just say ‘no’ to diet soda: The carbonation in soda can definitely contribute to belly bloat but it’s the sorbitol in it that is a bigger problem. Sugar-free soda, candy, and gum all contain sorbitol. This substance is not digested by our bodies, making our stomach enzymes go into overdrive. As little as 10g can trigger digestive issues (a stick of sugar-free gum has 1.25g.)

Give these tips a try, and remember the only person who notices this is you, no one else can tell! If you have any other suggestions that have helped you or if you know any other bloat-causing culprits, post them below.

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