When you struggle with bloating, your social life can take a hit. No one wants to be out with a crowd when your stomach is throwing a temper tantrum and making you wish you’d chosen a different outfit.
Bloating can come on all at once, or build up as the result of multiple bad decisions made over time. To help you guarantee a bloat-free body when you’re out socializing, I’ve put together this 5-day survival guide. If you do these 5 things from Monday-Friday, you’ll be feeling like your best self by the weekend.
1. Hydrate Intelligently
You don’t need a nutritionist to tell you that drinking a lot is good for you. But, not all sources of hydration are created equal! Stick to flat water, unsweetened herbal teas, and optionally fruit-free green juices if you want them.
Avoid these common beverages that can cause bloating:
Sparkling waters and sugar-free soda: even if they’re marketed as better-for-you, carbonated drinks can cause bloating because they’re filled with air! Swallowing air can lead to bloating, stomach aches, gas, burping and more so it’s best to avoid these drinks if you struggle with any of those issues.
Coffee: when we drink coffee, our stomach becomes less acidic which can cause a whole slew of digestive issues. We want our stomach to be highly acidic so that it can properly digest all foods. Low stomach acid leads to undigested food, which can ferment in the gut and cause bloating, gas, and weird bowels.
Fruit juice: consuming excess sugar can lead to imbalanced gut bacteria by over-feeding the bad microbes. When we have more bad guys than good guys, we’re more likely to feel bloated, tired, and even more likely to gain fat.
2. Choose Easy-to-Digest Foods
I’ll repeat this message until I’m blue in the face: EVEN HEALTHY FOODS CAN CAUSE BLOATING! If your strategy for having a flat belly is to eat a bowl of chickpea salad for lunch, it might actually be backfiring on you.
Choose easily digested foods that are less likely to ferment in your gut and cause bloating later. Here is a helpful list of foods that are associated with bloating and what you can try instead.
... Use this!
Chicken and Fish
Shredded Romaine or Spinach Salad
Flax Crackers or Flax Wraps
Non-Dairy Coconut Milk
Garlic-Infused Olive Oil
Intead of this...
Beans and Lentils
Build your plates around a high-quality protein with plenty of veggies like lettuce, peppers, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, parsnips and kale.
3. Eat Enough Fat
To keep your guts happy, make sure to include a heart serving of high-quality fat at every single meal. This helps digestion run smoothly, increases your absorption of many important vitamins, and gives your good microbes the fuel they need to repair damaged gut lining.
Eat at least 2 tablespoons of fat per meal!
These are my favourite sources:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Extra-dark chocolate (85-90%)
4. Get that Fibre In
Whole grains and beans are a great source of dietary fibre, but can also cause digestive issues for many people. However, if you eliminate these foods you must take care to ensure you’re still getting enough fibre to keep having healthy bowel movements (constipation = bloat).
Here are some great sources of fibre to include when you’re not eating grains and beans. Make sure to include fibre at every meal and aim for at least 30g per day.
Ground flax seeds
5. Move Around
This tip is less obvious, but when you remain in a seated position all day it can impair digestion. Humans evolved to walk at least 10,000 steps per day, and our digestive systems need to move around to function properly.
When we are sitting down for long periods of time, gas bubbles have nowhere to go and can end up getting trapped and causing bloating an discomfort. Exercise isn’t something you should do for the sole purpose of re-shaping your body, it’s an important part of maintaining good health including good digestive function. Movement doesn’t have to be intense at all, a 15-minute walk outside every couple hours can make a huge difference.
Is this information helpful? Leave me a comment to let me know if you want to see more tips and hacks for better digestion in future posts.