Multi-talented health coach, cookbook writer, wellness speaker, and founder of Walker Well-Being, Tammy Walker is all about making long-term healthy choices. It can be incredibly difficult to make positive food choices all day long (our sweet tooth tends to go into overdrive come 3P.M.), so this week Tammy is lending a hand and sharing her favorite healthy lifestyle tips on our blog.
Few symptoms are more uncomfortable, energy-sucking, and inhospitable to skinny jeans than parade float-style bloating. It’s one of the most common complaints my clients seem to have. Whether it’s due to excess gas, hormones or the proverbial “food baby,” it all means one thing—your digestion is out of whack. Different things work for different bodies, so try each of these simple de-bloat strategies and see what works best for you.
An abundance of bad gut bacteria can lead to the one-two punch of gas and bloating. Probiotics, the good bacteria, can overpower them and ease your digestive funk. Support the good guys with a daily probiotic supplement and a variety of fermented foods. Yogurt is a great one, but also try sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and kombucha. Variety is key as they all carry different strains of good bacteria.
Slow Your (Dinner) Roll
Inhailing a meal while multi-tasking and distracted eating increases your chances of swallowing lots of air, improperly chewing food and overeating—all causes of an inflated belly. Eat food slowly. Put your utensil down in between bites. Breathe. Make it your goal to be the last person finished at the table.
Drink Liquid Magic
You’ve heard it a billion times, so here’s billion and one: Drink more water! It flushes out excess sodium and prevents constipation and dehydration. Aim to sip half your body weight in ounces of water daily (for example, 140 lbs. = 70 oz. of water). Go for flat water with a squeeze of lemon juice (a natural digestive aid).
Find Your Sensitive Side
Chronic bloating may be an inflammatory response to food sensitivities or intolerances. Start a food journal tracking when and what you eat and drink. Identify the potential offender (dairy and gluten are most common) and remove it from your diet for two weeks. Reintroduce it in a small amount, and monitor how you feel. I’ve had clients make major breakthroughs in their gut-related issues with the aid of a simple food journal.
Pay Attention to the Small Stuff
You know huge, carb-tastic meals lead to puffiness, but sometimes it’s the little things you’d never suspect—like sugar-free gum. It has sugar alcohols, which are basically a four-star meal for the bad bacteria in your gut. They go to town on it, creating that beach ball-belly effect. Check the label for sugar alcohol names like xylitol, maltitol, and sorbitol.