Updated: Aug 3
Belly bloat. You have probably experienced it at some point. The often referred to "trouble area," our body's midsection takes the brunt of what we eat and drink each day. It grumbles when we neglect it, aches when we abuse it, and bloats, sometimes for seemingly no reason at all! Belly bloat may seem like a mystery to remain unsolved until you uncover these 10 easy ways you can reduce the occurrence of those uncomfortable belly bloat days so you can enjoy more good belly ones!
7 Tips to Banish Belly Bloat:
Drink Your Water
Your body is comprised of 55-60% water. Water has many jobs, from keeping you hydrated, to flushing out toxins, supporting digestion and regularity, supporting nutrient absorption, and regulating body temperature. Drinking the water your body needs will support its ability to keep things moving (so to speak), reducing belly bloat. How much do you need? The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 cups a day for men and 9 cups a day for women. To help track your daily water intakes, fill a 16 to 24oz. water bottle and have it with you to sip on throughout the day. If you find you aren't refilling it more than once each day, you might not be getting enough water. I love my Contigo water bottle because it keeps my water nice and cold for hours, fits nicely in my cars cupholder, and it has a handle so I can easily take it along wherever my day might take me!
Skip The Salt
Added salts is one of the most common saboteurs of waistline goals, not to mention a big contributor to belly bloat. Salt causes fluid retention, leaving you feeling feel puffy, bloated, and downright uncomfortable. The American Heart Association recommends adults consume no more than 2,300 mg a day, leaning toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day. Skip the salts and reach for herbs, spices, and enjoy food in its raw and natural state (vs. processed) to help reduce daily salt intakes.
Increase Dietary Fiber
Fruits and veggies are not only great sources of essential vitamins and minerals, but fiber too. Fiber not only promotes regularity, it lowers cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar, and supports a healthy waistline. How much fiber do you need? The daily recommendation for adults up to age 50 is 38g for men and 25g for women, for adults 51 and older these numbers decrease slightly to 30g and 21g respectively.
Avoid The Bubbles
Sodas, seltzers and other bubbly trap carbonation in your belly, causing that puffy and bloated feeling. Minimizing consumption of soft drinks and seltzers will also save you on empty calories by reducing your intakes of sodium, added sugars and unhealthy chemical alternatives. Swap the bubbly for a sweet, spicy, or refreshing herbal tea (warm or iced) or try adding some p-zaz to your water by adding some fresh fruits and herbs.
Slow It Down
Are you eating in such a hurry, scarfing down your food and barely tasting it? Bad news, not only are your brain and belly struggling to keep up with how much you've consumed, which challenges your ability to feel full and satisfied, but you're gulping a lot of air. That excess air (and food consumed) leads to uncomfortable belly bloat. Slow down and enjoy each bite, savoring the flavors, and sipping water between bites. Not only will you reduce your risk of chocking, support healthy digestion, and increase satiety, you'll reduce the likelihood of belly bloat too.
Keep It Clean
As a general rule, the more processed the food is, the more likely you are to feel (and see) the effects in your midsection. Foods that boast natural probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha can help keep your digestive system in check, and in turn, keep belly bloat at bay. Consuming potassium rich foods can help also reduce and help prevent bloating by balancing electrolytes and minimizing painful water retention. A good reason to nosh on unsalted nuts, bananas, kiwi, and avocado. Experiencing a bit of tummy upset and bloat? Try sipping on peppermint or ginger tea, or add some sliced cucumber, lemon and fresh mint to your bottle of water.
Exercise really does get everything, well, moving. When you feel puffy and bloated the last thing on your mind might be lacing up and getting moving, but that is precisely when you can reap the benefit. Even just taking a light stroll around the block can do wonders - for mind and spirit too!
Bottom line: if you are noticing that your belly has been feeling achey, swollen, or just downright uncomfortable it may be time to stop and take stock of your daily routine. When we take a moment to reflect on our daily habits we are often able to see some contributing patterns. Gobbling up lunch in a hurry? Consuming a fair amount of carbonated drinks? Skimping on water? Too many foods high in salt? Once you have determined a few underlying patterns you can use that information to make some meaningful dietary tweaks and empower more happy belly days! If you have made healthy swaps and can't seem to ditch the symptoms, it may be time to see your doctor to out rule any contributing health conditions.
Are you a busy man or woman who's ready to feel strong, live healthy, and get fit? Discover how to take small steps to get healthy & fit without cutting out the foods you love or spending countless hours on cardio. Come join me inside my online Facebook Community - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where busy folks go for tips, tools and support they need to eat healthy, move daily, and feel good for life!