Have you been clocking in extra hours at the gym, and going on a strict diet for the past six months to hit your desired weight, only to find yourself struggling to button up your jeans two days before your big day? Now, don’t panic because we’re pretty sure that instead of having piled on the pounds, you could simply be suffering from temporary bloating caused by gas and water. Nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville reveals how you can quickly reduce a bulging stomach with a few lifestyle tweaks from eating different vegetables to cutting back on spicy foods.
#1 Water is Your Best Friend
As we all know our body is made up of approximately 70 per cent water, now you might think drinking less will make you cut down on bloating, that is so not true. Dr Marilyn, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, said: ‘Most of us do not drink enough fluids and, ironically, women who suffer from water retention tend to restrict their liquid intake thinking that the less they drink, the less their bodies will retain. ‘Actually, the opposite is true. If you restrict fluids your body will try to compensate and retain liquid, just in case it is short supply. That can cause bloating.’ So, do make sure to keep yourself hydrated, drink the recommended amount of two litres a day – two and a half litres a day for men.
#2 Get Your Dose Of Fibre
Fibre is essential for a healthy digestive system, do stock up on fibre snacks and meals such as cereals, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and etc. Dr Marilyn said: ‘Fibre also prevents food from putrefying inside your body, which can give you symptoms such as bloating and flatulence.’
#3 Chew Your Food Slowly
One of the best ways to prevent oneself from over eating, is to chew your food until the food is liquid – not only will this help to ensure that the food is properly digested, but it will also be a satisfying meal at the end of it.
#4 Cut Down On Your Sugar
One of the biggest contributors to weight gain or in this case bloating, is sugar, especially artificial sweeteners which contain organic compounds called sugar alcohols, such as xylitol and sorbitol. Dr. Marilyn said: ‘Many people suffer from bloating because they consume too much sugar alcohol in artificially sweetened foods and drinks, and so it is important to avoid these sweeteners as much as possible.’ Marilyn advised instead, drink water flavoured with lemon, lime, or cucumber or try some peppermint tea for a soothing beverage that may help reduce bloat. She said: ‘Not only are these great bloat-free alternatives but they will also help you to cleanse and detoxify the body.’
#5 Don’t Chew Gum
It might distract you from snacking every now and then but chewing gum can also lead to swallowing air, which can cause bloating. Dr Marilyn advised: ‘It can also stimulate your digest enzymes to expect food, which can then stimulate hunger. ‘If you do have to snack, it’s better to graze on a healthy, high-fibre snack like oatcakes, carrot batons or low fat popcorn.’