Bloating is uncomfortable to experience, but it shouldn't be uncomfortable to talk about! This is something that many women (me included) experience on the regular. There are a number of things that can contribute to bloating. Whether it be what we’ve consumed that day, or where we are in our cycle - we’ve all felt the bloat before. I just want to preface this by saying that bloating is TOTALLY normal! You could be training super hard and nailing your workouts and still bloat out at any point throughout the day. It’s a completely natural occurrence. As you may have seen on my Instagram lately, this has been my reality. What’s most important is that we focus on the things we can control, girls!
Here are the key things I give attention to when I am struggling with bloating –
1. Remove artificial sweeteners and colours
Bloating can sometimes be caused, or worsened by consumption of artificial sweeteners and colours. When dieting, many of us will often opt for the lowest calorie product to get the most bang for our buck. Things like protein bars, diet products, and no sugar sodas can be great for convenience and to curb sweet cravings when in a calorie deficit. Whilst everything is fine in moderation, these products are generally filled with artificial sweeteners to compensate for the lack of sugar. Yes, consuming these products might assist you in hitting your macros, but sometimes we need to reevaluate how these things are making us FEEL and weigh up what’s more beneficial. If your tummy is upset, it might be a good opportunity to take a break from artificial food products for a few days. You can reflect on how you’re feeling a few days later and slowly reintroduce them in a quantity that’s comfortable for you.
2. Remove carbonated beverages temporarily
Soda water can be great when dieting as it can assist with feelings of fullness. However, it also can add to bloating due to the gas in the beverage. This is the case in any carbonated beverage as the extra fizz can tend to bloat out our tummies, if had in excess. Try removing carbonated drinks for a few days, then when wanting to reintroduce limit consumption to one glass per day, as this shouldn’t have too much impact on bloating.
3. Sip water slowly
I know, I know. It’s 4pm and you’re trying to gulp down your water like there’s no tomorrow to try to hit your water goal. Girllllll, I feel you! Unfortunately similar to drinking carbonated water, when you gulp down water, you also tend to ingest a lot of air with it, which can lead to bloating. Sip, sip, sip ladies! This way you’ll be less likely to swallow down air. If you find it hard to reach your water goals, set alarms throughout the day. This way it will be impossible to forget to drink some water.
4. Go for a workout!
Another reason not to skip that workout! Sometimes getting moving can help to alleviate bloating. If your bloating is caused by a build up of gas, going for a workout may help you to remove excess gas that may be lingering in your system. I recommend doing a cardio based workout to assist with this such as; a HIIT session or interval sprints. Even just a walk can help to get things moving. My new Power Booty 2.0 program includes killer cardio and HIIT workouts!
5. Have a think about FODMAPs
Some people are sensitive to foods that contain FODMAPs. FODMAPs are a group of short-chain sugars that aren’t digested and absorbed well in the gut in some people. FODMAPs are a funny one, as it’s more about the total load rather than the actual food itself. For instance, you might be able to consume ¼ of an avocado with no problem, however if you consume ½ and avocado or a ¼ of an avocado with some onions this may trigger symptoms. Some FODMAP containing foods include; garlic, onions, avocados, mushrooms, apples, pears, cherries, mangoes and most legumes to name a few. If you think you might be sensitive to FODMAP containing foods try taking down a food diary for a week and monitoring your symptoms, this might help with working out which foods are trigger foods for you.
I hope these tips will help you say goodbye to bloating. Remember girls, your body is beautiful and does so many amazing things for you. Be sure to respect and love it at every stage - bloated or not! Everyone is different and if you are struggling with chronic bloating I recommend seeing a qualified Nutritionist or Dietitian to assist you in finding the root cause.
Take care of yourselves,