7 Easy Steps To De-Bloat

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Summer is finally here! Unfortunately those endless cookouts, beers, cocktails and treats will have you feeling like a hot air balloon real quick! I used to suffer from major bloating and it was the worst feeling! Bloating is most usually a result of gas (trapped air) or increased salt/sugar intake. It would always happen to me when I wanted to wear a bathing suit or anything fitted. Since it was happening so often, I decided to do some research and try some remedies myself. Here are 7 easy steps to be-bloat.

1) Drinking the right fluids:

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Peppermint tea is a natural anti-inflammatory and has been known to improve digestion. Photo credit: howbenefitstea.com

Soda, sugary juices and alcohol are the biggest culprits for bloating. When we consume excess sugar, we’re fueling the bacteria in our intestines to start eating those same sugars that are being digested. As a result the bacteria in our gut may end up producing more gas, hence more bloating. Water is always the better choice than any of these culprits. As an additive, you can add lemon or lime to warm water as a preventative method to combat belly bloat. I usually drink either one with warm water 1st thing in the morning. I like to add lemon, cucumber and mint for a refreshing twist as another option. What about if you’re already bloated? If you find yourself already bloated, try drinking coconut water, ginger tea, ginger lemongrass tea, cinnamon tea, peppermint tea, green tea or kombucha. All of these beverages have been known to reduce bloating and give your digestive tract a jumpstart in digestion. Tip: Try drinking warm peppermint or green tea before/during your meal to really get your digestive tract moving!

2) Sleep:

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Getting enough sleep can help improve digestion, regulate your metabolism and reduce stress levels. Photo credit: Huff Post/Shutterstock.

One of the easiest ways to prevent belly bloat is by getting plenty of sleep. We have heard time and time again that adults should be getting anywhere from 6-8 hours of sleep. I know I’m guilty of not getting enough sleep. However, I notice when I do get enough rest that bloating is usually at a minimum. Our bodies need time to digest food and recharge for the next day and that can’t happen on 3-5 hours of sleep daily. Sleep helps to regulate our metabolism as well. We’re also less stressed which allows us to have a clearer mind and make better food choices. You will end up avoiding foods that you know cause you to bloat.

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Packing your lunch ahead of time prevents rushing and packing unhealthy foods that can cause bloat & unhealthy weight gain.

3) Pack your lunch. When it comes to the morning time and your trying to rush out the door you are going to end up doing one of two things: (a) throw anything you can find into your lunch bag or (b) realize you don’t have time to pack anything and order lunch. The problem with either is that you’ll more than likely end up eating a meal that is high in sodium and unhealthy. High sodium foods such as pizza, pasta (depending on how it’s made), Chinese food or any other takeout restaurant that’s within walking distance of your job will quickly bring on the dreaded bloat. Solution: pack your lunch the night before or meal prep for the week. When you commit to packing your lunch in a more calm state of mind you will be more conscious of what you’re adding to your lunch bag. You’ll make wiser decisions that will lessen the likelihood of bloating and even unhealthy weight gain.

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Salty foods cause excess water retention also known as bloating.

4) Avoid salty foods: When we eat too many sodium-heavy foods or one high sodium meal it causes us to retain water which is one of the causes of bloating in the 1st place. Adding fresh peppers, garlic and onion is an awesome way to add taste to your food without adding unnecessary salt. Fresh garlic is always best. When stir-frying try using minced garlic. Foods like quinoa and brown rice are high in fiber and banish bloat quickly. Fruits like papaya and pineapple are also great for de-bloating also. Side note: Various studies have found that garlic stimulates digestion. It is also considered an antifugal, antiviral and antibacterial food that can help our bodies break down foods that lead to gas. Not a bad trade off at all!

5) Chew slowly:

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Chewing and eating slowly prevents the swallowing of excess air which causes bloating.

Try eating slowly at mealtime. When you inhale your meal you end up swallowing excess air which ends up becoming trapped in your digestive tract. Take smaller bites and take your time to chew your food completely. This will aid your digestive tract to break down food much more easily and leave less room for bloating.

6) Avoid chewing gum:

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Chewing gum causes you to inhale excess air which also leads to bloating. Photo credit: Pintrest

Just like inhaling your food too fast, each time you chew gum you are inhaling excess air which will end up becoming trapped in your digestive tract. Choose mints instead or just floss and brush on the go to ensure your breath is fresh post meal or any time you need a pick me up.

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Keeping an active lifestyle helps to increase blood flow & aide in digestion. Photo Credit: Instagram/@HealthyHairToToe

7) Excercise: Keeping active, especially at night will help you banish bloat very easily. For starters, you’ll sleep much better which leads to lower stress levels and a clearer mind to make better food choices and choices in general. Excercise also increases blood flow and aides in digestion. 20-30 minutes of activity after a meal can usually get that going and also aide in weight loss. A brisk walk after a meal is an awesome and fun way to do this.

You can read about natural rememdies to relieve bloating here: http://healthyhairtotoe.com/2015/12/24/6-easy-natural-ways-beat-holiday-bloat/

I hope this post was helpful to you! Have an awesome summer bloat free ☺️

Sincerely,

Healthy Hair To Toe ❤️

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