Recently, I realized I have a huge problem with bloating. Sorry to get so personal, but it’s true. I wake up in the morning looking like a swimsuit model and then halfway through the day, I resemble Homer Simpson. So I decided to share some tips with you that can help you beat the bloat and feeling comfortable and confident.
When it comes to spices, herbs, and seasonings, parsley is not one of my favorites. In my opinion, it is shaped like cilantro but with none of the fun flavors (unless, of course, you are genetically predisposed to equating the taste of cilantro to soap). So what do I do? I sneak it into food I already like. For example, I particularly enjoy cream cheese. I put it on lox, on crackers, and sometimes on sandwiches when I’m feeling a bit adventurous. I try to put in as much as I can without completely masking the cream cheese taste.
The thing that is counter-intuitive about bloat is that it is caused by water retension. Some people think that if they avoid drinking too much water, then they’ll get even more bloated. I guess this is true if you want to guzzle a liter or more at once (PLEASE don’t do this). But the truth is, your body needs new water to get rid of the old water. Think water is boring? Try tea, coconut water, or something else with electrolytes, but try to stay away from carbonated beverages as those can actually make you feel worse. Trust me, I tried drinking a ginger soda to make myself feel better, but instead I was in the fetal position for an extra 20 minutes.
I would recommend catching up on some reading–nutritional labels, that is. If you’re feeling a bit bloated, food could, quite grossly, not be moving through your system as well as it should. So, help it out a bit by adding foods that do not need to stop and get digested by your enzymes and all that. That’s where fiber comes in. For a women, the general recommendation is 25 grams of fiber a day. For men, it is 30 grams. I know for me it’s generally difficult to get enough, since I can’t eat whole wheat. But there are so many other options, like lentil crackers or making sure to eat high-fiber granola in the morning.
If you don’t like yogurt, are vegan, or anything else preventing you from eating, in my opinion, creamy deliciousness, get a probiotic supplement. Your stomach bacteria are critical in moving food through your system. Even though these do not totally replace your gut bacteria, they can help as a supplement the carbohydrate-breaking activity of these microbes. Obviously, if you are lactose intolerant, this hack will not help you.
- Smaller Meals
This tip has single-handedly helped me deal with the discomfort of bloating. By deal, I mean almost completely eradicate. Smaller meals lighten the load on your stomach and your intestines, allowing food to be more thoroughly processed. This might not work for everyone as a weight-loss strategy, so please do not take it as such. But in terms of bloating, this strategy works well for me.
If you’re anything like me, when you notice something off, it can derail your entire day. My tip? Wear clothes that don’t draw attention to your stomach. Belts are your friends. High-waisted, flowy things like skater skirts and dresses are also your friends. Your frenemies are anything that’s slinky and sexy or anything that fits snugly when you’re not bloating. Not only will this draw the attention you don’t want, but you’ll also feel uncomfortable from the fabric, elastic, or whatever fabric physically squeezing your already uncomfortable stomach.
You may wonder why high-waisted items are listed. For skirts, most of them hit my torso just above the problem area, which also happens to emphasize my waist, so look for garments that draw attention there.
Keep it yummy,
Next Week: Haven’t done a breakfast post, so get ready for scrambled eggs and homemade guacamole, as well as a review of a new gluten-free bread I discovered at the Union Square farmer’s market.