Bye, Bye Bloat
Are you tired of feeling bloated 24/7? I understand. I felt bloated for so long I couldn’t help but obsess over why this was happening. From articles about parasite cleanses to long detoxes, I didn’t know which route was the best for me. I felt helpless because either I was intolerant to every food or I had a deep-rooted issue. I can write a lot more about this, but along the journey, I’ve found a few ways that help me reduce the infamous bloat.
You might not be absorbing sugar properly.
Soda, candy, juice, granola, cereal, and “energy” bars are common food items with a high amount of fructose. There are three different types of sugar: fructose, glucose, and galactose. The combination of two sugars forms a disaccharide (two sugars). For example, glucose and galactose form lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. If you’re lactose intolerant, then your body cannot absorb those two sugars.
Drink this incredible concoction.
For optimal gut health, aka your microbiome, probiotics have been hot over the past few years. Bacteria in our gut are less diverse due to environmental changes, processed foods, antibiotics, and other factors. Probiotics introduce bacteria into your intestines to promote diversity and improve functioning. I mix VSL probiotic powder with apple cider vinegar with water twice a week. This concoction reduces my hunger cravings and helps my digestion. Pro tip: Don't use probiotics with hot liquids. I use a strong probiotic, but I recommend testing out a few brands at your local health food store (Whole Foods or Trader Joes) to get started.
Move, move, move.
Your body needs movement. If you’re eating and sitting all day, then your body doesn’t get that extra nudge to push food through your gut. It “helps stimulate peristalsis, which is the process of moving digested food through the GI tract” (1b). Since your blood sugar spikes after eating a meal, a quick walk can help your digestion and also lower blood sugar levels.
Put a pause on your nightly snack runs.
I’ve formed a habit where I don’t snack after dinner. I eat my last meal around 7- 8 pm and stick to water for the rest of the night. If you follow intermittent fasting or other popular fasting methods, then you might already be practicing this. However, if you don’t, then setting an end time for your last meal could be useful in the long run. If you’re a female in your reproductive years, beware of intermittent fasting. Studies about intermittent fasting focus on men and now raise concerns about the negative effects on women. The recommended fasting time is ~14 hours for women in these years.