Have you started to think that it's a normal to feel gassy and bloated after dinner? Do you believe it is a typical symptom of aging to look bloated more often than not?
Well, because bloating is so common, it wouldn't be surprising if you did. Up to 25-30% of people experience bloating on a regular basis but the truth is it doesn't have to be the case. Although a little bit of gas and bloating is considered normal, excessive gas and bloating, more often than not, are signs of an inefficient digestive system or food intolerances. And in most cases, we have the ability to get rid of gas and bloating if we work on taking the burden off of our digestive organs and improve our digestive processes......and we can do this primarily be changing what, when and how we eat.
There are many reasons you might experience these symptoms. In some rare cases, excessive gas and bloating may be a sign of a serious underlying condition or a food allergy or intolerance (what you eat). But more often than not it is a result of HOW you eat. Change HOW you eat and your gassiness and bloating will likely subside. Aaaahhh! The sound of relief!
If you already know you have a serious digestive issue like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or celiac disease then make sure you eat accordingly. Same goes if you already KNOW certain foods give you gas. You just need to avoid them.
But if you’re already doing those things, and have ruled out other possible health conditions and still experience bloating, here are some great tips for dealing with it naturally.
1. Don’t overeat at mealtimes:
If you overeat at a meal, you are putting unnecessary strain on your digestive system and as a result, your food will not be easily or completely digested. When food doesn't digest properly, it will make you look and feel bloated and it creates a breeding ground for bad bacteria. And where bad bacteria resides, there will be more gas and bloating!
So it’s better to eat until you feel almost full and then stop. The best way to do this is to eat slower and be mindful of your portions. If we eat too quickly, our brain doesn't have time to tell us that we are satisfied until long after we are. If you are struggling with over-eating this might be because you are not eating regularly enough during the day or there might be underlying stress and emotional decisions driving you to eat excessively. If so, reach out to me and I'd be happy to help as this is a common stumbling block for chronically stressed women trying to eat healthy and lose weight.
2. Avoid sugar-free foods and sweeteners.:
Low-calorie sweeteners are not all they are cracked up to be! They are often identified by words ending in "ame", "ose" or "ol" on ingredients labels. Examples would be aspartame, sucralose, sorbitol and erythritol. They’re often found in foods advertised as being "sugar-free" so be aware. Some people experience bloating after eating these types of foods so give them a miss and see if you feel any different.
3. Avoid swallowing air:
I know right now you are wondering, who on earth walks around swallowing the air! Well it's more common than you think! If you talk a lot when eating, always eat fast, or chew gum or drink through a straw you are likely taking in more air than you realise and this will contribute to bloating. Fizzy soda drinks are another typical example where you are consuming more air than necessary so if you haven't already cut these out (for other obvious health reasons!) then now is the time to do so.
4 - Practice mindful eating when under stress:
Now this may seem impossible at times because unfortunately stressful situations can come out of nowhere and can last for a significant period of time if not handled effectively. But with a little bit of forethought it is possible to eat more mindfully, even when emotions are running high and it is important you slow down when eating to ensure portion control and complete digestion.
When we chew our food thoroughly, we begin the digestion process effectively because the food is exposed to the enzymes in our saliva which are essential to start the breakdown process. The sooner your food begins to breakdown, the easier it will be to digest your meal completely without the side effects of gas and bloating. So next time you are under stress and mealtime is approaching, try to take yourself away into a quiet room, take a few deep breaths and try to focus just on the food you are eating and block out the rest for 15-20 minutes so you can eat and digest comfortably.
Other stress-reducing techniques should also be considered on a regular basis to help improve your digestion. Try meditating, yoga, a warm bath or deep breathing exercises to calm those nerves. But make sure you are not doing those deep breathing exercises while eating! (see number 3 above! :))
5. Consume a cup of peppermint tea or sniff a peppermint essential oil :
Peppermint oil has been shown to improve the digestive process and therefore help to relieve bloating. It has a natural, relaxing effect on the muscles of the digestive tract and therefore helps to increase the flow of bile and other digestive juices necessary for complete digestion.
Peppermint tea is best taken in loose leaf form but tea bags work fine too. You can also chew on peppermint leaves (washed of course!) in between meals. Try one or a few of these tips out and you should notice an improvement in your symptoms.
So you can see, there are a number of ways in which you can change HOW you eat to notice improvement in uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as gas and bloating.
Remember, if you try all of the above and are not experiencing any relief, you may want to discuss possible food intolerances with a Registered Nutritionist once you have ruled out any serious underlying medical conditions with your doctor.
In fact, I have an even better idea! Join us in The Gut Recovery Programme!
Enrollment into The Gut Recovery Programme is currently 30% off until 11:59pm on Friday 8th November 2019! That means you can get started right away on this cutting edge programme for as little as only £97!
Ready to find out if you meet the criteria for the programme? Click the image below and book your free 45-minute clarity call today!
Now, here's the recipe I promised.....enjoy!
Recipe: Creamy Choc-Mint Patty Drink:
1 can coconut milk
½ cup almond milk, unsweetened
2 tbsp cacao powder, unsweetened
½ tsp peppermint extract or essential oil (food-grade and safe for internal use)
3 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until thoroughly mixed together.
2. Store in a sealed container in your fridge and your're DONE!
Serve when ready either cold or warmed up gently for a comforting evening treat :)