Before you start to stress about how much tighter your clothes fit after the Christmas season then you’d be happy to know that you probably didn’t put on any weight. You’re just bloated.
We’ve all experience bloating already and simply put this is the feeling of having built-up gas in your digestive system that causes that temporary abdominal protrusion. If you have PCOS, then bloating is something that you’re probably quite familiar with. Speaking for myself, this is one of my more common and annoying PCOS symptoms.
Because it happens to me so often, especially if I eat poorly, (which I did over the Christmas break) there are a few things I eat or drink or stay away from in order to beat the bloat quick.
- Drink a glass of warm lemon water and stay away from carbonated drinks like soda etc. Hot/warm lemon water helps to wake up your digestive system.
- Drink more water. I know that the last thing you want to do is drink water when you feel bloated but drinking more water during this time helps to remove the excess salt from your body, helping you to debloat quicker.
- I love cheese and anything milky but I have no choice but to ease up on the dairy when I’m trying to get rid of my bloating. Dairyproducts can be a source of intestinal distress and bloating if you have trouble digesting lactose, or milk sugar.
- I’m a chronic gum chewer. I nearly always have a pack of gum close by. It was only a little while back during researching that I read that chewing gum causes you to swallow excess air which can contribute to bloating and surprisingly, abdominal pain.
- Eat some pineapple, pawpaw or a banana. Both pineapple and papaya contain enzymes bromelain and papain respectively that help banish bloat by breaking down protein and easing digestion. Bananas which are rich in potassium can help to alleviate constipation and water retention.
- Swap coffee with green tea. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big tea drinker. I also love my cup of coffee but caffeine is essentially an acidic beverage that can cause an inflammation of the stomach lining that can result in bloating. Ginger and mint tea as well are tea options that help in getting rid of bloat if you’re not a fan of green tea.
- Lay off the salt. I think this is pretty much obvious as too much salt in the diet is almost always the main reason for excessive bloating. The bloatedfeeling you get after consuming excess sodium is a result of fluid buildup that increases your blood volume, causing your heart to work harder.
Other non-consuming ways to fight bloat are stretching, getting more sleep and shockingly chewing slower.
Stretching not only helps in waking up your body but also aids in increasing proper digestion.
I spoke a while back in a previous post (see post on “Hormones and Stress”) about the effects of the stress hormone cortisol on the body. When we don’t get enough sleep (which probably didn’t happen over the Christmas season) our body releases cortisol which can disturb our digestive system and can be a cause of bloating. An easy fix to a flatter stomach, from my experience, is getting a good’s night rest.
If you’re like me and inhale food re: I eat very fast, then you might need to consciously slow down your eating. Eating quickly can cause air to be trapped in your system while chewing food slowly can minimize bloating that can occur when too much air gets trapped in your system.
“Focus on the outcome, not the obstacle.” – Author Unknown